What was the highlight of the ANN Get-together in Hobart. After much thought and going through my diary and photos I decided that the colour ORANGE presented some amazing results.
The Fairy Lanterns (Thismia rodwayi) which is a very small herb with bright orange flowers that are likened to tiny fairy lanterns on the forest floor. They are incapable of photosynthesis but take their energy from fungus and can be found covered in leaf litter in very isolated areas. The roots are wormlike. On our forest walks several people tried to find these elusive plants but failed. Just as well we had a sample in an ice cream container.
In the Styx Forest there were orange berry-like fungi hanging from the trees, ground mushrooms and orange fungi attached too dead decaying tree branches on the forest floor.
Adventure Bay, Bruny Island on the rocks out near Penguin Island rock pools was a bright orange lichen on the rocks.
Even Barb’s Hermit crab was orange.
The live-bearing sea star at the Tessellated Pavement rock pools was described as apricot-orange. This is the first sea star known to brood its young within the body. The babies leave the mother through the dorsal plates and crawl away. Apparently the larger juveniles can cannibalise the younger ones before birth.
In the Hartz Mountains there was orange dotted all through the habitats from flowering forest trees to heath in the moor lands and the mosses and lichens in the wet alpine areas.
Even the Pineapple Candle Heath on Mt. Wellington had an orange presentation for us.
Now to look forward to Perth in 2016 for the next ANN Get-together.
Congratulations to all who made this amazing event possible.
By Rhondda Tomlinson