We certainly could not have hoped for a better day for our annual walk and barbeque at the Moggs Creek Picnic Ground on Saturday, December 14.
For a good number of the 24 people who gathered at 10.30 for the walk it was a first time visit to this part of the Great Otway National Park, and those who know the Moggs Creek area well took pleasure in sharing the delights of this favourite track.
Group enjoying morning tea before the walk
Although the conditions were dry there was still water in the gullies and there were many calls and sightings of 23 bird species. The highlight of the walk was the Fan-tailed Cuckoo who gave us a clear view and beautiful song, unusual for a not often seen bird.
A few members in the lead group of walkers were discussing the need for bird watchers to regularly look down in case of reptiles. Within seconds we sighted a Lowlands Copperhead Austrelaps superbus on top of a fallen tree living up to its name and at an estimated 1.2 metres. This beautiful snake stayed still for a few seconds then reminded us just how fast these animals can move to avoid contact. We continued our walk with more eyes down than before.
The flowers also did not disappoint, and the Victorian Christmas Bush Prostanthera lasianthos delighted us all as it was just coming into bloom along the track.
Colleen admires the spray of Christmas Bush
Another highlight were the two Tall Cinnamon Bell Orchids Gastrodia procera that we discovered on the side of the track. This is a rare orchid in our area and is most attractive with its bell-shaped, hanging cinnamon-brown flowers tipped with white.
Ollie admires the Cinnamon Bell orchid
Despite the dry conditions there were many other plants to admire and these included:-
The pale mauve flowers of the Cut-leaf Daisy Brachyscome multifida
The bright pink flowers of the Common Triggerplant Stylidium armeria
The graceful terminal racemes of white flowers of the Derwent Speedwell Derwentia derwentiana
It is always pleasant to stop on the small wooden bridges and survey the ferns and vegetation that grow along the creek
Back at the picnic ground and the numbers had now doubled and continued to increase until we finally reached our total of 51 adults and 7 children
Ross and Phil did a good job with the barbecue
Once again people had brought a variety of salads and plates were soon filled
It is always so pleasant relaxing in this great environment and sharing experiences with others.
Patrick said some thank-you’s on behalf of The Friends, Wendy did likewise for ANGAIR and Katrina responded on behalf of Parks Victoria.
Many things had been accomplished over the year. We had lost a great Friend in Ross Murray who had been part of the Friends’ group for a number of years. He was a highly valued member of both the Friends and ANGAIR, and had been an integral part of many of our celebrations.
Carlie, Matt and Katrina from Parks Vic shared the occasion with us along with Rani Hunt from DELWP who missed out on the photo opportunity!
Another year of conservation activities had come to an end and people were looking forward to a break to recharge and start again in 2020.
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.