The annual guided Wildflower Walk began at the corner of 5th Avenue and O’Donohue Road with the 1.5km circuit taking us through the undulating coastal heathland and into a small gully before winding back to the starting point.
Prior to the walk Margaret, who was our guide, reminded us of the history of the O’Donohue heathland and the early battle to ensure that this unique heathland environment remained intact and saved from a planned housing and trourist development in the 1990’s.
Because of the unusually dry conditions over the past few weeks, we didn’t expect to see a great variety of flowering plants, and almost all the orchids had finished for the season. However there were still many flowers to admire.
The start of the walk took us through an impressive area where the Cypress Daisy-bush had been such a feature just a few weeks earlier.
As we walked further along the track most of the flowers that had been flowering so beautifully in early October were still present, although not in such large numbers. Bent Goodenias, Showy and Smooth Parrot-peas, Dwarf Bush Pea, Red-riding Hood Pea, Common Everlastings, Purple Flags and a profusion of white and pink flowering Tea-tree as well as many other species were observed and pointed out to the group.
It was an opportunity for people to renew acquaintance with many of the plants they already knew, whilst adding some new ones to their lists.
When we headed into the gully, the flora changed somewhat. Overhead trees, Anglesea Grey Gums and shrubs, Dusty Miller, Snowy Daisy Bush – while on the ground Maidenhair Fern and Ivy-leafed Violets grew in the shaded, damper environment.
Everyone seemed to very much enjoy the walk, to be able to observe the views across the coastline and be provided with so much information about the various forms of our local indigenous plants. The weather was cooler than the previous two very hot days, and fairly cloudy. In fact perfect conditions for strolling and observing the local flora.
Photos Ellen Doxey, Marg MacDonald