The nature walk for June was a little different to the usual flower studies – we looked at fungi, that fascinating group of organisms that are not plants or animals, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, have wonderful colours, carry out a range of ecological functions but are poorly known or understood.
The leader for this walk was our own vice-president, Neil Tucker, who has been documenting the fungi of the district for several years, and produced ANGAIR’s brochure on the subject (available from the office, from the web site, or from selected local shops).
We visited two sites, the first being amongst some pines near the primary school. Here we found several introduced species, including a couple of Saffron milkcaps (Lactarius deliciosus) that had been missed by collectors, so these went to Philippa’s cooking pot.
The second site was the main island in Coogoorah Park. Most of this is covered with Swamp Gum forest, which is which is often rich in fungi. Every few metres there was another species to tick off.
Before we started our walk, Neil had handed out colourful sheets depicting the species we were likely to find, and we managed to find them all, plus a few others.
The 9 participants all enjoyed finding fungi, from the biggest:
to the smallest:
Photos by Neil Tucker and Ros Gibson
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.