Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Belated Catch Up

Once again, I have fallen behind in posting here. Such is life. Anyway, here we go with a bit of a catch up of some of the things I've come across in West Gippsland (and environs) lately.

The splendid Cobra Greenhood is always a delight to encounter as Dave and I did on Mt Cannibal recently. "A beautiful species rarely encountered in the wild, and known from very few, widely scattered locations." – Jeanes & Backhouse. Some references cite P grandiflora as 'vulnerable' or 'near threatened/rare' in Victoria. There were half a dozen plants in this little colony under a tangle of fallen branches, (preventing grazing?).

Earthstar Puffballs are common and widespread. These I found at Lang Lang. When the 'rays' open, they do so with enough force to push away leaves and debris from the base of the puffball, believed to enable better spore distribution.

This pair of Gang-gang Cockatoos watched me for some time at Thornells Reserve near Drouin. I was stumbling about in the understorey of a small patch of Strzelecki Gums, looking for winter orchids and fungi.

I seldom drive past the Lang Lang Primary School Arboretum without having a quick walk around this mini-oasis in a desert of farmland. Recently, both the Hairpin Banksia and the Heath Banksia had some blooms. The Hairpin Banksia specimens are I suspect wild plants whereas the Heath Banksia is a cultivated plant – this is an arboretum after all.

Also near Lang Lang recently Dave and I encountered the often-overlooked Tiny Greenhood. Such a tiny plant is easy to miss amid the tangle of undergrowth, but we found a couple of colonies right on the edge of the track, which made discovery a little simpler for our old eyes.

I am always astounded that in this wonderful little corner of our planet, you can venture forth and discover natural delights at any time of year.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Beautiful Mt Worth State Park

Dave and I opted on Mt Worth SP for our Friday bush outing recently.

The 'lookout' on McDonalds Tr is often worth a stop on the way up and this day was no exception. The Latrobe Valley was blanketed in fog and if you look closely, the Baw Baws were obscured by a separate smog layer.

A landowner nearby was burning off some stumps, adding a slight smokiness to the atmosphere. The effect down in the park was picturesque, giving us a chance to explore some camera settings other than 'macro', 'flash', etc.

Mt Worth is always beautiful to visit. In the summer the rainforest/tree fern gullies are cool but at this time of year the fungi are beginning to put on their own show. Below is a small sample of some that were easy to find, (IDs definitely not guaranteed).

'Worth' is worth a visit summer or winter in my book!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Old Back at the Car Trick

I did a short reccy on a new found track in Bunyip State Park the other day. Heath Track which becomes Dingo Ridge Walking Track has some promise in the wildflower season, as part of it traverses a power line, requiring some slashing from time to time. This keeps the understorey to a minimum and hopefully will allow some Spring flowers to emerge – my theory anyway.

The birds were very quiet so I just enjoyed the beautiful day in a nice bit of bush.

Back at the ute I put the kettle on and sat for a ten minute cuppa.

Next thing the old saying "birds of a feather flock together" came to mind as a mixed group of species came through the undergrowth – Brown Thornbills, Superb Fairy Wrens and Eastern Yellow Robins.

I got some wonderful views without getting out of my seat.

A larger bird appeared suddenly and to my surprise it was an Olive Whistler and it too paraded right in front of me for several minutes.

The stumble in the creek on the walking track was soon forgotten!