Wednesday, 30 April 2014

ANPS goes to Leechville (aka Lowden Forest Park)

So today ANPS went in search of Autumn orchids in Tallaganda State Forest.  We found a few (see below) and also, as expected, a few leeches.  Fortunately for most of the party they (nearly) all ended up with one member!   I think her driver was joking when he said she'd have to travel back on the pack rack.

Here is a leech on the hunt, after being dislodged from its intended prey!
This one is obviously looking for a weak point in the nylon weave.  If the photo is blurry its because I was being pressured to "Finish and knock the rotten thing off."
 A few flowering plants beginning with Helichrysum rutidolepis
 Brachyscome aculeata
 Choretrum pauciflorum
 Daviesia ulicifolia
 Goodenia ovata
Persoonia linearis berries
 Eustrephus latifolius
 Its orchid time!  Those of us on the ACT Orchid mailing list were aware that another member of that list had found three species in the vicinity of Lowden Leech Farm on the previous weekend.  We found one of these at our second stop, off Palarang Rd.  Diplodium coccineum  (I found my hat made a convenient backdrop).
At the Leech Park we found many many leaves including a lot of Acianthus exsertus.  This species was also found flowering in a few spots.

 the most outstanding aspect of todays walk was the profusion of fungi of a wide rage of colours and styles.  I will name those I can (with the aid of Bruce Fuhrer's Field Guide to Australian Fungi) and try to get IDs for the others.

I am reasonably confident this is Cortinarius sp and could be persuaded to say C. archeri.  It was very glutinous to the touch.

 Possibly Amanita xanthocephala (the patches of veil remnant are washed off readily by rain)
 Trametes versicolor
 Ramaria sp.
 Dermocybe austroveneta (?)
 Austropaxillus infundibuliformis: the whole thing ...
 .. and with a section broken out to show orange 'flesh'.
 Calocera sp
 I think this is a very young Amanita muscaria.  It wasn't possible to get a clear look inside to check the gills.
 A very tired A. muscaria
 This is a bolete, but I will go no further.  Its a bit tired.
This was growing on the top of tree stumps. Strobilomyces sp. Topside  ...
 ... and underside
 Possibly Austroboletus sp.
Since I put up the first post Roger Farrow has sent me this excellent image of Boletus barragensis.

The creeks were all running well!
 Dicksonia antarctica.
 The water wheel is a big attraction so I have given it three images!

Maslins beach rules

Anyone who was in Adelaide in the 1970s will be having a good nudge nudge at that title.  However the beach is really nice even though it is the haunt (in Summer ) of naked people.  (As an aside one of the 'van park staff was talking to some other guests and commented that the sights on the beach in Summer were not at all exciting.)  In April it is the haunt of seniors, many of them exercising their dogs, and thus a far more attractive place.

Getting to the beach was a walk of about 1km along roads, from our van.  The second half of this went past a rather daggy looking paddock with many formed ridges in it, as though it was irrigated, although a water sources wasn't evident.  The paddock got interesting towards the end as some green parrots appeared.  Thanks to Frances eye for detail we have subsequently identified these as Elegant Parrots: my first lifer for 2014.    The locale is indicated by the red lines in this mudmap:
Here are the birds:
The view from the top of the cliffs was very attractive, although the steepness of the path going down implied some unpleasantness was in store for the return tip.
Everywhere that the cliffs got steep was adorned with notices about falling rock or unstable cliffs.  This is probably a fair thing, although in places  suspect that act of attaching the sign to the cliff might have raised the probability of a rock fall!  At the Southern end of the beach the rocks were particularly colourful, and the yellow band intermittently visible showed the stratigraphy of the area.
Back to the park for more coffee to fortify us for the day ahead.   Driving into the Southern part of the metropolitan area went past a bridge which was to be repaired starting the day after we left.   Despite the fact that there was no work going on some characters seemed to be positioned, 24/7, at each end of the bridge with signs to stop the traffic.  This didn't help the traffic flow.
We didthe business in the Central Market - or rather Frances did while I sat with Tammy and checked email ni the car - and then headed towards darkest Thebarton for more shopping.  Getting there involved gong through the junction of West Terrace (4 lanes of traffic) and Port Road (3 lanes of traffic).   Due to the activities of Pelecanus hivisianus (ie road workers) that was reduced to 2 lanes in total.  Must be great fun in peak hour!

This led to the Squatters Arms Hotel which looked rather interesting.
This appears to have been an interesting live music venue which had run into some financial strife.  In the photo accompanying the linked article the models are not visible, so they must have been installed since July '13.  I had no idea why but some lateral googling has solved the issue.  Judging by the date of the second linked article this post is very contemporary!

Our second stop was at Gaganis Bros, a large wholesale/retail food and stuff outlet on South Road.  They sell a lot of material often not available elsewhere, and usually at good prices.  In the yard where I waited with Tammy (this is no hardship, if you aren't in the mood to shop the place is like one of the higher circles of the inferno).  It did let me snap a portrait of a Spotted Dove (I still mourn the loss of the word 'Turtle' before 'Dove which gave such a suitable acronym for this invasive pest).
Finishing there I dropped Frances off at a major outlet mall near the airport and went for some birding.  My first stop was the breakwater at Glenelg.  The first interesting birds there were an adult and juvenile Pacific Gull.  I am always worried whether I am seeing Pacific or Kelp Gulls, but the massive bill on the adult is clearly Pacific.
The key species here is Black-faced Cormorant and they obliged in good numbers.
I then moved a few kilometres North for a walk along what used to be called the Torrens Outlet Canal but has been rebranded as Breakout Creek.  A lot of work has been done to make this good wetland habitat and it is a very good place to spend an hour or two walking and looking at stuff.

In contrast to Pacific Gulls and Kelp Gulls some species seen together are not easily confused.  Here are a couple of examples:

Many of the eucalypts planted beside the path were in flower.

In Adelaide, where you have flowering gums you have Lorikeets.  I couldn't persuade a Rainbow to stay still (situation normal with l'arc du ciel) but here is an upside down Musk Lorikeet.
There are several bridges along the Creek.  They have large areas of flat concrete. In the patois of urban youth 'flat concrete' is pronounced "paintable surface" and they have had at it with some considerable skill.

Official street - or at least path - art was also evident.
As I concluded my walk back at the beach I invested a few minutes watching a couple of guys setting up parasails.  There was initially some confusion as the green one kept blowing up the beach.
But they got there eventually and it was then a matter of keeping it in the air while jumping on the surfboard.  I had assumed there were booties on the board to lock one in place a la snowboard but not so ; it is just the pressure on the sail against the pressure of the water.  This bloke fell off a few times but eventually got things organised..
Back at the caravan park eventually and matters got a bit cold so we all headed inside to the non-bed area.  Although some of us had a bed there too.
The night didn't start well as the dudes in the next van were entertaining and seemed to feel that because they couldn't see out, the sound of their inane conversation didn't get out.  It did: at least until I had a polite word.

The other comment to make about this was from listening to their conversation it seemed that all of them came from the Northern suburbs of Adelaide.   Comments from another large group nearby revealed that they also came from less than an hour's drive away.  Why do these people leave their homes and travel such a short distance to sit in their caravans all day?

Awards time:

Bird of the Day: Elegant Parrot: a lifer is always going to wipe the floor.
Bad taste of the Day:  This was a couple of fat chicks at Gaganis.  Spangled lurex leggings (and they didn't have the legs for these items) and shiny silvered hair made an awesome sight.
Art of the day: A few contenders, primarily the depicted graffiti.  I decided that Propoganda work got the big one.
Scene of the Day: Looking down on Maslins Beach

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