This week at Macquarie Island: 22 February 2019

From the camera of Ranger in Charge Chris

A closer look at some Macca flora

It's very easy to be overwhelmed by the vastness of the Macquarie Island landscape.

But if you allow yourself enough time to enjoy all of the sights, sometimes even at the smallest of scales ... there is always a discovery to be made.

Imagine now, the constant whistling of the wind in your ears. An often numbing chill that starts to settle in if you stand still for too long. The distinct musky damp smell of the landscape, or in the case of being near ellie seals at this time of the year, the unforgettable aroma of a mud wallow – guaranteed to clear the sinus!

Stilbocarpa at Brothers Point.  Very common across Macquarie Island
Stilbocarpa at Brothers Point. Very common across Macquarie Island but look closer…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Stilbocarpa leaf surface.  A hairy leaf surface helps with moisture management in this relatively extreme environment
Stilbocarpa leaf surface. A hairy leaf surface helps with moisture management in…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Random patterns of Musky Stonecrop (Crassula moschata) growing amongst Colobanthus muscoides cushion on coastal rock stacks.
Random patterns of Musky Stonecrop (Crassula moschata) growing amongst Colobanthus muscoides cushion…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Close up of Musky Stonecrop (Crassula moschata) in flower
Close up of Musky Stonecrop (Crassula moschata) in flower
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Regenerating clumps of Shield Fern (Polystichum vestitum) and Macquarie Island Cabbage (Stilbocarpa polaris) at a waterfall near Four Waterfall Bay
Not quite a tropical paradise, but tempting for a swim. Regenerating clumps…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
New growth of Blechum penna-marina, a lower altitude fern species found growing in dense mats in some locations on the island.
New growth of Blechum penna-marina, a lower altitude fern species found growing…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
 Lichen of all descriptions are found on many less exposed sites – almost coral like in structure
Lichen of all descriptions are found on many less exposed sites –…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Small toadstools - the fruit of one of the many fungi speciies on Macquarie Island
Fungi - one of a many species emerging at this time of…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Elephant seals enjoying a mud wallow during moulting at Davis Point
Elephant seals enjoying a mud wallow during moulting at Davis Point. Be…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Sunrise along the East Coast on Macquarie Island
A great sunrise, in a special part of the world
(Photo: Chris Howard)
A geometric pattern in a gravel bed due to freeze/thaw, highlighted by a damp layer in the ground being pushed up through the dry surface layer
Geometric patterns in a gravel bed. Constant freezing and thawing of the…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
A rainbow at Green Gorge
A rainbow at Green Gorge
(Photo: Chris Howard)