Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunrise and sun orchids

The sunrise this morning was rather dramatic.

A rather more subdued view: perhaps through a silky oak darkly"?
Ön Friday we had found a lot of sun orchid buds but being lateish in the afternoon none of them were open.  Our plan for Saturday was to visit the site (essentially the cleared roadside at the corner of Genoa and Karbeething Rds) once the day had warmed up.  Heat was occurring, in relative terms, at 11:15.  So were Thelymitras: they were so clear we could see them from the car!

I think these spotted examples are T. ixoides.

This one, and I do apologise for truncating the dorsal sepal, appeared to be much closer to purple in the field than it does in this image.  I will take a punt at T brevifolia and try to find it again to confirm or refute that, now that I know what to look for.
The next images are back to T. ixoides showing the number of flowers per stem ...


... and a close up of the labellum and column
The 'thelys' got first spot as it suited my title.  Earlier in the day we had taken Tammy along Karbeethong Rd and found it to be a Petalochilus forest.  (In fact much of the area has many of these little charmers.)  This one is, I believe based on the golden tip to the labellum, to be P. catenatus.

Although white, the vertical dorsal sepal shouts "Petalochilus' and again it fits the catenatus pattern.
After turning for home Frances spotted a group of Flying duck Orchids Caleana major.  Here are a couple of artistic, into the sun, shots.

A more helpful image!
We found three colonies totalling to ~20 plants.

I'll now move into other families.  Few of them are identified to species level as we don't have a reference for this area, relying on a book covering the Sydney area.  The issue of lack of reference is exacerbated by there being no National Parks Office in the area.  In terms of environment, all the Victorian Government seems interested in is enforcing Fishing regulations; collecting camping fees in the school holidays and sucking up to the abalone industry.

Enough rant.  Here is a pretty white lily.
Drosera sp. growing amidst the sun orchids.
In the afternoon we did the Heathland walk to Betka Beach.  The diversity of flowers in the ground layer was excellent.  This is Scaevola (?) ramosissima.
Patersonia sp. only open on warm days.
From the shape of the flower I am inclined to say Boronia sp, but can't work out the species.  A main reason for this ...
... is the size of the shrub, well over 1m high.
I will say Olearia sp.
Bossiaea ensata - note flattened stem.
Daviesia latifolia with big, wavy leaves.
Another member of the Fabaceae.
A garden just up Karbeethong Avenue has magnificent Gymea Lilies.  Here are a couple of shots against an Inlet backdrop.

Some of those images came from a walk to Betka Beach.  When we dropped down to the beach I noticed an off leash Staffie that charged - not in a particularly aggressive  way, just being a Staffie - towards Tammy from a lookout.  As I grabbed her up the owner roared at 'Panda' to "get back", which he did.  Then we got about 50m down the beach and just as I was thinking about letting Tammy off the lead I glanced round and there was Panda, incoming and full of fun.  A brief period of stereo yelling, from me and owner, and he bolted back, leaving the remaining kilometre of beach to Tammy.

In the afternoon I went to a wet area birding.  The most exciting bit was this Red-bellied Black Snake.  Looking at the swellings along its body I think the demographics of the local frog population had taken a hit.
Who's a pretty boy then?
I'll finish with a bird image.  Satin Bowerbird, dealing with some yam peel.

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