Monday, 26 September 2016

In flood or drought, the ferns are here to stay

Much of eastern Australia is having a fairly wet spring this year, and the plant life seems to be thriving as a result!

Last week, I drove out to a tiny bushland reserve in the Ipswich suburb of Woodend to scout out some particular plants, namely ferns.

The reserve is accessed by a pathway that begins near the corner of Macrae and Ladley Street, and appears on Google Maps as Smith Park.

It protects a small gully that feeds into the Bremer River nearby.

I found two interesting ferns here, each adapted to a specific microhabitat within the reserve.

Mulga ferns, INSET: spores on frond underside, Woodend.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Minibeasts on the prowl in Lockyer Creek

Aquatic minibeasts fascinate me, ever since a wonderful book opened my eyes to their diversity and significance.

On Wednesday, I found a couple of rather strange minibeasts in Lockyer Creek, at a little rest area next to the Warrego Highway near Helidon.

The first was a creature with predatory-looking jaws and long tail projections that made me wonder if it was a type of stonefly (Plectoptera order) larva.

Beetle larva, Helidon.