Pleasant walking on trails through woodlands and heath on the sandstone plateau. Dicks Knob offers views across the valley towards the escarpment and forests of the Sherwood Nature Reserve.
I had recently installed the iNaturalist Australia app that is the world’s leading biodiversity social network. Associated with the Atlas of Living Australia.
So we took a slow walk, taking time to stop and take photographs on my phone of pretty flowers and interesting plants. You can record sounds as well as images (bird calls or frogs for example). The app records the location and time of your observation (there are options for location privacy, and any threatened taxa are automatically private).
Back home, I set about identifying the plants I’d observed on iNaturalist. The app offers suggestions of what it might be (the quality of your images helps here, and location is also taken into account). Other users of the app might offer their identification, allowing you to learn from more experienced naturalists. Further information about the plant is just a tap away. I can now put a scientific name to that vine that snags unsuspecting bush walkers – Smilax Australis. Also known as austral sarsaparilla, lawyer vine or wait-a-while.
iNaturalist can be used for birds, insects, fungi, plants and more – but not rocks. The geology and soil type also impact the vegetation of course, and for that I looked at SEED (a NSW resource for environmental data) which tells me the geology of this place is Kangaroo Creek Sandstone and the soils are kandosols.
Forestry Corporation maps can provide useful information as well, this map tells me to lookout for needle bark and stringybark trees at Dicks Knob lookout.
And that place name? A quick lookup on the NSW Geographical Names Board tells me it was gazetted in 1972, but doesn’t shed any light on who Dick might have been, or why his Knob was so significant.
All this new insight from a short afternoon stroll!
There is easy access to Plum Pudding Road from Sherwood Creek Road to Lionels Loop Track and the start of this walk.