There are secrets in our waterways, hidden, not seen to many.

Before I tell you about them, have you ever thought about the strangely romantic way we name living things. There is something mystical about the way we do this. I find the scientific Latin naming of species quite fascinating, it tickles my interest, takes me back in time.

Did you know the process of naming species is called Binomial nomenclature and we have been doing it since the 1600s?

I used to spend a lot of time making up my own names for things that I discovered on my childhood explorations, like the Haylibius-Expanta, only to learn it is more of an exact science. Sometimes I wish I was born back with the early discoverers – breaking new ground, making up names. All the fun stuff of course!

I’ve always had a fascination with botanicals all the way to University where I should have been a landscape gardener but chose landscape architecture – ending in Agriculture where my love of plants continues. They’re pretty special to the planet.

But that’s enough of that.

What I wanted to tell you about was some amazing species in the Tabilk wetlands you might like to keep an eye out for.

We are lucky enough to play home to a lily called Brasenia Schreberi (it’s a great name), the Water shield Lily. Don’t mistake it for the non-native lily which has a big white flower. These native lilies are delicate and small with an understated brown-purple flower. They blend in and are pretty easy to overlook. What makes this botanical so special is it only flowers for two days, once a year, showing its beauty between June to September. Then it disappears back under the water for fruiting.

And it also maintains shelter for our endangered Broad Shelled Turtle Chelodina expansa, who loves the permanent turbid waters of the wetlands. If you want to try and catch a glimpse of our special turtles they are most active in spring time when they lay their babies.

Just writing this is making me excited. These little turtles are so beautiful.

A small reminder though, if you are coming to see them make sure you slow down your driving.

I’d hate to see these gorgeous things under tyre – and they do like an adventure.

Just like me.


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