Most of the Freshwater Mangrove, Barringtonia acutangula that were planted around the causeway have survived the last dry season care of their hardy taproots and are beginning to re-sprout. For all but one this was their first year and to survive with limited irrigation after such a dry wet season and prolonged dry is encouraging. Many birds and bats will be grateful in the years to come when they have their first beautiful long red inflorescence.
The other Freshwater Mangrove or Bush Current, Carallia brachiata, that sends roots down in search of water rather than bunker down with a taproot, did not have such a good survival rate although there are at least 4 in different places re-leafing in response to the first occasional rains. We will plant a few more two year old plants early in this wet season so hopefully they are more established when the dry comes.
It was a tough dry season for plants and animals alike with the previous wet bring far less rain than normal resulting in dry country to start the season. It has been hot too, i have lost count of the highest maximum or minimum days and monthly averages we have had recently. Even without the development of La Nina conditions (yet) the warmer waters have brought a little early rain that is a relief for all top end inhabitants and i would say it has probably saved a lot of plant lives.
At this change of season and new beginnings the finishing touches are being put on Rakhi. We are transitioning it from the private rental property we have run for the past few years into the Rakhi Retreat we envisaged when we bought it in 2010 and rebuilding as a retreat space. It has been great to spend the time in around the house surrounded by the sounds of the local fauna.
This week is the Aussie backyard Bird count and i have downloaded the app and did two twenty minute counts on the weekend seeing 12 different species. I was not around early and late in the day and most of the sensible Rakhi Retreat birdlife was laying low waiting for either rain or a little bit of dusk ti get active. I intend to find time for a few more surveys during the week.