Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy (wet) Australia Day

We have been getting a lot of rain down here at the Gold Coast lately, and for a while I thought that Australia Day would be entirely rained off...however there was just enough sunshine to entice people (like me) to go out for a walk...and even a swim...Drove up Currumbin far as the creek would permit...

Some amazing flows going over the rock ledges, cliffs and boulders...too rough for me to swim although there were some hardly individuals who were in the creek (in slower moving areas!)

Some beautiful fungi and lichens emerging out of the wet weather...

Mycena sp

Trametes sp

Metallic turquoise lichen

Trametes sp

Mycena minya

Mycena sp becoming someones lunch

The forest enveloped in cloud...

Driving back out of the valley the temptation to swim became too great, so with more than a little trepidation I flopped into the swimming hole where some agile teenagers were having so much fun...

Despite looking more like something Greenpeace should roll back into the surf I did have a great time and for the first time in a long time relaxed and enjoyed the thrill of the moment.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

O'Reillys Lamington National Park - A walk along two tracks

I have been to O'Reillys a couple of times now, but like so many of the beautiful places I am lucky enough to experience there seems to be an endless source of new sight and sounds to be a part of.

On this trip I was shown a very special spot The Wishing Tree -

- quite close to the Guesthouse, walked from there to the edge of Morans Falls, then walked to Python Rock lookout.

Although it is a windy road to get to O'Reillys, it really is a very very special part of the Gold Coast hinterland.There were lots of visitors filling the car park to over flowing..

The walk to the wishing tree included many fungal distractions...despite their attractive show these orange ping pong bats (Favolaschia calocera) are in fact an exotic species which is pushing out some of the native fungi..something of a potential problem which may reduce diversity and have undesirable knock on effects.

I almost take the Golden curtain (Stereum ostrea) for granted these days so often do you encounter its splash of golden colour on the forest floor.

There were also some lovely Ganoderma sp;

and what looked a lot like Polyporus badius;

I know...enough with the fungi show us some pics of the forest the trees and the falls...OK... I think that many of the woodland/forest paths were constructed in the 1930's, and can only imagine just how living and working in this environment must have enriched the lives of the O'Reillys. It is still magical.

In some places the path passes through the centre of hollow buttressed trees

- and at the end of this fairy pathway...the wishing tree (hard to photograph due to its size) here is the base through which the paths passes.

Then onto the dramatic vistas of Morans Falls and the gorge -

By the time the sun was going down the car park was almost entirely empty.

Stopped on the drive out to investigate a stump by the road which was supporting a very large number of fruiting bodies of what may well have been the Ghost fungus (Omphalotus nidiformis).