As the fungi season approaches we look forward to where we will be led on an excursion. This year it was back to Blackwood and some of the tracks accessed from the carpark near the Garden of St Erth. Here are a few of the many fungi observed on the day. We thank Carol for this selection.
The last site on the May excursion for most of us, was the old Mt Doran Recreation Reserve, which is a BEN (Ballarat Environment Network) Reserve. While is very good condition we did notice several mature sugar gums on the back fence and someone has been removing fallen timber. A member with access to a handsaw took the opportunity to fell an environmental weed, Sallow Wattle, Acacia longifolia. Mt Doran Recreation Reserve Flora
back of fallen tree
close up of lichen
Horse Dung Fungus
inside a horse dung fungus
open grass area in the reserve
possibly part of the cricket pitch
tree that has split and fallen over
Three of us continued on to the Mt Doran Scenic Reserve and undertook some weed control on cape broom and bluebell creeper.
In Lal Lal State Forest off Flagstaff Hill Road and up a short steep track, is Mt Doran. Before you get too excited there is no view from this mount. It is quite a rocky site and a keen eye noticed a parson’s band orchid.There were also large patches of Pultenaea pedunculata so this site would be worth visiting in the spring. Mt Doran flora list
track up to Mt Doran
no view from Mt Doran
lichen on rocks
large patch of Pultenaea pedunculata
The May excursion lunch stop was beside a lovely small dam on Flagstaff Hill Road in the Lal Lal Forest. There were many orchid leaves and Emily spotted the first flowers of Tiny Greenhood Pterostylis and then a Red-tipped Tiny Greenhood. The native heath was abundant in shades of pink and we spotted the red leaves of sundews. There were quite a few fungi including ghost fungi. Flagstaff Hill Road Flora list
Strolling around the dam through the bracken
Scented Sundew leaves
Red-tipped Tiny Greenhood
The next site on the May excursion was off to the well-appointed facilities and sheltered gazebo at the Navigators Hall, for morning tea. While driving between the sites were experienced the only shower of rain for the day. After a short break and a look at the new, much publicized bird book, it was onto the , in Pound Creek Road near Yendon No 1 road.
Banksia marginata flowers
tree guards past time for being removed
large old tree with hollow
This reserve managed by Parks Victoria, has a sedgy vegetation community, listed as endangered. Over twenty years ago, the Lal Lal Catchment Landcare Group planted more indigenous trees as part of a project and we completed their project by removing the plastic bags, which were almost to the stage of strangling the trucks. Banksia marginata was flowering, a yellow robin was observed and we think we heard a Bibron’s Toadlet, described as sounding like marbles in a glass.
We also spotted a dead frog in a large puddle, so after the hearing the talk by Ray Draper about frogs and chytrid fungus on the Friday night, we made sure to disinfect our boots before we moved on. Pound Springs Reserve Flora list.
The next few articles will cover several different sites of interest to Field Naturalists. The May excursion was to some areas that are less regularly visited by our group. Seven Field Nats began at Pryor’s Park, at the top end of Eureka Street in Ballarat. This reserve managed by City of Ballarat and includes an area revegetated by the local friends group, after some pines and conifers were harvested.
The other section is still pine plantation but has more indigenous understorey than you would expect to see under pines. Part of the official reserve boundary is taken up with the golf course and the management there is supposed to contribute funds to the upkeep of the reserve.
Amanita muscaria – Fly Agaric
Cherry Ballart with conifers
Pines with native understory
top of Amanita
view to Mt Warrenheip
It didn’t take long to see several types of fungi including the Fly Agaric. Years ago when this reserve was visited by the club it was possible to see glimpses of the city of Ballarat, especially if you stood on the seat but the revegetation has now increased in height blocking the view. On the way out of the reserve, Emily spotted a clump of dried seed heads of the African Weed Orchid, so if you visit in the spring take precautions not to spread this invasive species. Pryor Park flora list.
About thirty people turned up for the walk in the northern end of Canadian Forest today. We enjoyed a stroll through the bush looking at various sites related to the Cremorne Rifle Range and then onto the site with the tree ferns. There were a few fungi to see but not many flowers. We finished the walk which was led by the Friends of the Canadian Corridor, with a cup of tea and some fruit cake. We noticed the colourful heath on the way out of the park.
This caterpillar was spotted in some bush near Bannockburn recently.
Emperor Gum Moth larvae
Unfortunately sometimes the only way we get to see a bird close up is when it dies. In this case it was a juvenile Crimson Rosella. The colouring is beautiful.
Juvenile Crimson Rosella