Friday 27 June 2014

Nature Notebook: June

We've had some good nature walks this month and also a visit to the Blue Mountains. The last time we went The Three Sisters were obscured by a thick mist so our youngest missed out on seeing them but this time we had a great view and just as we were about to leave the mist rolled in to hide them again.

 The Three Sisters, Katoomba, NSW

Gum Tree

This week we used challenge # 42 on the HONS blog and went looking for the three main types of lichen.

1) Crustose (crusty)

2) Foliose (leafy)

Foliose Lichen Growing with Moss on a Rock

3) Fruticose (shrubby) - which unfortunately we didn't see at all.

Barb has links to websites on the page I linked above. Some others we used are:

This Natural History Museum in the UK has a video explaining what lichens can tell us about pollution in our local environment. Apparently many lichens are sensitive to pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and are used by scientists as 'pollution indicators' as they monitor changes in the patterns of air quality.

Lichens and people - ways in which lichens have been used...stuffing mummies, curing baldness, the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics amongst other things.

                                                             Fungi on a bed of moss

We spent about an hour and a half exploring some of our local bush tracks this morning. It's a lovely time of year to go wandering through the bush - the weather is nippy and the snakes are hibernating. There's only the leeches to contend with and the occasional dog we seem to attract. A very friendly one joined us at the park and accompanied us through the bush. We couldn't get rid of him and ended up re-tracing our steps to get back to where he originally met us after a good hour of his company.

A Track Through the Ferns

A Local Fire Trail


Jen said...

So beautiful. I love Australia (we passed through multiple times in the 10 years we lived in PNG, and all three of our children were born in Cairns.)

Carol said...

We used to live about 40 mins away from where we are now and it was a totally different landscape. Cairns is lovely except in the wet season. You've chosen the steamiest places to live, Jen!

Jen said...

I know...I'm not sure I'd know what to do with myself if we actually lived somewhere where it got cold. :P Truth be told I'd love to have 4 distinct seasons. Someday. :)

Celeste said...

Wow, beautiful photos. I especially love the lichen ones, as we did some lichen studying this past year. And that top photo is just breathtaking!

Carol said...

Read your post on lichens, Celeste. So much variety and colours; lovely.

Barb said...

What a great account of your adventures! I really enjoy seeing your different landscape and seeing similar lichens. Thank you so much for sharing your entry with the OHC Blog Carnival.

Shirley-Ann said...

What a lovely entry. It's so nice to see your landscape, so different to ours here in England. I loved the lichens and people facts - I did not know any of that!

Karen @ Simply said...

How cool is that gum tree?! Look at those roots! And the picture of The Three Sisters is absolutely beautiful!

Silvia said...