It was a misty autumn morning and being Easter Monday we were able to welcome some people from further afield to our monthly ramble.
As our time was limited we had decided just to explore half of the Nature Trail at Distillery Creek – starting at the entrance to the Trail, walking across Ironbark Drive and then back to the car park. Hopefully we can complete upgrading our plant list in the near future.
Just at the start of the walk we saw a splash of red under one of the trees and were thrilled to find some bushes of Correa reflexa var. speciosa Eastern Correa in full flower. The different feature of this species to Correa reflexa var. reflexa Common Correa is that the flower is not clasped by the two leaves.
Just near the boardwalk Margaret told us about the Victorian Christmas Bush Prostanthera lasianthos. Unfortunately the large tree by the information sign had recently died, but the Friends of Eastern Otways have planted a group of new seedlings, donated by ANGAIR, and they seem to be thriving in their new habitat.
We wish them well.
Christmas Bush sign
There was just so much to see and talk about as we wandered along the track. It was seven years since we had upgraded our plant list and there were many species to be added. Perhaps they have grown there in that time, but most likely our powers of observation and identification have improved.
A few were captured on camera.
Victoria’s floral emblem Epacris impressa Common Heath was seen in a few places – hard to believe it was not on our previous list.
Maidenhair Fern looked just so beautiful growing amongst the mosses in the damper areas.
Brown Tipped Greenhood
Just at the junction of Ironbark Drive and the Nature Trail where we turned to come back to the car park we were treated to a great display of Brown Tipped Greenhoods Pterostylis clivosa growing on the edge of the track, and also up on the slope. It was a new orchid for some of the group, and they were able to become familiar with its features. There were some magnificent specimens.
Back to the cars
Conscious of the time, we made our way back to the car park. It had been a very pleasant experience in the Great Otway National Park getting away from the busy roads and townships over Easter and just enjoying the solitude and beauty of this special environment.
Photography Margie Morgan