Distillery Creek Nature Trail proved to be a place of many delights on this sunny winter’s day.
One of our early sightings was a colony of Nodding Greenhoods just starting to flower.
This area was burnt recently, and it was especially interesting to see the new rich green growth in the blackened soil.
The regular and recent rains meant that the creek was running, and we enjoyed the unusual sight and gentle sounds of running water.
The many rich green ferns really stood out in the gullies, being more obvious than usual as the undergrowth that usually shielded them had been burnt.
We were interested to see and feel the differences between the similar-looking Bracken and Soft Fern.
Flowers from the Iron Bark trees littered the ground, standing out on the darkened soil, and the trees were alive with the calls of the many types of honeyeaters enjoying the abundance of food.
We tried to identify the three main Smooth-barked gums in this forest, as described in the ‘What’s the Difference’ article in July's newsletter, however the very tall trunks meant that the buds and fruit, which we needed to see in order to be sure of identification, were very hard to see in the high foliage.
Marcus, the youngest member of our group, had fun looking for a range of bugs, with a skink being his best find.
There was a range of fungi, but not as many as I expected…due, I think, to the recent very cold snap which will have killed off many of the fruiting bodies.
The strange-looking Cup Fungus Peziza was of particular interest.
However there were many others to be admired (as pictured), including the small Rickenella in the rich green, and very moist mosses, and also soft lichen.
There was so much to see we ended up running out of time.