Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, April 06, 2012

Orchids of Bungonia State Conservation Area.

I had been wanting to visit Bungonia State Conservation Area for some time, this season. But various plans to visit there with Martin had to be abandoned, because of flooding rains around Bungendore and Goulburn and Marulan in both February and early March. The problems were with water-over-road issues when coming from the south, not with these areas themselves being flooded, because the gorges are so deep.

Anyway, Alan and I both ended up being available on Thursday to make the trip. Martin was unfortunately not available to join us.

My favourite Greenhood (and yes I do have such a thing - hard though that might be to justify) is Diplodium laxum. I love the way its  lateral sepal tips ("Ears" or "Points") are so severely swept-back. Somehow they seem to balance the long fine tip of the hood. These swept-back points justify the name "Antelope Greenhood".
Few Greenhoods can claim to be as elegant as this one
Diplodium laxum
These plants were common along the edge of the road leading towards the "Lookdown". 

Incidentally, I love that quaint name "Lookdown", because when you stand there - the best view is indeed below one's feet - rocky cliff edges, the Gorge, the Shoalhaven River far below, and the steep-sided hills on the far side of the Shoalhaven.

Except for this monstrous intrusion over to the left.
Bungonia Quarry from the "Lookdown"
Anyway, fortunately, the Quarry does not appear to impact much on the Bungonia State Conservation Area (at present). It is accessed by a completely separate road. There is some noise evident, and some dust drifts towards the reserve.

A potentially greater threat to the Bungonia reserve is possible if this helicopter turns out to be doing geological surveys for the Bauxite miners who have a lease adjacent to the Reserve.
Helicopter had been dragging a "drone"
possibly a remote sensing device
for mineral exploration purposes.

Anyway, back to happier topics.

Here is the "Blunt Greenhood" (Diplodium obtusum) which we found growing amongst the shrubby Cassinia bushes which like to grow where the protruding veins of limestone rock are to be found.
Diplodium obtusum
We found many specimens of the Little Dumpies (Diplodium truncatum) (they seem to be "flavour of the month" at present).
This group was probably the best colony we found at Bungonia. They were growing away from low shrubbery and were coloured quite bright brown, making their stripes very evident. They are still typically short-flowered plants.
"Little Dumpies" Diplodium truncatum
After a bite of lunch at the Picnic Area on the main road, opposite the road to Adams Lookout, Alan and I set off along the Orange Track, then after only about 150 metres, we turned left along the Green Track (according to the map in the Plan of Management, there is another track with the same name, but that runs from Adams Lookout to behind the Visitors Centre - That is not the track to which I am referring). The track I am talking about takes a circuitous route heading roughly south-east and then meets another track which goes to the other main picnic ground, close to the Lookdown.

Alan and I set out along this Green Track, in search of some other Greenhoods which we both remembered having seen in an area of dry rocky hillside. We followed the Green Track for about 800 metres till it started to head south and up a steep hill with virtually no ground cover or shrubbery. There were still some trees, but not nearly as dense cover as previously.

We did find some of the Greenhoods we were after. Not many, but enough to be of interest to us, as there were some very fine specimens of Diplodium revolutum.

Diplodium revolutum
That such a lovely flower should live
 in such harsh, stony surrounds 
seems quite incongruous.

We also saw many more Orchids and Fungi and lots of migrating Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and a few White-naped Honeyeaters. 

But we moved on to check out the two similar lookouts overlooking the Upper Shoalhaven, at Long Point Lookout and Badgery's Lookout. But at this stage of the night I must leave those adventures for another Blog Posting.


Mr. Smiley said...

Always interesting, especially the personal observations.

Flabmeister said...


I'm glad you had such a good day. Our commitments in Canberra were nowhere near as exciting!

I'm looking forward to the rest of the posts.


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks David.
I always try to make it more personal than just a series of images.
I could use a FlickR album for that.
And, yes I get "personal" about Mining, especially adjacent to a Nature Reserve.
Turning a beautiful spot and special habitat into the Great Australian Ugliness.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
One day soon, perhaps, or same time next year?
A spring trip is worthwhile too, for a "Rufa" species which grows there and only there.
It fascinates me that such delicate plants thrive in such harsh country.