Conondale excursion for Gympie Field Naturalists
THE most recent field trip by the Gympie and District Field Naturalists Club led by Annette Bourke had a slightly different slant to many previous outings.
The visit to the Conondale property of John and Mary King included not just a walk along and through areas of riparian rainforest in the upper reaches of the Mary but also the opportunity, for those inclined, to sample some of the liquors made from rainforest fruit.
Using mainly fruit collected from the property John King has spent many years perfecting a range of liquors. These are marketed to a range of specialised outlets in the region.
As the name indicates liquors have a high alcoholic content and the different coloured products are meant to be sipped not gulped.
Mr King gave an introduction to the use of bush tucker in various foods saying that he considers there is a good opportunity for greater use of this resource.
Many of the liquors have been give indigenous names, such as Gidneywallum for the product made from the small blue/purple fruit of the brown pine.
He said that bush tucker provided many great and distinctive flavours and some were also used in traditional medicine.
Once members were able to drag themselves away from the liquor sampling and a bush tucker cheese cake provided by the hosts, a walk through the riparian forest fringing the river revealed many tangled lawyer vines and bountiful flowering king and tick orchids.
Native wisteria had put on special floral displays. The pale mauve flowers show up brightly on a full moon night and on a big old vine that can cover the forest canopy. Large seeds, 30mm long, are carried in a short pod.
Due to intermittent showers and downpours the bird walk was of necessity short, though the spacious elevated veranda afforded excellent views of the local bird population, and two male leaden flycatchers were observed fighting over territory and a mate.
The outing on Sunday, October 16, was to Ian and Sally MacKay's new property at Moy Pocket, led by Rahima Farnham.
For more club information phone Berry Doak on 54884250 or Rahima Farnham on 5447 9372.