5. Quiet Area Relax and take a well earned rest on the sawn off tree stump seats. Surrounding you are examples of the most common trees in the park Mugga lronbark, Red Stringybark and Red Box.
The Mugga Ironbark is the black tree with the deeply furrowed bark. The Red Stringybark is a grey tree with fibrous stringy bark. Grey Box has grey, fine and flaky bark and small branches.
The Mugga Ironbark and the Red Box have timber which is extremely rot resistant and tough. Their flowers provide nectar for insects and mammals with many migratory birds arriving in spring to feed on their blossoms
Mugga Ironbark generally flowers from May to October and is an important winter food source for honeyeaters, Swift Parrots, Lorikeets, Squirrel and Sugar Gliders.
6. White Box This stand of White Box provides the title to the walking track. White Box prefer soils on gentle slopes and plains and are distinguished by their blue green adult leaves and large whitish buds and fruit. They flower from January to June.
Look for the small rock ferns found growing at the base of rocky outcrops and in gullies. Their fronds are hairless and broadly triangular, new growth can be seen in early winter or spring.When you meet the gravel road turn left and follow this road along for about 100 metres. Look for the White Box Walk sign which is on the right hand side of the road. 7. Hill View You have now reached the highest point of the walking track (340 metres). As you descend the spur look out for the shy Swamp Wallaby, distinguished by its very dark fur and pale-striped cheeks. It feeds on small shrubs, ferns and grasses. Also look for the familiar termite mounds near the track. Termites are often incorrectly called white ants. They are in fact totally unrelated to ants.
Termites do have a similar social structure to ants with a queen, workers and soldiers, and may also live in underground tunnels or in trees. Termite colonies such as the mounds you see here can be long lived, exceeding 50 years of age. Natural predators of the termites include echidnas, marsupial mice, phascogales, lizards and frogs.
In the warmer months you might see the Lace Monitor commonly called the tree goanna. A predator of nesting birds, it eats eggs, lizards, rabbits and carrion. Goannas are the only native lizards with deeply forked tongues.8. Erosion Early mining was particularly destructive on the environment, causing in later years large erosion problems. In this area the forest has repaired itself to some extent however the scars on the creek walls are still present.
Can you find any Varnish Wattle growing beside the track? This wattle has thin, flat, green leaves and the foliage is often shiny and sticky as if sprayed with varnish.
Some of the trees in this area have a black fungal growth appearing on one side of the trunk. Its possible this may be caused by the dampness of the area and the slowness to dry out on the sheltered side.The track rejoins Ballarat Road. Cross over Ballarat Road and continue. 9. Grass-Trees Austral Grass Trees were probably once more common in this area, many of the larger specimens being destroyed as a result of widespread mining activity.
Members of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family, Grass Trees produce a mass of cream white flowers on a stout spike up to three metres tall. The number of spikes produced is greatly increased by bushfire, although some plants are also killed by fire. Up to 7000 seeds can be produced at any one time by a flowering stem.
The flower spike can grow at a rate of 2.5 centimetres a day whilst the base takes an estimated 100 years to reach a height 1.3 metres. Grass Trees provide excellent habitat for many small, native animals, with shade and protection provided by the grass skirt.
During spring and summer wildflowers proliferate throughout this area. Everlastings, grevilleas, pea flowers and orchids are common and provide a colourful display.
About 100 metres further on you will join the All Nations Road. Turn left and follow the road south west for 200 metres until it links up again with the walking track on your right hand side. I0. Hybrids Examine some of the trees in the area and you will notice they are a mixture of more than one species. Occasionally Mugga Ironbark and the box species produce hybrids. Look back along the track at the large blackish tree on the left hand side. This is a good example of a hybrid.
If you continue along the track it will take you back to Honeyeater Picnic Area and Cyanide Dam where you will find more information on the board.
We hope you have enjoyed this nature walk.
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