03 Dec 2019 DROUGHT
As I set out on my morning walk, a fallen bunya pine cone stood out on the grass of the park opposite my unit. Just an hour before, for the first time in months, the grass had been cut. Otherwise the cone, large as it is, would not have been as visible. I have never known a cone to fall in December. Usually on the mountain, they fall in the second half of January and in February. A group of bunya pines graces the side of the road further along my route. Two of the trees grow on each side of a drive at whose entrance the property owner was adjusting a shade cloth. I told her about the cone in the park and she showed me three which she had found this morning. A very fierce wind blew all yesterday, which may have dislodged the cones. There are several other bunya pine trees in the park, yet I only saw the one cone. Because we are enduring a severe drought, all the vegetation is stressed. The trees are shedding leaves as never before and I suspect that is why the bunya pines have shed cones early in December. PS Online posts reveal that cones are shed between December and March, but individual trees shed their cones over a shorter period.