Tag Archives: Ballarat Field Naturalists Club

Fantastic Fungi

At our June meeting Les Hanrahan gave a fascinating presentation about fungi. He has a wealth of knowledge built up over the last 15 years or so. After the autumn rains many fungi start to appear. They come in shapes and sizes and are seen in a variety of habitats.

The Sunday following the presentation, Les led a fungi  excursion to one our our favorite fungi spots at Blackwood. Twenty six people turned up to be led through the bush to see where fungi occur.

When identifying fungi there are a number of characteristics that need to be observed such as size, colour, shape, margin, moisture on the cap, spore print and texture to name a few. This list is to emphasize that it is not always possible to definitively identify fungi from a photo. Some fungi are poisonous so you need to be very sure of which ones are edible if you plan to cook any. There are a lot of myths around about how to test if the fungi is edible and they are not to be relied upon.

Here is the presentation which has been slightly modified allow uploading. Les retains the photo copyright. There is a list of useful resources at the end of the slides.

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A passion for plants

Goodenia lanata, Trailing Goodenia

Most Ballarat Field Naturalist members will have been sent this link but some of you in our wider community may be interested in this fascinating story about one of our past members.

Patricia Murphy was a valued member of our group and contributed in  numerous of ways to our club as you will find out. Susan Kruss has written a beautiful and well researched article about Pat, which has been published in Muelleria. Here is a link to A passion for plants: The botanical contribution of collector P.J. Murphy.

 

 

Field Reports

At each club meeting, members give reports of interesting sightings that they’ve had over the previous month. At our recent meeting, Carol spoke about the sighting for the magpie geese at Lake Wendouree. See previous post for a photo.

Apparently this is the first sighting since the 1890’s and while reports indicate that there were 12 goslings, the number decreased over subsequent days. There was discussion as to whether this might be due to the rakali (native water rat) having a snack or a swamp harrier.

Another field report of note was the finding of a feathertail glider at Scarsdale by Bill. These tiny animals are the smallest of our possums that glide. While still relatively common they not often seen and this one was dead, so provided an opportunity for detailed examination. They are active at night and eat insects, nectar, honeydew and pollen and rely on tree hollows for nest sites.

Excursion to Chepstowe, Snake Valley and Linton areas.

Excursion to Chepstowe, Snake Valley and Linton areas

Led by John and Elaine Gregurke . 5 November 2017.

By the time we reached Chepstowe the weather was warming and at lunch we sat in calm sunshine at Mag Dam Rec Reserve in Snake Valley. The wildflowers at places visited were magnificent. Our outing ended at the Memorial for the 5 fire fighters tragically killed in the 1998 bushfire near Linton – a very moving visit. Fourteen field naturalists attended the field-trip including Tony from Bendigo club.

Neville Oddie (land owner) chats with club members, with wind farm and turbines behind.

 Mr Neville Oddie (OAM and long time conservationist and Aboriginal rights activist) welcomed us and then us showed just some of the many aspects of the property that reveal his exceptional knowledge and dedication to nature conservation issues. Continue reading

Get out and about

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.

And a few more from his companions.

What is in a name?

Over the years there has been uncertainty in which name is correct for one of the sites we regularly visit. Do we go to Mt Beckwith or Mt Beckworth? At last night’s meeting a copy of a letter was presented that clarified the name to use. The letter written in 1988 was from Dr Jim Willis in response to Helen Burgess, one of our members.

in part it says …

My apologies for having kept you waiting nearly a month for a response to your letter of May 20th, re correa occurrence at Mt. Beckwith – I do think that ought to be accepted as the spelling, since Major Mitchell named the mount after his former military colleague, Col. Thomas Sydney Beckwith; goodness knows who subsequently mis-spelt the name “Beckworth”. Anyway, it’s a great pity that the musical aboriginal name of “Nananook” had not been retained…….

Reviewing the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Glossodia major Wax-lip Orchid

Glossodia major Wax-lip Orchid

The Victorian Government is reviewing the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, a key part of Victoria’s legislative framework for the protection and management of biodiversity.

The Act’s objectives aim to conserve all of Victoria’s native plants and animals. Continue reading

Fifteen Acres Excursion

Mid-month excursion, September 2015
As we gathered at Fifteen Acres photographers were soon on hands and knees to capture the patches of Blunt Greenhood Pterostylis curta with its wide galea and twisted labellum. There were also clumps of Nodding Greenhood Pterostylis nutans. As we ventured further we found a few Small Spider-orchids Caladenia parva. Continue reading

Winter-flowering Orchids

Field Naturalists gathered at Dereel Hall on a fine Sunday morning.  We headed for the bush in Swanson Road to shelter from the cold wind. The sandy soil supported a woodland of Manna Gum Eucalyptus viminalis with a heathy understory. Continue reading

Gallery

Blackwood Fungi Excursion

This gallery contains 14 photos.

The Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat visited Blackwood on 7 June 2015 for their annual fungi excursion. Leader Les identified a large variety of fungi for the group. Photos: Val Hocking, Ian Ashton and Ambika Bone