Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Field work in Kosciuszko NP

This week a student and I are conducting field work in Kosciuszko National Park. We are searching for native daisies, especially billy buttons (genus Craspedia). This is the alpine area of New South Wales and really not the kind of landscape a European would first associate with Australia.

Some of the major peaks, with Mt Kosciuszko, the highest mountain of Australia, in the left half of the picture and the Snowy River in the right half. The mountain and consequently the national park are named after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a national hero of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and the USA (!) who, as one may guess, lived a very turbulent life. Read more about him here if interested.

The Snowy River up close. Not seen here: my feet cooling off in it after a walk from Charlottes Pass to Blue Lake and back.

Rainbow Lake in Perisher Valley, seemingly popular with hobby fishers. The flowers on the left part of the lake are water lilies Nymphoides montana (Menyanthaceae). Damn.

Prasophyllum alpestre (Orchidaceae) is currently in flower all over the place. Actually the first orchid shown on this blog. Maybe I should do more of them to bring in more readers, but I happen to find other groups more exciting...

Euphrasia collina, from the Rhinanthoideae. When I went to university, the hemiparasitic Rhinanthoideae were for some bizarre reason part of the (then) waste basket family Scrophulariaceae although one glance would have been enough to see that they were most closely related and much more similar to fully parasitic Orobanchaceae. The have since then been moved to that family.

Finally, one of the objects of our desire, a Craspedia jamesii (Asteraceae) near Charlottes Pass. Another post on this field trip may follow depending on how interesting tomorrow will turn out to be.

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