Friday, September 7, 2012

Kangaroo Valley: Three Views Hike

After getting our fill of kangaroos and wombats (well, I don't know if I got my "fill," but I checked them off my list of Australian stuff to see), we went on a "walkabout" (or maybe just a hike) in Kangaroo Valley.  We did the Three Views Trail to the Shoalhaven River view, which was quite lovely, passing through open woodland and sandstone heath vegetation.  Lots of sun, sand, eucalyptus and scruffy vegetation.  Not so much fauna- a couple of birds and one small snake, but a ton of cool wildflowers.


 Many of the wildflowers we saw seem to be endemic to Australia, which is pretty cool...  this pink one below I think may be a variety of boronia:


I think the yellow and brown guys below are brown pea flowers, which I thought looked like teeny tiny orchids: 


This periwinkle dude is called a "sun orchid," I believe:

 

Glad we wore hats, as much of the hike was unshaded on these scruffy plains, as you can see from the photos below.  As Adam told us, the rule for Australian kids is "no hat, no play" because the sun is so strong and the UV rays so potent due to the hole in the ozone layer covering southern Australia.  You definitely feel crispy after even a brief time out in the Aussie sun.


Not sure what these cones and little buds are below... anyone better at plant identification than me?  Anyone?  Anyone? Bueller?


I think these red guys are maybe Grevillea?:


The two photos below are, I think, scribbly gum eucalyptus.  Apparently the scribbles on the bark are caused by the larvae of the scribbly gum moth:


This light pink, 5-petaled flower is Eriostemon, I believe:


The view from the top was quite pretty.  You can see the Tallowa Dam and Lake Yarrunga as well as the Shoalhaven River:


On the other side, the view is of the Shoalhaven River gorge and Ettrema Wilderness Area:


Here, in these photos below, you can see Tim and I try and fail to take successful self-portraits using a number of different methods... I blame it on the blustery wind and treacherous rocks... it was so windy I was worried that the camera would blow off the clifftop:


It's hard to tell how windy it was, but you can see that all of the clifftop plants are windblown to the right:


These weird pine-coney looking this are the "fruit" of the Banksia tree, I believe, that have gone old and brown:


I think the pink flower below on the left may be the Mountain Devil, just blooming, and the pea pod looking things on the right I haven't figured out yet.


I think the bottle-brush shaped flower at the bottom is also a type of Banksia, and the white curly flowers layered between spikes are the hakea sericea/silky hakea/needle bush



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