Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Veteran members of ANPS go to Senior Boboyan Road

I believe the word "old" is now seen as politically incorrect which possibly explains why it has been removed from the finger board pointing the way off the newer road to the start of our walk.

Here we have the start of the mature road heading off along a valley.  Note the nice clear sky: it was a tad humid, but nice and warm so I at least left any unnecessary clothes in the car.
There had obviously been a bit of rain around which provided a good flow in the watercourse below the road.
We found one quite large patch of orchids which I am sure was Eriochilus sp and as they was all quite red will go out on a limb and say E. magenteus.
There were a lot of yellow members of the family Asteraceae around, but I find it tedious trying to separate the good natives from the invasive weeds and thus focus on other colours.  This is Brachyscome graminifolium.
There were many specimens of Hakea microcarpa along the way.  Some had fully gone to seed while others had quite a good array of flowers.
 Geranium antrorsum.
 The only flowering bean I saw today was Mirbelia oxyloboides
 Epilobium sp.
 Calotis scabiosifolia var integrifolia
This was a mid-sized woody bush, apparently with a vernacular name of Gruggle Bush but Uncle Google does not acknowledge that term.  It is not surprising that the forces of evil  (aka t*x*nomists) have weaved their magic aound this and it is now known by slaves to botanic fashion as Melicytus dentatus.
It definitely was a surprise to find that it is a member of the Violet family!

Particularly in the early stages of the walk the most common tree was Eucalyptus stellulata.  They are a common denizen of frost hollows and other cold spots.  I am used to seeing this as a relatively slender tree but some of these were really hefty.
 A key feaqture of the species is the very nicely coloured bark.  Here are a couple of samples.

I am unsure whether with venerable chap (note I can find many synonyms for antique) was an E stellulata or an E. pauciflora.
 Later in the walk the E pauciflora (Snow Gum) was the dominant tree species.
A grasshopper landed in the track so got photographed.
This next species was referred to as a Mountain Grasshopper but while it has the bulk associated with that species it doesn't have the highly coloured abdomen.  So I throw the images out for comment.


This is a member of the family Rhipiphoridae: they are unusual for Australian beetles in that the larvae are parasitic.  It was found and identified by Roger.

 Moving into Lepidoptera I think this is a Marbled Xenica.
 This is definitely a female Common Brown.
 A very lurid caterpillar
This is a poor image of a Hanging Fly of the family Bittacidae.  I am pretty sure it was a male as it was carrying a nuptial gift of a former caterpillar - see green arrow.
I spent some time scouring the granite boulder heaps for reptiles.  I noted one Cunningham's Skink near the lunch stop but it was unobliging in the matter of posing.  This much smaller reptile was very polite.  I will take a punt on White's Skink Egernia whitii.

A pair of Flame Robins were spotted by Sandra and the male posed nicely.  It was beaten for Bird of the Day by a Satin Flycatcher which was too busy ramming food into a chick to stop for a snap.
The grassland was strangely devoid of macropods, but the snow-gum woodland was very well supplied -  with an apparent sex bias towards males.
There were a lot of thistles on the roadsides, taking advantage of disturbed soil.  I hope the National Park people intend to Do Something about this before they spread too widely.
 As however they haven't Done Anything about this clump of Red-hot Pokers I am less than optimistic that the thistles are going to take some prejudice anytime soon.
 The pokers were close to the ruins of an old cottage, of which the chimney was the only obvious part left.  Footings and rafters could be identified with some effort.
 As we headed back light rain started to fall  ....
... but not enough to do more than dampen the dust on the dirt road!  Good outing!

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