A wonderful plant identification session was held at Else-Mitchell Park on a sunny Sunday morning after the wild winds of preceding days relented.
Almost 20 people from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society Plant Study Group and local bushcare groups came together to update and extend the existing park plant list and learn about the plants of the park.
Led by Margaret, with her amazing knowledge of the site and the intricate nature of plant ID, the two groups shared their treasury of knowledge.
The morning provided an opportunity for informed discussions and led to a deeper understanding of the park and its native and introduced plant life. A Tawny Frogmouth was an extra bonus.
Thanks to all those who attended, particularly the members of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society Plant Study Group.
The local community gathered for a wonderful morning of tree planting and bushcare on 17 August at Else-Mitchell Reserve.
Reserve neighbours – young and not-so-young – and bushcare volunteers joined forces to plant a number of Eucalyptus deanei (Mountain Blue Gum) saplings, grown from seeds by Mike.
After an introduction from council officer Karen, Mike and Malcolm gave a short history of the Reserve and the twists and turns needed over the years to ensure that the Park is maintained and continues to be of such value to the community.
Some of the long-term neighbours added to the history with their own memories from over the decades. Such as the time the area was called “Steam Roller Park”, until the steam roller burnt down.
After the trees were planted, the group was rewarded with a generous morning tea full of tasty treats. Many thanks to all those who participated in bringing new life to Else-Mitchell Reserve.
A great work session expanded the revegetation area on the south slope with new plantings. Under Karen’s expert direction, the team dug holes and planted Pittosporum revolutum, Indigofera australis and one Bursaria spinosa.
Of course, the weeding can’t be ignored, and more progress was made on clearing out the Trad around the creek bed.
Welcome to Chloe and Carol for their first session, and thanks to park neighbours Rhiannon and Daniel and family for providing a fantastic morning tea. A pair of White-headed Pigeons looked on approvingly.
Our resident fungi expert Liz Kabanoff has spotted quite a few examples of beautiful fungi coming up at Else Mitchell this month.
Gymnopilus junonius was seen growing in clusters on buried wood.
Russulas are ectomycorrhizal fungi. They are a food source for native slugs and snails. Russula viridis, the green russula, was a bit dried out when observed. All were growing in soil under Allocasuarina.
Oudemansiella gigaspora, a tall, elegant mushroom with a brown cap that is slimy when wet, was growing in soil but apparently attached to underground wood. Six specimens observed.
Strobilomyces is a genus of bolete mushrooms (mushrooms with pores on the undersurface, rather than gills). Boletellus and Strobilomyces are both boletes (spongy porous undersurface).
Amanita xanthocephala forms ectomycorrhizal relationships with Eucalyptus. The specimens pictured were growing under Eucalyptus deani. 5 specimens were found. Amanita punctata was growing in soil in the woodland area among native grasses, Eucalyptus deani, Angophora, Allocasuarina. Three specimens were found.
Coral fungus, greyish-brown, was seen growing under Angophora costata and Allocasuarina torulosa.
The bioluminescent ghost fungus Omphalotus nidiformis, was observed growing on a tree stump.
Liz was able to capture some great photos of the reserve’s smaller residents. These included the Pleasing Fungus Beetle, which “because of their cryptic habits they are rarely seen except by the dedicated mushroom hunter and entomologists.” (University of Florida)
Pleasing Fungus Beetle Seed bug nymphs Family Lygaeidae
A November storm delivered a heavy downpour after several dry months. The torrents had the usual effect of washing away a few of the planks from the footbridge, and showing the power of water on the landscape.