These photos have been supplied by Emily and relate back to our club excursion to Enfield Forest in November.
We look forward to seeing members and visitors tonight for our last club meeting for this year. Members will be sharing a few of their highlights from this year, 7.30 pm at the Fed Uni Campus on the corner of Gillies St and Gregory St Wendouree.
Pure white form of Thelymitra ixioides Spotted Sun-orchid
Purplish Beard-orchid Calochilus robertsonii
Red Beard-orchid Calochilus paludosus
Slender Rice-flower Pimelea linifolia
Some of the field-trippers exploring Beacon Hill Enfield State Park
Sun-orchid hybrid- Thelymitra ixioides X T. rubra (or possibly T. carnea)
Mt Misery Garden
Broad-lip Leek-orchid Prasophyllum sp. aff. odoratum
Enfield Grevillea – Grevillea bedggoodiana
Lowland Bird-orchid Chiloglottis sp. aff. valida
Common Ruddyhood Pterostylis squamata
Twelve field naturalists gathered in very light precipitation on the Moonlight-Illabarook Road-side next to the Illabarook Rail Reserve on Sunday October 7. The reserve is a 28 hectare crown land reserve, one of more than 50 managed by Ballarat Environment Network since 2005. It was previously the home of the Illabarook Railway Station and goods shed, remnants of which can still be found across the site.
Seventeen Field Naturalists were treated to the expansive beauty of Narmbool, a 2000 hectare farmstead operated by Sovereign Hill and located South of Ballarat. Generations of graziers had taken advantage of the fertile pastures, which when enhanced with fertiliser, produced quality wool for sale in foreign markets. With the price of wool not being what it was and the change in management in 2000, the outlook for the sheep became decidedly more culinary than crafty. Being surrounded by prospective chops, loins, racks and shanks it is perhaps fitting that Narmbool is a local Indigenous word meaning ‘fatty liver’. This local foie gras once belonged to possums that gorged on the vegetation of the volcanic soils.
View of Narmbool Homestead
Our half day field excursion for August was to the City of Ballarat Plant Nursery and then onto the adjacent North Gardens Wetlands. Our leader was Roger Thomas who manages the nursery and we were given an interesting insight in the how the nursery operates.
The nursery does not sell to the public but supplies plants to various projects that happen within the footprint of the municipality. A grant comes from the City of Ballarat to operate the nursery and under guidance from Roger a lot of the work is carried out by a handful of volunteers who meet on Wednesdays.
checking a yam daisy for tubers
City of Ballarat Tree Nursery
Common Tussock Grass
galahs inspecting a nest box
inside a polyhouse
seedlings in polystyrene boxes
seedlings inside for the winter
On our July excursion led by Emily Noble, we visited some of the bushland areas included in Discovering Ballarat’s Bushland*, published by the Club in 2002.
Mt Buninyong in the fog
A group of 11 gathered at the Blackberry Lane car park on a cold morning with low cloud covering Mt Buninyong. We walked past mature Messmate and Manna Gum, some with hollows. As we climbed higher the weedy species grew fewer. The ground cover was mainly Common Tussock-grass and Weeping Grass. Herbs among the grass included Bidgee-widgee, and Prickly Starwort. A variety of fungi were seen. Continue reading
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
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.