The Melton Botanic Gardens have been officially opened since the Ballarat Field Naturalists last visited and another section of path has also been opened to the public. It now possible to do a loop walk across into an area that is yet to be developed. The path goes close to the freeway and is very noisy but gives a different perspective to the gardens.
Plaque commemorating the opening
new pedestrian bridge
cumbungi growing along the creek
There is still plenty to see at Lal Lal Falls Reserve if you decide you want a walk. There is no water going over the falls but still some in pools in the creek. The kangaroo grass is looking great and gives a light orange tinge. Some patches of native grass have been left un-mown in the public area which I like to see. The Hairy Anchor Plant has already dropped its seed and looks healthy despite its dry position on the bank. The clustered everlastings add a bright colour to the slopes and the scenery is still spectacular.
Hairy Anchor Plant
Dry Lal Lal Falls
Lal Lal Creek
Enfield Forest is a favourite haunch of Ballarat Field Nats and on a visit last week to the Berringa – Misery Creek Road, we found 9 orchids. Here are 2 photos taken by Bill.
Chiloglottis valida Bird Orchid
Caladenia parva Spider Orchid
There are so many beautiful places to visit at the moment and we are spoilt for choice. Here are 3 photos from Bill, taken yesterday.
Pterostylis sp. aff. plumosa 3 (Anglesea)
And a few more from his companions.
Chamaescilla corymbosa var. corymbosa
Whist 2 car loads of Field Nats visited Trench Reserve last Saturday, two of us went for a 3km walk along Old House Track in Long Forest, near Bacchus Marsh. If you don’t know the site is it the only patch of mallee south of the Great Divide. The mallee is Bull Mallee, Eucalyptus behiana.
There a several walks to choose from and well worth considering. We came across a biological release site for a rust to control Bridal Creeper and it seems to be working well, as many plants were nearly leafless.
Old Farm machinery hinting at past use
areas of moss
view to Mt Anakie
view to Western Highway across market gardens
old house site
wattles in flower
Following the excursion to the Melton Botanic Gardens some members headed off to the Trench Reserve in Bacchus Marsh. It is located in Tramway Lane and is listed as a geological reserve and is highly significant. Here are some photos I took back in May.
view from top of reserve
Despite windy weather we had an interesting time being shown around the Melton Botanic Gardens by the friends group last Saturday. Their knowledge and involvement in working in the gardens gave us great insight into the amount of work that has been involved.
Whilst the display gardens are the big attraction, there are some beautiful red gums, quite a lot of regeneration works to view and a many birds to observe. On each visit there is something new to see and always something spectacular in flower. Find the Melton Botanic Gardens on Facebook and the Plant Nursery and Depot are also on Facebook. A report on the excursion will be in our next newsletter for club members.
a carpet of eremophila
a patch of wildflowers
Out at Linton recently on the BEN Reserve at Flagstaff Hill, there was an interesting collection of lichens. They were mainly on rocks but some of the plants were covered as well.
Field Nats Bill and Paul, visited several sites at Dereel on Tuesday – the Dereel Stone reserve, Swanson Road and Bliss Road reserve (east side). Unfortunately there are several gorse plants, some gladiolus and at least one plant of boneseed along the northern section.
There was little out in flower at the Stone reserve, only two wattle species – Acacia paradoxa and A. myrtifolia and leaves and buds of helmet and mayfly orchids.
The other two sites had good flowering examples of two orchid species plus flowers of nodding and trim greenhood orchids.
While it might have been cold and wet early in the day yesterday, we managed to have lunch in the sunshine at the Linton Reserve. The Ballarat Field Naturalists have kept an eye on this reserve since Trust for Nature added it to their estate many years ago.
Sunshine at the entrance
We completed the usual fence check to see what branches had fallen in the recent storms and a chainsaw will be needed next time to remove some branches. We removed a bridal creeper from under a Cherry Ballart and had time to admire the correa and a few wattles in flowers. Over fifty kangaroos seem to be spending a bit of time in the reserve and we also spotted a fox and a wallaby.