There is a sprightly little Hoverfly moving between the flowers of the golden daisy (Euryops species) in my back garden. Hoverflies are one of the few insect species that seem to persist through the cooler months and it is now the end of autumn and quite chilly. Most of the invertebrates inhabiting our gardens have died off or are tucked away until spring.
I am taking a walk around Prospect and enjoying the plants and animals still adorning our gardens as winter approaches. Over the years I have spoken to many of my fellow residents about their gardens and asked permission to take photographs. For the sake of anonymity, I will simply refer to them as colours eg Mr Brown or Ms White and leave the streets largely unnamed.
A couple of streets over and some late blooming roses catch my eye in Mr Grey's garden. In addition, he seems to have quite a varied collection of plants that will flower through the cooler weather including: Azaleas, Abutilons, Hebes and Sasanqua Camelias.
The bird population in Prospect has changed with fewer New Holland Honeyeaters and Wattlebirds around as they rely on blossoms as a primary food source. The nectar from the flowers acts as instant fuel to energise their aerial insect hunting behaviour. And, as mentioned earlier, there are hardly any insects around in the cooler months hence, less insectivorous birds. Conversely, the birds with a more varied diet such as Spotted Doves, Pigeons, Blackbirds and Magpies are still common.
Many of the streets in Prospect are lined with old trees which have significant numbers of hollows where limbs have fallen off. Rainbow Lorikeets use them as nesting holes and seem to stay around the area through the winter months. I manage to capture an image of one bird emerging from a hole in the trunk of a White Cedar. Parrots, including Lorikeets and Rosellas also frequent our gardens and Mrs Brown, who lives along Braund Road, puts out cut fruit on her trellis which both birds and possums find rather inviting. She also spreads wild bird seed (available at all good supermarkets!!) on her lawns attracting Spotted Doves, House Sparrows, Crested Pigeons and other seed-eating birds.
I have been wandering the streets for a couple of hours and its time for lunch and Muratti Cakes and Gateaux on Prospect Road is one of many small caffes along the thoroughfare dividing Prospect. Here, I shall indulge in a decadently tasty pastry and a Chai latte before I explore a couple of a small parks on my way home.
An autumnal walk around Prospect has been both enjoyable and fruitful with many birds and flowers adorning my neighbours' gardens and I am sure whichever suburb you live in this would also be the case. So, grab your walking shoes and take a turn around your local area and enjoy some of South Australia's urban plants and wildlife.
Additional notes This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog friendly.