This week I made my first trip down the south coast since the devastating bushfires earlier this year. The amount of wildlife really lost is incomprehensible when zooming down the highway cocooned in a modern bubble of distraction. The landscape is eerie, even as the trees begin to sprout new growth the middle layer of the bush is missing, how long will it take for the biodiversity to return? if indeed it can …
I went to two landscapes affected by the fire which were beginning the process of healing themselves. The first was the Ulladulla Wildflower Reserve, a beautifully cared for pocket of bushland under the canopy of Syncarpia glomulifera, Eucalyptus robusta and Eucalyptus sieberi. The sign above says it all 💚
The bush was burnt but the birdlife was there, trees had started to grow back and the Waratahs had honestly benefitted from the burn.
What an incredible species, viewing them like this amidst the charcoal sticks I had a new respect for our floral emblem.
For although we see it everywhere in logos and on emblems it really isn’t that common to see them in the bush all ablaze. The bushfire did this, belonging to the Proteaceae family the Telopea thrives after a burn, much like our Banksias.
The colour combination of red, green and black in this tract of bush was so vibrant, they really are a symbol of hope and renewal.
Just down the road the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden was badly hit by the bushfires. I have visited these gardens several times and I was not prepared for how badly these beautiful gardens have fared, it was heart breaking.
However, what native plant loves nothing more than a good burn? Yep, you guessed it Xanthorhoeas!
Look at these beauties, I think they are Xanthorrhoea glauca, every one I saw was throwing a flower spike and most of them were the only remaining species that made it in their garden beds.
And the other plant which benefitted from the fires? Macrozamia communis, this is after all land of the spotted gum with an understory of cycads, but never before have I seen so many seed pods.
Every Macrozamia I saw had at least 3 of these ginormous cones, after being triggered by the fire.
So there you have it, life after fire some plants are thriving, if only it was so easy for the lost fauna…