Our little walking group.

Wildflowers were the order of the day on a recent walk through foothill forest in the Lima Valley, on the east side of the Strathbogie Ranges. Ian & Pam have about 60 ha of bush on the edge of the Strathbogie State Forest, in what could be described as a mosaic of Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20), Grassy Dry Forest (EVC 22) and Shrubby Foothill Forest (EVC ), with a hint of Valley Grassy Forest (EVC 47).

But let’s not get bogged down in categories; its a beautiful and cared-for piece of bushland with some spectacular spots. A small but permanent creek, Boggy Creek, starting up near Rocky Ned, runs off the Strathbogies, roughly alongside Police Tk and flows through this property. Initially narrow and steep, the creek valley broadens out on the lower slopes of the property, where it supports giant Rough Tree-ferns and big, old Blue Gums, before joining with the Rocky Ned creek and then flowing into the Broken River.

We found many a colourful flower on our 2 hour wander, as well as hearing Ian and Pam’s stories about how the bush had changed in the ~15 years they’d been there. The 8 m tall Rough Tree Ferns were a highlight, as were the several orchid species. The Small Grass-tree looked almost out of place and the Soft Bracken Fern surprised everyone. The display of heathy plants was impressive, despite the apparent long-term absence of fire.

The weather was so much better that when we’d originally planned to do the walk two weeks earlier and the sun even poked through on occasion. But perhaps the most memorable thing for me was the variety of habitats on the property and the sheer diversity of plants in this relatively small area. Without attempting to put together a comprehensive list, 61 native plant species were recorded and 25 bird species – lists attached.

Many thanks to Ian and Pam for inviting us all to enjoy their patch of bush. For those interested in local history, you’ll love this short piece by Ian Herbert, about Ivy Good, Sawmiller and early days at Lima South-Toorour.