Field-Trip: Fungi Forage – Greymouth – 17th to 19th May 2019

Trip Leader: Jane C

Trip Report: Diana S

Friday: 22 club members headed off for our annual Fungi Forage based this year at Greymouth, all leaving at various times of the day, stopping off for photography on the way.

Well what a stunning day, Maureen and I headed off at 8am, the fresh dusting of snow on the Alps was spectacular. We were treated to a wonderful sight of the Hot Air Balloons hovering over Hororata, a light coating of snow down to road level at the top of Porters Pass, and fog lifting off the rocks at Castlehill.  Down to find Lake Pearson in fog, while there the fog lifted giving us a very moody scene and, yes, a few photos taken including a family of Cormorants roosting in the Willows. More fog in Arthurs Pass, no mountains to be seen. The Otira Viaduct lookout called for a quick stop, it was incredibly windy and very cold but worth the stop as we found at least 8 juvenile Kea up to mischief with a couple of adult Kea keeping an eye on them. Interesting to note only one adult had banding the rest were all un-banded.

Down through the fog and onto Lake Poerua, crystal clear and picture perfect reflections. Iveagh Bay at Lake Brunner was a stunner as well, with Kahikatea growing in the water providing wonderful reflections.

Next on to the Arnold Loop track north of Moana. The top of the track was very wet with a lot of areas under water. Not many fungi to be seen, a couple of pale blue coming to their end, and a small variety of yellow, brown and orange fungi. Arriving in Greymouth just in time for sunset. A lovely golden sky with moody clouds and lovely light reflecting on the wet stones and sea foam on the beach.

Saturday:  Up for sunrise at the beach just a short stroll from the motor camp, soft muted blue and pink colours.  Next port of call Woods Creek, a place with amazing history and a great walk. A few fungi showed their heads, a mixture of red, blue, cream, golden tan and others were found on different parts of the track. A willing band of helpers change a flat tyre on one of the cars, awesome team work and very much appreciated. Lunchtime was calling and most headed to town to Ali’s Cafe for hot drinks and nourishment. Maureen, Sue and myself headed off to the Cobden Lagoon for a picnic lunch. There was a White Heron fishing, a Cattle Egret and two White Faced Grey Herons in the lagoon. The Grey Herons were a real treat to watch with the male prancing around with a stick offering for his mate.

Off to Coal Creek for the afternoon. The West Coast rain persisted for most the day while we were driving and lifted each time we stopped. Almost everyone headed straight for Coal Creek Waterfall, some wonderful images have been shared. There were quite a variety of fungi to be found, all colours shapes and sizes, plenty of time spent lying on the forest floor admiring and photographing these special gems.

Late afternoon most members headed off back to the motor camp. Maureen, Sue and myself headed off to Moutukiekie Beach for sunset. We stopped off at Rapahoe Beach on the way, a huge rain storm out at sea gave great cloud formations and light rays with sheets of rain very evident out beyond Big Rock. We drove through torrential rain to Moutukiekie, on arrival the rain stopped! The dramatic clouds and light on the beach, with the rocks and small streams made the trip worthwhile.  Evening nibbles and drinks were enjoyed at the motor camp prior to heading off to Ali’s Cafe for a scrumptious dinner.

Sunday: Up for sunrise at the beach, great cloud formations and lovely light on the sea and on the hills behind the town. Off to Nelson Creek for the morning, well what a treat, a beautiful track with heaps of fungi to be seen and photographed. A rainbow of colours and an amazing variety, certainly the pick of the weekend. We finished with a group picnic at the reserve before everyone headed home. Lady Lake called for a stop and the Kea at Otira Viaduct Lookout were waiting for us.

A big thank you to Jane for organising an awesome weekend, enjoyed by all.

To view more images please visit Flickr