Toolangi - Walkin' in the rain

Aussie123

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We did a day walk in the Toolangi forest (near Melbourne). Its been raining a lot over the last week, and was pouring during the day of the walk.
There are times when we would have called off a trip due to weather, but we were keen to test out some gear in the rain, and remind ourselves about coping with the wet, so it was a perfect opportunity.

Sometimes you see different things in the wet compared to the dry !

Torrential rain is starting to flood the forest:

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Foam runs down the trunks of the big trees. I think this is caused by the saponins and tannins naturally in the bark.
The photos don't show it clearly, but sheets of foam were washing down the gutters in the trunks :
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Thick mist shrouds the forest
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Lunch break. Definitely hot drink weather:
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Along the way we encountered several wallabies and also these two critters:

Victaphanta atramentaria (Orange Foot Snail) http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?9474-Victaphanta-atramentaria-(Orange-Foot-Snail)
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And a crayfish Engaeus sp. probably Engaeus affinis. (I'll post in the Flora and Fauna DB when I get a bit more info)
(If anyone knows what sort of cray this is, please let me know.)
This guy has spectacular colours:
20170425_125541 (Small).jpg
 

Corin

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I love walking in the rain. The Crayfish and snail are bloody stunning!

Great pictures and excellent trip report.
 

Corin

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I just googled a bit for the crayfish, cannot find anything like it??? weird looking critter would love to know more.
 

Wentworth

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Great photos Aussie. I really enjoy the bush in the rain too.
 

Bloffy13

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Aussie! That is awesome. I live on the south coast where (apparently) it rains for nine months of the year and drips off the trees for the other three. It's an old saying but there is no such thing as bad weather only a poor choice of clothing. I must say, I haven't willingly walked in the rain for a while (getting old and soft) but I have done it many, many times out of necessity or requirement and I agree totally that walking in all sorts of weather throws entirely different lights on many aspects of walking in the bush.
Maybe I should stop being a wuss and get out amongst it.
Well done Aussie.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Aussie123

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Hi Thrud,

I thought that too, so got in touch with Rob McCormack from aabio and he said :

>> this one has an unusual colouration so hard to say from the colour.
>> (Typically I would need to examine the specimen to confirm species).
>>
>> I suspect its Engaeus affinis
>> They typically have the orange tips to their claws, bluish tint to claws
>> and orange to dull red body.
>> The photo of your critter is very pretty with bright colouration.
>>
>> Engaeus fultoni is only known from Otway Ranges so not likely to be that
>> species.

I'm also checking with the museum, in case they have any extra info; and I have a few more walks in the same area "planned" so perhaps more info will come to light.

PS .... I guess it could even be a new species: Engaeus aussie

PPS Everyone, http://www.aabio.com.au is a fantastic site that covers Australian crayfish. Well worth creating a bookmark / reference if you don't already have one !
 

Taplow

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Great photos Aussie - thanks for sharing. I love the way the forest smells after rain.
 
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