Tag Archives: ku-ring-gai

Coral Lichen

Cladia retipora

A few months ago I took the boys for a ride on the center track in Ku-ring-gai National Park. We all had a great time on the way out and a good play on a large sandstone pavement that crosses the path. They were pretty tired by then, the trip back wasn’t as happy! Even though it’s quite close to the local bush there were many plants that I’ve not seen in Garigal.

I found something that was completely unfamiliar, have a look at the photo:

Coral Lichen – Key for scale.

It was just by the side of the path on an exposed ridge top. You can see by the car key it was quite small, it had a networked branching structure that looked like it was made from an open sponge like material with holes all through it. It was tough to identify, I thought it was either a lichen or a fungus, it turned out to be a lichen, which is actually a symbiosis of a fungus and an algae! This one is a Cladia retipora, known as Coral Lichen. It’s been difficult to find detailed information but it appears it’s a common lichen that is found in Australia from Cairns in North Queensland following the coast south and around to Adelaide, with extensive records all through Tasmania. It’s also been recorded on the West Australian coast near Perth.

Coral Lichen close up
Happy times on pavement. It didn’t last.

Resources and References

Old photos from the Ku-Ring-Gai area

Ku-Ring-Gai library has been posting old photos from the area ( including some from Garigal ) to it’s Flickr account . What a great way to make access to it’s archives more convenient. I didn’t even know the library had the photos until I came across one of their online postings by fluke when searching for pictures of Bungaroo.

William Henry, the first settler in the Lane Cove Valley. circa 1860.

There are well over 1000 photos in their stream, and they seem to post a new batch every few weeks. Having lived in the area for a while I’ve found it addictive to browse through them and recognize familiar locations back when they were a rugged frontier.

Road filling work being undertaken in Vale Street, Gordon. A Dennis truck can be seen tipping. Mr C. Bowes Thistlethwayte and three children can be seen standing near his car in the foreground.

Unfortunately many of the photos are not labeled making them hard to identify, and also hard for people to discover when searching. ( I was lucky to be searching for one of the few photos with a label. ) I wrote to the library asking them if they had any information on the unlabeled photos. They do! They are working on linking the images back to the library catalog and then posting some of the information back to their Flickr stream. Apparently a large and time consuming job, not something that will be done anytime soon. But they did give information on how to search the catalog for information on each photo myself!

Go to http://library.kmc.nsw.gov.au
Click on the “Find information” link on the left hand side and chose catalog. Next, select the advanced search. In the fourth drop down menu labelled “Dewey class”, change this to “Call number”. Type in “photo” in the field along with the last four digits of the flickr photograph title and press search.

For example for the photo labelled “0044593“. Follow the above sets and type in photo 4720.


Their latest batch of posts are mostly on the constructions of Lady Game Drive  and Lane Cove National Park. Here’s a selection with annotations from the catalog:

Shows three men including Mr. C. Bowes Thistlethwayte standing at Horse Shoe Bend on Bradfield Road above the Lane Cove National Park. ( 1937? )
Shows the stone wall of the culvert at De Burgh Creek being constructed. Two horse and cart teams can be seen in the background. The culvert was part of the construction work for Lady Game Drive. ( 1934 )
Qarryman working at Pymble Quarry circa 1930 ( where was this? that looks like columnar basalt )
Shows men working on the construction of Lady Game Drive. Site is above Little Blue Gum Creek, Lindfield. 1937
Shows tents on the Australasian Scout Jamboree site at Bradfield (now West Lindfield), which ran from December 1938 to January 1939.

The full Flickr stream can be found here.