Distillery Creek Nature Trail proved to be a place of many delights on this sunny winter’s day.

Lots to see

One of our early sightings was a colony of Nodding Greenhoods just starting to flower.

Nodding Greenhood

This area was burnt recently, and it was especially interesting to see the new rich green growth in the blackened soil.

Very burnt

Recovering bush

New growth in the ashes

More new growth

The regular and recent rains meant that the creek was running, and we enjoyed the unusual sight and gentle sounds of running water.

Lots of water

Creek crossing

The many rich green ferns really stood out in the gullies, being more obvious than usual as the undergrowth that usually shielded them had been burnt.

Maiden Hair Fern

We were interested to see and feel the differences between the similar-looking Bracken and Soft Fern.

Green ferns and water

Flowers from the Iron Bark trees littered the ground, standing out on the darkened soil, and the trees were alive with the calls of the many types of honeyeaters enjoying the abundance of food.

Masses of Iron Bark flowers

We tried to identify the three main Smooth-barked gums in this forest, as described in the ‘What’s the Difference’ article in July's newsletter, however the very tall trunks meant that the buds and fruit, which we needed to see in order to be sure of identification, were very hard to see in the high foliage.

Which Smooth-barked gum is this?

Marcus, the youngest member of our group, had fun looking for a range of bugs, with a skink being his best find.

Marcus looking for bugs

There was a range of fungi, but not as many as I expected…due, I think, to the recent very cold snap which will have killed off many of the fruiting bodies.

FungiFungus

The strange-looking Cup Fungus Peziza was of particular interest.

Cup Fungus Peziza

However there were many others to be admired (as pictured), including the small Rickenella in the rich green, and very moist mosses, and also soft lichen.

Rickinella in the moss

Lichen

There was so much to see we ended up running out of time.

Ellinor Campbell

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