Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A rather peaceful day at Mallacoota

Oh - I should warn you that a snake features in this post so if you are herpetophobic you may not find things too peaceful.  Once it got over it shock at me walking past it, it was a placid (~~peaceful) snake however,

The day dawned grey and still.  Which is indeed peaceful.
After a very quiet walk along the Inlet to the edge of town - seeing a few excellent birds, especially an Azure Kingfisher - we went for one of our standard walks through the heathland and Betka Beach.

There were a few flowering plants around.  First up was a Dianella sp - possibly a different, and much larger, form of D. caerulea.
This appears to be a Glycine, flowering rather late.
The only orchid of the day Prasophyllum australe.
A yellow lily, possibly Tricoryne.
The Melaleucas were flowering well in the heathy area.
Very few Comesperma were in flower - I think they are coming to the end of their season.
A Persoonia: again this was the only bush in flower
On getting to the beach it was deserted with a fairly frisky surf.
Lots of seaweed piles were available for a small dog to sniff, which is good when she's off the lead as it slows her down.  She seems to have a 'natural' speed just a bit faster than I like to walk.

Swinging back into the dunes and large clumps of Senechio were in flower.  I find that name so much more pleasant than the vernacular for the genus: Groundsel, but perhaps I am biased as I spent a fair bit of childhood time weeding it out of our garden in the UK
When seen in detail it is quite interesting.
Grass flowers can elevate the plants well above the "cow fodder"category.
Also monocotyledonus and interestingly intricate in detail was this sedge.
Looking down Betka River showed how far the fresh water resulting from the rain has fought down against the sea water coming in from the sea.
When we returned home a somewhat similar scenario was evident in the Inlet with brown streams showing the route of the tannin enhanced outflows from the rivers across the broad water.  It wasn't as  clearly demarcated so not photo.

The necessary business was disciplining the lawn.  Thunderstorms = fixed nitrogen+water = vegetative growth.  Had I not been able to get into it this trip I think the next guests would have been using the chainsaw to trim the lawn rather than a mower!
In the afternoon I took myself off to some ponds for waterbird watching.  This was rather good including 1 Freckled Duck, 2 Musk Duck and 142 Pink-eared Duck.  I was focused on the next pond I was headed to and not looking where I was putting my feet when movement just in front of me suggested I should do so.  The way this Red-bellied Black Snake flattened out its neck suggested it was rather unhappy.

Having settled down it started tasting the air - presumably for essence de grenouille - and among many failures I finally managed to get a shot of the tongue out.
Off it wandered.  Probably about 1.5m in length.
When I got home the sky had broken up, but still peaceful.
About 1 am I woke for a natural pause and noticed how bright the sky was.  So here are a couple of images of the moon over the Inlet.


Anonymous said...

VERY disappointed.
Why isn't there a good photo of the red belly on the snake. A nature photographer would have gently rolled it over.

Flabmeister said...

Dear Nonny Mouse
I am afraid you don't understand geometry. When flattened out like that Euclidean theory can show it is impossible to roll snakes over without using a crowbar.