Thursday, 25 October 2012

ANPS goes to Dalton and sees other fossils

This is one of 3 posts about the Australian Native Plants Society (ANPS) visit to the village (or, in terms of our project, town) of Dalton.  Links to the others are at the foot of this post: despite the miserable beginning the day was overall magnificent.

Early in our time with the ANPS we went on an expedition to Dalton cemetery, about 70 road kilometres North of Canberra.  The display of native plants around the cemetery there was magnificent: it was the first time I felt I could understand the beauty of a blooming grassland.  So I was really looking forward to revisiting the area.

Oh dear what a disappointment.  A good proportion of the grass had been mown: are the deceased taking up lawn bowls or billiards?  Of the fringing vegetation approximately 60% had been incinerated for purposes beyond my understanding.  (Taken together with the mistreatment of Mongarlowe Cemetery this makes me wonder whether the level of cerebral activity of cemetery administrators is similar to the residents of the facility.)
An example of caring for country: this damp area was full of flowers on a previous walk.
It is not just the cemetery.  I don't think the next Wimbledon winner will come from this court.  The lack of a net is a minor problem.
To quote Donald Sutherland's character in Kelly's Heroes "Enough with the negative vibrations Moriaty."  A  Double-barred Finch was polite enough to pose for a snap.
In the town a sign directed to a large lump of rock in which leaves had been fossillised, and we observed this while having our morning tea, between the cemetery and starting the car crawl around the roads.  Apparently the discoverer of the rock had applied the names of European trees (Quercus, Betulus etc) rather than recognising that 40m years ago Australia was covered with rain forest.  Renaming has not yet occurred.
On the subject of the geology of Dalton it is apparently the most earth tremor prone part of Australia.  However the earth didn't move for anyone today!

Off down the road we went with dust being a bit of an issue for those not in the lead car ("Enough with ....").  The road is whitish: in places the banks were also whitish from the swathes of Leucochrysum albicans tricolor striving to escape from its threatened status.
I should point out that during the course of the day there were so many orchids around they have got their own post.  At our first stop on Little Plains Rd Leptospermum multicaulis was found in profusion.
We do not often seen to find Lomandra multiflora with multi-flora.  Today was an exception.
At every stop Thysanotus pattersonii was evident.  The vernacular name of Twining Fringe Lily is rather accurate.
The most obvious (to me at any rate) bean was Pultenaea spinosa.  It was found at several of our stops.
In TSR 30 about 10km from Dalton, Calotis anthemoides resembled the daisies in our lawn.
Burchardia umbellata was also in the TSR.

Link to orchid post
Link to town visit post

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