We travelled up the Main Mt Cole Road, stopping soon after entering the forest, to look at the large area that has been invaded with agapanthus. It is the largest patch I have seen in a bushland area. At the junction of Main Mt Cole Road and Camp Road we inspected Mount Cole Grevillea Grevillea montis cole growing along a graded road edge. In this wet area the forest of Eurabbie Eucalyptus globulus bicostata and Messmate E. obliqua is tall and straight. Sweet Bursaria Bursaria spinosa was a common shrub and Cut -leaf Daisy Brachyscome multifida crept through the grasses.
Back on the main road we parked and walked to Grevillea Lookout on the edge of an escarpment. To the west we could see Langi Ghiran and the Challicum Hills wind farm. Among the granite rock were more grevillea, Penny-leaf Flat-pea Platylobium rotundum, Hop-bush Dodonea viscosa and Dusty Miller Spyridium parvifolium.
Peter identified several species of ants – most were Jack Jumpers. Peter will have interesting information about ants for us at the Club meeting and excursion in February 2016.
Lunch was at Victoria Mill Scenic Reserve. It has old trees which have probably regrown after logging in the late 1800’s. There were several ferns growing along the creek including Soft Treefern Dicksonia antarctica and Bracken Fern Pteridium esculentum.
We spent the afternoon on the north west side of Mt Cole State Forest. The vegetation changes as the rainfall drops and the geology changes from granite to Ordovician sedimentary rock. The main trees are Red Stringybark E. macrorryncha, Long-leaf Box E. goniocalyx and Yellow Box E. melliodora. Cranberry Heath Astroloma humifusum and Clustered Everlasting Chrysocephalum semipapposum were flowering. At the Mt Cole Cemetery Tall Greenhoods were in bud.
The return journey was through Warrick and to the Western Highway at Buangor. Les found another fungus while we were enjoyed afternoon tea and watching earthmoving machine working on the new highway. This was the Gilled Bolete Phylloporus sp. a large fungus with yellow gills which stained blue when rubbed. Travelling into Beaufort we saw the new highway duplication which has required clearing of many old Red Gums and other trees as explained by a representative of the Western Highway Action Movement at the Club meeting on the previous night.