Day 5

Today I walked up to the top of Mount Gingera which is 1800m in elevation. We found lots of amazing plants and the view from the top was stunning!

 

This morning I went out with the plant team, Alexis from the Botanic Gardens and Cass from EarthWatch. On our two hour drive to get to the field site, we spoke about the types of vascular plants we were hoping to find. There was a long list of grasses, which are really hard for amateurs to find, and a few different flowing plants. Cass and I were given photos of a few daisies and ground covering flowering plants, and told to keep an eye out for them! This is much harder than it sounds! During the long walk up the 1800m, we walked with our heads down, checking out every single plant we walked past. Alexis managed to find one of the ground covering species on the way up the mountain, in amongst the native grasses, which had tiny little red flowers that occurred in pairs.

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Once we reached the summit, after taking lots of photos of the glorious view and trying to not be blown off the mountain, we started the search for the illusive daisy with the short, thin, spiky leaves between the rocks. After searching for an hour, we decided that we were too high for the daisy. The lichen team had much more luck, finding an impressive diversity of lichens on the rocks.

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We made the decision to head back down the mountain and make for the Snowy Flats fen bog. The swampy bog was fun to walk across, the creek ran beneath the grasses and every step felt like it was floating on a grass island. I definitely wore my gaiters for this one as it is prime snake country! We managed to find two more of our target species on the swamp, a small, plain-looking, green flowering plant, and a ground covering small leaved white flowering plant. We checked every single bush that had a white flower on it, in the hope that it would be one of the more rare species on our list, but we had no luck- we found three types but the leaves were too spiky or too heart shaped or too long! 


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