|Going down - 600 metres from top to bottom. I'm not a great fan of heights, but this one's worth it.|
|Headwaters of the Snowy River.|
|Massed Silver Snow Daisies Celmisia sp., above and below.|
|Flowers in front of the Ramshead Range.|
|Alpine Sunrays Leucochrysum alpinum.This has recently been raised from a subspecies of L. albicans.|
|Silver Ewartia Ewartia nubigena.Named for Alfred Ewart, Australia's first Professor of Botany as a stand-alone position, |
appointed to Melbourne University in 1905.
|Cascade Everlasting Ozothamnus secundiflorus.|
|Dusty Daisy-bush Olearia phlogopappa.|
|Candle Heath Richea continentis, above and below, form massed prickly colonies in swampy ground.|
|Snow Beard-Heath Leucopogon montanus grows as an erect shrub lower down the mountain,|
but above the tree-line it lies flat to the ground or sprawls over rocks.
This mat form is typical of many species in these harsh wind-swept environment.
|Alpine Stackhousia Stackhousia alpina.|
|Sky Lily Herporlirion novae-zelandiae.Of course one shouldn't have favourites, but I can't help it in the case of this delightful ground-hugging |
blue-tinged lily, found, as the name suggests, in New Zealand as well as Australian mountains.
|Mountain Celery Aciphylla glacialis.Surely one of the most spectacular members of Apiaceae, the celery and carrot family.|
|Purple Eyebrights Euphrasia collina.|
Euphrasia means 'delighting', and it always works for me!
|Alpine Mintbush Prostanthera cuneata.A beautiful aromatic shrub which grows close to the rocks, allowing it stand upright.|
|Alpine Rice-flower Pimelea alpina, a tiny herb.|
|Bitter-cress Cardamine sp.|
|Alpine Water-Fern Blechnum penna-marina.I'm always surprised to see ferns growing in a situation where they spend weeks of every year |
buried in snow, but these are hardy, and grow among the rocks which provide a heat sink.
|Yellow Kunzea Kunzea muelleri.This low-growing shrub can dominate vast areas of hillside - see below.|
|Alpine Orites is in the Family Proteaceae, not well-represented at these elevations.|
|Its always seemed a mystery to me that Snow Gums (above and below) are called |
Eucalyptus pauciflora - 'sparse-flowering'!
Clearly not named by someone who knew the tree.
|The Alpine Spotted Grasshopper Monistria concinna is regularly found feeding on the mintbush,|
despite its aromatic supposedly insect-repelling foliage.
|Spotted Alpine Xenica Oreixenica orichora;|
thanks for the i.d. Suzi!
|And it wasn't until I looked at the moth photo more closely that I noticed|
this tiny flower spider lurking with intent.
|Australasian Pipits Anthus novaeseelandiae work across the ground taking insects from foliage.|
|Little Raven Corvus mellori enjoying the last light of day in a Snow Gum.|
As well as gleaning the mountain insects, they have adapted well to human habitation.
|This little fish is also found at lower altitudes, in waters too warm for the trout.|
Meantime, I hope that Christmas, if it has significance for you, is a time of happiness and peace - and that you can get out and enjoy nature wherever you are.
|Old Snow Gum, Charlottes Pass, with Main Range behind.|