‘In quest of Small Milkwort Comesperma polygaloides’.
It was obvious that our Angair members were keen to renew activities for the year with a group of 20 joining us for the Nature Ramble on 14 February .
We had chosen the coastal heathland at Red Rocks as we were keen to show people the Small Milkwort, Comesperma polygaloides, a rare plant for our district, that is listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, and at the present time seems to be just known from this area.
Smaill Milkwort Comesperma polygaloides
We were successful with our quest as we were able to find just four very small plants with their bluish green leaves and small, purple-mauve, butterfly-like flowers in short racemes. We certainly needed the hand lens to see the beauty of the tiny flowers.
Surf Coast Track Nature Walk
The end of Hurst Road leads to a beautiful coastal heathland which is part of the Surf Coast Nature Walk. There are magnificent coastal views, and the track is flanked with so many of our coastal plants that we were able to admire as we walked along.
The Ixodia was in full bloom with its pristine white flowers and there were many spectacular clumps growing on the sides of the track.
The Correa was starting to flower with bushes covered in buds and a few bright red and yellow flowers tucked amongst the vegetation.
Sue and Gail looking at buds of Eucalypt
People were amazed to realise that some of the short stunted trees growing on the sides of the track were indeed the Red Ironbark that grows as such tall forest trees further inland.
The distinctive buds, grouped in threes, with long stalks and conical caps made it easy for Sue and Gail to identify.
There were so many other plants for us to identify and admire. We compiled a plant list of 55 species that we will be able to add to in the various seasons. The Cypress Daisy-bush with its white flowers will be a feature in the spring.
Looking at Jewell Spider
It wasn’t just the plants – there were other things to observe. A jewel spider was captured on camera.
Ants with moth
… and two industrious ants were collecting their dinner.
Group with sign
Returning to the start of the walk we took a photo of most of the people who had come along and participated in the activity. It was pleasing to see the temporary Dog Exclusion Sign indicating that the vulnerable Hooded Plovers, which had two chicks on the Red Rocks beach, were being protected by Parks Victoria through the implementation of a Dog Exclusion Zone. We all agreed that it was a great place to visit and that we could have spent so much more time exploring the area.
Photos by Alison Watson