Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Mallacootie September 2014: the uphill finish

I thought that I'd celebrate the mountainous stages of La Vuelta Espana with a metaphorical title for this post.

Also, Canturf have a sign referring to "Mown and Grown in Fyshwick" which is a bit metaphorical about that suburb's best known product.  For the rest of Canberra the moaning and groaning has been people's download limits complaining about the number of images in my recent posts.   So this one is a good bit smaller.

For a change the dawn was quite clear.
As we set off for our dog walk the 3 White-headed pigeons that have taken up residence in the area appeared a little down the road.  One of them performed a little bobbing  dance and then put its wing over another one.  Breeding display!
A little later I saw another of this species disappear into a bush carrying a twig.  Nest building!  The species has been regarded as unusual in the area but now seems to be resident, in fair numbers and starting to breed.

After one recent post I exchanged comments with Mary about the diet of Satin Bowerbirds.  I mentioned the protections people use for their fruit and vegetable gardens: here are some samples.  (They are also needed to restrain the many parrots and lorikeets which also like human food!)

This is about the tallest Gymea Lily I have ever seen.  At least 4m high.
Here are a couple more snaps of people's gardens.

On our way home we stopped to check out what was growing in Gypsy Point Cemetery.  The obvious flower was this Patersonia (not sure which species).  They have not yet started to come out in the bush, but the sunny area of the cemetery was covered with them.
Also lots of the white Epacris impressa.
We seemed a little early for the main burst of orchids but did find a few of these Stegostyla sp.
Also one Petalochilus fuscatus
The area was quite damp, which provides good habitat for Drosera.  Note the 'dew' shining in the shade!
Our last stop before going seriously uphill on Imlay Rd was at the Imlay Creek picnic area.  The Creek was in flowing strongly....
... and generating pretty foam patterns.
Plant life was rather quieter than we expected.  No flowering Callistemon and the only orchid was this Cyanicula caerulea (which is never bad to see).
As we left Karbeethong the temperature was 19oC, which temperature was maintained to the start of Imlay Rd (still effectively sea level).  By the time we had got to the Western end of the road (55km away we had climbed 450m and the temperature had dropped slightly to 17oC,  Over the next ~100km, to Nimmitabel (1070m) a further 2 degrees vanished but as we then dropped to the 780m of home they returned.  (Despite the warmth throughout the trip a good coating of snow was evident on the main range about 80km to the West.)

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