Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Irongate & Linthorpe Reserves 7 February 2010
Not too many people turned up at Neil Street carpark. However eight members and two visitors were willing to face the weather. Neil had the foresight to phone Sue Gordon at Gordon Country, Goomburra. She thought it was unadvisable to visit Goomburra with the heavy rain they’d had overnight and the possibility of more. Trish Gardner had the foresight to think of a different venue which was the little environmental reserves in the Mt Tyson area, Irongate and Linthorpe. So we piled into three cars and headed off.
Morning tea at Irongate.
The weather was dry and got better the further west we travelled. The countryside looked lush and green as we drove through the rolling downs of the Mt Tyson/Irongate area and we agreed we hadn’t seen it looking so good for a long time. First stop was morning tea at the picnic table at Irongate. As we munched we heard birds every-where; thornbills in the tree beside us, silvereyes in the bushes, finches in the long grass, butcherbirds calling from the high branches. Butterflies were flittering all around as well which had Trish Allen leafing through her field guide.

It was a brilliant walk through the reserve. Trish Gardiner has an awesome wealth of knowledge on the plants of the area and she kept us well entertained with her facts and hints on the different species. It was very warm in the sun and we appreciated the cooling shade of the Belahs, Casuarina cristate and the Mountain Collibahs, Eucalyptus orgadophila. As the path meandered through three different vegetation types there was plenty to keep us occupied. If it wasn’t the Stiff Jasmine in flower with its sweet perfume, it was identifying the Saltbush Blue butterfly Theclinesthes serpentata with its lacy underwings.
A botany lesson from Trish G.
After a lovely morning rambling through this remnant Brigalow-Belah Scrub, we set off for the Linthorpe Reserve and lunch, with a slight detour to Irongate Hall to see and read about the history of the original iron gate. Linthorpe is a small reserve being a narrow strip of land between Linthorpe Road and Linthorpe Creek.

We had lunch under a massive eucalypt then went for a walk to look for the Flame Pea, Tephrosia bidwillii and Bitterbush, Adriana urticoides. Both of which we found. Part way through our walk a very light rain started to fall and we turned for the cars. It just goes to show no matter the weather Toowoomba Field Nats always have a great day out. I even got sunburnt!!
Helen, prepared for everything.
Trish Gardner has a marvellous blog about native plants of the Toowoomba region. Use this link to go to the one about the Bitterbush:

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