Sunday, February 15, 2015

Morwell River Falls

It was necessary to check out the MorwellRiver Falls Reserve as a possible Heyfield Birdwatchers destination – so I HAD to go and look!

In a long past era I had lived nearby and visited this spot before but I have very little memory of it, perhaps due to my physical condition at the time, after riding my mountain-bike up there. Aah, those were the days. Anyway I probably spent most of the time recovering beside the road before the very pleasant downhill ride home – I just don’t recall.

The Falls
There are three drops in the river.

This is the first and largest drop - no Niagra here.

The falls are located about 20km south of Boolarra on the Morwell River Rd. Historically they have been a recreational spot for around one hundred years. Several years ago a ‘friends’ group was formed and have since performed some excellent work in track construction and weed control, etc.

The usual suite of wet forest ferns are present, tree ferns, water ferns and epiphytes.

There are two species on the branch and fertile fronds with spore are clearly visible.

I was a little surprised to come across an excellent Ghost Fungus specimen, (Omphalotus nidiformis I think). Surprised, because I thought February would be ‘out of season’ for fungi of almost any species.

Omphalotus colonises stumps and logs and sometimes is found at the base of living trees.
Omphalotus possesses a bio-luminescence causing it to glow in the dark.

Striped Xenica (Oreixenica kershawi)
I didn’t get real close to these little brown beauties and I wasn’t able to put in a lot of time capturing a close up shot. They were in good number, flitting about from leaf to flower to bare stick, etc.

This quite small butterfly, (22mm), is not a widespread species.
The Striped Xenica often inhabits lower altitudes than other members of the ‘alpine xenicas’.


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