Monday, March 1, 2010

Kosciuszko National Park - A "Closer" Look At Day One

After the fantastic, but bird-less, days in Ben boyd National Park I can nearly feel how my readers are lusting for a few good bird stories :-D I have to be honest straight away and say that the alpine part of Kosciuszko National Park delivered exceptionally few birds, of which most where Australian Pipets. However, when you go to a habitat so dramatically different you are going to see new and exciting stuff and we had unknowingly picked the absolutely perfect time of year for a magnificent display of wildflowers galore!

Overlooking the landscape you straight away know that a place like that is not going to sustain much wildlife. Nowhere to hide and nothing eat! It is not entirely true, the alpine region is home to a few types of birds and one type of marsupial, the critically endangered Mountain Pygmy-possum, however, it sleeps 7 months a year :-) The lack of larger wildlife means that smaller creatures can roam - and hence a fantastic symbiosis between insects and wildflowers can blossom!

First time ever during day light hours I actually realized that the 150mm macro was the choice of the day rather than logging around the Bigma. There were simply too much exciting small stuff that needed to be digitalized and little G. was handling the point and shoot just fine, producing most of the landscape shots you saw in the previous blog post.

Once again, I have to admit that I do not have the appropriate knowledge or literature to give a thorough and convincing description of what species we actually managed to see. However, with some help from the internet in combination with a bit of guessing I should be able to name at least a few of the flowers in this blog post. Starting out, I am quite confident in naming the large orange pom-pom in the first picture as a Billy Button or Craspedia.

The orchid in picture three looks very much like one of the Leek Orchids, Prasophyllum sp., after a bit of searching around trying to determine more accurately which one, I realized that apparently there are 126 species so I will leave that task till later ;-) .. Actually just as I had given up after looking at all the well-known(?) Prasophyllums I found the best fit so far: Mauve Leek-Orchid, Prasophyllum alpestre - still all suggestions are welcome.

The strange looking flower below seems to fit the description of a bidgee widgee Acaena novae-zelandiae. According to a comment I found on the internet, this flower is quite famous in Australia (guess that must be in the flower community?) as the first weed Australia managed to export to the rest of the world - pay back time!! :-D

The Royal Bluebells in the picture below is indeed the flower chosen for the Floral Emblem of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). There you go! :-)

All this flower stuff is quite interesting if you have a bit of time to kill and the internet is a fantastic resource. While searching around I found this google book, which at least title wise seems to be spot on. Probably a task I will leave to later as well, but please let me know if it is good. :-)

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