Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mt Cannibal

Mt Cannibal in Cardinia Shire is the flat-topped HILL, (after all, I was able to climb it), that you see just north of the Princes Freeway between Bunyip and Garfield just east of Melbourne. The 53 hectare Mt Cannibal Flora and Fauna Reserve contains a 3 km circular walking track that takes you to the top of the hill with some wonderful panoramic views on the way. 

I have never found it easy to take a still shot that indicates a windy day. The best I could do yesterday is this one …

However, indicative of the strength of the wind was the tree across the top of a car in the carpark! Four ladies had arrived shortly before me, and were just setting off on their walk when the tree dropped. No one was hurt. (Broken windscreen, large dent in the roof). I felt it would be too impolite to ask permission to take a photo – they were arranging some support by phone when I left them. I met them again halfway round on the walk and they seemed quite unperturbed.

This was my first exploration of the site. The diversity of flora in this reserve is impressive and I think I will become a regular visitor as the seasons change, etc. The wind seemed to have eased some and I was encouraged to continue by the number of other visitors who turned up and headed off in front of me.

As I headed up the hill listening to but not seeing treecreepers and spinebills – about the only two birds I ticked, no doubt due to the wind - I spotted a nice example of the fairly common Parasol Mushroom, (I like to call it the cappuccino umbrella), Macrolepiota cleandii I think.

In the distance I could see a pink flowering shrub that set a bit of a challenge to both photograph in the wind and to ID – it was new to me.

Turns out to be Erica baccans, Berry-flower Heath, an indigenous South African plant grown here originally for the cut flower market but has now become an invasive weed species in many localities of NSW, Vic and SA. Quite attractive one has to say.

Dusty Miller, (Spyridium parvifolium probably), was plentiful also and its understated grey foliage was eye-catching too amongst the green herbs, grasses and shrubs. This plant is endemic to southern NSW, Vic and parts of SA and in Tasmania it is listed as threatened.

I saw quite a bit of orchid leaf here and there but I’m not able to name to ID too many of our terrestrial orchids from their leaf – I have enough trouble once I find a flower. I do know the Mosquito Orchid leaf – heart shaped, purple underside – and eventually found one in flower, Acianthus pusillus probably, the Small Mosquito Orchid.

The moss and lichen covered granite rock outcrops and the views from the summit are worthwhile in themselves.

Yep, reckon I might return, particularly in spring.

1 comment:

  1. Good that the ladies continued with their walk despite the tree descent.

    The ANPS ACT group I go out with has a fair gender imbalance towards the female side. One day we were walking along in more or less two groups about 50m apart when a 10+m tall Acacia dropped between the groups. As the trunk was about 30cm diameter at the base it could have been messy. We all carried on, but it is a topic of conversation on a draughty walk.