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Western Australian Studies
Noel McFarland (1971-1978)
BACKYARD 6 — GERALDTON, WEST AUSTRALIA

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HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE: ABOUT the "ZONES" CREATED FOR DOCUMENTING LOCATIONS on the Reserve
[see Col.19 on the spreadsheets]

My botanical collections at Howatharra Hill Reserve (1971-78), which were made in order to obtain identifications for the rich and diverse native flora there, often carry references to various imaginary "zones" (specific areas) within the reserve. These help to pinpoint more precisely where the plant specimens were collected and/or photographed. These ten numbered zones refer only to the 106 acres of our original purchase--comprising 66 acres on the south side of Howatharra Rd. (across from the Bella Vista Rd. turnoff, which heads northeast), plus 40 acres on the north side of Howatharra Rd., directly across from the southern sector of the reserve. Zones 1-5 divide up the southern sector, while Zones 6-10 divide up the northern sector of our original purchase. The zones were further divided into subsections, referring to the compass-directions. Here is an example (reading left to right and top to bottom): Zone 1(NW), Z.1 (NC), Z.1 (NE); Z.1 (WC), Z.1 (C), Z.1 (EC); Z.1 (SW), Z.1 (SC), Z.1 (SE), etc., etc. [the "C" refers to "central"].


The above zone map shows roughly where each (imaginary) zone lies within the original core-reserve. For other details regarding the zones see also pages 3-4 of the 1977 Howatharra Reserve booklet (pdf 2.8M). None of these ten zones involve any part of either Crown Grant 3 (to the NW), or of Vic. Loc. 2862 (to the NE), which sectors were added to the reserve shortly after we had left Geraldton in Dec. of 1978. These same zone-designations were also written onto most of the color slides, and so are included in the photo-gallery, and in Col.19 of the spreadsheets as well.
A brief summary of the 10 imaginary ZONES at HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE (here referring only to the original 106-acre core, as it was in the 1970's)
SOUTH SIDE OF HOWATHARRA RD. (the former northwest corner of Vic. Loc. 10550):

ZONE 1 -- Begins at the main entry-gate into the southern half of the reserve, and is bounded on the north by the Howatharra-Nanson road. This zone includes a small hill which drops off to the west (with a large old Nuytsia tree on it), and there are many sandstone boulder outcrops. The soil is mostly a pale grey "sandy-clay" (no deep sand or lateritic gravel). Scrub cover is dense and relatively tall, with Melaleuca megacephala (NM.1074) thickets covering much of this zone.
ZONE 2 -- Similar to Z.1, but has a sloping northern to northeastern exposure. This zone includes much larger and more extensive Jurassic sandstone boulder outcrops, flat rock ledges, rock grottos, and small cliffs or breakaways, with some steep north-facing slopes (maximum sun in winter). Soil is similar to Z.1. See pp.7-8 of the 1977 booklet for more detailed geological notes. Scrub cover is dense (often fairly tall), with Melaleuca spp. (M. megacephala, M. trichophylla, M. cardiophylla, M. concreta, etc.) and Hakea pycnoneura (NM.1025) predominating. The bizarre "pincushions", Borya sphaerocephala (NM.1093), are abundant in this zone, particularly where "mini-bogs" form in winter (June-Aug.).
ZONE 3 -- Represents the southernmost and highest parts of the reserve, and is nearly flat on top. Its north side blends into Z.2. The south and central areas contain a mixture of lateritic outcrops (light brown pebbles), and a pale gray (and lighter) soil mixed with the pebbles. Scrub cover is dense, with the toxic Gastrolobium oxylobioides (NM.1010) predominating in places. Other common shrubs in this zone were Acacia guinetii (NM.1005), Allocasuarina campestris, Polianthion (formerly Trymalium) wichurae (NM.1053), Leptomeria pauciflora (NM.1091), and a rare epacrid with white fls. (Leucopogon sp., NM.1046), etc., etc..
ZONE 4 -- This comprises the SE. sector of the southern half of the reserve. It is bounded by a cleared wheat paddock along its eastern border. The soils here range from brown lateritic pebbles to clay to sandstone boulder outcrops. An extensive patch of the yellow-flowered Verticordia chrysantha (NM.1082) predominates in the west-central part of this zone; Acacia ericifolia (NM.1003) is also common. To the north, Mel. megacephala is the predominant large shrub. Borya is abundant toward the south end of this zone, where it is associated with an extensive colony of Verticordia penicillaris (NM.1083). Soils in the east-central area of this zone typically remain wet or damp all winter, sometimes with seepage on the surface ("mini-bogs"). Many plants not seen in the other zones were present here, including Philydrella pygmaea (NM.1132).
ZONE 5 -- This comprises the NE. sector of the southern half of the reserve. It is bounded along its north side by Howatharra Road, with a cleared wheat paddock forming its eastern border. Soils of this zone range from rocky (similar to Z.1) in the west and south, to more sandy in the north and east. Scrub cover was dense and varied, with many spp. not in any of the other zones, esp. along the low-lying sandy road border (NC. to NE. sections). A thicket of the "weeping", tree-like legume, Jacksonia sternbergiana (NM.1014) predominated in the NE. quadrant. Mel. megacephala and Hakea pycnoneura were common to the W. and SW., with Patersonia occidentalis (NM.1114) common in the SE., and extending into Zone 4. The showy annual, Brunonia australis (sky-blue fls.), dominated a sandy roadside patch in this zone every September-October, at the start of the dry season. [Zone 5 is also the exact type locality of a new subspecies of skipper, and a new subgenus of cicindelid beetle!]
NORTH SIDE OF HOWATHARRA RD. (the former west end of Loc. 10189):

ZONE 6 -- This was a unique small (5-acre) triangular "island", bordered on its south side by Howatharra Rd., on the NE. by a cleared wheat paddock, and along its NW. side by a secondary farm road (Bella Vista Rd.). The soils here range from heavy (central and N.) to more sandy in the SW. sector. Scrub cover here was mostly low but dense and varied. The central area contained several species of plants not found in any of the other zones, such as the purple enamel orchid, Elythranthera brunonis for example, and a strong colony of the endangered small myrtac. shrub, Enekbatus bounites (NM.1084), and the best colony of Drosera radicans (NM.1065)on the entire reserve.
ZONE 7 -- This is another triangle, slightly larger than Z.6, and is bordered on the north by a cleared wheat paddock, and along its SE. side by Bella Vista Rd.; it includes some rocky sandstone outcroppings and ledges, with a small "winter-bog" centrally, which bakes dry in summer (as does the whole reserve). Soils are mostly clay to sandy-clays. It is more sandy at the southern tip, and along the disturbed SE. edge (roadside). Rich in diversity of plant species, including a few of the distinctive Diplolaena geraldtonensis (NM.1060) of the Fam. Rutaceae -- a lover of rocky outcrops.
ZONES 8 and 9 -- Both are densely scrub-covered rectangles, similar to each other, with heavier rocky soils predominating, and the steep up-slopes have a southern to southwestern exposure. These two zones were not as thoroughly explored for plants as were most of the other zones..... See also p.8 of the 1977 booklet, for details regarding a unique large fossilized tree-trunk fragment, which I discovered on Crown Grant 3, just to the west of the Z.8-9 boundary.
ZONE 10 -- This represents the northernmost extension of the original core reserve, as it was when purchased in 1974. It is another flat hilltop location, at about the same elevation as the Z.3 hilltop on the far south side. This area has a mixture of rocky-gravelly soils, with a dense and varied vegetation. It is bounded on the east by the westernmost extension of a cleared wheat paddock (Vic. Loc.10189), where the rare (Cons. Priority "R") Grevillea bracteosa ssp. howatharra (NM.1131) was abundant in the 1970's (unfortunately, only outside of the reserve). Wherever the reserve boundaries adjoined cleared or disturbed areas, there was very little penetration by any of the weedy species (*non-natives) into the reserve, except along the immediate road verges and fire-breaks, or wherever repetitive soil disturbance was maintained by annual scraping or plowing. This form of "management" guarantees the perpetuation of weeds in abundance!.... (In locations left undisturbed, most of the weedy non-natives gradually die out or decline over time.)....
6A — Nemopterid & Moth Studies

NEMOPTERID Study

Moth Study (CARTHAEA)


6B — Sidetracked by Stapeliads!

Sidetracked by Stapeliads!


6C — Howatharra Hill Reserve

HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE

The EARLY HISTORY of HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE near GERALDTON, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (1968-1988)

The Concept of So-Called "DEVELOPMENT"

HOWATHARRA: INTERPRETATION of the SPREADSHEET COLUMNS

HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE: ABOUT the "ZONES" CREATED FOR DOCUMENTING LOCATIONS on the Reserve

HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE: FLOWER COLOURS CODED

HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE: Comments on the PHOTOS in the GALLERY

MORE PLANT DOCUMENTATION NEEDED at HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE!

HOWATHARRA HILL RESERVE: BOTANICAL PHOTO GALLERY

FINAL COMMENT: The Fruits of "Progress"