Sunday, 2 September 2012

Forest edge farmers' market.

There's a lot happening in the rainforest at the moment, but most of it seems to be going on in the canopy or in the thickets of wait-a-while, so it remains secret business. The forest edge is a different matter.

Plants are sprouting new growth in shades of cream and copper, not yet flushed with chlorophylls. The kauri pine (Agathis robusta) has recovered from its pruning at the hands of the energy company. It is putting on a show of young leaves to replace those lost on chainsawed and chipped branches.

Agathis robusta

Other species are coming into flower. The brown ripples (Aglaia australiensis) have taken over the forest edge and are starting to bud. Their flowers, although modest, are popular with insects, so I expect a bumper crop of wasps and flies this year. Strangely, I'm looking forward to it.

Aglaia australiensis

Some have won the race to blossom. The burny beans (Mucuna gigantea) failed to set seed last season, but are having another go. Their flowers hang like chandeliers above the forest floor.

Mucuna gigantea
Others have already produced fruit. Despite this buttonwood (Glochidion harveyanum) snapping in two at the beginning of the year under the combined weight of rain in the leaves and Christmas dinner, the tree has survived and continues to flower and fruit.

Surviving the Christmas break

Glochidion harveyanum

Tree kangaroos have also been enjoying the forest edge farmers' market, stripping the new growth from the milky pine (Alstonia scholaris) and bolly wood (Neolitsea dealbata). The bollywoods are a particular favourite of a mum and her joey. They visit late at night and spend hours working their way through the young growth, to then return a few days later to pick off the bits they missed the first time around.

New growth...gone

How did they miss those few?

1 comment:

laura.forestdreams:) said...

goodbye to winter...hello spring and all the budding plants!

looks like all the critters will surely have an enormous buffet just waiting to be munched on!

cheers and bon appetit!