Friday, February 13, 2009

Mullens Saltmarsh

I went for a very slow and careful walk yesterday morning out to the Mullens creek roost site. My dog Misty dances all around me when she knows that she is going in the car with me. When I let her into the car she curls up on the floor until she feels the bumpy corrugated surface of the road over the last few hundred yards down to the bay. Then she is alert and excited again and can't wait to run off and explore all the smells where other dogs have walked. Yesterday morning was a bit different. She apparently didn't think I should be walking around. She walked close behind me and kept touching my sore knee with her nose. I don't know how she knows these things. Maybe she can smell or feel the heat in the knee? Anyway it was quite a while before she decided that I was walking so slowly she could go off and explore the shoreline and still keep a careful eye on me.
It was low tide so I didn't get close to any birds on the roost site. They tend to roost on the far side and the only way to get there is in the kayak.
This is a huge area of saltmarsh. None of the vegetation is more than a few inches high. It always looks dry and burnt-up – possibly because most of the plants are red colored and the ground is covered with a dark wrinkled crust of algae. Its only when you look very closely that you start to see seasonal changes in all the tiny plants. Yesterday, for the first time, I saw tiny seed heads on the grass. All the plants out here flower and set seed very quickly and you can miss seeing any of it by only a few days.
Saltcouch (Sporobolus virginicus)
I don't know the name of this grass
Seablite (Suaeda australis) which I have seen in flower nearly every year. I think it may have a slightly longer flowering period.


  1. Good to know you are being well looked after by Misty but who is taking who for a walk?

  2. Hi Mick
    Being forced to slow down certainly makes us look more closely at what's close to hand. The knee - and Misty - would probably benefit from biking.

  3. Hi Early Birder - Misty definitely thinks she is in charge!

    Hi Tony, I think you're right about the bike - but its been ages since I've ridden one and I can imagine how silly I will look at first :-( Pride I guess.

  4. Dogs know Mick, I only have to have the slightest little thing on an arm or leg and Jock checks it out carefully and tries to lick it.

  5. Hi Duncan, they can be very smart indeed - and such good company!

  6. Hi Mick
    Good to see you getting out and about - no matter how gingerly.
    If I am sick, Lena cuddles up very close, until I overheat, and need to get out of bed!
    Its her way of curing me.

  7. Hi Denis, I like your story about Lena - that's very clever!

  8. G'day Mick,
    Nice post - looks as though there's a few dog lovers out there. You can add me.
    The saltmarsh can look so uninviting at times, yet it's perfect habitat for many species.

  9. Hi Gouldiae, my first reaction to a saltmarsh was far from positive. Its taken me years to see that it is beautiful - but I have to look closely to see that.

  10. Sorry to hear you're still suffering with your knee; good job you've got Misty keeping an eye on you though.

  11. Count one more dog lover! :D

    Hope your knee is getting better, Mick!

  12. Hi Tricia and Tilcheff - thanks for your comments and best wishes.