The photo of an expansive floating blanket of duckweed was taken at Miners Rest.
A similar thing has been reported on a farm dam at Ross Creek.
The dense growth is usually rather seasonal, seldom lasting more than 12 months.
Perhaps the current shorter days, with cooler, cloudier weather, will slow its growth, although there is no sign of this at Miners Rest.
The variation in colour - with some populations becoming quite reddish - is probably seasonal too, with redder-toned plants appearing mostly in summer and autumn.
Azolla is said to favour nutrient-rich waterways.
The wetlands at Miners Rest's Macarthur Park (pictured) are kept full by the adjacent Burrumbeet Creek, which would be classed as nutrient-rich.
Pacific Azolla (Azolla filiculoides) is the plant's proper name, and it is actually a floating fern, not a true duckweed at all.
There are several other smaller local plants that are true duckweeds.
Although botanically a fern, this plant reproduces mostly by division. Fertile plants with spores are rarely found.
It is very much a floating plant - and waterproof too. If forced below the surface, then released, it rises immediately - right-way-up and with its upper surface dry. Its fine black roots hang freely in the water below the floating leaf surface.
At Miners Rest, a pair of swans appeared to be consuming it, and there were also several ducks swimming in it and nearby, occasionally with a line of it adhering to their sides.
This is how it sometimes spreads from place to place. In some places it is regarded as a nuisance.
Australia has inherited a wide range of plants from overseas. Our Azolla - a native plant here - has spread to parts of Europe, including the UK.
Once a rarity in the Ballarat district until a small population established in Clunes about 20 years ago, the blue-faced honeyeater has recently been seen in Ballarat proper.
Earlier this month there was one seen on two occasions at Black Hill, then, the following day, one was seen at Lake Wendouree, where it was a new bird for the lake list.
Both birds were photographed, with each appearing slightly different from the other.
There are not many records of the blue-faced honeyeater in Ballarat.
It is the size of a wattlebird, with a green back, black head and throat, and a patch of bright blue skin on its face and around its eye.
It is clean white below its black throat - a useful identification feature that can be obvious from some distance.
NATURE QUERIES ANSWERED
What's the name of these bright yellow fungi? They were growing on a log at Smythesdale.
These are pretty horn fungi - small communal fungi that grow on damp logs and similar damp woody situations.
The stalks are not much more than 10mm high, but present an attractive picture growing communally. They belong to the large group of jelly fungi.
This one is a small, colonial, short-lived species, found mostly in May and June.
It is widespread and common in the Ballarat district. While most stalks are single, they sometimes branch into two or three points at the top.
Sometimes it grows in obvious rows along cracks and grooves in its log. Its generic name is Calocera, which translates as "pretty horn". Similar species are more opaque and not as bright.
- Questions and photos are welcome. Email to email@example.com, or send to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353.