Saturday, September 17, 2016

Spring Be Here – at last!

 A visit to Weatherhead  Reserve at Maryknoll and Mt Cannibal at Garfield North a day or two back alerted us to the arrival of Spring in the district.

West Gippsland has luckily not received the downpours of late experienced by the unfortunate residents on the other side of Melbourne. Nevertheless we have had a wet time of it of recently. The spring blooms are beginning to appear. Flower stalks shooting up from the centre of Xanthorrhoea grasses, Love Creeper, numerous wattles and peas, mozzies, even an early Fantailed Cuckoo were all evident at Maryknoll and Garfield North.

Dave and I had been seeing Bird-orchid leaf for several weeks now and finally we ticked a flower at Mt Cannibal.

Twining Glycine is a personal favourite and we found some of this delicate twiner in flower at both sites.

I was surprised to hear a Fantailed Cuckoo at Mt Cannibal, but scalding calls by Brown Thornbills and Superb Fairy-wrens consistently diving into a thicket of scrub indicated the nesting season is underway and the cuckoo was going to get in early. Meanwhile an inquisitive Grey Shrike-thrush snuck in to have a peek at what Dave was up to as he captured a Bird-orchid with his camera.

Drosera sp has been in abundance for quite a while now. This plant at Mt Cannibal caught my eye and when I edited the image I think I can see an insect about to be dissolved!

We capped the morning off at Mt Cannibal by coming across our first Caladenia sp for the season.

Now, time to start clearing the diary and get out there.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Surprising Greenhoods

I recently found a small colony of Maroonhoods growing in the notch of a tree trunk. Bit of a first for me. There were a few individuals on the ground beside a track in the Bunyip State Park. But then I noticed 4 or 5 individuals growing in the tree!

A friend invited me to explore a private bush block at Nilma North. Some nice birds and shrubs, but the highlight was to find four species of Greenhoods in close proximity - Nodding, Maroonhood, Tall and Blunt.

I got the above three shots, plus a few others, within 2 or 3 square metres.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Few Fungi Finds

There hasn’t been a lot of activity here of late. I’ve been occupied somewhat over here with tree stuff.

Today I finally got around to editing and identifying, (hopefully), some of my recent fungi finds. It is always a delight to discover some of these beautiful, strange and important organisms.

In no particular order …

I was lucky to see this Cordyceps robertsii in some bush in Bunyip State Park. Like other Cordyceps, this fungus grows from a caterpillar in the soil. Here’s a link to the remarkable story of ‘vegetable caterpillars’.

The Crown-tipped Coral Fungus grows on dead wood in wet forest and I saw this on the Lawson Falls Track in Bunyip State Park. I think its proper identification is Artomyces colensoi. Apparently this species has a peppery taste – I didn’t have an assistant with me at the time to confirm this!

The Sweetwater Nature Conservation Reserve was the locality for this Flame Fungus, Clavaria miniata. It is a pretty common species and although tiny, the brilliant red colour tends to catch the eye. I was a bit intrigued with the darker tip to this one – probably just decay setting in?

A family of Golden Scruffies, or Cyptotrama asprata (possibly), was another good find on the Lawson Falls Track. As this image shows, the young mushroom loses the tufts or fibrils as it ages.

 Mt Worth State park was where I ticked this Slender Club, Macrotyphula juncea. It likes to grow on leaf litter and small twigs, sometimes in a large group or colony.

A strange and fascinating world.