Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Coleraine: gum trees and chocolate
That's right — chocolate. Coleraine (a short drive west of Hamilton) is home to Glenelg Fine Confectionery. And their choccies are fine. Very fine, indeed. Next time I'll take photographs of the inside of the shop. This time I was too preoccupied with choices to whip out the camera.
As if the chocolate factory isn't enough reason to visit Coleraine, it is also the site of the Points Arboretum. I dropped into the Arboretum last time I was in the area to catch the spring-blossoming eucalypts. Now it's time for the summer bloomers. (As it were.)
Bees, purple-crowned lorikeets and all sorts of honeyeaters (mainly New Hollands and wattlebirds) were behaving in much the same way we did in the chocolate factory. Well, we were slightly more reserved. The red-flowering gum was big on the list of favourites.
Because it's difficult to look at birds and plants simultaneously (for me, anyway), I didn’t see the spotted pardalote excavating a nest until I almost trod on the bird. It waited in a tree for me to remove myself a sufficient distance, then continued its industrial-scale mining.
We wandered semi-aimlessly around the gardens while the rufous whistlers and grey fantails sang and flitted around us. There were gangs of superb blue wrens at the top of the hill and mobs of long-billed corellas at the bottom. At least the vegetation stayed still, so I managed to get photos of them. Really, how can anyone claim that Australian native plants are dull?
Thanks to RR and MM for the plant IDs — because not all the specimens at the Arboretum are labeled ...