Thursday, 4 October 2012

ANPS goes to the (Mc)Clouds

Our walk this week was to a newly declared (created in August 2010) Nature Reserve near Gundaroo.  In the website (which I take to be the official spelling) it is designated as Mcleods NR but the sign on Marked Tree Rd uses some other form, and thus I felt free to title this post as shown.

The name Mcleods Creek was allocated in 1969 but I have been unable to find any information about the person honoured by the name.  So I will thank  the Sensitive New Age Cowpersons and stick with my story about  Mick Jagger, a Scotsman, a sheep and a farmer yelling out "Hey Mcleod, get offa my ewe."

Those with a more historian perspective may wish to ignore spelling and follow up this snippet "Land for the cemetery was gifted to the Catholic community by a Presbyterian, Donald Macleod. Catholics had previously been refused burials at the town’s only cemetery because it was attached to an Anglican Church." about the Gundaroo cemetery.

That is enough history: on to the images.  I'll begin with the sketch map mixed up from Google Earth, the sketch map from NSW Parks, and a rough indication of where I think we went.
The Creeks in the area are quite eroded, which I find surprising as the land isn't steep and, at least where we went, is well vegetated.
Possibly this is one approach to slowing down the water flow.  Or possibly it was just a convenient place to dump stuff (hopefully prior to the designation of the Reserve).
For the flowers I will start with the orchids, not necessarily in the order in which we found them!
Diuris chryseopsis
Diuris pardina Looking very like a wandering D nigromontana)
Petalochilus fuscatus (thousands of these)
As this specimen had two flowers and a thicker stem it was designated P. carneus.  While a tad early the sun orchid situation (see below) suggests this is an early site,
Stegastyla ustulata (plus lurking ant).
Glossodia major (again, in thousands)
Also G. major, but a white form.  (In reality the sepals appeared to have a golden sheen while the petals were white.
There were hundreds (at least) of Thelymitra buds throughout the Reserve.  From the different sizes of the buds and leaves I would expect them to be of several species.  I managed to freeze this one wafting and in the breeze.  The Reserve is going to be astonishing after a few more warm days.
Almost at the end of the walk Frances found a Sun Orchid which was open.  Rather late in the day and it was closing as we watched.  My guess (looking at the size of the flowers, the colour of the column, the appearance of the 'brushes', habitat and time of flowering) is that this is Thelymitra megacalyptra.
Getting to dicotyledons, the threatened Leucochrysum albicans var tricolor was in its usual profusion along the roadside (with a single plant inside the Reserve).
The target species for the day was Pultenaea setulosa.  It was also in profusion.

Daviesia leptophylla
Bossiaea buxifolia
Bossiaea prostrata
Drosera peltata
Lissanthe strigosa
This shows the differing versions of 'purple' displayed by Indigofera australis and Glycine clandestina.
Some large bushes of Grevillea lanigera were encountered

A quick swerve back into monocots.  I found a single flower of Thysanotus patersonii
Hypoxis hygrometrica was common in a watercourse just after the lunch stop.
Getting away from the Plantae an Echidna was hiding (fairly unsuccessfully) from us.
The first woolly caterpillar of the season was exploring an Indogofera.
A hoverfly and a native bee were both dining at the Yam Daisy takeaway!
This very juvenile Katydid (note the very long antennae) eyeballed me which was acceptable as it unusually posed for a picture.


Denis Wilson said...

Nice walk, Martin.
Interesting plants.
Some of your Sun Orchid buds might turn out to be Beardies, but that happens.
Nice plants, either way.
Your Thelymitra megacalyptra is interesting. Not one I have seen.
Good to see Diuris chryseopsis starting. As you say, it is an "early spot".
I confirm your Petalochilus carneus - from the amount of red inside the labellum, mostly.

Mac_fromAustralia said...

I love the caterpillar!

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Denis and Mac. The previous week's walk had been a little dull to this one with lots of everything was just great. As someone said October should be 12 months long!