17 Apr 2009

Psalm Singer of the Dawn

Eastern Yellow Robin
Eopsaltria australis

The Easter break was a great opportunity for us to get out and about and enjoy God's wonderful creation in the glorious Autumn weather.

On Monday we made a visit to the wonderful Australia Garden in Cranbourne. Part of the Royal Botanic Gardens, this garden is a wonderful place to enjoy Australia's beautiful endigenous plants and animals.

We're rather fond of the lovely little robin pictured above. Conspicuous and unafraid of man, this little bird pearched just long enough for us to get this shot of him before flying away and scolding us from a distance. You can hear his call here. The Eastern Robin is often the first bird to call before sunrise and the last at night - indeed his scientific name means Psalm Singer of the Dawn! Perhaps you can see now why we like him so much - after all, as Reformed Presbyterians, we're Psalm Singers ourselves!!

Sturt's Desert Pea
Swainsona formosa

Sturt's Desert Pea is the floral emblem of South Australia. It occurs in all mainland Australian States except Victoria, and so it was great to see it in flower in the gardens, especially since an anthropomorphised version of the little fellow features in our current Australian Geography book, Magic Australia by Nuri Mass.

Southern brown bandicoot
Isoodon obesulus obesulus

Probably the highlight of our visit was meeting this little fella. The Southern Brown Bandicoot is listed as an endangered species throughout Australia. Until the 1970s he was quite was quite a common sight in the heathy woodlands that occurred in much of Melbourne's Eastern and Bayside suburbs, but today the population at the Botanic Gardens is the only one left. It was nice of him to pose for my camera, wasn't it? He even waited while I changed lenses!!

Here's a few more photos of our day!

The award winning Red Sand Garden

Banksia 'Birthday Candles
Banksia spinulosa

Woolemi Pine
Wollemia nobilis

The Wollemi Pine is one of the world's oldest and rarest plants dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. With less than 100 adult trees known to exist in the wild, the Wollemi Pine is now the focus of extensive research to safeguard its survival. We've seen potted plants before, but this was the first one we've seen growing in a garden.

The story of its discovery is no less than incredible. The tree was known from fossil records, but was presumed extinct. In August 1994, David Noble, a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services Officer was out trekking and abseiling with friends in the Wollemi National Park near Sydney when he noticed the unusual nature of the Pine and took a small fallen branch home for identification. People got really excited!! You can read more of this amazing tree and its discovery here.

A pretty yellow grevillia. Sorry, I don't know its name...


  1. Great pictures of a beautiful day!! Psalm singing here this morn... :D

  2. Hi Jeanne,

    On our recent family camping trip we had the joy of watching similar little birds to your lovely little robin - however, they would not sit still for us......didn't matter how patient we were, we could not capture these little birds on film. They were such a joy to watch every morning, and listen too.


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