Sunday, 21 June 2009

June bushwalk

A cold, rainy week had me thinking that I would jam out on this month's bushwalk. When Friday dawned misty but dry, I took a chance that it would not rain on our parade. I'm glad I did, because it turned out to be a lovely day, and our walk took us through spectacular terrain.

We set off along the spine of Narrowneck, a long spur jutting out between the Jamison and Megalong Valleys. The first part of our trek was on a fire access road with dramatic rocks on one side and a drop into the Megalong on the other.

As we walked we could watch the mist slowly rising out of the valley.

At this time of year, red lichen on the rocks is particularly vivid:

Similar lichens clung to the trunks of shrubs like Banksia serrata

and Allocasuarina anemonifolius

As Narrowneck began to live up to its name, we left the fire trail and made our way to the edge of the escarpment. Mist still lay in the Jamison Valley below where this gnarled Banksia clung to the edge of the precipice.

We made our way along the top of the sheer cliffs through an eerie but beautiful landscape.

By lunchtime, the mist had begun to lift, revealing the grandeur of the Jamison Valley below,

and our hilltop town of Katoomba shining in the sun above.

In a shallow rockpool filled by the recent rain, we found a small white spider marshalling what appeared to be a clutch of purplish-pink eggs. Eucalyptus leaves and nuts had fallen into the pool and were lying on the bottom; the spider and her eggs were floating on the surface.

On the return journey we walked among flowering banksias, the Old Man Banksia B. serrata ,

and the smaller, needle-leaved B. marginata
It is always interesting to see the new green, gold or bronze flowerheads side by side with the brown cones of previous years.

Other plants on this exposed heathland included Isopogon anemonifolius, its leaves tinged pink by the winter weather,

and, in water seepage among the rocks, colonies of small, red, insect-eating sundews, Drosera spatulata

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