Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Slip Sliding Away.

The title refers back to yesterday's post about some interesting Slugs, and of course Paul Simon's song.

Just one "slimy creature" today. This is the original photo sent to me by my friend Sam, on Facebook.
The Red Triangle Slug is on the side of their Water Tank. The reason for posting this shot is that the Slug is doing what they are famous for - eating algae off moist surfaces. Yum, Yum. 

It is like an outdoor Vacuum Cleaner. 
Every home should have one. 
And they will not attack your lettuce seedlings 
(unlike introduced Snails).
Sam's photo of the Red Triangle Slug
There will be no more slippery creatures, just a Sliding One (but there is an image alert, so it will not pop up to scare you). Plenty of warning is given.


This is long post, but mostly just photos and captions, apart from my rambling preamble  below, about mining in the district.

This post will match part of Martin's Blog from two days ago. But hopefully not duplicate it.

The reason any of my photos match Martin's is that he invited me to join with the Canberra branch of the Australian Native Plants Society, to visit a private property at Nerriga, NSW. So inevitably we saw many of the same plants and animals. There is no intention to "compete" with Martin's report,  nor his photographs. Rather, I trust that our different Blog Reports complement each other.

Firstly a word about Nerriga.

This area is what I think of as "edge country", between the granite belt of the Braidwood area, and the rear (western edge) of the Sandstone escarpment.
That point, at Bulee Gap, west from Sassafras, is really the south-western edge of the entire Sydney Basin. 

But below Bulee Gap one crosses the Endrick River, which of course is following a Fault Line which lies west from the edge of the Sandstone plateau. That is in every sense a geographical and botanical "divide" between the Sandstone country, and the Granite belt, with a resultant mixture in between. That's why Gold was found in this area. It is also why it is interesting botanically.

The property owner, Joe, told us that the area was first opened up for Gold Mining, by the early European settlers (mostly Irish, it seems). That fits with the history of that line of country to the south, 
This area has all been subjected to huge geological disturbance, leading to the presence of deep "leads" (seams) with gold deposits along these fault lines. Indeed there are still people hoping to make their fortunes from the regional gold deposits. NSW DPI has even produced a paper on the Nerriga Gold Deposits - covering the area right where we were last Wednesday (Between the Endrick River and the Corang River). Both rivers flow roughly north, to the Shoalhaven River.

The village of Nerriga still maintains its old Pioneering style, in the quaintly optimistic belief that it will one day become a Tourist Attraction. It is more of a "red-neck" hang-out, where they sell Bumper Stickers proclaiming the Nerriga Pub. I refer to the type of sticker usually found on the back windows of old Holden Utes.


But, on with the plants and animals.

Chiloglottis diphylla - the Common Wasp Orchid
  I found the purple colouring unusual, but it is noted
in the botanical texts as a variant.
Leptomeria acida

Most likely Persoonia lanceolata

Another plant I have not seen before - Boronia algida

Spiranthes australis

A great big bunch of Spitfires on a Gum Tree trunk
A swampy meadow with Spiranthes and Epacris everywhere.

An unusual white form of Spiranthes australis

Spiranthes australis - white and not properly spiralled

Dipodium roseum - the Pink Hyacinth Orchid
I was not familiar with this species of Persoonia.
It is Persoonia microphylla, an endemic plant to the district.
Persoonia microphylla
 This next Beastie was a star attraction.
Everyone wanted to get a photo of it.
A Spider-hunting Wasp - a "Pompilid Wasp":
 Wombats and Wallabies are often partial to Orchid flowers.
A Bearded Orchid Calochilus sp. - flower has been eaten off.
Polyscias sambucifolia subsp. leptophylla

lovely fresh flowers on this Patersonia- Probably P. sericea

EDIT: Ros Cornish has suggested that 
this is more likely to be
Patersonia longifolia
 One image for the artists.
 Beautiful soft greys and pinks and creams on the bark
of this small Eucalypt tree.
Shedding Bark on the Eucalypt reveals soft colours.
Lomatia ilicifolia - The Holly Lomatia nicely in flower
This next plant is another endemic plant, 
with very restricted distribution
It is the "Narrow-leaved Sally")
It is one of the many Mallee forms of Eucalypt
which grow on the poor sandstone soils
along the Sandstone escarpments of the region.
Narrow-leaved Sally (Eucalyptus moorei)

Narrow-leaved Sally (Eucalyptus moorei) - flowers

Narrow-leaved Sally (Eucalyptus moorei) - buds
Narrow-leaved Sally (Eucalyptus moorei) - seed capsules
Slithery Thing Alert 
If you do not wish to see a fine specimen of a
Red-bellied Black Snake
then please leave this page now, 
and kindly come back again tomorrow.
Red-belied Black Snake trying to do the Cobra thing, with its neck.
Red colour visible in 3 places on the belly. What a fine specimen!

For those of you brave enough to still be on this page - Congratulations.
You deserve a special prize, especially if you add comments, to claim your prize.


mick said...

Very interesting description of the area you visited and the geological reasons for its special character. Interesting plants and beautiful flowers - then you had to include that black slithery thing! I know I could have left the page but curiosity kept me there! At least you weren't nose to camera with it the way Tony often seems to be!

Denis Wilson said...

Well, Mick

You have to be declared the Winner of the Nature of Robertson Loyalty Prize- especially as you are obviously not keen on Slithery Things.
But you persevered right to the end.

We had 3 photographers near the Snake, but all on the one side - so it had an escape route.
But it clearly had been "asleep" or resting, or whatever Snakes do. Then it suddenly realised there were people close to it, and turned around and flattened its neck and looked at me - hence my reference to "Cobra-style".
So I backed off, like any sensible photographer would do.


Flabmeister said...

Definitely a complement to my effort Denis. Thanks for the material about history and geology. I will add a link to my post.

If Mick should get to my post she should note that the apparent closeness of my slithery snaps is due to a good zoom on my camera. I was given the reptile plenty of room.


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Martin.
And I can vouch for the fact that we did not get too close to the Slithery Thing.
Last seen heading under a fallen hollow log.
I cannot say the same about the Wasp, but it was not too bothered, or it would have taken steps to punish the close camera person.
Thanks for the link back, Martin.

Lillian & Audrey said...

Would much rather photos of red-belly blacks than seeing them for real! They are magnificent - thanks

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Lyndell
Glad you stick it out to see the Red-belly shots.
It really is a superb creature, in fine fettle.

Gordon said...

When I was a boy ... many years ago, I lived in Robertson and with the help of a brother or two, caught baby red bellied black snakes in the backyard and put two or three in a shoe box with a rock on it to try and keep as pets. Needless to say they escaped during the night. Good to see a few bigger ones are still around. I'm moving back to Robertson in a month or two. Cheers.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gordon
Did you ever tell your Mum that there were several baby Red-bellied Black Snakes loose in the house?
Well, with a career opener like that, you obviously have a big future (which might now be behind you).
Give me a call when you arrive in Robbo. I am in the phone book (I am the D. Wilson on Missingham Pde - there are several others)