Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Muttonwood Tree

A stand of Muttonwood Trees within Uralla Reserve at Trafalgar (see note below), contains 15+ trees in heavy fruit at the moment.

Muttonwoods range from southern Victoria up the east coast to just past Brisbane and they seem to prefer growing at the boundary of rainforest and open forest.

The trees in Uralla at present are providing feeding grounds for a range of birds – I ticked Lewin's Honeyeaters and Satin Bowerbirds today – and a recent report detailed a colony of Flying Foxes feeding on Muttonwoods recently in Morwell National Park.

Beautiful Uralla is very dry at present (barely any fungi in sight). The lower creeks and gullies are dry but some of the deeper gullies still provide a pleasant and cool backdrop.

(Note: The Baw Baw Shire link provided in the first sentence describes the difficulty of the walk/ride as 'easy'. I think that refers to the road access from the town to the reserve. Some of the tracks within Uralla are quite steep. There are various options and the excellent information board and various signboards throughout give plenty of accurate advice.)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Toorongo Falls - Noojee

The Toorongo Falls are situated in the Noojee State Forest a few kilometres north-east of the Noojee township.

The drive up to the falls car park runs beside the picturesque Toorongo River. At the car park there is a well appointed picnic area with toilets and tables.

A well formed 1.2km track leads up to the falls. The gradient is easy with just a few short steeper sections negotiated with natural rock steps.

The track runs beside the Little Tooronga River with glimpses of the river through the dense wet forest understorey.

Along the way there is ample opportunity to admire some of Victoria's best species of ferns and tall trees.

The recommended time of 30-45min for the walk can be extended somewhat if you are inclined to be distracted by the flora and fauna on the way.

As you approach the falls, glimpses of the top few metres can be seen through the trees. I wasn't able to find any data on how high these falls are, but they are much higher than I expected – the majority of the lower sections being concealed by vegetation.

From the viewing platform you get some beautiful views of the top portion of the falls.

Toorongo Falls – one of West Gippsland's best beauty spots. Hope you enjoyed the trip.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Leopard Slug

This Leopard Slug appeared on our deck this morning.

My brief research tells me they are native to southern Europe but now can be found pretty well worldwide. They are well distributed over Australia but southern Victoria seems to be a bit of a hot spot for them. (Link - Museum Victoria)

Leopard Slugs are more or less harmless by all accounts and in fact are credited with regulating populations of other slug species by preying on them.

They like to feed on living and dead plant material and fungi too and it seems they are attracted to leftover pet food and faeces.

I found a quote from the Mollusc of the Year (?) – "On the one hand many people will think slugs to be disgusting and harmful. On the other especially the Leopard Slug is a species of striking beauty and elegance …" Mrs Gouldiae does not agree!