The next hike will be on Saturday, 9th September.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am
Last week we decided to start our hike right at the Sunday Marketplace next to the Ballpark, with no driving and a longer time for walking. Actually we spent so much time looking at things in the forest that the distance we covered was much the same as usual. Very quickly we were in the area of old growth forest that runs parallel to and on the north side of the large swamp that extends west almost to the Community Hall. The largest trees here are real old timers with several firs and cedars that are many hundreds of years old. One common understorey shrub in this patch of forest is Devils Club and we were slowed down when we found it had spread over the trail we were trying to follow. This plant is so totally covered with spines that one has to take great care to avoid getting a sudden and painful experience should you accidentally come into close contact with any part of the plant. It very seldom flowers, but I have noticed that sometimes when it gets a bit more sunlight exposure after living in deep shade, which it prefers to do, and only then the odd flower spike appears. The scientific name, Oplopanax horridus, is a good one and you can see in my photo for this week just how nasty it really is.
Our lunch spot was a bluff high above Gillies Bay and it was a memorable day being able to watch for a few minutes some humpback whales actually in the bay not far from shore behaving in quite a frisky fashion for such large creatures.
Oplopanax horridus or Devil's Club with the seldom seen bright red berries.