Saturday, 29 October 2016

Visit to King property, Aherns Road, Conondale, 18.09.2016 by Annette

A damp, but still pleasant vista in the Conodales
Light showers to very occasional heavy downpour, did not deter some intrepid individuals and early morning birders of the G & D.F.N on their monthly day out. The venue: the Conondale property of Mary and John King had the added attraction of rainforest liqueur tasting. Morning tea (including liqueurs and a sampling of Mary and John’s bush tucker flavoured cheese cake) was enjoyed on the spacious elevated verandah which afforded excellent views of the local bird population. Two male leaden flycatchers interrupted our scheduled monthly meeting with a spirited territorial display of aggression, closely watched an attendant female.

Good birding and good food and liqueurs and out of the rain!

An interesting and informative talk by John introduced us to the history of his work with bush tucker and rainforest liqueurs in particular. The place of bush tucker in our natural environment was highlighted and our lack of appreciation, generally, for this resource is of concern to him. The Indigenous connection to bush tucker is apparent in the use of Aboriginal names for various liqueurs:- Gidneywallum liqueur -  Podocarpus elatus (Brown Plum Pine). John emphasised his use of indigenous herbs and flavours in his recipes for everyday meals and discussed how he uses fruit and flowers in his liqueur preparation. Practitioners of Chinese medicine use the bark of Acronychia oblongifolia (White Aspen) in their herbal pharmaceuticals. 

A hand axe left behind by an earlier inhabitant of the property

A walk into the rainforest challenged our climbing and dodging skills as lawyer vines attacked us from all directions. The new growth and shape of an Argyrodendron sp. Kin Kin (Rusty tulip oak) caught our attention.  Dockrilla linguiformis (Tongue, Tick Orchid), Dendrobium speciosum (King Orchid) and Callerya megasperma (Native Wisteria) had put on special floral displays.

A Tongue Orchid flourishing
Purple and white flowers of the Native Wisteria dotted the trails

A walk back to the house along the bank of the Mary River, finished off the day’s activities, a river many of us were convinced was flowing in the wrong direction.

Rasp Fern Doodia aspera in the understory

Mary and John are happy to welcome visitors to their property for a tasting of their liqueurs. They can be contacted via their web site

Wasp Moth - probably Eressa angustipenna - flying by day as do many tiger moths

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