Despite the cold and windy conditions a keen group of ANGAIR members turned up for our mid-winter nature ramble on Monday July 11.
We had decided to visit the S.W. corner of Gum Flat and Forest Rd and were keen to document a plant list for the area. Over the years ANGAIR has encouraged Parks Victoria to protect this site that had become badly degraded by trail bike users who used it as a base for their activites. The track has been closed for a number of years now and the recovery of the vegetation has been astounding.
There was not much litter on the site but we did collect a few cans and bottles.
As to be expected at this time of the year it was mainly a case of leaf identification and members accepted the challenge – we managed to document 59 species in the hour we spent on site.
However we were rewarded for our efforts when we reached the spot where the Veined Helmet Orchid Corybas diemenicus flowers in July each year and there were over a hundred of these delightful little orchids awaiting us. Ros took this great photo with the sunlight picking up the tiny flowers .
Nodding Greenhoods Pterostylis nutans were in flower.
And a few Tall Greenhoods Pterostylis melagramma were in bud with one sheltering behind the log.
Perhaps the ants knew what was going to happen the next day – with the entrances to their nests built up to protect against the wind and rain that was to come.
It is an exciting area – we identified 13 species of orchids. Many were just leaves starting to appear. It is certainly a site worth revisiting in the months to come. Lots of Spider Orchid leaves. It is to be hoped we get some sunshine to encourage the tubers to produce flowers.
We all agreed that despite the wintry weather it was a great way to spend an hour on a cold morning before returning to ANGAIR for a hot drink.
Report by Margaret MacDonald
Photography 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.