Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Myrtle Beach and Flat Rock Island Headland

Myrtle Beach is a fairly secluded beach in Murramarang national park, north of Batemans Bay. You need to walk in from the car park - about 500 m.

Below: Stunted spotted gums, grown into this unusual shape because of lack of soil nutrients.

Below: Myrtle Beach from the headland walk. Clothes optional, unless there is a complaint, in which case a patrol comes around and you have to get clad for a while.

Below: Myrtle Beach is reached by this set of stairs. Making the effort reaps great rewards - it's a lovely beach for a swim.

Photos taken 11 Jan 2009

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Some Birds

Sooty Oystercatcher
South Rosedale
These birds with the striking red bill are found around Australian coasts, usually no more than 50 m from the ocean. They are vulnerable to habitat destruction. They feed on molluscs, crustaceans, marine worms, starfish, sea urchins, small fish, and drink sea water.

I saw this bird between about 6:40 and 6:45 am on 29 Dec 2008.

Boatshed Beach
I have no idea what type of cormorant this was, drying its wings on the rocks off the headland at the northern end of Boatshed Beach around 2:40 pm on 9 January 2009.

King Parrot
Often seen in small groups, and sometimes with rosella, these King Parrots were in a small tree near the house. We get lots of great birds around the house, including the magpies and kookooburras I have shown before.
5:35pm, 09 January 2009.

Gang-Gang Cockatoo
New Years Day,

Gang gang cockatoo seen in the car park mound plantings, 7:57 am, New Years Day 2007

10 April 2007

Kookaburra sits on the old clothes li-ine
Merry Merry King of the yard is he--ee
Laugh! Kookaburra, laugh!
Kookaburra gay your life must be.

He let me get closer and closer, checked me out, and stayed stock still.

Far nicer to know than the rats in the roof we have been battling this week. They come out to play in the evening, and party all night. Hopefully the poison has got them.

12 April 2007

These magpies, with young ones, came to pay a visit on 28 December 2006
I wonder if they were the same birds who visited at Easter? :

Monday, 19 January 2009

Dark Beach, Murramarang National Park

This beach, about 275 kilometres south of Sydney, and near where we go for our summer holidays, is significant for its geology.

It is here that the lip of the sandstone Sydney Basin reaches the surface at its southern most end.

The strata of the Sydney Basin, seen at the northen end of the beach, were laid down in the Permian (300-250 million years ago) and Triassic (250 - 205 million years ago) eras. They formed a saucer shape and lay in shallow water. They were lifted up out of the sea bed midway through the Triassic.The sandstone at this beach is the oldest part of the Sydney Basin, where the base rocks curve up and emerge. This is exposed in the magnificent cliff at the northern edge of the beach. To get to the sandy beach you have to climb over the sharp dark rock formation, which we didn't do.

On the southern end of the beach are rocks of the much older Wagonga formation (Ordovician - 500 to 450 million years ago). This junction is known as an Unconformity, where adjoining rocks are separated in age by 200 million years.

The beach derives its name from the dark pebbles on the southern end of the beach.

Below: Looking south

Below: Looking north towards the sandstone cliff and beach

Below: Layers of sandstone at the northern end.

Below: The sandstone cliff and white sandy beach

Below: G'day!

Below: Conglomerates at the southern end of the beach

Below: Pebble beaches are great for rock throwing Below: The southern end

Below: Walking south

Below: trees on the headland above the beach

Photos taken 11 January 2009

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Home Improvements

We spent a fair amount of the 17 days we were at the house painting its exterior. We started with the door and window frames at the back, that lead to the eaves under the verandah roof, and that meant the walls needed doing. The posts were done two years ago.

Posts and front and back doors: Mission Brown
Frames and eaves: Clourbond classic cream (British Paints)
Walls: Warm neutral (Dulux)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Burrawang Palms and Spotted Gums

Above: Spotted gums at North Rosedale
Above and Below: Burrawangs and Spotted Gums on the track near Tranquil Bay

Burrawang 'Palms' (Macrozamia communis) are not palms at all. They are cycads. The female plant produces large cones which look like upright green pineapples. The seeds are highly toxic if eaten untreated. Aboriginal people pounded and soaked the seeds in water for a week, changing the water daily. The pulp was then made into cakes and roasted over hot embers.
In the local language of the area (Dharug) they are known as bung-gou, ib-bur : 'nut' (Gott 1995 -

Spotted Gums (corymbia maculata aka Eucalyptus maculata) thrive in the shallow slate and shale soils of the south coast. It's a durable hardwood, much used in flooring and furniture.
One of the delights of the south coast is walking through forests like this, with plentiful burrawangs at lower levels, and a canopy of spotted gums.

Contrast those tall, straight spotted gums with these below. These too are spotted gums, but are on the Flat Rock Island Headland track, near Myrtle Beach in Murramarang National Park. These have grown into gorgeous shapes because of a lack of soil nutrients.

Winter afternoon, Moruya River