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.
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 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.
Parks Victoria conducted a cool burn in Canadian (Woowookarung) Regional Park on 9 May 2017. The crew involved are commended for the environmental awareness.
Austral Grass-trees were individually ignited. The fuel load was reduced by burning the dry skirts without damaging Common Heath flowering near by.
Cool burn of Austral Grass-tree skirts
This should reduce the heat of future burns and prevent the damage done to hollow trees as seen in a hot burn in 2015.
view to Mt Buninyong from Flagstaff Hill lookout
Slaty Helmet Orchid
reflections in a small pool
As the tour of BEN reserves continued we had lunch at the Flagstaff Hill lookout reserve on Mt Bute, where there is a panoramic view 360 degree view.
Part way up to the Flagstaff Hill lookout tower (just out of Linton) is another BEN reserve. It was a gravel reserve and used to be covered in pine trees. Since the pines have been removed the native vegetation is slowly growing back.
Rock sheet at Flagstaff Hill
View to Mt Emu from Flagstaff Hill
Acacia pycnantha – Golden Wattle
The first site on the tour of some smaller Ballarat Environment Network Reserves for the August excursion began at the Newtown Recreation Reserve. Since we arrived as most of the group had toured the reserve and surrounding bush, here are only a few photos of the plants. There were masses of coral lichen – Cladina confusa .
Yam daisy flower
In the 1960’s the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat regarded the “Sandy Patch” at Enfield the best place to find winter-flowering orchids.
The club will visit the Sandy Patch on Tuesday, 16 August, 2016 weather permitting.
Many types of orchid leaves are present and will flower during the next few weeks:
Some orchids are flowering already:
Emerald-lip Greenhood Pterostylis smaragdyna
Nodding Greenhood P.nutans
Wattles are beginning to flower:
Here are a few photos from yesterday’s excursion which looked at some of the remnants the gold mining days and forestry history. Some of us hadn’t visited/noticed these particular areas before so it was an eye opener. Next time you are out in the forest take a closer look. This forest was very popular on the weekend, with campers, a four wheel driving club, people fishing and looking for gold.
Near Selkirk’s pit
Oaks on the La Gerche Trail
Oaks on the La Gerche Trail
Wall on Eaton’s Dam
Cassinia arcuata – Chinese Scrub
Chinese Puddling Mill
Bernado’s sluice box
It is official, Winter Swamp is now Mullawallah Wetlands