It was a cool, showery, winter morning when nine of our members gathered at the Distillery Creek Picnic Ground for a walk in the Ironbark Gorge area of the Great Otway National Park.
The walk had been scheduled as a fungi walk, but with the recent dry and windy weather John Lenagan, who was leader for the group, was a little apprehensive that we would find many fungi specimens. However he was enthusiastic that he could show us a variety of interesting mosses and lichens. The showers had disappeared and we set off keenly on our walk. It wasn’t far along the track when fungi were found in the damper areas often at the base of the trees. The Angair Fungi guide helped us with some of the identification.
These are just a few of the beautiful specimens that we were able to admire. John shared his knowledge about why they were growing just where we found them.
Fairy Stool Coltricia cinnamomea – Coltricia australica
Red Brittlegill Russel persanguinea
Yellow Club Clavaria amoeba
Belly Buttons Lichenomphalia chromacea
But it was a new world of mosses and lichens that John introduced us to. It was exciting but very challenging. He kindly identified them for us.
John leading us along the mossy carpet track of cleaner moss
He was able to show us the different species as we walked along.
The lichens were just so fascinating. We wished we had photographic memories that we would be able to recall the various species. John was able to tell us just so much about them.
Rock Greenshield Lichen Flavoparmelia baltimorensis
Lichen – Hypogymnia pulverata
Gold Dust Lichen Chrysothrix candelaris
Lichen Usnea scabrida
Lichen Usnea oncodes
And yes we did also find some orchids along the track.
Paul found two Dwarf Greenhoods Pterostylis nana on the side of the track
Tall Greenhoods Pterostylis melagramma growing on the top of a mossy rock
It was certainly a very pleasant way to spend a wintry morning and we thank John so much for sharing his knowledge with us. Hopefully we’ll be able to explore this area with him again and find out more about these exciting kingdoms.
Photos by Margaret MacDonald and John Lenagan
Identification John Lenagan