In addition to the swallowtails I had hopes of some other high country butterflies and Odonata, and in fact had passed quite a few dragonflies on the way up, on an open stretch of track in dry bush. On reaching the Moroka Road and heading towards the Pinnacles I kept an eye out, but only saw Cabbage Whites and Common Grass Blues on the wing. Leaving the Pinnacles car park I headed up the track seeing lots of flowering plants, white and gold everlastings, and the previously mentioned Pale Vanilla Lily.
Lots of Digger’s Speedwell too, Veronica perfoliata growing in niches between the rocks. The Speedwells had a name change to Derwentia but apparently they are now back to Veronica. The Digger’s is usually a deep blue, but this attractive plant was paler in flower and foliage.
It looked as though I’d missed out on the swallowtails, so I started back down again, still taking photos of the Painted Ladies, but then, flying strongly above my head, a Macleay’s Swallowtail! The larvae of this species feed on a variety of plants, but up in this location it is probably the Mountain Pepper, Drimys xerophila. I hoped that it would drop down to an everlasting to feed on nectar, but after tantalising me with several passes above, it disappeared down the slope. Such is life, just have to snap another Painted Lady…
Time to wander back towards home, but I stopped to take pictures of the damage done by four wheel drive hoons churning their way up on to a small meadow and out again. Absolutely disgusting behaviour, and I won’t disfigure this post by displaying photos, but you can see the damage here, and here. A stop at Little River revealed nothing in the way of Odonata, so it was on towards the lower country, where the track was extensively bordered by tall Chrysocephalum semipapposum, and nectaring on the flowers were, yes, more Painted Ladies, I suppose there’s no harm in taking more pictures.
And back down in the cleared country I was moved to stop and photograph this early settler’s house, that somehow has escaped the many fires that have swept through over the years. I wonder how many Christmases were celebrated under its roof.
Compliments of the Season to everyone.
Click to enlarge.