Wednesday, 5 September 2007

An inland coastal cliff

Seaview Park

Scotland's primary export is the haggis, a small, fur-covered creature with one leg shorter than the other. I felt rather like a haggis yesterday as I clambered over the 40 degree slope that is Seaview Park.

The limestone escarpment on the south bank of the Barwon River at Geelong is a very small patch of vegetation that survives despite the pressures of suburbia, and the vegetation is a remnant from the time when it was a coastal cliff millions of years ago. It used to be classified as a 'limestone woodland complex' but now it's a 'coastal alkaline scrub'. Either way it's spectacular.

Zygophyllum billardierei

Pimelea glauca

Yesterday a lot of the flora was flowering - Pale Fan-flower Scaevola albida, Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra, Running Postman Kennedia prostrata, Coast Twin-leaf Zygophyllum billardierei, Common New Holland Daisy Vittadina gracilis, Hedge Wattle Acacia paradoxa and Smooth Rice-flower Pimelea glauca - but from the road below it just looks like a bank of green. The most important plant on the site is the Coast Wirilda Wattle Acacia retinodes var. ulicifolia. It is classed as rare in Victoria and grows well in the park despite occasional threats (the latest was a 'secret' cubbyhouse being built under the trees). The wattle wasn't flowering yesterday but there were buds so I must go back in a few weeks time.The limestone outcrops support a healthy cover of lichens and mosses that I must explore another time also. I'll walk the other way so my legs grow evenly.

Scaevola albida

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