Week 4 December 2005: Rain = 32.5mm.
We wish all our readers a happy Christmas.
This was a big family week. All our children and their families spent a few days at Yallaroo. After their visit our eldest daughter and family stayed in the accommodation at New England National Park, east of Armidale. We worked there for three years some time ago. We spent one night at the Park and walked along some well-remembered tracks. A highlight, of our short stay, was a visitation by a Spot-tailed Quoll also known as Tiger Quoll. These nocturnal marsupials have become used to visitors and pay regular, nighttime visits to the Park accommodation.
Back at Yallaroo we observed three Channel-billed Cuckoos flying over. These large, ungainly, grey birds migrate from Southeast Asia in spring. They lay their eggs in Currawong and Magpie nests.
During his visit, our son competed in a number of orienteering events. One was conducted on a property near Yallaroo. We were allowed to hike around the property. This turned out to be an interesting walk because we solved a 25-year mystery. All those years ago, two botanists told us that they had found a population of Flannel Flowers (Actinotus helianthi) on this property. Over the years we have searched for these plants without success. This time we were successful and found two healthy populations. Both populations had mature plants, in flower, and a number of seedlings. This was a great Christmas present.
Speaking of Christmas presents, we received a number of horticultural gifts. A large bale of Coco Peat (a Peat Moss substitute) and four Western Australian Banksias were almost fitted in our Christmas stockings. This year we will be planting Western Australian Banksias, Eucalypts and Melaleucas as well as other natives.

Garden Diary