Thursday, January 28, 2010


Early morning on the bay is always beautiful but it's even better when you are the only one out there. This photo is taken from the eastern side of the bay looking north toward the power lines.
I had gone out to check on some birds on the sandspit but all I found were lots of bird footprints and one set of human prints on top of them. So I kayaked to the other side of the bay and just enjoyed the scenery. It was very still and the close ripples were made by me manoeuvring the kayak into the right place to take photos.
I always find the mangroves particularly beautiful at high tide. The view through under the leaves to where the roots and trunks are growing out of the water is like looking into some strange twisted fantasy forest. (A much better look at this if you click to enlarge.)
Even though there is actually a limited number of species at any one location they seem to grow into an endless variety of shapes and sizes. I am still trying to sort them all out but determined this season to get photos of the flowers. (btw I do NOT find it easy to sit in a kayak and try to hold the camera still enough for close-up photos!) These buds were on Gray Mangroves (Avicennia marina) the other week but when I found the flowers opening a few days later they had all darkened and only a few flowers at a time were opening and then quickly darkening.
This one had me puzzled for quite some time. Its leaves were much smaller and did not look like the other mangroves but it was growing out of the water. It is the Myrtle Mangrove (Osbornia octodonta) with aromatic leaves and very tiny flowers.
This flower opened much earlier in the season and I think it is the River Mangrove (Aegiceras corniculatum)
I am using the revised edition of Mangroves to Mountains - a Field Guide to the Native Plants of Southeast Queensland - to ID these plants. Please correct me if I have made mistakes.


  1. Hi Mick
    You're getting there, with your flower images.
    Why not pick a few flowers and take them back with you?
    You might need a plastic bag and something to cover it up with, to keep it cool.
    I have checked PlantNET (NSW Botanic Gdns on-line herbarium) but it is hopeless on Mangroves. Mostly poor line drawings, or photos of old dried herbarium specimens.
    Loved the first photo of early morning light and full tide.

  2. Hi Denis, thanks for your suggestions about picking a flower and taking it home to photograph it. That would certainly make it much easier to re-take the image if it wasn't good. Morning light on the bay is beautiful. It gets pretty hot later on, though. Yesterday I stopped half way home and went in to the shore and just sat in the water for a while until I cooled off a bit!

  3. G'day Mick,
    Nice pics of a great looking spot. 'Fantasy forest' seems a good description. Can't help with your IDs sorry. To us Victorians, a mangrove is a mangrove!
    Loved your Black Cocky pics by the way. I'm just catching up wit a few blog readings. Hope to be a little more regular, so to speak, shortly.

  4. Hi Gouldiae nice to have you commenting - and I guess this dry summer has made you extra busy. re the mangroves - I used to think the same - just a mangrove - and I reckon that's why I've had such trouble sorting out the different kinds.

  5. Hi Mick
    Being a Victorian I agree with Gouldiae because identifying a mangrove here is easy for us - we only have one sort of mangrove! We call them White Mangrove Avicennia marina but I think the same species is known as Grey Mangrove in other places.

  6. Hi Boobook, definitely easier in this instance to be a Victorian! You are right that the Grey Mangrove up here is the Avicennia marina and one of my books says the subspecies is 'australasica' - don't know if this subspecies makes it different from your White Mangrove.