Mid to late spring is known as the transformational time of year and occurs around October and November. Kambarang is represented by the colour yellow and it symbolises the return of the hot weather. Many yellow wildflowers are in bloom including orchids (like the pansy orchid (Diuris magnifica), kangaroo paws and banksias which become ripe and full of nectar. Balgas (grass trees) and Mooja (Australian Christmas Tree) also begin to flower. The flowering of the Mooja was used as a sign for the Noongar people to move closer to the coast. Many berries and fruits were collected in the coastal heathlands including quandong (Santalum acuminatum), native cranberry (Astroloma spp), and snottygobble fruits (Persoonia spp).
The season also brings fewer cold fronts and longer dry periods. As the weather warms up, reptiles such as snakes, start to come out of hibernation. To avoid an encounter with a snake when out bushwalking, stick to cleared areas where you can see the ground ahead of you and avoid walking in long grass or undergrowth. It is best to wear long pants and enclosed shoes and ensure your ankles are covered. If you do see a snake, do not approach, or aggravate it, rather slowly back away and give it space to move on its own accord.
With many young being born this time of year, you can hear young families of birds singing out for their parents to feed them. Joeys start to leave their mothers’ pouches, so it is a great time to visit Rottnest Island and see baby quokkas. Quokkas are best known for living on Rottnest but are also found on the mainland in the southwest forests. Quokkas only have one joey at a time and live in social groups. They can survive long periods without food or water by using the fat stored in their tails. Migratory birds begin to arrive at our wetlands in October each year, making it an ideal time for bird watching. The birds come from as far away as Alaska as they follow their annual migration along the East-Asian Australasian Flyway. Female blue swimmer crabs also commence their spawning in this season with a ban on taking undersized and egg-carrying (‘berried’) crabs to ensure a sustainable population.