After a couple of years of above average rainfall the semi-arid Flinders Ranges is currently looking fresh and abundant with life. The pine trees are regenerating, the wild flowers starting to emerge and gorgeous little emu chicks have been spotted around the resort. It’s a great time to visit Wilpena Pound.
The native wild flowers in the region tend to flower in the spring months. Good locations for seeing these are along the St Mary Peak trail, Drought Busters Trail, Arkaroo Rock and the Hills Homestead walks.
The pine trees that occur naturally throughout the ranges are commonly called Native or White Cypress-pine (Callitris glaucophylla). This is a native tree that in the past was used extensively for buildings and fences as it has a natural resistance to termite destruction. It occurs naturally in the area and despite appearances has not been planted. These trees can live 200-300 years and regeneration occurs only a few times a century, following two years of above average rainfall. This appears to be happening now as the team at Wilpena has reported seeing the surrounding trees appear to spontaneously “explode” in a cloud of pollen.
Spring is also the time to spot emu chicks as they begin hatching. Emus breeding cycle is very different to most birds. The shorter days of winter switch on their reproduction instincts. Broody males take care of the nest and act as sole parent for the first year and a half of a chick’s life. Several have been spotted around Wilpena Pound Resort in recent weeks.
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