Wednesday, 11 September 2013

ANPS checks out the Haul of the Mountain King

The mountain in question was simple: Isaacs Ridge.

Despite the ridge being named for Isaac Isaacs we were walking in the 'burb of O'Malley which is named for King O'Malley.  In this post election time it is good that visit an area with a monarchist flavour to it, and reading O'Malleys biography he would  seem to have been a lay-down misere to have won a Senate seat this time round.

Of course when talking about male monarchs one always thinks of The King.  I checked carefully and no-one was wearing Blue Suede Shoes and with some 30 starters the answer to "Are you lonesome tonight?" would have to be "No!"  However we did get good views of the Jailhouse ...
 .. Rock
I will get to the 'Haul' eventually but in the meantime here is possibly the Hall:
That being the situation it's possible that the King was, to continue with musical metaphors, the one celebrated in the acronym VERDI (standing for Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia).

The weather was sunny.  It was also modest in temperature and damn windy!  Here is most of the mob sheltering from the gale at lunchtime.
Surprisingly for this time of year there wasn't a great deal of blossom around.  Exceptions were:

Wurmbea dioica - early Nancy - probably better referred to as "About on time Nancy"!
 Lomandra bracteata
 Solanum sp. Note the spines, which made it difficult to hold in the gale.
 Cymbonotus lawsonianus
There was also much evidence of what could be designated, if amount of ground covered was a criterion, the State Flower of the ACT, here seen battling it out with Verbascum.
Apparently Hypericum perforatum.(St Johns Wort) is claimed by some people to prevent depression.  In my view it leads to it!  One of the many failings of the ACT Government is doing nothing effective about this pest!

There were also a few invertebrates around.  Turning over some of the rocks produced a few scorpions ...
 ... and millpedes.
Some other interesting invertebrates were also around: I shall try to attach names later.
 To give a scale to this next image the cables are in fact the denim of Frances' jeans!

Moving into vertebrates, I did see a very pretty fox but it didn't wait for a portrait.  This Jacky Lizard - spotted by Ann - did pose very nicely.
There were a good crop of birds around with a couple of notables being Striated Pardalotes entering a nest hollow (and not emerging for a snap ) and a Southern Whiteface hanging off a Verbascum stalk while I ate lunch (and of course nicking off before I could replace sanger with camera).  I did manage to get a couple of shots of the Wedgetailed Eagle.  The first shot is interesting as, while blurry, it shows the Magpie above about to do a power stoop.
 The amount of pale plumage makes me think the bird was still a bit immature.
I am told that after we left at the end of the walk a red car turned up, occupied by a member of the constabulary.  He called one of the group over and when told we were mainly plant watching, warned him about the dangerous Eagles (see above) and ....
.. Kangaroos.  Had I been the one called over I would possibly have thanked him and certainly have returned the favour by:
  • acknowledging that there is constabulary duty to be done (to be done) but 
  • warning him that a policeman's lot is not a happy one especially in view of the danger of efficiency dividends!

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