Saturday, October 22, 2016

Four Recent Excursions

A walk through the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve on a warmish day proved rewarding for sighting some Sun Orchids. Being a complete novice at identifying these beautiful terrestrial natives, I do not guarantee I have them labeled correctly. The reward for me is in discovering them, (they weren’t there yesterday!), getting in close to see their beauty, and the challenge to capture a decent image with which to remember the experience.
Pink Sun Orchid?
Salmon Sun Orchid?
Dunno? Twisted Sun Orchid, T. flexuosa?

A pair of Rainbow Lorikeets at the same location had me switching off the macro settings for a short while. The birds were inspecting and guarding a nesting hollow, but wouldn’t cooperate with the quintessential ‘entering/leaving the hollow’ shot and I had to settle for the ‘what are you doing standing there with a camera’ shot!

At Nangara Reserve at Jindivick recently, while chasing what I think was my first Admiral for the season, my eye caught some movement in a nearby hole in the ground. A short wait standing fairly still being careful not to cast too strong a shadow and a Water Skink emerged.

Nearby Mt Cannibal Flora and Fauna Reserve is especially profitable at present too. Dave and I recently spent several very pleasant hours adding some terrestrial charmers to our wildflower jpeg folders.
Hare Orchid
Hornet orchid
Small Spider Orchid I think, (C/A. parva?)

The Sweetwater Creek NCR at Shady Creek was the location for an enchanting view of a pair of Wax-lip Orchids of opposite colour – the white variety being far less common than the mauve/purple.

What a great time of year it is to be in the bush!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Recent Macro Meander

I found some time to give the macro settings an outing again recently.

The Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve has an eventful and colourful past and a colourful present too if you only seek it. I was standing amid a small field of Wax-lip Orchids and a passing jogger asked what I was up to. When I pointed out my camera and the beautiful orchids, the reply was, “I’ve never noticed those and I run here every day”.

With the flowers appearing, the inverts were active too. I ticked my first Admiral for the season and some of the prolific Wedding Bush was well attended by Hoverflys.

Many of the winter Greenhoods etc were well on the way out but a small group of pregnant Mayfly Orchids were fairly obvious on the side of one track.

Running Postman is a personal favourite, (yet another one), bush plant that I find hard to go past without a photo.

A low damp patch of ephemeral water was rich with the delicate, beautiful and strange bladderwort species of Fairy Aprons.

The Eastern Bronze Caladenia is not easy to see – it is very tiny and apparently only flowers for a day or so. 

The Common Flat Pea on the other hand is eye-catching.

There were plenty of lilies, other orchids, wildflowers and shrubs not yet in flower and I’m looking forward to my next visit next week.

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.