Wednesday, 11 April 2012

ANPS gets on the Trail, but not Corny

On 11 April the ANPS group took on the challenge of daring the top of the Corn Trail not to deposit liquid on us.  We won, with a great walk on a lovely day.  For those not familiar with the trail, we used the traditional start at the top of Clyde Mountain (between Braidwood and Nelligen) and did an out and back route.

This post starts with some habitat shots covering the whole walk and then gets into specifics of angiosperms followed by some shots of non-flowering plants.

This first image shows the general habitat at the start of the walk.
 After lunch the habitat changed a bit with many Xanthorrhoea australis being present.
 At least one of them seemed to be supporting a large termite mound.  Quite a few other ants were around but no-one, including this author, seemed keen to hang around bull-ant or jumping-ant nests to take snaps!
 A little further and we started to drop off the ridge with tree ferns and totally different ferns around.  While interesting, we'd done our distance and emulated Mr Whittington at this point.  (OK, we turned again: as far as I know we are not challenging Boris for his job, who'd want it?)
 Amongst the first flowers we saw were Epacris impressa.  They turned out to be everywhere and very charming they were.
 These seeds of Gahnia sp where quite attractive.
 There were lots of Banksias here and there.  This is B spinulosa.
 So is this, in an arty close-up
 B. paludosa was also common but in a slightly less lairy fashion.
 The other flowering heath today was this Monotoca scoparia.
 The only wattle in flower was Acacia terminalis.
 I always like to see Black-eyed Susans.  These are Tetratheca thymifolia.
 Pimelea linifolia
 Towards the end of the walk some Hybanthe sp were spotted flowering amongst the path-side vegetation.
 Let us now move away from the flowering plants into ferns and mosses.  This image is of some coiled fronds of Gleichenia sp.
 Club moss is an unusual on our walks but it was quite common on this trip.  This image - taken by Frances, mine were all useless - shows the fruiting bodies (?sporangia?).

Towards the end I spotted these interesting red fruiting bodies of a moss.  I failed to persuade my camera to take a closer image of the red bits.  See Denis's comment below for further information about these
 Some more moss!
 A bracket fungus.
 A big white fungus, growing in a clump against a very large eucalypt.
 A cluster of fungi a few centimetres up a eucalypt trunk.
An alert reader will have noted that there are no images of orchids in this post.  We saw no flowering orchids on the trip.  Roger spotted a large number of rosettes at one point and they pressed all the buttons for Chiloglottis trilabra leaves.  But why were there no flowers, nor remnants thereof?

Birds were also few and far between (10 species on the day) and insects (except the ants - see above) had largely given up the struggle against the decreasing temperature.

2 comments:

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Lots of familiar plant there.
I couldn't work out where you were, until I asked Dr Google.
No wonder it looked more familiar than your usual dry Carwoola trips.
.
In fact I have done the full length of No Name Road, (which is not recommended) Extreme 4WD conditions - we were lucky to get through!
.
Great show of interesting plants, anyway.
.
Hybanthus are always good value.
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=gn&name=Hybanthus
.
The little red "boxing Glove" Lichens (my name, not a recognised term) are worth getting a good macro shot of, if you can.
.
Their fruiting bodies tend to stand up on little stems and can be photographed from the side, (if one is lucky, or patient).
.
Try this link:
http://www.anbg.gov.au/lichen/photos-captions/cladonia-ustulata-f-394.html
.
Maybe not that species, but most likely one of the Cladonia spp.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladonia
.
Denis

Flabmeister said...

Thanks for that Denis. I should put in a bit more information about the location for the benefit of folk who aren't from Canberra!

Once one gets to the bottom of the escarpment (probably 6km into the walk) much of the rest of walk) another 6km) is through rainforest. People sometimes do it both ways but the climb back up the escarpment is a bit ordinary at the end of a day!

Martin