Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Plants of the ACT get confused (ANPS Mt Taylor)

The walk for the stalwarts of ANPS (ACT Branch) today was set for a part of Mt Taylor.  Exactly which part was to be resolved according to how folk felt.

My expectations for this walk were a little modest: I was expecting to take lots of images of things in bud with perhaps a few flowering eucalypts to give some colour.  So here are some pictures of things in bud.

Acacia melanoxylon
 Brachyloma daphnoides
 Melichrus urceolatus
Then we started to find an astonishing number of plants in flower, that in most cases should not be in flower for some months. 
Leucopogon virgatus
 I wandered over to a soggy patch, hoping to find some sundews (Drosera sp).  I did better than that by coming across an Utricularia dichotoma.
 Casting around the area, other members then found a lot more of these bladderworts (another carnivorous plant.  Here is one of several clumps.
 At first glance this Isotoma fluviatilis looked white but on getting the light right it was blue (and charming)!

I cannot understand what Hardenbergia violacea was doing flowering at this time of year!

 We found two species of Hibbertia.  First H obtusifolia ..
...  and then H. riparia.
 To complete my astonishment we then found some Brachyloma daphnoides in flower.

Before leaving plants we found quite a few Kurrajong trees.  Here are the leaves, with the nice Autumn sun shining through and the three trunks of the biggest specimen

Close examination will show a seedling growing in between the trunks.

There were even a few insects around.  A grasshopper (many of these flitting in front of us as we walked); a Meadow Argus; and an attractive(!!) cockroach.

Fungi were few in number.  This Coral Fungus was the top specimen.

Birds were not great in number (are they ever in grasslands?)  However a pair of Wedge-tailed eagles caught our eye.  One of them did a great fly past
culminating in a "shut the wings and power dive" display flight.  It them perched nicely for a snap at the extreme end of my camera's zoom range!   Judging by the beautiful golden nape this bird is <5 years old so the display flight could be punching above its weight!
I was taken with the patterns made by the power lines.  From other angles, both horizontal and vertical, they are obviously not so interwoven.

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