Sunday, 8 April 2012

Never truly lost in Kowen Forest

The title of this post references the title of Paddy Pallins autobiography (as well as being a factual description of a walk).  It also links to a previous visit  - by coincidence at almost exactly the same time of year - to the area in which the members of ANPS became a little innovative in their navigation.

The earlier post includes a description of the landform: a very steep escarpment with many creeks running down it. A busy road runs along the bottom of the escarpment.  The top of the escarpment is pine plantation rather than eucalypt. It is probably not possible to get truly lost since:
  • going down will get you to the road eventually; or 
  • going up will get to the fire-trail along the edge of the pines. 
It is possible to get a tad misplaced if one doesn't pay attention however and this happened to  us this afternoon.  I will claim this was because I was paying too much attention to nature.  Combined with the steepness of the tracks this meant I misjudged how far we had travelled so where I thought we were on the map didn't fit reality.
The plan was to start at point 1 (did that) and pass on the tracks A, B (ibid), C and D.  The issue was that when we were at point 2, I thought we were at point 3. So we tried a bush bash downwards but that was getting unpleasantly steep by point 4 so had to retreat which was done successfully.  

On the previous visit my post noted that there were quite a few flowers around.  The same applies from this visit.  They were however a somewhat different set.  Before getting to that, here is the habitat in the eucalypt component.
 Once away from the road there were few weeds. although this native species (Pomaderris of some form) appears to be staging a take-over bid for the universe.
I have included photographs of Brachyscome rigidula a few times.  This lot earned a place by being a pretty clump, rather than a straggly individual plant.
I usually find that Calotis sp is very like Brachyscome.  However Calotis lappulacea is yellow!  Note the burrs in the background: the genus vernacular name is Yellow Burr Daisy.
 Styphelia triflora is always nice to see although in this case hard to photograph for some reason.
 We now move on to the Bean family which everyone insists on calling 'peas'.  They are usually thought of as Spring flowering, but we found 3 species with some blossom yesterday.  This first one is Bossiaea buxifolia.
 Then Dillwynia sieberi (note spike gorse-like leaves).
 This is probably Pultenaea microphylla.  It is apparently common on the Kowen escarpment but a species which readily jumps to my mind!
 I did wonder how, in this season, we were near pines without any Amanita muscaria.  Then we turned into a shadier area and they were everywhere.  I have included this image as this one was about 25cm across the cap, which would been spectacular in full flower.
 One small skink.  The red tail really stood out, but I suspect just means it is regrowing after a predator incident!
 There were few invertebrates around, but this moth displayed its pinnate antennae rather nicely.


Denis Wilson said...

The Alpha-Numerical confusion.
Stick with 1,2,3 or A,B,C, and don't mix them.
Don't worry, you got back to write the post.
No Orchids?
That first dry hillside looks good for Pterostylis spp.
You are technically correct about the "Beans", but I fear they will always be Pea flowers to me.

Flabmeister said...


The idea - not all clearly expressed was that the alpha was for the 'theoretical' tracks and the numerics for the 'actual' points. All according to sound taxonomic principles (my entry for the Eurovision Mixed Metaphor and Oxymoron competition).

No orchids at all. I was most surprised as we did come across a good haul of Dumpies on the previous visit.

The Pea/Bean confusion is a running grizzle from me to the ANPS folk. Why the sanguinary taxonomists couldn't have them as Leguminoseae is beyond me.


Denis Wilson said...

Pea has 3 letters,
Bean has 4.
Leguminoseae has almost too many to count, plus the dreaded "eae" ending which confuzzes us poor peasants wot never lernt how to spel long words.