With the rain setting in, we welcome the Noongar season of makuru in the South West of WA. The Noongar seasons apply to WA’s South-West and don’t have fixed start and finish dates. Instead, the seasons are determined by environmental indicators. Makuru is the coldest and wettest part of the year and is represented by the colour blue. While the skies may be grey, the bush is alive with the spectacular blue and purple hues of our flowering wildflowers this time of year. Keep a look out for blueberry lily (Dianella revoluta), purple Hardenbergia species, blue Lechanaultia bilobas and purple flags (Patersonia occidentalis) when going on bushwalks. This is also the best time to spot mushrooms that start to come up after the first substantial rains. Another great activity for this time of year is beachcombing. With the winds turning to the west and the south, numerous interesting sea creatures and coral wash up on shore during this season.
Many of the southwest wildlife will start pairing up in preparation for the upcoming breeding season. The WA bird emblem, the black swan pairs (mali) start to arrive at the lakes and rivers of their preferred nesting and breeding grounds. Ravens (wardongs) start to become quiet as they have usually found a mate, after making their 'ark ark arrrrrk' noises when single. Many bird species that use tree hollows for nesting, like the Australia Ring-neck parrot, are out hunting for available nest sites this time of year. With a reduction in available hollows around due to the clearing, competition can be fierce. You can assist by installing a suitable nest box in your back yard. Not only will you be assisting in the conservation of our native birds but it is great way to encourage birds to your back yard
With all the wonderful rain, it is the perfect time to get planting a bush tucker garden. Bushfood gardening is great for the environment as many of the plants available are very low maintenance. Gardening is not only a stress reliever but many bush tucker plants are delicious and also highly nutritious. If you start now you may be having wild carrots and wild potato on the menu this time next year!
For more information on installing nest boxes, visit: www.re-cyc-ology.com.au
For information on starting a bush tucker garden, visit: www.tuckerbush.com.au