Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ANPS sees a lot of geology at Googong ..

.. several insects, lots of birds and a little botany.

Welcome to the 1000th post on this blog!

We were slated to do the Dhurrawarri Buranya Walk starting at the woolsheds.  After a stroll up a track, giving great views of the seeding St John's Wort we crossed the Arch of the Bridge over Burra Creek.  A small amount of water was coming down, indicating that this was natural flow, the pipeline from the Murrumbidgee not beeing needed to keep the dam full despite a very dry period.
 A large bull ant - possibly Myrmecia nigrocincta was foraging in the woodland on the far side of the Creek.  Check the jaws to see why the bite is so painful.
 Similarly, check the thorns on this Acacia paradoxa to see why this shrub is painful to get through.
At a less hurting view, I had never noticed the hairiness of the leaves before.

More pain, from the thorns of the thistle!  But the flower is pretty even when adorned with a brassica-munching Cabbage White (Pieris rapae).
 The walk is described in the brochure as "Easy".  Obviously whoever used that word hasn't tried to fight their was through the regrowth along the edge of the Queanbeyan River!  Eventually we made it to the intersection of the River and the Creek, where the sky was graced with a White-bellied Sea Eagle ...

 ... and three Wedge-tailed Eagles.
The sky was also replete with migrating Honeyeaters, mainly Yellow-faced, but I also heard some White-naped near where we stopped for morning tea.  (In total we logged 35 species for the day which isn't bad at all!)

Proceeding along the ridge track we found a specimen of the uncommon Dillwynia glaucula.  It even had a flower! (The only other flowers seen - by me - today were some Hibbertia, a few Wahlenbergias and some Vittadinia.  I didn't feel like taking yet another image of these.)
 As usual the bark of Eucalyptus stellulata (Black Sallee) was very attractive.  The habitat in the low course of Burra Creek was typical for this species.
 As Burra Creek was rather deep - my guess was over 1m, possibly 2m, at Drawdown Crossing we opted for plan B and most people channeled the ending of Bergman's classic Seventh Seal in silhouette as they crossed the arch again.  Fortunately Bengt Ekerot didn't appear.  The flood didn't extend to the arch so I used an informal bridge to take a short cut.
As we retraced our way back to the cars Ros spotted this small black mantid on the road.  It is Bolbe nigra, and if it seems a tad blurry its because it was both tiny and mobile: my camera couldn't keep up.  It has no wings and is thus a female.
Over lunch we had a discussion about nomenclature for leaves, and in particular the components of compound leaves.  The whole deal is obviously a leaf.  The next stage is usually a leaflet, but what about the bits that make up a leaflet?  I suggested a brochure, but now wonder if the leaflet: brochure relationship isn't "many to 1" rather than vice versa.  Talk about that amongst yoursleves for a couple of weeks.


Ian Fraser said...

At a (boringly) technical level, the first order components of a compound leaf are pinnae; if they are subdivided, (ie the leaf is bipinnate) they are pinnules. Well, you did sort of ask...

Flabmeister said...

More seriously, thank you for that.

Reverting to normal, when I run out of other things to complain about - and given that there is still an ACT Government that could take a while - I shall start a campaign in support of the Brochure/leaflet hierarchy.

The other precursor will be working out which comes before what. PhD topic anyone?

Ian Fraser said...

Interesting that you need to turn to our side of the border to find things to whinge about. It must be REALLY tedious to live in both a shire and a state where collectively you can't find anything to object to!

Flabmeister said...

A good point, but I think the issue is that we have got a pretty good Council at present and there is a (faint) chance of booting out the State Government at the next election. With the ACT I can see no prospect of any change - at least not for the better.