Whether it’s in the Strathbogie Ranges, or on the nearby riverine plains, roadsides and associated small reserves (of which there are a surprising number, see below) are some of the last refuges for the stunning wildflowers that once occurred across the landscape. Human activity now so dominates our region, that these narrow strips of nature offer the last chance for survival for hundreds of plant species.
It’s a shame (and sometimes a crime) that land owners clear away the healthy, diverse cover of native plants, to create lawn and a park-like environment. Here are two examples of the treasures that some roadsides still cradle.
Wonganooka Tk, Marraweeny
Wonganooka Tk at Marraweeny is a 2 km stretch of dirt road with a 12 ha Bushland Reserve at the east end. It’s a delightful time of year to walk through this small reserve and along the road, with many wildflowers in bloom. Most of the migrant birds that visit for the summer have also arrived by now, so birdsong is rich and diverse, bringing the bush to life.
Violet Town – Murchison Rd, Miepoll
Once you leave the ranges and drive west out of Violet Town, you could be forgiven for thinking the land is wall-to-wall agriculture. Well it is, almost, but not quite. In the vicinity of Miepoll are several roadsides and small reserves that retain important remnant native vegetation, for example, the Seven Creeks Streamside Reserve and the Karramomus, Moglonemby and Miepoll South Bushland Reserves, among others. Here are some delightful wildflowers from a short stretch of the Violet Town-Murchison Rd, but you’d hardly notice unless you got out and looked. These small remnants are very special.
The districts of Miepoll, Moglonemby, Tamleugh and Karramomus have a variety of small crown land reserves. They are all worth exploring (e.g. Seven Creeks NFR), as is native vegetation along roadsides, especially at this time of year when wildflowers are in bloom.
Special thanks to Doug Frood for providing IDs for many of the photos and for stopping to see what those patches of yellow were!