Thank goodness today wasn't a hot one. We were out on the saltmarsh and reedbeds of Reedy Lake near Geelong and there was no shelter from the sun. Luckily our leader had a key to the gate (oh, the power!) so we were able to escape the long walk in by driving most of the way along a track that follows the north bank of the Barwon River.
We were shown how the water levels of the Barwon and a side channel are regulated to control salinity levels (the tide used to reach much further up the river) and the carp. The photo above shows a channel. Several bitterns were seen here recently, and mapie-geese as well.
The yellow flowers of the waterbuttons mixed with the purple of the Creeping Monkey-flower Mimulus repens was quite a sight. (You can just see a bit of it on the edge of the photo above.) And the red Azolla was floating in patches on the water. Altogether a beautiful place.
This is the Monkey-flower, common on the margins of swamps and lakes. The flowers are meant to be like little masks, hence mimulus, from the Greek mimo (ape) or mimos (imitator). I had wondered why such a pretty flower was called a monkey-flower - now I know. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see the fleshy dimpled leaves.
And this is the floating fern called Azolla pinnata. I think there might be some duckweed in there as well.