Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Trip to Lake Broadwater

At an hour and a half from Toowoomba, Lake Broadwater is a favourite place for my husband and me. It’s an easy day out for when we want one on the spur of the moment, as we did last weekend.
It was windy, but the Wilga Campground is a pleasantly sheltered spot, as is the walk between is and the lake, where many of the plants have been labelled for our enjoyment.

The wilgas (Geijera parviflora) are seeding prolifically, and some of them are just beginning to put out their new spring flowers.

I inspected the belahs (Casuarina cristata)for flowers, Mick, but failed to find any. We walked across the lake, then back around through the bulloak (Allocasuarina leuhmanii) woods, but there were no flowers on them, except for those of the needle-leaf mistletoe Amyema cambagei, which is common there and flowering madly.

I was surprised to find a red olive-plum (Elaeodendron australe see Archive article, March), growing on one of the bits where the sandstone substrate comes to the surface. I think of it as a basalt soil plant, but there it was, full of fruit. (Strictly speaking, Lake Broadwater doesn’t belong on this subject-specific blogsite. The soil on the other side of the Condamine has a basalt component, but is better described as “mixed alluvial” as it has a sandy component from its underlying sandstone.)

The bird hide has been repaired by the Dalby Lions, so can be used again, we were delighted to discover. They have also cut back the closer trees which has improved the view. Unfortunately there wasn’t much birdlife to be seen from it though, and I don’t suppose there will be until water fills the lagoon again.
The lake is completely dry at the moment, and covered with a sparse carpet of vegetation. There’s not much of it, but it must be delicious, as a great many kangaroos thought it was worth grazing out there, late in the day. (Double click to see them.)


Mick said...

Elaeodendron australe appear to be quite common around Lake Broadwater. The roadside vegetation on the highway just before the Broadwater turn is quite thick with them. Other than belah and poplar box they are about the most common species. There are also quite a few other scrub things like canthiums, pittosporums and atalaya hemiglauca. A secret (but very obvious if you are looking) treasure a bit further west are the masses of owenia acidula. They are mostly on the south side of the road just past the Tara turn. On the eastern side of Bitumen Hill for those familiar with the history area.

Patricia Gardner said...

So they are. How can I have missed them? Actually, the roadside vegetation is as rich as(possible richer than)the vegetation in the reserve, particularly with regard to dry rainforest species. I think it is helped by the road runoff, which often causes roadside vegetation to be better than that of the surrounds.