Our first walk for the year was selected as easy in case of hot weather, in fact it was the opposite with a little drizzle thrown in.
It was just a small group that gathered at our recently erected Friends’ Display Board in the Distillery Creek car park where we once again relived some of our earlier experiences captured by cameras in previous years.
Seven members of the Friends enjoyed the wonderful aroma of the bush after rain with the gorge never failing to impress.
Ross Murray was our leader - admiring the very healthy Cherry Ballart trees Exocarpos cupressiformis that were growing on the side of the track.
In contrast to the delicate foliage of the surrounding vegetation, the Ironbarks, after which the Gorge is named, have a very rough textured bark.
We stopped in a number of places to admire the view over the gully - this rocky section is always a feature.
The giant moss covered rocks were most spectacular,
as were the lichens that were growing in the damper sections.
And yes when we reached the small wooden bridge…
there was water in the odd rock pool.
We were not expecting to see much flora this time of year but Correa reflexa put on quite a show.
There were bird calls from 14 different species and sightings, including Golden Whistler, Eastern Yellow Robin, Striated Pardalote and White-throated Treecreeper.
It was agreed by all that it was a walk not to be missed despite the weather.
Report by Ross Murray/Margaret MacDonald
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.