Thursday, 6 February 2014

ANPS goes North (in terms of Monga NP): Mainly Flowering plants

Let me begin by explaining the "Mainly".  As noted in the advice for the trip we were entering the territory of the Order Arynchobdellida - leeches.  I am giving them prominence in this blog for reasons that will follow a couple of pictures of the one that tried to invade Frances' shoe.

Shortly after the second photograph was taken the beast disappeared.  Then I discovered it had jumped on to the lens of my camera, leaving a circle of gooze.  I am thus going out on a limb, and despite the lack of a Field Guide to Leeches will nominate this for the genus Illigetimi.  For a while it looked as though all my images were going to have a misty circle in the middle, but fortunately a lens cleaner and some spit removed the offending trace.

The drive from Bungendore was a tad average as it seemed to be wanting to rain.  However we got out of that by Braidwood and met our Windellama-based colleagues at the crossing of the Mongarlowe River.  (They had spent the time looking for birds, finding an Azure Kingfisher - jammy blighters.) We pretty much followed the mudmap I had circulated previously, with the addition of a suggestion by Ros to stop at the open area after site 3.  (This turned out to be an excellent idea.)
At stop one the climate was still misty with tall forest and lots of Gahnia sp.
Here is a close up.
There were a lot of ferns in the understory, but they will appear in the second post of this trip.  Out in the (relative) light Hibbertia diffusa stood out.
Choretrum candollei was growing beside the track: a surprisingly tall and attractive specimen.
Not surprisingly, there were a few berries around These are the peppers of Tasmannia lanceolata.
There will now be a few samples of Persoonia.  Some of them had gone, IMHO, beyond 'shrub' to 'tree'. Once under the skin of (I think) P. linearis a beautiful red bark appears.
Here are the flowers (from a smaller and less negatively geotropic specimen) which has been advised to be P. mollis.
This P. chamaepeuce occurred quite a bit later, hugging the ground in the open area.
More berries!  Dianella tasmanica!
This has ended up as Pratia purpurascens after a brief life masquerading as Isotoma.
At the second stop the stream produced lots of Geranium neglectum (as did the Creek after the open area) in the swampy bit beside it.
A fairly miserable specimen and a fairly ordinary image - and I cant't even blame the leech for this, as my sample had yet to leap forth - of Epacris microphylla.
A more lurid E. impressa was cowering under some trackside vegetation.
I didn't take images of the other Epacrids found beside the creek at our last stop.

There were quite a few Banksia spinulosa through the bush.  This one earned a snap by having both emerging and decrepid 'cones'.
Here is the convoy parked by the open area.  There was some discussion of how the area came to be formed: there was no evidence of cutting (such as stumps) or mining (such as holes) so something based on frost appeared to be part of the story.
About the only bean seen flowering today was a Gompholobium, possibly G. minus.
We were stopped to the exact place to stop in the open area by the flowers of Lomatia myricoides (from memory this one didn't have the leaves of L ilicifolia)
Although this Conospermum taxifolium had gone to seed (rather like the photographer) it still looked rather attractive (ibid).
A few Patersonia sericea were in flower.
At the (near) final sop  one of the dominant trees were Eucalyptus sieberi- Silvertop Ash.  For once I could see the contrast between the dark lower branches and white - OK, nearly silver - upper ones.
This little aster Arrhenechthites mixta gets an award for the ratio of length of genus name to size of plant.
Again attractive in its sunset years.
On the banks of the creek was Urtricularia dichotoma (?).
On the far bank of the creek and through some thick ferns - I like giving the snakes a fair shot at my legs - was this very attractive Prostanthera lasianthos.
Here is the vegetation at the ford across the creek - it was a lot narrower where I crossed it to get the Prostanthera.
Here is the creek enhanced by El Camion.  Many thanks to Lucinda for taking this photo and sending it on to me.
There were quite a few Dipodium roseum along the trail.
Mark Clements has kindly advised that "The Corunastylis is probably C. nuda in that area. I’ve seen it there before at around this time of the year. The fact that it has all flowers setting seed also points to this species."
As fas as I am aware Spiranthes have not yet been merged with Cattleya.  This is S. australis.
An unknown creeper with some lichen (about stop 3 - I was near leech city when I took it)
I'm not really sure if this club moss Lycopodium deuterodensum is a flowering plant or not so it makes the bridge to ferns which kick of the second post!
There was at least one hillside covered with it.

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