Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ANPS goes to Mundoonen NR

After a rather misty drive from Carwoola we all met at Murrumbateman and then headed off towards the metropolis of Yass.  Turning off the highway and successfully negotiating the poorly signposted roundabout we got back to the Hume Highway as intended.  Unfortunately the poor signposting continued when we got to the required turnoff which pointed to Sheldrick's Lane, rather than the old highway alignment.  (From various Googlings, Sheldrick's Lane appears to be a small road that runs North off the old Hume Highway - in the image following it is visible in the top RH corner.) So despite my trying to dredge up old rally navigation skills I missed the call, and we visited a nice rest area a few km down the track before doing a (legal) U turn.

The track up Mount Mundoonen was investigated and the cliff-like nature of the surroundings noted.  All four in Ros's car voted with the Nays so back to the bottom of the hill.  We then went a few 100m down the old road alignment to the tunnel under the new alignment and stopped for mornos.   This image from Google earth shows a few of the features.
 I had thought to walk the big scar marked as 'Fire Break', but that is on private property so we returned to traditional values and walked through the tunnel to the dam.  From here we progressed - not quite in a straight line - to Margules Trig.

As soon as we got into the Reserve I saw a flock of about 8 Brown-headed Honeyeaters  and shortly thereafter 2 Spotted Quail-thrush so the birds were looking up.  Unfortunately that was the high point for them.

After several more minutes I took this image of a Goodenia flower.  By that stage I had passed several of them and it appeared it might be the only flower we saw all day
 I then came across this nice little flower.  Was it Hakea or Grevillea?
 Question answered by a nut.  Hakea decurrens.
Of course, once this pathetic specimen had been found the group located several others, with far lusher flowers.
 We then tracked down Rhytidosporum procumbensThere were at least three of these minute flowers available!
After a lunch break, halfway up to Margules Trig, many of the group put in the effort to summit this peak.  En route we passed a couple of excellent clumps of grass trees (Xanthorrhoea glauca ssp. angustifolia).
I shall return to the summit shortly but will conclude this section with the last floral image of the day: Daviesia leptophylla.  The quality of this image is entirely due to a twig which Graeme positioned to hold it still (and which was still doing its job 2 hours later). 
 This Eucalyptus rossii had the densest collection of scribbles I have seen.
 Arthropods were not that evident, although Jo reported some scorpion spiders in the grass trees.  I noticed this large ant-mound (about 1.5m high) which caused me to recall orienteering in this general area where such works of engineering were used as control sites.
At the peak of the hill the trig was still locatable, but I doubt if it was fulfilling its purpose of being visible from other points in the area!   Such is the passage of time: GPS technology replaces history!

2 comments:

Denis Wilson said...

Looks like it has been heavily grazed.

Flabmeister said...

Denis

I am not sure about that. There is certainly a very limited shrub layer. I put it down to a past bush fire followed by dry years preventing regrowth of things like Cassinia and Daviesia.

I shall have a look at the Plan of Management to see if there is a fire history. The element of the Reserve to the North of the Hume had a very good Joycea cover: that burns very well!

Martin