Bushcare


By: Michael Fox

Thursday last week the Mt Gravatt PCYC Bush Restorers joined us at Roly Chapman Bushcare to clear weed regrowth and plant 160 vines, grasses and shrubs to create an edge seal along the primary school fence.

Restoration work in Roly Chapman is part of the Mimosa Creek Precinct
Landscape Plan to link Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve with Bulimba Creek.

An edge seal is a barrier to protect natural bushland from weed invasion. For example, reduce the feathery seeds from the yellow flowering Flatweed (Catsear) Hypochaeris radicata blowing over from the school oval.

Clearing weed regrowth was required to prepare for planting. I started by explaining the Bradley Method of regeneration:

  • Word from strength – work from least weed infected to worst infected;

    Flatweed - Hypochoeris radicata - weeders

    Expert Weed Eradicators

  • Minimise soil disturbance to maintain the diverse life in the soil

The Bradley Method does require skilled workers. So it was a real pleasure to work with two expert Weed Eradicators to remove the deep-rooted Flatweed. The ground was soft from recent rain so with carefully pulling the the weed vertically allowed removal roots and all with minimal disturbance to soil.

Bush Restorers - Smoko - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Weeding finished … relax before planting

Vines

Bushes

Grass/Sedge/Rush

Sheamus Sienna sorting plants - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Sheamus and Sienna allocate plants

Planting - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Water crystals first then plant

Plants were selected from species already found in Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve. Vines Hardenbergia violacea and Smilax australis are a good way to hid a chain-wire fence and provide food for butterfly caterpillar and fruit for fruit eating birds. Growing to 3 metres with a 2 metre spread and reddish green foliage the Coffee Bush Breynia oblongifolia is an attractive garden feeding butterfly caterpillars and decorative Green Jewel Bugs Lampromicra senator.

Green Jewel Bug - Lampromicra senator - front - 24 July 2016 lowres

Green Jewel Bug

Grasses like Barbed Wire Grass Cymbopogon refractus and Kangaroo Grass Themeda australis will create an edge seal below the shrubs and feed seed eating birds. Sedges and rushes like Tall Sedge Carex appressa and Common Rush Juncus usitatus thrive along the fence line where run off from the school oval creates a damp habitat most of the year.

Proud Bush Restorers - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Mt Gravatt PCYC Bush Restorers

Thank you Mt Gravatt PCYC Bush Restorers … looking forward to welcoming you back in 2018.

 

 

 

 

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My: Michael Fox

 

A sunny Spring morning … time to lie flat out like a lizard.

This Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata was warming itself on a dead branch in Fox Gully Bushcare.

Eyes just cracked open to keep an eye on the strange creatures taking photos.

 

Bearded Dragon - Pogona barbata - flat out - 15 Nov 2017 lowres

 

 

 

 

 

 


Koala - Acacia Way - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

By: Michael Fox

 

Walking the Mountain this morning we saw a pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos Cacatua galerita high in the trees getting very upset about something. Initially we thought they were getting upset with a murder of Crows in the trees.

Stingless Native Bees Bottle Brush Grass Tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Stingless Native Bee

Then Jude spotted a Koala hanging on for dear life as the Cockatoos and Crows all harried it.

 

In the same area I found tiny Stingless Native Bees Tetragonula sp. collecting nectar and pollen on Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema flowers.

Look for the pollen on legs.

 

 

Ringtail Possume - dead tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Ringtail Possum nesting in dead tree

 

 

Our last find was a Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus asleep in its nest in a dead tree.

 

 

Ringtail Possum nest in dead tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

 

 

 

Dead trees (called stags) are an important part of our bushland habitat providing homes for insects, lizards, birds and even Possums.

 

 

 

Catchment Champions Award - Oct 2017By: Michael Fox

I have been honoured to accept the 2017 Cleaner Suburbs – Catchment Champions Award in recognition of our work within Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

In receiving the award I reflect the efforts of dozens of enthusiastic happy volunteers including Marshal and Liz who work with me on Tuesday mornings.

 

Team 1 July 2017

 

 

 

 

Our Griffith Mates partners join us for regular Fox Gully Bushcare events bringing international students to experience the Australian bush and contribute to our restoration work.
Brains over brawn - 22 July 2017

 

 

 

The Mates willingly join in everything from weeding to moving logs.

david-eve-jess-joylene-charlie-cleand-up-5-mar-2017-lowres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Woods organised Clean Up Australia welcoming a wide range families to join us cleaning up Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

 

Smiles all round - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

 

 

 

One hundred and fifty community members worked hard and shared smiles at our National Tree Day event.

On Assignment - 7 May 2017

 

 

 

Member, Alan Moore runs our annual Photography Workshop and prepares our calendar, combining community education and fundraising for equipment.

 

Habitat Brisbane Fox Gully sign

 

 

The Brisbane City Council Habitat Brisbane team provide training, contract support, tools, plants and other resources.

 

b4c logo.JPG

 

 

 

Non-profit social enterprise Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) provide vital support auspiceing grant applications, accounting and seed funding to launch our Polliantor Link project.

 

 

Thank you to all our supporters and a special thanks to Heather Woods who nominated me for this award.

 

By: Michael Fox

Compost pile Creeping Lantan - 15 Aug 2017 lr

Creeping Lantana removed into piles

The old car park area will be restored as the 500 plants mature and spread.

Nature will now take over natural regeneration of the 500 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses* cleared by the Lantana Buster Team on National Tree Day.

Seed stock of native grasses like Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus will still be in the soil and with the Lantana not suppressing regrowth the grasses will return with the summer rain.

Griffith Mates - 25 April 2015

Griffith Mates clear the last weeds

 

The work of our Griffith Mates partners shows the effectiveness of natural regeneration techniques. The team removed the last Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia* from Fox Gully Bushcare Zone 8 in April 2015. Note the bare ground.

 

 

Graceful Grass - Ottochloa gracillima - 14 Aug 2017

Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2017 and Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima is returning naturally. Second hand decking timber is reused to manage erosion on the steep slope and collect leaf litter to retain moisture.

 

Shelter for lizards - 15 Aug 2017 lr

Lizard highways

 

 

 

Providing Shelter for wildlife helps nature bring the wildlife back to the site.

The piles of fallen branches are restored to the site to create lizard highways across the areas cleared of Creeping Lantana.

Eastern Bearded Dragon - Pogona barbata - 1 Aug 2017

Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata

 

 

 

Lizards like this young Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata are at risk crossing the bare weed-free ground. Creating lizard highways allows these cute creatures to stay safe while they hunt for lunch.

By: Michael Fox

Nominated by Heather Woods, I am, along with many other amazing people and organisations, a Finalist for the BCC Cleaner Suburbs Awards.

Catchment Champions Award Finalist

jamies-kids-sandy-jamie-karen-jenny-noel-5-mar-2017-lowres

Clean Up Australia Day 2017 

“Michael runs the communications for Mt Gravatt Environment Group (a loose coalition of five Habitat Brisbane Bushcare groups) as well as for the Fox Gully Bushcare group. His many activities include weekly litter prevention and working bees around Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve, and a National Tree Day planting event yearly which includes a litter clean-up as preparation. Michael also created the Pollinator Link initiative and runs workshops which support Bushcare Groups to communicate their impacts.”

 

Vote now

Smiles all round - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

National Tree Day 2017

Visit the Cleaner Suburbs Awards site to read about the amazing work being done by community members and vote for your favourite Litter Prevention Champion.

By: Michael Fox

Smiles all round - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

I was so busy on the day I really didn’t appreciate the happy energy of the our National Tree Day until I started looking at the photos. Click on the image to enlarge.

Our National Tree Day event is growing every year with more community members, many groups returning and new groups attending.

National Tree Day 2017 results:

  • 150 participants
  • 500 natives planted
  • 500 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses removed
  • Dozens of biscuits, apples and mandarins eaten for morning tea.
  • More smiles than you could count.

Community groups participating:

Planting - National Tree Day 2017 - 30 July 2017

The Planting Team in action. Extra plants were ordered however the Planting Team still ran out … next year we will order still more plants, more gloves and more plant shelters. The quality of the planting was also excellent, thank you. Click on the image to enlarge.

Lantana Busters - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

Lantana Busters in action. We will definitely welcome this team back … look at the huge pile of weeds almost taller than our young Lantana Buster (bottom right). Click on the image to enlarge.
IMG_6388

The final step in site restoration was replacement of the dead timber that was removed to make the site safe for the event. Dead timber on the ground is an important habitat component which allows lizards to move safely across the site as well as providing shelter for insects and food for woody pore fungi.

See more high quality event photos on Facebook.

Thank you to:

  • Fox Gully Bushcare team members: Marshal and Liz
  • Our BCC Habitat Brisbane team Anna: who organised the plants, mulch and hole digging, and Emma: who patiently provided safe road crossing on the day.
  • Alan Moore Photographer

 

 

 

 

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