Monday, 14 May 2007

Hartz Peak - 14 May 2007

Mt Picton viewed across Hartz Lake - 14 May 2007Superb day for a bushwalk today, Hartz Peak being the target. Map here. Warm, sunny, gentle breezes. Bit marred by persistent smoke haze hanging in the valleys, and then later in the day at least 2 mushroom-clouds of "regeneration" burns in the Derwent Valley. I couldn't see any indication on the planned burns website that there were burns planned for today, but maybe I'm reading it wrong. There were good views anyway, with even Frenchmans Cap just visible to the northwest.
New visitor centre at Hartz Mountains - 14 May 2007The new visitor centre continues to come along. The boardwalks are being constructed, with P&WS rangers there today. They reckon it'll be finished by the end of the month, although they wanted it finished a while ago. It will allow wheelchair access to the shelter and the toilets.
Mountain Rocket, Bellendena montana, Hartz Mountains (near peak) - 14 May 2007The Mountain Rocket (Bellendena montana) makes an attractive plant high on Hartz Peak. These are just below the summit. The hanging red ovals are the fruit, the flowers are cream and appear in December-January. This plant is endemic to Tasmania. The plant has very distinctive leaves which can be identified easil even when there are neither flowers nor droopy red fruit.
Shrubby Cushion Plant, Dracophyllum minimum, Hartz Mountains - 14 May 2007I originally identified this one as the The Western cushion plant (Donatia novae-zelandiae) I now think this one is Dracophyllum minimum. These plants are very strong and hard-surfaced, and very well adapted to the freezing, wet, windy and exposed conditions high on Tasmanian mountains. The cushion is made up of very tightly packed branching leafy shoots, and are held together by interlacing roots.
Overall it was a top day. Got some promising shots of the mountains fading into the distance, but I need to do some work on them in the GIMP rather than the old version of PSP.

Nevada Peak and Snowy South from Hartz Mountains - 14 May 2007
Mt Weld and others from Hartz Mountains - 14 May 2007

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