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A group of intrepid Angair members set off in the drizzle to investigate a small but diverse part of the Great Otway National Park.

Located in the Ironbark Basin, the Jarosite Mine loop is accessible from the Surf Coast Walk.

Group on trackJarosite Mine Loop Track

The first find of the day was a few late Mosquito orchid flowers Acianthus pusillus, quickly followed by a colony of Nodding Greenhoods, Pterostylis nutans.

nodding greenhoodsNodding Greenhoods

We were also fortunate enough to see several Dwarf Greenhoods, Pterostylis nana as well as some great specimens of the Tall Greenhood, Pterostylis melagramma.

dwarf greenhoodDwarf Greenhood

The impact of Phytophthora Dieback, Phytophthora cinnamomi became obvious as we progressed along track, the highly susceptible Austral Grass-tree, Xanthorrhoea australis and Horny Cone-bush, Isopogon ceratophyllus clearly indicating the effect of this serious soilborne disease.

dieback grasstreesPhytophthora Dieback affecting Austral Grass-trees

dieback horny conebush

Phytophthora Dieback affecting Horny Cone-bush

 The presence of several Heath Daisys, Allittia uliginosa was a reminder that spring was only a few weeks away.

heath daisyHeath Daisy

Approaching the old Jarosite mine site we walked through Red Ironbark forest, Eucalyptus tricarpa with an understorey of Sea Box, Alyxia buxifolia.

ironbarkRed Ironbark forest with understorey of Sea Box

Sword sedges, Lepidosperma sp. although constant companions throughout our walk were abundant in this lower section of the loop track.

sword sedgeSword Sedge

Re-joining the Surf Coast Track, our final investigation involved the identification of the Anglesea Grey-gum, Eucalyptus litoralis, a task made easy due to the presence of some fine specimens alongside the track.

anglesea grey-gumGroup inspecting Anglesea Grey-gum

greygum flowersAnglesea Grey-gum flower buds and fruit

Gail Slykhuis