Friday, 27 December 2013

Uphill most of the way

So today we head back.  We were awake early and thus confimed our belief that Wonga Pigeons are the most annoying bird  of 2013.  This specimen was perched right above our lounge, "wonging for about 2 hours.
We decided that rather than wear out more of the path along the Inlet we'd drive through the town to the Casuarina Walk which began on the opposite side of the road to where we parked yesterday.
The green arrows are todays walk and the red ones yesterday.

It was another very interesting walk, and I cannot believe that we have been to Mallacoota about 5 times and this is the first time we have done these walks!  Wot gooses!

The basic habitat was - not surprisingly - through casuarina woodland with a lot of tall eucalypts and a very sound shrub layer.
The vegetation was particularly lush when the track dropped into Davis Creek.
There were a good range of ferns,
and I intend to give some attention to learning about them - beyond that easy Maidenhair in the image - when I have dealt with angiosperms and fungi.  (Birds, reptiles and insects will continue as parallel projects.)

Some interesting flowers weer about including that well known species "Mystery Bean"
and Persoonia mollis.
Towards the turning point we found another Dipodium forest, but thi time they were D. punctatum rather than D. roseum.

Returning to the house we did those things necessary to pack up and were on our way by 9:55.  As we drove out we noted the hordes driving in (the only road in to Mallacoota is 20km from Genoa) with many boats and caravans attached.  We praised our planning for getting out before zoo time commences.  We also wondered where and when people had departed, as Google Maps tell me its 6 hours from Melbourne and 7 hours from Sydney.  Did people leave in the middle of the night or sack down somewhere en route?

On on.  Out of Gippsland
 and into NSW.
Once on Imlay Road we stopped, tradition again, at the Imlay Creek rest area for a snuffle.  Quite a few interesting plants here.

Minor excitement ensued when the small dog misjudged the footing in the creek and got a good bath before clambering out.  She can swim well and it would have cooled her down nicely.
As always there were a number of interesting plants here.  I'll begin with a couple of samples from the Myrtaceae.  The first is Leptospermum obovatum
 .. and the second is Kunzea ambigua.
Beside the Creek we had Callistemon citrinus
 and Lomatia fraseri.  This caused a fair amount of grief to identify as it appears not to grow in the Sydney Region which was the coverage on the core reference book I was using.
The same applied to this rotten plant.  It should still have been easy to identify Podolobium ilicifolium with those holly-like leaves but I searched Plantnet for 'ilicifolia' not the masculine form.
The final interesting plant seen here this time was a white form of Thysanotus tuberosus which to my mind looks even spiffier than the usual purple form.
 The next excitement was a few km up the road where I spotted  a largish goanna crossing the road.  I pulled off to look for it, being fairly sure it was behind a tree.   Then I heard scratching just above me and realised the reptile was going up the tree.  It was polite enough to pause, about 6m up,
for a photo and to let Frances have a look.  We saw another slightly smaller specimen a couple of km further up the road.

It appears that someone is doing up the road a bit, especially the dodgy creek crossing at the Western end.  I hope that won't muck up the very pleasant environment along the road.

Bombala was driven through with no dramas and on to the Snowy Mountains Highway and Nimmitabel.  As we approached the town we noticed Mr Plod emerging from the Dalgety Rd so ensured we were driving at the limit.  He headed off coastwards at a steady pace.

We then encountered strings of traffic heading towards us, with the longest one having 20 vehicles and many of the cars towing stuff.  About 15km out we encountered another Plod-mobile travelling towards us at a very hefty speed with many coloured lights in evidence.  Either his Inner Hoon was both released and very frisky or his colleague had found something unpleasant on Brown Mountain and requested assistance.  .

This was just about the highest point (altitudinally speaking) of the trip so being technical it was downhill from there.

None of this impeded us so we got home (after refuelling in Cooma) just after 1430.  Deleting the time at Imlay Creek we did about 4hrs 15 including the fuel stop.

A most good visit to the Southern State and many thanks to our friends who provided the facility!

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