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It was a case of being dressed for all seasons as the weather fluctuated between cold winds, rain showers and weak sunshine with the group braving the elements to set out on exploring Harrison Track South within the Great Otway National Park. We were very grateful to Katrina and Scott, Park Rangers, who helped with 4WD vehicles to get our group to the start of the walk on Ridge View Track . We were pleased to welcome a few new faces to our group.

dressedDressed for all seasons

However after the first shower, the weather settled down and we were able to explore Harrison Track South in its entirety in pleasant conditions

shining peppermintShining Peppermint Eucalyptus falciformis

The Shining Peppermint, a small eucalypt, greeted us as we started the walk with its creamy-white flowers highlighted by the dark green foliage of the tree.

treasuresMargaret shows some of the treasures on the sides of the track

There were so many treasures to find on the side of the track. Many orchids and small flowers hiding amongst the grasses such as the Tiny Caladenia, the Eastern Bronze Caladenia and the Southern Bearded Greenhood.

identifyingIdentifying and recording the flowers

The Angair flower book and the orchid book were useful in alerting people to the various species. Ros was kept busy all day as she recorded the 125 species we identified

The heathlands were a blaze of colour with so many beautiful flowers to admire including:-

blunt everlastingWhite and yellow flowers of Blunt Everlasting and yellow Bent Goodenias

smoke bushGreyish-white flowers of Victorian Smoke-bush

heath milkwortThe spectacular splash of purple of the Heath Milkwort

dwarf bushpeaBright orange of the Dwarf Bush-pea

And perhaps the highlight – the newly opened Flying Duck Orchid Alison found on the side of the track just displaying itself in all its unusual form and spectacular colour

flying duckFlying Duck Orchid saying “Look at me”

As we walked along Harrison Track South there were sweeping views across the Anglesea River valley – in a few weeks time it will be a mass of pleasantly scented, lemon-yellow bottle-brush flowers of the Scented Paper-bark.

rod and wendyRod and Wendy admire the view of the river valley

We heard many bird calls as we walked along – Phil recorded 24 species with the Rufous Whistler being very vocal. It was great to see the Peregrine Falcons nesting once more on the Alcoa freehold structure.

There were interesting small creatures – a large shiny black ant was rather aggressive with both Phil and Chris feeling the force of its aggression.

antLarge shiny black ant defending its territory

spiderAnd a large brown spider that was endeavouring to camouflage itself on the track

We all agreed it was a great walk and certainly much less litter along the way as Wendy collected cans and bottles, a roll of carpet , paper, cardboard, plastic and even a window-cleaning brush. They were all placed on the side of the track and later collected by our two great Rangers Katrina and Scott.

We should just leave our footprints and take away our memories – and we had plenty of those!

wendyWendy at work!

Report by Marg MacDonald

Photos by Kaye Traynor and Alison Watson

Here is a complete list of all the plants identified:

Gleichenia microphylla Scrambling Coral-fern
Lindsaea linearis Screw Fern
Pterideum esculentum  Bracken
Austrostipa sp. Spear-grass
Tetrarrhena distichophylla Hairy Rice-grass
Empodisma minus Spreading Rope-rush
Ghania filum Chaffy Saw-sedge
Ghania radula Thatch Saw-sedge
Ghania sieberiana Red-fruit Saw-sedge
Hypolaena fastigiata Tassel Rope-rush
Lepidosperma filiforme Common Rapier-sedge
Lepidosperma laterale Variable Sword-sedge
Schoenus breviculmis Matted Bog-rush
Arthropodium strictum Chocolate Lily
Burchardia umbellata  Milkmaids
Chamaescilla corymbosa  Blue Squill/Blue Stars
Dianella admixta Black-anther Flax-lily
Laxmannia orientalis Dwarf Wire-lily
Lomandra filiformis subsp. filiformis Wattle Mat-rush
Lomandra longifolia subsp. longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Lomandra multiflora Many-flowered Mat-rush
Patersonia fragilis Short Purple-flag
Patersonia occidentalis Long Purple-flag
Thysanotus patersonii Twining Fringe Lily
Xanthorrhoea australis Austral Grass-tree
Xanthorrhoea minor subsp. lutea Small Grass-tree
Caladenia cardiochila Heart or Thick-lip Spider
Caladenia carnea Pink Fingers
Caladenia pusilla Tiny Caladenia
Caladenia tentaculata Mantis Orchid
Caladenia transitoria Eastern Bronze Caladenia
Caladenia venusta Large White Spider Orchid
Caleana major Flying Duck Orchid
Calochilus robertsonii Purple Beard Orchid
Diuris orientis Donkey Orchid
Glossodia major Waxlip Orchid
Leporella fimbriata Fringed Hare (Leaves)
Pterostylis tasmanica  Southern Bearded Greenhood
Thelymitra antennifera Rabbit Ears
Thelymitra ixioides Spotted Sun Orchid
Thelymitra juncifolia Rush-leaf Sun Orchid
Thelymitra rubra Salmon Sun Orchid
Acacia myrtifolia Myrtle Wattle
Acacia pycnantha Golden Wattle
Acacia suaveolens Sweet Wattle
Acacia verticillata subsp. verticillata Prickly Moses
Acaena echinata Sheep’s Burr
Acaena novae-zelandiae Bidgee-widgee
Acrotriche serrulata Honey-pots
Allittia uliginosa Heath Daisy
Allocasuarina misera Small Sheoak
Amperea xiphoclada var. xiphoclada  Broom Spurge
Amyema pendulasubsp.pendula Drooping Mistletoe
Aotus ericoides  Common Aotus
Argentipallium obtusifolium Blunt Everlasting
Astroloma humifusum Cranberry Heath
Banksia marginata Silver Banksia
Billardiera mutabilis Common Apple-berry
Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa Sweet Bursaria
Calytrix tetragona Common Fringe-myrtle
Cassytha glabella forma dispar Tangled Dodder-laurel
Cassytha melantha  Coarse Dodder-laurel
Cassytha pubescens Downy Dodder-laurel
Comesperma ericinum Heath Milkwort
Comesperma volubile Love Creeper
Conospermum mitchellii Victorian Smoke-bush
Coronidium scorpioides  Button Everlasting
Correa reflexa sp. Common Correa
Craspedia variabilis Variable Billy-buttons
Daviesia brevifolia Leafless Bitter-pea
Dichondra repens Kidney-weed
Dillwynia glaberrima Smooth Parrot-pea
Dillwynnia sericea subsp. 1 (Sth Vic) Showy Parrot-pea
Drosera aberrans Scented Sundew
Drosera auriculata Tall Sundew
Drosera glanduligera Scarlet Sundew
Drosera macrantha Climbing Sundew
Epacris impressa Common Heath
Eucalyptus falciformis Shining Peppermint
Eucalyptus obliqua Messmate
Exocarpos cupressiformis Cherry Ballart
Gonocarpus tetragynus Common Raspwort
Goodenia geniculata Bent Goodenia
Goodenia lanata Trailing Goodenia
Goodenia ovata Hop Goodenia
Hakea repullulans Western Furze Hakea
Hakea ulicina Furze/Gorse Hakea
Hibbertia fasciculata var. prostrata Bundled Gunea-flower
Hibbertia riparia Erect Guinea-flower
Hibbertia sericea Silky Guinea-flower
Hydrocotyle callicarpa Small Pennywort
Hydrocotyle hirta  Hairy Penywort
Isopogon ceratophyllus Horny Cone-bush
Kennedia prostrata Running Postman
Leptospermum continentale Prickly Teatree
Leptospermum myrsinoides Silky Teatree
Leptospermum scoparium Manuka
Leucopogon australis  Spike Beard-heath
Leucopogon virgatus Common Beard-heath
Lomatia ilicifolia Holly Lomatia
Melaleuca squarrosa Scented Paperbark
Olearia lirata Snowy Daisy-bush
Opercularia varia Variable Stinkweed
Persoonia juniperina Prickly Geebung
Pimelea flava  Yellow Rice-flower
Pimelea humilis Common Rice-flower
Pimelea linifolia subsp. linifolia  Slender Rice-flower
Pimelea octophylla  Woolly Rice-flower
Pimelea phylicoides  Heath Rice-flower
Plantago varia Variable Plantain
Platylobium obtusangulum Common Flat Pea
Poranthera microphylla Small Poranthera
Pultenaea stricta Rigid Bush-pea
Senecio glomeratus Annual Fireweed
Senecio linearifolius Fireweed Groundsel
Sphaerolobium minus Leafless Globe-pea
Sprengelia incarnata Pink Swamp-heath
Spyridium parvifolium Dusty Miller
Stackhousia monogyna Creamy Candles
Tetratheca ciliata Pink-bells
Viola cleistogamoides Hidden Violet
Viola hederaceae Ivy-leafed Violet
Wahlenbergia gracilis Sprawling Bluebell
Wahlenbergia multicaulis Tadgell’s Bluebell
Xanthosia tasmanica Tasmanian Xanthosia