Wednesday, 10 February 2016

ANPS (road-) works its way to Jerrabattgulla Flora Reserve

When the official note came out announcing that the walk was to Jerrabattgulla Flora Reserve via Captains Flat I assumed it was a Reserve on the Braidwood to Cooma Rd (since that is the location of the locality of Jerrabattgulla.  I also warned participants about the road works on Captains Flat Rd causing delays.

I suspect my warning caused them to be very prompt in leaving the pooling spot in Queanbeyan, as to my surprise they were in front of me as I got to Foxlow Station.  The next bit of good luck was that I had caught up with them - as it turns out the destination was in a rather different spot to that which I had assumed.  This is illustrated below, with the red line showing the way to the locality and the blue one, where we actually went.
Apart from my bogus thinking we also found that Cooma-Monaro Council have got lots of money to spare as they were doing several kilometres of very ostentatious works on the road immediately South of the border with (soon-to-be) Queanbeyan Shire.  So it took a while to get to Anembo Road.
The scenery here was rather spiffy with many granite boulders in a pleasant setting.
Apparently the folk in the lead car saw Cunningham's Skinks on every boulder.  We, as tail end Charlie saw none.  So I assume (despite the previously noted failure of my assumptions) that these skinks were Pradophobic and nicked off before we got there.  Since we still didn't spot a reptile 4 hours later when we left, this must be a long-term condition.

Another disadvantage of being Charlie was the dust.
At our first stop the place was carpeted with Wahlenbergia gloriosa.  But we were nowhere near the ACT of which this is the floral emblem!
 Here is Anembo road sans dust, but with lots of Helichysum bracteatum.
 Some orchids were found.  First up were Diplodium decurvum.

 Then Midge orchids, possibly Corunastylis nuda (if the taxonomists haven't changed it somehow)

Brachyscome spathulata
Trachymene humilis
 Stylidium armeria
I am pretty sure this is a magnificent - probably 30+m high - Eucalyptus viminalis. It is certainly a ribbon gum!
 It is not quite the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness yet (although this morning was pretty misty andhere were a bunch of fruit around).  We'll start with Dianella tasmanica.
 These were identified as Leucopogon gelidus.
 While these nominated and dealt with as Coprosma quadrifida.
A most interesting feature of our third stop was this hanging swamp, effectively a Geranium lawn!
 It was pretty damp below the ground surface, although walking was quite dry.
 A creek with fringing ferns.
 A fern (going out on a limb there).
 Dicksonia antarctica
 Gahnia sp.
 An orb spider: I was quite taken with the thicker zigzag part of the web.
 A butterfly of a species I couldn't guess at.  My friend Suzi Bond - a lepidopterist - has suggested Solander's Brown (Heteronympha solandri) as the most likely, but needing a look at the underwing to absolutely distinguish from Banks' Brown (H. banksii).  Michael Braby's book suggests that Banks' Brown has an altitudinal upper limit of 900m while this site was at 1300m, giving further support to H. solandri.
A slightly used Varied Sword-grass Brown
 A semi-aquatic grasshopper.
This is a close up of the abdomen of the grasshopper, demonstrating the impact of refraction across the meniscus of the wee pond!
This Geranium was hosting a parasitic wasp (family Gasteruptiidae) and a small flower spider at the top of the flower.
The final invertebrate moment occurred at about 9:30 when I removed my sock.  This revealed clear evidence of Grandpa Leech having paid me a visit.  I suspect this was from the hanging swamp.

So a pretty varied lot of sightings today.  Birds were few and far between: possibly reflecting the limited amount of blossom and insects.

No comments: