Wednesday, 23 March 2016

ANPS Jiggles the Monkey

Today I led - in so far as I lead anything - an ANPS Wednesday Walk on a car crawl along the Jinglemoney (or Jingle Money - the signs were ambivalent) Fire Trail in Tallaganda National Park (aka Tallaganda Trail Bike Paradise, although these asocial gooses were not evident today).  However I do like the idea of jiggling a monkey and thence the title of this post.

We went through Forbes Creek en route and the track of the tornado was still evident.  BoM may not wish to call it a tornado but a windstorm that leaves such destruction on a very narrow (say 50m wide) track meets my criteria for that name.

It was still semi-foggy as we drove into the forest and as a result I, as lead vehicle saw an astonishing number of wallabies.  My count was 6 Swampies (not counting the contents of bulging pouches) and 7 Red-necks (none obviously advocating a Trump candidacy).  I also saw one 60cm Red-bellied Black snake, disappearing into its burrow.

Once we got to the junction of Bald Hill FT and our target the first thing I noticed was this weird object.  Roger was able to identify it as a 1080 ejector.  Apparently the dog/fox bites the outside (the brown tasty bit) and the device squirts a jolt of 1080 into their mouth.  This can also happen if a human grabs the device, so treat anything odd in the bush as though it is an IED and LEAVE IT ALONE!
This stop was essentially on a ridge at 1050m AMSL with a nice forest habitat.
The ground layer was not overburdened with flowers.  I found one Brachyscome spathulata ...
.. and a few Hibbertia obtusifolia.
When is Smilax australis nice to see?  When it is up in the air with the sun shining through the leaves.
It is less pleasant when running through the bush after dark and the recurved spines wrap round your feet.  The meaning of the common name 'Lawyer Vine' becomes apparent - once its got its hooks into you it never lets go!

The sun was also doing a good job in creating shadows from fern leaves.
Moving on down the Trail we found a good crop of Brachyscome graminifolium,
This was a grassy creek bottom and caused the graminophiles in the group to utter sounds such as 'Ooooh' and 'Aaaaaah'.
There was a reasonable flow in Mulloon Creek on our first crossing.  Despite our best efforts, no-one faceplanted in the wet stuff.
Some very pleasant Leucochrysum rutidolepis were growing in the grass.
One specimen of Banksia marginata was in the bottom.
So were lotsa Geranium neglectum!
On looking closely the Eucalyptus stellulata (Black Sallee) was flowering very well.  A distant image ...
.. and a close up.
It was generating a nice scent of honey but not attracting many insects or birds.

Proceeding up the rather steep hill we got to the junction with Palarang (or Palerang - again the signs couldn't make their minds up) Road.  Orchids were evident here, beginning with Pterostylis (erstwhile Diplodium) decurvum,
Here is a part of the group looking at same and also giving a view of the Euc viminalis and Euc fastigata forest in the area.
Acianthus exsertus had gone over, but the heart shaped leaves gave a good hint as to ID.
I still reckon Eriochilus cucullatus looks more like Ian Paisley (or Donald Trump) than a calm village parson!
This Corunastylis sp was well gone over, but gatheryour orchids while you can
Our second crossing of Mulloon Creek was quite lush in grasses.
An interesting daisy was identified as Olearia sp.
Our final stop near the junction of Pal*rang and Lowden Roads was graced with a finalorchid species in Spiranthes alticola.
This stop also gave images of a bird (begging Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo)....
a bracket fungus (possibly Trametes sp) and ...
.. some invertebrates!
 
Several folk, including me, knocked these off our clothes.  So we were very impressed with those   who lay on the ground to snap the Spiranthes.

1 comment:

Kris said...

I am a bit slow - I just got the lawyer vine joke. Thanks Martin.