Exploring Australia’s Native Plants Qld to WA

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Michael Fox

Day 2 19 Aug 2022: Theodore to Emerald 950km

Sunrise at Theodore

We stayed the night with a generous and interesting friend of Ann’s who grew up in Theodore.

Ann (yes, another Ann … very confusing) was the driving force behind the bird hide and interpretative signs along the peaceful river walk along the bank of Castle Creek heading down to the junction with the Dawson River.

Loaded coal train

Waking to an amazing sunrise, we say goodbye to our hostess Ann (yes, another Ann) we headed for Emerald via the curiously named Banana, Dingo and Blackwater.

… coal and cotton country with mine signs scattered along the highway.

Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
Hooker’s bauhinia Bauhinia hookeri

We passed three full coal trains heading east and two empty trains heading out. The coal trains are electric with two engines at the front and a third about halfway.

Bitterbark Alstonia Consticta

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Just out of Theodore we passed a Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax sitting on a tree beside the road. This magnificent bird posed nicely for photos before taking flight.

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Of course where I pulled over to photograph the eagle Ann found interesting plants including a Hooker’s bauhinia Bauhinia hookeri. The same “butterfly” leaf form as the common exotic Orchid Tree but actually one of two native Bauhinias both of which have smaller leaves than the exotic.

Minions of Central Queensland

The Hooker’s bauhinia was not in flower, however, it has an attractive white flower with bright red (male) stamens.

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Bitterbark Alstonia Consticta was in flower beside the road. Definitely not a plant for a city garden as the flowers have an unattractive pungent smell that attracts.

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I found a Striped Ladybird Beetle Micraspis frenata among the weeds under the Bitterbark. These Lady Beetles are found in Brisbane, usually on tall grasses.

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A bit of fun along the way was finding an invasion of Minions of Central Queensland.

Bluff town sign with coal train in background

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The Bluff community is obviously proud of their mining and railway.

About Mt Gravatt Environment Group

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is restoring a unique piece of Australain native bushland only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.
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