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I've been a Canberran since moving here from Adelaide on the first day of 1980. I now live in suburban Duffy with my partner Louise Maher, ABC 666 radio and on-line journalist. Among my early memories is following Sleepy Lizards (Shinglebacks) around the paddocks north of Adelaide, guarded by the faithful bull terrier. I have always been passionate about the natural world, trying to understand how it works, how the nature of Australia came to be, and sharing those understandings. My especial passions are birds, orchids and mammals. For much of my life I have been a full-time naturalist, running bush tours, writing books etc, doing consultancies, presenting a regular radio slot on local ABC, chairing a government environment advisory committee and running adult education classes. Recently I have eased back somewhat, but am still writing, teaching, doing some radio work and running overseas tours - as part of my fascination with our Gondwanan origins I've been running tours to South America for the past decade. I was awarded the Australian Plants Society Award in 2001 and the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006, both for services to education and conservation. In January 2018 I was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for 'service to conservation and the environment'.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Kosciuszko National Park #3; some inhabitants

This is the third - and last - of my postings based on our delightful weekend (last weekend) in Kosci, as it's affectionately known here. The high country in summer is rich in flowers and insects (birds are a bit limited, as there are easier pickings lower down), but we were a bit late to get the full benefit of that. Accordingly a couple of the pics below are from a working trip I did there a couple of years back. 

This will basically be just a gallery.
Hoary Sunrays Leucochrysum albicans above Lake Cootapatamba.
This daisy grows widely, including down around Canberra.
However more than twenty species of plants are found only in the park.
Brachycome obovata growing entirely in water. Cold feet!
Ribbony Grass Chionochloa frigida.This is primarily a New Zealand genus, with only a couple of species in Australia.

Alpine Gentians Gentianella muelleriana, above and below. One of the last of the summer flowers.
The lines are guides for pollinating insects.
Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina. Eyebrights were supposed to cure eye afflictions - Milton mentioned that, though he still went blind, poor man. They grow in association with root fungi, and can't be cultivated; another reason to go to the mountains in summer!
Alpine Mint-bush Prostanthera cuneata. A lovely shrub, but only a couple of flowers were left.
Snow Beard-heath Leucopogon montanus. Lower down it grows as a shrub, but up here it,
like many other species, lies as a mat on the ground to avoid the wind.
Grasshopper on Xerochrysum apiculatum. (Taken on an earlier trip.)
Bidgee-widgee Acaena novae-zelandiae. The purpose of the burry fruits
is obvious in the picture below. My boots are just substituting for a wombat's fur!

Metallic Green Damselfly Austrolestes cingulatus. (Also taken on the earlier trip; too cold for insects last week!)
Little Ravens Corvus mellori prowl the meadows (and the village!) searching mostly for insects.

Well that's it for today, and for this topic - for now anyway, we intend to be back there a bit earlier in the season next summer.

Speaking of summer, yesterday it officially ended here yesterday (we use the meteorological definition here) - and a cold wet miserable last day of summer it was too. Personally I regret its passing but every season has something for a naturalist.



Susan said...

I don't ever recall seeing Acaena in the wild. I thought it was native to NZ, but having looked it up I see there are Australian species too. Several species are quite popular garden plants in Europe, usually in parterre or other formal situations.

Ian Fraser said...

That's interesting. There are two very common local species, the scourge of walkers' socks. I had a healthy crop in a rockery near the back door in my previous garden, where I used to pick the burrs from boots after a mountain walk.