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The Nature walk this month was a plant regeneration survey within the strategic fuel break at Eumeralla.

The intention of this walk was to survey the area which was mulched along the Great Ocean Road and compare it to the track running parallel within the Great Otway National Park. We had a good turnout including 2 new members. We slowly walked along the lower track from the Eumeralla Scout Camp entrance noting the diverse plant life.

Gail pointed out the features of many species starting with Brown Stringybark.

Observing Brown Stringbark

Close to the start of the track Margaret’s sharp eyes noticed the basal leaves of a group of Bearded Greenhoods. Later we found lots of veined leaves of Fringed Hare Orchids and surprisingly, even a few late flowers.

fringedhareorchidleavesFringed Hare Orchid leaves and Sundew

We looked at the distinguishing features of Wire Rapier Sedge and the Clustered Sword-sedge. It was interesting to hear that the much-admired Tassle-rope Rush has generally many more male plants than female, and we observed a female plant that had single flowers and no tassles. Several interesting fungi were observed throughout the area.

Interesting fungi

When we crossed back towards the mulched road edge, we walked slowly back noting small plants appearing through the mulch and where the mulch had cleared away a little to allow the plants to grow.

Delicate flower of Rosy Baeckia

It was surprising to see quite a few little plants appearing – Twining Fringe-lily, Acacia sp., Eucalypts – Brown Stringybark looking quite unlike a Eucalypt, with raspy leaves – only the scent giving it away as a Eucalypt.

brownstrinybarkfruitBrown Stringbark fruit

brownstringybarkemergingfrommulchBrown Stringybark emerging from mulch

 Some tiny seedlings we thought may have been Tea-tree will have to wait till next time to identify.

seedlingsSeedlings appearing through the mulch

The leaves of the Hare Orchid were a pleasant surprise as we returned to our cars.

dustymillerDusty Miller flowers

It was a very successful morning and we finished with coffee and Gail’s special homemade biscuits back at Angair.

Alison Watson