I’ve been watching the spread of tar vine in our back yard, hoping we would get a visit from some of the amazing caterpillars that have been gracing buffel-cleared rural blocks like Nicole’s and Jonno’s.
No luck so far. Yeperenyes frequent some nearby suburban blocks that back on to the hills around Lackman Terrace, but I guess they are just too smart to try crossing the road.
Nevertheless, there has still been enough rain-fed abundance to excite a suburbanite like me: lizards, frogs, hundreds of happy honeyeaters, and blossoming bushes everywhere.
But the most ubiquitous of these January blessings remains a nameless weed to most Alice Springs residents, and is worthy of far more positive attention. Purslane has appeared by the tonful around Alice Springs in recent weeks, mostly on nature strips and in back yards. Sadly, I suspect it been mostly pulled out or mown down like a common criminal.
This amazing world-wide plant grows in the most ordinary soils, but is considered by some to be the world’s most nutritious vegetable. In particular it’s the leading plant source of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, but’s it also high in vitamin A, C and B. (more…)