Monday, October 29, 2012

Tenterfield Camp, 19-21 October 2012

Although the weather was hot in Tenterfield whereas it had been snowing the week before, the Natters had a busy and enjoyable time. Genevieve had done a great job in organizing an interesting itinerary.
The lovely Glenrock Garden (Photo by Angela)
Most of us met at Glenrock Garden on the Friday afternoon and were bowled over with its beauty. Carolyn Robinson, the owner with her husband Peter, spoke to us about her passion for gardening, the difficulties in creating such a verdant oasis in a climate of extremes, and her successes and failures. The natters soon scattered throughout the garden and you'd come around a corner to see two or three people admiring the plants, relaxing on a well-placed bench, sitting beside a pool taking photographs or, inevitably, waving a net over the water.   

We spent all afternoon here, and then it was onto the Sir Henry Parkes Museum where we were fascinated by the great man's story and memorabilia.

We went to Torrington Conservation Area on Saturday. Although it was an hour from Tenterfield it was well worth the drive as it was carpeted with wildflowers.  

Wildflower carpet
Purplish Beard Orchid,
Calochilus robertsonii
Heath Myrtle, Calytrix tetragona
Heath Myrtle sepals which almost
look like flowers themselves

Lunch was enlivened by a surprise guest, a Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby. It was obviously unafraid of humans as it came very close to our group of 20 or so humans. Immediately lunch was discarded and cameras were clutched as everybody moved closer for a good photo. 

Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, Petrogale penicillata,
whose tail is unfortunately heavily camouflaged.
Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby - more info

Another Rock-wallaby was seen at the creek crossing near Blatherarm Camping Area 3.

That evening we all met for dinner at the Golf Club where Sarah Caldwell of Mole Station Native Nursery gave us an illustrated talk on plants of the area. 

Sunday started at Tenterfield Park, then out to Boonoo Boonoo National Park with a quick pause at the largest cork tree in Australia. We also stopped along route to meet up with Geoff Robertson who showed us some rare Club Moss. At Morgan's Gully, Platypus Pool, and Boonoo Boonoo Falls the damage caused by the floods in 2011 was very evident. 

In the two photos below you can see the difference between when we visited in 2010 and 2012. Mary Ann is sitting on a deck of which only a stump remains as seen at the bottom of the 2012 image. Also in the 2012 image centre distance you can see a large sand bank which wasn't there in 2010. The 3rd image shows the smashed vegetation on the right-hand side bank. Remember this is nearly two years later and there has been lush growth since then.

Platypus Pool 2010

Platypus Pool 2012.
Flood damage, Platypus Pool

There was more than enough to keep everyone happy and Ros found this interesting caterpillar on the boronia. Though the highlight of the day for me was the wonderful Dotted Sun Orchid, Thelymitra ioxioides.

Can anybody identify this?
I thought it might be the 

of a Satin Blue, Nesolycaena alboserica 
Another view of the caterpillar
(photo by Diane P.)
Dotted Sun Orchid, Thelymitra ioxioides
The species lists will be added in a couple of days.

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