Dr John Read and I entered APY Lands in early November 2015. This was a routine trip for him but was a first for me. Very few people in Australia will have been to this part of the country, a permit is required on entry.It didn’t take me long to realize was in a different country from the one I was used to. John allowed me to spend some free time wandering across huge ancient boulders of the Musgrave Range.
As I neared the top of the range the silence and remoteness seemed almost palpable. The danger of losing direction in unfamiliar country was both clear and frightening.
Yet the rugged beauty was enticing, I wanted to see a little more of what lay beyond, but had only two hours and we had work to do.
Dragon lizards are always present,
Crested bellbird glimpse, a bird of arid mulga and…
Splendid Fairy-wren, turquoise form…
Western bower-bird, a fig eater with habitat in north-western SouthAustralia.
Ubiquitious white-plumed honeyeater, the inland bird seems finer to me and has more yellow on face.
Rufous whistler and..
Singing honeyeater made their presence known with song.
Desert oak (note the bottle-brush shaped young trees behind)
and even ferns!
and lichen! Enormous lichen.This was something I hadn’t expected. It seemed that at every turn I was seeing something new.
This native with succulent leaves
turns the plain purple, but I have lost its name. So if you recognize it please inform me.
Hakea shedding seeds
Figs which grow on bare hot rock, roots not touching the ground, a bonsai in a desert with no water. All a bit astounding.
John was more interested in the termites which ate this patch of grass to the ground. More about this shortly.