Monday, 13 April 2015

Point Impossible

There's a plant growing on the sand dunes at Point Impossible that I wanted to photograph. Today I had some free time so I took myself there. It turned out to be a beautiful calm day and I had the beach and estuary to myself.

The Thompson Creek flows into the sea at Point Impossible. Most of the time. Today the outlet was blocked by sand but that's good because it means the saltmarsh becomes inundated. There are several big fauna reserves behind the sand dunes, important habitat for plants and animals. And the creek itself is home to the Yarra Pygmy Perch, a species of fish that needs deep pools.

Thompson Creek, Point Impossible
One problem has been removed. A culvert under the road blocked the tidal inundations and the flora community was changing from from saline to fresh, but the culvert was changed about ten years ago and the saltmarsh has started to recover. (This is a common problem up and down the coast of Australia - there are hundreds of man-made contructions that restrict tidal flow.)

Karaaf Wetlands, the area of saltmarsh starting to recover after a culvert was modified to allow tidal ebb and flow.
Karaaf Wetlands, the area of saltmarsh starting to recover after a culvert was modified to allow tidal ebb and flow.
Torquay is expanding in the distance.
The plant I went to find was the Rare Bitter-bush Adriana quadripartita. It's classified at 'threatened' in Victoria I believe but at Point Impossible it is readily found on the sand dunes near the carpark. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants, shrubs that grow to two or three metres.

Rare Bitter-bush
I was alone on the sandy beach but there was plenty of other life around me. And I'm sure there was a lot more, hidden from view, in the water and the saltmarsh.

Surfing is popular at Point Impossible

Snails in a rock pool

A very tattered Meadow Argus butterfly on the sand dune.
Twelve Red-necked Stints were actively feeding. One was in breeding plumage.

White-faced Heron looking for food in the estuary.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Inkpot

The Inkpot, Lower Glenelg NP
We've travelled from far eastern Victoria to the western border. The Inkpot is a water-filled sinkhole in Lower Glenelg National Park, not far from Nelson in far-western Victoria. The water is inky black and reflects beautifully.

There were bushfires several years ago and the vegetation is still recovering. Judging by the clay marks on burnt trees around the lake water levels have been much higher than they are at present.




Water level marks on burnt trees on the edge of The Inkpot.



Sunday, 22 March 2015

Mallacoota

Fishing is a foreign place to me, but, for those who have 'the knowledge' Mallacoota is a major drawcard.

Mallacoota
Mallacoota
Pelicans and Silver Gulls know all about fishing as well. Or, at least, they know where fishermen clean their fish.

Pelicans at Mallacoota
Crested Terns and Silver Gulls dodging waves at Shipwreck Creek.
The gulls and terns at Shipwreck Creek were behaving more naturally, edging up and down the sand to keep their feet dry as each wave advanced. The creek, full of tannin, enters the sea at this delightful little sandy bay but it is named after the ship 'Schah' wrecked there in the 1837. The survivors of the wreck survived by walking north for five days along the coast to Twofold Bay at Eden!

Shipwreck Creek
Closer to Mallacoota we visited the astonishing Quarry Beach. The rocks here are 445 million years old, layers of different coloured sandstone now folded and faulted and eroded. It's a beautiful stretch of coastline that we will explore more thoroughly if we revisit this area.





A crab hiding between two of the eroded layers.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Tathra wharf

The wharf at Tathra is historic and tourists are drawn to it, especially now that it has been restored and a cafe established in the old wharf shed. After a number of years in the doldrums it has a new lease of life. Parking is in short supply and must be impossible in peak season but it's within walking distance of the beach and nearby streets.