A group of intrepid ANGAIR members set off in the drizzle to investigate a small but diverse part of the Great Otway National Park.
Located in the Ironbark Basin, the Jarosite Mine loop is accessible from the Surf Coast Walk.
Jarosite Mine Loop Track
The first find of the day was a few late Mosquito orchid flowers Acianthus pusillus, quickly followed by a colony of Nodding Greenhoods, Pterostylis nutans.
We were also fortunate enough to see several Dwarf Greenhoods, Pterostylis nana as well as some great specimens of the Tall Greenhood, Pterostylis melagramma.
The impact of Phytophthora Dieback, Phytophthora cinnamomi became obvious as we progressed along track, the highly susceptible Austral Grass-tree, Xanthorrhoea australis and Horny Cone-bush, Isopogon ceratophyllus clearly indicating the effect of this serious soilborne disease.
Phytophthora Dieback affecting Austral Grass-trees
Phytophthora Dieback affecting Horny Cone-bush
The presence of several Heath Daisys, Allittia uliginosa was a reminder that spring was only a few weeks away.
Approaching the old Jarosite mine site we walked through Red Ironbark forest, Eucalyptus tricarpa with an understorey of Sea Box, Alyxia buxifolia.
Red Ironbark forest with understorey of Sea Box
Sword sedges, Lepidosperma sp. although constant companions throughout our walk were abundant in this lower section of the loop track.
Re-joining the Surf Coast Track, our final investigation involved the identification of the Anglesea Grey-gum, Eucalyptus litoralis, a task made easy due to the presence of some fine specimens alongside the track.
Group inspecting Anglesea Grey-gum
Anglesea Grey-gum flower buds and fruit
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.