On May 14, a group of 14 set out on the Iron Bark Nature Trail, a pretty one kilometre return walk, which meanders through Iron Bark and Messmate woodland with under- storey shrubs such as Varnish Wattle, Bush Pea, Dusty Miller and Coast Pomaderris to name a few.
After leaving the car park we were delighted to see the number of small healthy plants that had sprung up after the area had been slashed some 18 months ago. Kennedia prostrata, Running Postman, was doing particularly well as was the Ivy-leafed Violet, Viola hederacea and Varnish Wattle, Acacia verniciflua. Numerous small plants of Honey Pots, Acrotriche serrulata were also interwoven with the Bracken Fern. It will be worthwhile keeping an eye on the regeneration in this area.
Following the gentle rains and mild temperatures in early autumn, fungi, mosses and lichens featured in the moister areas. Omphalina chromacea, Yellow Navel, is a bright splash of colour– it has a centrally depressed cap with a wavy and grooved margin, the yellow gills run part-way down the stem and are relatively widely spaced.
Colonies of Mosquito Orchids, Acianthus pusillus, were sighted in full flower, while the Nodding Greenhoods, Pterostylis nutans, are budding up.
Continuing along the track we discovered a carpet of beautiful pink and cream blossoms from the Iron Barks, Eucalyptus tricarpa–the parrots had been feasting on the nectar.
The Cranberry Heath, Astroloma humisfusum, was a delight with pretty tubular, deep red flowers buried in a prickly mat of bluish-green leaves. The Scented Sundew, Drosera whitakeri, with its attractive red flowers and long sticky glandular hairs that trap unwary insects was a feature.
The Iron Bark Basin is a delightful walk at any time of the year.
Photographs courtesy of Pauline Dean