Somewhere near the end of my stay in New Caledonia, I must have commented to Phil that nothing about the place had seemed especially tropical. New Caledonia is technically in the tropics, just inside the Tropic of Capricorn, but apart from some langorous aspects of the human culture it had seemed entirely temperate. The weather had been cloudy for most of my mid-September visit, the temperatures moderate and often cool.
My friend Phil Gleeson is in the great biodiversity belt in southwestern Western Australia. He's posted incredible photos of the region's vast range of Banksia along with commentary on how patterns of glaciation brought this diversity about. So I thought I'd offer a quick bit of front matter on Banksia for North American and European readers who may not have encountered one.