Monday, 17 September 2012

The haves and the have nots

I've just been looking at my neighbourhood on Google Maps. Maybe it's jealousy but I think there are rather too many backyard tennis courts and swimming pools. I'd like to see a balance sheet: number of hours used against cost of installation.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A cross orchid

Sometimes when you're bushwalking a sight just stops you in your tracks, takes your breath away. That was the feeling when I saw a colony of orchids near Inverleigh. They are tiny and blend in with the ground litter remarkably, even when growing en masse  as they do.  I wish I'd thought to video my fellow field nats tip-toeing around the bush trying to avoid stepping on them - you'd be about to put your foot down, spot the leaves and be forced to change direction whilst balancing on one foot.

We were looking at a natural hybrid called Chiloglottis X pescottiana (or Chilosimpliglottis X pescottiana) Bronze Bird-orchid. Apparently it's a cross between C. trapeziformis and C. valida. It was growing in grassy woodland. The callus gland is basal, large and stalked - Jones describes it as 'resembling an ant'.

Tiny and sweet

Today I joined the Field Nats on an excursion to Inverleigh Nature Conservation Reserve (known as the Common). It's a 1000ha grassy woodland with a Friends Group, some interesting plants (including a spider orchid that only grows there) and a very good bird list.

We saw quite a few orchids today, including the spider orchid in wire cages. The Friends locate as many as they can each year and cover each in a wire cage to protect it from marauding possums, choughs, kangaroos, wallabies and rabbits. They are very beautiful orchids but unfortunately none of my photos are good enough to upload.

There were other plants flowering and many others in bud. These are a few of the little plants that are easily overlooked. All are in the Asteraceae family.

Common Sunray Triptilodiscus pygmaeus (not quite open)

Moss Sunray Hyalosperma demissum

Soft Millotia Millotia tennifolia

Hoary Sunray Leucochrysum albicans var. tricolor (not fully open)