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.