Thursday, 14 June 2012

West Coast 10 days of ferning

Well it’s been a busy time and so little time left. The trip south was a highlight and I will try and relay a few of the events. The guys I  was with were Patrick Brownsey, Te Papa Research Fellow; Leon Perrie, Curator of Botany, Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa, and Mike Gemmell, VUW postgraduate student.We set off on an early morning way back in May! Train in and 8.30 ferry to Picton and onto Westport where Leon, Patrick, Mike and I set up camp in a motel for 5 of our 10 days. Leon and Pat headed to Stockton while Mike and I explored the delights of Westport. In the afternoon we did a very local trip up to a plateau close to Westport and found  comb ferns, Schizaea,  very odd looking ferns, but easily overlooked. They have a comb at the top of a stalk....this is a fern!

So from there we went to Charming creek... a fantastic walk along a disused rail track  but certainly very wet!!! Despite my wet weather gear I still got very wet! My boots were best buy....dry feet.

Charming Creek walkway tunnel...dry! I could see here.

More Charming Creek

Leon and Pat ferning

...a brief respite
Denniston Plateau was an interesting place with loads of history and while the rest of the team climbed through some fairly thick bush to some high overhangs I tackled some of the lower ground in search of sticherus spp or umbrella ferns. The weather changed and we had a glorious day at Lake Kanieri and some success with finding our unusual species of filmy fern.Lake Kini was pakihi swamp with lots of Glychenia or Tangle fern and various species.
lake Kini, Bruce Bay- pakihi swamp- Gleichenia 

Lake Kanieri- near Hokitika...beautiful crisp day- searching Hymenophyllum spp

..a lake for wading but not for me.

Blechnum novae-zelandiae

Gleichenia- spp - Tangle ferns- Mike looking pensive and Leon onto something

Along with the Gleichenia and Sticherus, we were targeting a possible new species of Hymenophyllum filmy fern.Each evening Leon and Pat pressed and logged the specimens...some were cleaned and put into silicon for DNA extraction to assist with further research of each species. Over the course of the 10 days more than 170 specimens were collected and pressed ready for the herbarium and/ or further analysis.
-5degrees c and loading in bare feet....his boots were always wet!
Franz Josef

Pat up a bank.....Lycopdium spp 

Mike up a bank! Knight's Point

Lycopodium volubile

Limestone cave= Charleston conservation Area- The cave spleenwort, Asplenium cimmeriorum, only occurs in limestone areas of the west coasts of both the North and South Islands. It is commonly found at cave entrances. We found a new sub-population in the Charleston Conservation Area.   Mike went down and in about 30 m
I found this cave after I had wandered off! The boys had gone down a bush bash track further long this road to another cave.

Leptopteris superba on Wombat track- Franz 

Punga Motel- appropriate place- Pat, Mike, Leon at Franz Josef
Creek - Mangatini Falls...impressive

...more to come ...what a highlight . great trip and so many thanks to Royal Society and Leon and Pat.

1 comment:

  1. Totally awesome! What an amazing time you had! Haven't we got a fabulous country!! Love the Mangatini Falls- how was the swing bridge?


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