The sun shone, the enthusiasm level was high and the November ramblers were rewarded with some unexpected surprises, regardless of the desiccated nature of the landscape.
Plants observed along this section of the Surf Coast Walk included the last of the Button Daisy flowers, Coronidium scorpioides and some sporadic flowering of the Coastal Flax-lily, Dianella revoluta var revoluta. These Flax-Lilies provide a food source for caterpillars.
Another habitat plant growing close by is the Many-flowered Mat-rush, Lomandra multiflora subsp.multiflora, which was supporting a very bright yellow moth.
The dominant tree in this area is Messmate Stringybark, Eucalyptus obliqua.
One of the many joys experienced when on an Angair nature ramble is the sharing of knowledge, in this case the sex of the Mat-rush was up for discussion – Mat-rushes are single sex plants.
Leaving the Surf Coast Walking track and the Asset Protection Zone, we continued along the Jarosite Mine Loop, where the vegetation has not been impacted by a protection zone. The difference in plant diversity and density is quite noticeable. As the track descended to the site of the 1920’s Jarosite mine we identified many plant species including: Anglesea Grey Gum, Eucalyptus litoralis, a naturally occurring prostrate form of Hop Bush, Goodenia ovata, Ixodia, Ixodia achillaeoides subsp. alata, and Cypress Daisy, Olearia teretifolia.
More insects also caught our eye:
Regardless of the dry spring the old Jarosite dam contained sufficient water to support an impressive display of Broadleaf Rush, Juncus planifolius, growing along the waters-edge.
The wonderful Ironbarks, Eucalyptus tricarpa subsp. tricarpa, growing so close to the sea never fail to impress, many with an understorey of Seabox, Alyxia buxifolia.
Images – Colleen Miller
Insect identification – John Lenagan