Monday morning dawned bright and sunny.
As we met we were all exulting in the wonderful 6 ml of rain that had fallen overnight, the first significant fall for may weeks, and really the best rain we’d had since November last year.
After parking near the corner of Harvey Street and Pickworth Drive we walked westward along the level track, detouring along two looping tracks on the way. This was an area for which we had no plant list but which is a favourite in Spring because of the spider and sun orchids that are found there – (Giant Sun Orchid Thelymitra aristata, Waxlips Glossodia major, Bluebeards Pheladenia deformis, Large White Spider Orchids Caladenia venusta, Thick-lip Spider Orchids Caladenia cardiochila, and Scented Leek Orchids Prasophyllum odoratum). The track is on Alcoa land and is part of the Anglesea Heath – last burnt in 2004 when these orchids flowered with particular abundance.
I love this track for its wonderful views over Anglesea towards Pt. Addis, and for the pristine condition of the vegetation. There are virtually no weeds to be found there – despite the slashing which is done more heavily every year around the house at the beginning of the walk. As a matter of interest the block of land on this triangular intersection is for sale for the third time? in maybe 10 years – a block ANGAIR has tried several times to acquire or have conserved because of the special orchid that grows there – the hybrid Caladenia venusta x cardiochila.
We did the familiar wander, calling out the names of plants found for the scribe to add to the plant list. We found nothing unusual or unexpected but a really good, healthy collection of many of our heathland plants. Virtually nothing is in flower right now, except some pink and white heath Epacris impressa but the healthy and rain-washed plants were rewarding enough.
We noted in one area a fairly dense clump of young Golden Wattles - the trees coming up in an almost smothering profusion – it may be that they will need some judicious work to ensure the diversity of the lower growing plants.
There are several places on the walk to see this view more clearly. Several of us commented on the wonderful location for a house!!!
Right at the end of the track where it meets Messmate Track we found a tree which, to the uninitiated like me, looked (see below) like a Cherry Ballart – but clearly was not with its unusual hooked seedpods. It was interesting to see how many seedlings had struck around the main tree and how quickly an infestation of this weed tree would take hold. The tree was a pine of some sort, probably grown from the dumping of some garden rubbish. We will make sure these are removed soon by the appropriate authority.
A short pleasant walk for us all – and one that is recommended as very easy for anyone looking for a stroll on an even and level track wanting to see pristine heathland and, in the spring time, some wonderful orchids.