Monday, July 28, 2014

Two of Cannibal's Carnivores

I couldn’t resist the fine and sunny, if windy day today and headed west to Mt Cannibal again. With a cool north-westerly blowing, I meandered ‘off-track’ on the more protected south-eastern face. Not a lot on offer but I reckon spring will bring this reserve into its own.

My first discovery was yet another unknown, (to me), fungus. The colour was striking.
I think this might be Cortinarius austroviolaceus?
There was plenty of Mosquito Orchid leaf but not much else that I could recognize. However the reserve is very attractive and the views from the summit for nearly 360 degrees is well worth the climb.

The granite boulders on the top are excellent habitat for mosses, lichens and ferns and scattered throughout are colonies of those wonderful plants that lure, capture and devour insects – the Sundews. I found two varieties and there’s no guarantee I’ve got their names right.
Drosera auriclata?
Drosera aberans #1?
Drosera aberans #2?
Drosera aberans #3

Australia has about 65 native species of Sundews. Oh dear - birds, trees, wildflowers, orchids, insects, mammals, reptiles, fungi, mosses, … – don’t think I’m going to live long enough.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weathered Rocks on Mt Cannibal

There are some wonderful examples of mechanical weathering, (Wikipedia), in some granite boulders on the summit of Mt Cannibal, (pdf).

A recent excursion to show Mrs Gouldiae ‘the great views from the top’ was foiled somewhat by the atmospheric condition at the time known as….FOG!

Anyway it was a good opportunity to snap some rocks. The results of some frost wedging in the past and some continuing organic weathering by the lichens, mosses, ferns and trees is clearly evident.

How long must it take to make some soil? Ain’t Nature grand?

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Echidna Encounter

Some patches of sunlight this afternoon enticed me to put the camera in the ute and head for the Rokeby Rail Trail. Glad I had the gumboots in. Part of the first section must be used by the local 4WD enthusiasts to see if they can climb a particular muddy incline. Once through the barrier though conditions were a little easier.

Pretty quickly I found two or three fungi species of interest by just sticking to the track.
Earth Star Puffball
Troops of Mycena sp.
Toothed Jelly fungus - perhaps?
 After about a kilometer and a half I took a horse trail that headed up into some drier country.

This track climbed and meandered about and after a short while it was time to sit quietly for a bit on a mossy log. I was listening to a few birds close by when an Eastern Yellow Robin completely disregarded my presence and landed almost at my feet on a patch of recently disturbed ground.

The bird found a meal and took off. Another followed closely and did the same, then another.

Suddenly I saw some gentle movement in the earth by my feet and an Echidna emerged. We looked at each other for a bit then it continued bulldozing its way down the hill, followed by two or three enterprising yellow robins!

A not too unusual inter-specie connection I guess?