Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Looking down on Black Mountain and other sights from Mt Taylor

That title is probably longer than some blogposts!

My reason for being in this vicinity was to drop Frances' car off for a service.  Before getting to the walk up Mt Taylor I'll lob a bouquet in the general direction of Lennock Motors.  They opened the gates 15 minutes early and had an army of young people swarming the arriving cars and sorting things out well before the scheduled opening time.  Even though they had to put a couple of new tyres on (bumping kerbs is badddddd!) they still got the car back to me not too long after the previously announced time.

Crossing Melrose Drive the ribbon gums (Eucalyptus viminalis I think) weer in good blossom form.  This was attracting many Red Wattlebirds but not, as far as I could see, another rarer honeyeaters.
I suspect parrots or cockies had also been around to cut off a branch.  It did make it easier to take a photograph.
Getting to the track on Mt Taylor this eucalypt has been attacked by scale insects -lerp - and the dying leaf has turned pink.
Barbed wire grass was growing at the bottom of the ascent.
I will take a punt that this is Acacia pennenervis: it was flowering profusely at the higher levels.
There wasn't as much St John's Wort as I expected, but still too much in open areas near the summit.
Most of the Allocasuarina verticillata bushes had regrown since the 2003 fires and as such weer too young to be fruiting.  There were a few older trees however with cones.  No sign of Glossy Black-Cockatoos having visited,
Here is the promised look down on to Black Mountain.  Mt Taylor is about 40 metres higher.
Looking to the West the water - and wall - of the new Cotter Dam are visible.
According to ACTEW it was at 81% of capacity on 9 January and having had around 50mm of rain in the catchment since then will be getting even fuller.

Another new bit of infrastructure is the car park at the Canberra Hospital.  It surely stands out, and I couldn't work out what it was for a while.
There were quite a lot of walkers - several with dogs - on the various routes up the mountain.  Some of them even turned into runners on the way down.  Others just laid back and watched.
A Grey Butcherbird posed nicely in some woodland at the bottom of the track.  A younger bird was nearby making the usual indolent bird begging calls.  Fortunately this bird gave the melodious song of the species.
On the subject of melodious, the Australian Koel doesn't often get a mention due to its habit of starting calling onomatopoeically before dawn and keeping going all day.  On the ascent I could hear this one calling from dense foliage in a back yard fruit tree.  When I came back it was in a more exposed position.

At one point in the walk I noticed a Magpie-lark dancing around on the ground, raising its wings and generally going on like a pork chop.  My first thought was that it was harassing a reptile.  However on looking closer it turned out to be a hare.
The hare soon decided I was a bigger threat than a moderate sized bird and took off at hare-like speed.

No great excitements but a pleasant way to fill in a couple of hours.

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