Newsletter 022 July 1995

FRIENDS OF CHILTERN PARK INC
Convenor:E.Collins 057 261 484
Newsletter No. 22 July 1995

Dear Friends
Despite the early morning chill and mist a group of Friends turned out to lay another
Loo metres of walking track at the freeway stop. Almost one hundred millimetres of rain had fallen since the first part of the track was laid in June. We were pleased to see that the trackwork had only minor run-off problems which we hope to solve before next meeting. The shovellers, wheelers and rakers felt the effects of the rain in the weight of the gravel.
By 10.30 am morning tea was welcome, tea and Elephant’s Foot was eagerly consumed. If you would like to experience the delights of Elephant’s Foot just turn up to the next meeting. Mind you the toe is fought over!
The final seventy metres will be laid next meeting and it’s the easiest stretch being flat and close to the gravel heap.
Once again lunch at the freeway facility proved a winner. The barbecued food soon disappeared as we
enjoyed the warmth of the sun. Following lunch our walk took the form of helping Bruce and Bob to complete the nest log inspections. This was completed by 5pm just as the rain set in.
Around the park.
Orchid leaves and rosettes are abundant promising an interesting late winter and spring display. Wattle-birds, Little Lorikeets and many smaller honeyeaters are plentiful in the flowering Grey Box and Ironbark. No Friar-birds or Swift Parrots have been recorded for June,
Fungi, mosses and lichens are at their best in the moist, cool conditions. An interesting fungi which is plentiful this year is the Vegetable Caterpillar, Cordyceps gunnii. This fungus is found in areas of deep forest litter. It is especially interesting since it is parasitic. One host caterpillar of C. gunnhi is the larvae of the Swift Moth.
Briefly, the life cycle is as follows: The moths lay their eggs on vegetation or just drop them as they fly. When they hatch the larvae tunnel into the soil. The spores of the fungus are either swallowed by the larvae or they stick to its soft body, germinate and enter the skin by means of a slender tube. Inside the victim’s body the fungus multiplies until the whole body is filled with fungal threads {hyphae)which destroy the larvae leaving only the thin shell. When the Cordyceps has consumed the host body it develops its club shaped fruiting body. The fungi may reach a depth of 30cms in the soil, depending upon how deeply the host larvae had burrowed.


Information summarized from “Victorian Toadstools and Mushrooms” by J.Willis.
Dharnya excursion:
This was very successful. Thanks go to John Reeve for the organisation.

On the 17th of June a group of Friends went to Barmah State Park. We went on a few walks and looked at some big trees. It was wet underfoot in places. The camp area was great. There was a lot of space. There was a centre called Dharnya. It was full of aboriginal artifacts. There were weapons, stones, canoes and a lot of other things. On the way home we went to Ulupna Island and saw about 20 Koalas. It was fantastic. I had a great time and I’m sure everyone else did.
Thank you Mr Reeve.
Sally Walsh . .
Visit to Dharnya Centre and Barmah State Park
On Saturday 17 June, fifteen Friends and friends of Friends departed Corowa in perfect weather and
traveled to Barmah, After morning tea and a visit to “the smallest bottle shop in Australia” {maximum three Friends at a time, we proceeded to Dharnya and settled into the excellent accommodation.