We left the damp, tropical lowlands of Daintree for some higher ground yesterday. An hour’s drive to meet our good friends, Rupert and Juliana, at Mt Molloy and then we travelled together along the Cooktown road for another 30 minutes. The sky was slightly overcast but the light was good and the temperature comfortable – best of all it wasn’t raining!
As well as enjoying a pleasant walk together Rupert wanted to show us some particularly attractive native grasses that he had found there and had identified. Dingo Hill is really a rocky outcrop consisting of some very large boulders some of which have been used for rock art. Looking at the faded drawings prompted us all to consider the early inhabitants of this land and what a good place it must have been for them with the McLeod river not far away and plenty of tucker to hunt and gather. Rock Wallabys still hide amongst the rocks and Rupert has previously come across some Wallaroos when quietly poking about on his own.
The photo above is a wonderful example of natural landscaping – 3 species of grass nestled between the rocks with Annual Pigeon grass (Setaria surgens) in the foreground.
These little fluffy patches of green are Panicum trichoides – the inflorescence is so fine it is like a misty cloud. This close-up of another clump gives you more of an idea.
And finally the grass Rupert is hoping we might be able to grow, Scrub Pigeon Grass (Setaria australiensis) which we think is most attractive and should provide food for seed eating creatures. The close-up photo includes an unidentified spider.