Monday, 10 February 2014

A berry good exploration of the North Black Range Trail

This was an expedition to check out arrangements for the ANPS walk on Wednesday.  I drove to the start of the Trail and then rode my bike to a few spots that looked interesting and/or ANPS had visited previously.

The primary focus was to work out how the warmth would affect matters.

When  left home the temperature was 16.3 (and BoM were reporting 18.4 in Canberra).  By the time (about 40 minutes later) I got to the start of the Fire Trail my car told me it was 17 degrees there,   At the end of the trip it was 22 in the car and by the time I got home both Canberra and Carwoola were 26.  So ignoring things like the various thermometers not being cross-calibrated I reckon it is at least 2 degrees cooler on the trail.  It is also nice and shady on the trail (see 3rd  image below).

I was also keeping an eye open for interesting flowers.  The big winner here was the mass of berries of Dianella tasmanica.
These cover many acres over the first 2 kilometres of the fire trail.

I spotted this magnificent bracket fungus close to the start of the main ascent.
 The first place we will visit is the climb up to the trig point.  This is up a pleasant track through the bush.  Note the word 'up': it climbs about 80m in about 400m but has very good footing.  Here is a view of the habitat - huge granite boulders are a feature through the area.
 One of the biggest boulders has the trig point on it.  Anyone who can get to the point will get a special medal (called a Darwin Award).
This ladder was left up there to assist scaling the boulder.  Using that ladder would get a bar (and possibly a set of golded oak leaves) added to the Darwin Award
 The second place to visit is a swamp.
I'm sure this is home to many interesting animals, such as leeches and snakes, but the only one I was able to photograph was this March Fly.
If we feel so inclined we can continue along the trail - I went a further 1.5 km, at which point the orientation  of the trail became less bike friendly (ie it started to climb again).

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