Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, October 06, 2006

SCA starts drilling again in the Kangaloon Aquifer

Thelymitra pauciflora
"The Nature of Robertson" is full of surprises.

Today I retract the "blast" which I directed at the SCA, over the slashing of the verge, along Tourist Road. My main problem was that I feared that they might have chopped off the buds of the local perennial native flowers, especially Ground Orchids, Vanilla Rush-lilies, Trigger Plants, and myriads of other tiny plants.

T. pauciflora - flower stem

Today I discovered that there are some Ground Orchids in flower (tiny little things, in amongst the severed grass stems). I was thrilled to discover these flowers today.
A stunning Blue Sun Orchid (Thelymitra pauciflora) - which is notorious for only opening on really warm days. It is a shy flowerer.

Prasophyllum brevilabre
The Broad-lipped Leek Orchid. As it has been a dry season, this flower was only four inches high. It ought be about one foot high. Still, if it saved it from being slashed, well that is good.

It seems that the Orchids have such a long dormancy period that even though the area was only slashed two weeks ago, the Orchid flower-stems were only just growing out of the ground (if at all), and so were too short (at that time) to be chopped off by the slashers. Thank heavens for that.

Glossodia minor
This tiny mauve/blue Orchid was growing in nearly bare earth - yellow sandy soil. I have only ever found it in this one area (ever). By which I mean I have never seen it growing in any other district. Here on the impoverished sandstone soils, but without competition of other plants (due to slashing every few years), this tiny Orchid seems to thrive.

Caladenia dimorpha
This lovely white flowered Lady's Fingers Orchid was the only one of its kind which I found today. It's pink cousin grows happily in the wetter forests along Kirkland Road, East Kangaloon.

The books describe this species as haing a musky odour, but I could not detect any smell from it (even when lying on my belly to photograph it, at close range).


There was another thing I learnt today. Despite supposedly participating in a "review" of their proposal to drain the Kangaloon Aquifer, the SCA is still conducting drilling in the Borefield. So much for community consultation.

Today, 6 October 2006, at 2:45 pm, while I was photographing these Orchids, a large drilling rig, marked with the insignia of the Department of Natural Resources drove into the fire trail just across from Dragon Farm (I think it might be just east of Orfords Road, but I'm not sure of the name of this road). I think that Fire Trail leads to "Belmore Crossing", according to the contour maps of the district. The driver told me he was going to drill some "test bores" - about 150 metres deep.

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