Grevillea and Southern Emu-wren Tawny-crowned Honeyeater  (Fiona Lumsden)

On the rocky ridgelines of the Blue Mountains you can sometimes find extensive heathlands. Plants, here, are stunted and struggle to attain anything more than shrub height in the shallow, skeletal soils and tough, windswept conditions.

Heaths have their own special beauty however. Outcrops of fluted and twisted sandstone snuggle amongst hummocks of tightly packed mini-plants. Unimpeded by trees, wide vistas sweep to distant blue spurs and gorges.

Waratah Mountain Devil  (Fiona Lumsden)
Mountain Devil, Lambertia formosa, is a charismatic and common shrub of heathlands and bushland in the Blueys.

It is a tough and spiky character: gnarled and pungent-pointed with devil-headed nuts. It has its sweet side however. Beautiful, exploding, “shooting star” flowers only last a day or so when fully open but they are generous with their sweet rewards.

Copious nectar flows have given rise to its alternative common name: Honey Flower. They bloom over a long period with successive flowers: a boon to honey gatherers, be they bird or insect. They make a great garden plant.

I have also shown a native Blue-banded Bee feeding in a flower, an old shell of a Masked Devil cicada and an orange-winged female Common Brown butterfly.

Common Brown butterfly Common Brown butterfly  (Fiona Lumsden)

About Fiona Lumsden

Fiona grew up in Mt Wilson amidst the wilderness of the Greater Blue Mountains. It was there that she began learning about the birds, animals and plants of the wild places that surrounded her. She has lived in and explored the upper Blue Mountains area ever since.

She has been painting Australian birds for over forty years now: studying their form, habits and habitat, primarily on her numerous field trips throughout Australia but also in zoos, aviaries, museums and literature.

For her original paintings she uses watercolours, gouache, pastels, inks and pencil on 100% cotton rag watercolour paper.

Here's Fiona's website and Facebook.

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