Thursday 8 August 2019
Photos by Rodney
Though brisk breezes were caressing us with chilly strokes, we set off to enjoy the forest on the way to view arms of the little-known Meroo Lake. This small water body near Termeil is typical of many “occasional” estuaries which only open to the sea after heavy rain.
Not so typical is the forest, which in this area is the southern extent of Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), and in large specimens is a very valuable timber. The regrowth forest we walked through had been logged several times in the past, but was now populated with abundant small Turpentine, reigned over by majestic large Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata).
Many of these larger trees had significant crown damage, indicating that they suffered by exposure to high winds from lack of similar sized companions. Bracket fungi on parts of their trunks also indicated water intrusion causing internal rot.
Soon we settled for our morning tea on some logs by the north arm of the lake, where the wind ruffled the surface, giving the usual mesmerising effect of moving water. Having satisfied various cravings, we began the return, this time on a different track, which also led us through impressive forest featuring large specimens of Woolly Butt (Euc. longifolia) and Grey Gum (Euc. punctata), also known as “monkey gum” for its attraction to koalas. Grey Gum are notable for the yellow stripes of newly exposed bark.
On return to the cars, we gathered to thank our leaders Stan and Mary and for remarks on the walk. Mary said she had decided that this should be known as the “Tree of Big Walks”. We applauded her novel description.