Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


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.
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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

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Koala 2 - Nathan onramp - 3 July 2017

Healthy young male Koala

“Let me know if I can help lobbying for Koala fencing or wildlife bridges. It breaks my heart to see the good work we have been doing undone so quickly.” Matt

I had just collected a healthy young male Koala dead beside the Mains Road on-ramp to the Pacific Motorway. Fox Gully Bushcare neighbour Miranda had emailed to let me know she had seen a Koala beside to road as she drove to work.

Sadly this young Koala was dead when I arrived so all I could do was collect him and call the RSPCA  Animal Ambulance: 1300 ANIMAL

 

Map - Koala - young male hit by car 3 July 2017

Koala dead beside on-ramp

Matt’s frustration reflects the number of Koala that have been killed trying to cross the Motorway from Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Limited wildlife fencing around the Griffith Bus Station and no fence at all on one side of the Mains Road on-ramp (red line) means nothing separates the traffic from the trees on which Koalas are feeding.

At least three joey Koalas were born in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve in 2016 however I think we lost one of those joeys today.

 

I have previously discussed the possibility of wildlife fencing with Griffith researcher, Cathryn Dexter: co-author of the 2013 Koala Retrofit Works Program report for Main Roads. Cathryn explained some of the many issues in designing and maintaining effective Koala fencing. Also considering we have had a Koala killed on Klumpp Road and a number of car strikes on Creek Road, effective Koala protection in our urban environment will require significant commitment to building wildlife crossings to connect fragmented bushland habitats.

Back to Matt’s question about how to help with lobbying. Create and certify your own Pollinator Link® garden: Water, Food and Shelter for wildlife.

One person or one family may not have a lot of influence, however, every individual Pollinator Link® garden registered contributes to achieving our goal of 30,000 Brisbane gardens by 2022.

The support of 30,000 Brisbane households will give us the influence at local and state government levels to push for more wildlife fencing and road crossings.

You can become a Pollinator Link® Hero by getting ten family, friends or neighbours to create Certified Pollinator Link® gardens and help bring a bit of Australian bush back to Brisbane backyard.

Target 30,000 by 2022

 

 

Southside Environment Award

(l-r) Michael and Alan

By: Michael Fox

 

Alan Moore and I have been honoured with the Southside Environment Award at the Southside Queensland Day Awards last Saturday. The Awards were hosted by Ian Walker MP and Cr Steven Huang with bursary and catering support from the Southside Sport & Community Club.

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Alan sharing his passion

 

The award is in recognition of our work with Mt Gravatt Environment Group and in particular Alan’s leadership of our annual Photography Workshop. The award came with a cheque for $100 to support our work in restoration of the special habitat of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

The Photography Workshops started with the 2011 Environment and Photography Workshop. The event was sponsored by a BCC Environmental Grant. In the morning Field Botanist – Ann Moran introduced participants to the diversity of our local flora. Then after lunch Alan took over to teach participants to capture the elusive feeling of “being in the bush” as a photograph to put on their wall at home.

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.The Photography Workshops have an important educational role in helping participants value the environment more as they see the bush through new eyes and share their experience with others.

A selection of participants’ photographs are used for the popular annual Photo Calendar. The calendar is sold out every year and provides valuable funds for the purchase of equipment like the infrared wildlife camera used to monitor the Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis families living in the Fox Gully Bushcare nest-boxes.

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See Alan’s work at:

www.freelargephotos.com

Click on The Photographers then scroll down

find Alan Moore and Click

Contact Alan: editoramcj@gmail.com

 

 

 

Sherwood Scouts - 27 May 2017

On patrol on Farm Fire Trail

By: Michael Fox

It was a pleasure to welcome the Sherwood Scouts to Fox Gully Bushcare on Saturday.

Scout Leader Kate had a range of activities prepared to build skills in reading contour maps and using a compass.

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Ringtail family - 27 May 2017

Ringtail family

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First stop was the Federation Track to see a family of Ringtail Possums Pseudocheirus peregrinus. High in a tree with strong backlighting the two adults and a joey were hard to photograph.

 

 

 

Ed checks nest box - 27 May 2017

Checking Glider box with GoPro camera

 

Scout Ed tried his hand using the GoPro camera on a pole to check one of the new Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis nest boxes.

Nest box installation is an important part of habitat restoration as till July 1893 the mountain and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve. My intial survey of the 2ha of Fox Gully Bushcare reflects this history with only thirty six trees older than 100 years and only five old enough to have a 50% chance of having nest hollows. Many bird species and arboreal marsupials like Giders depend on tree hollows for breeding. Nest boxes provide a interim solution for these species as the forest recovers and natural tree hollows develop.

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Squirrel Glider at home

The initial installation of ten Hollowlog Home nest boxes 2012 was so successful that BCC Habitat Brisbane organised installation of an extra ten boxes last year.

So it was particularly special to find our find a Squirrel Glider in one of the new boxes. Squirrel Glider are listed as threatened by Brisbane City Council and families typically use up to five nest hollows.

Brushtail - Kookaburra Box - 27May 2017

Mother Brushtail at home

With installation of nest boxes the initial one family of Squirrel Gliders has been breeding and there are now two families living in the Bushcare site. Evidence that the Gliders have now started using the new nest boxes is a sign that the population of these special creatures may expand further.

Continuing on down the Geebung Track we checked on mother Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in the Kookaburra nest box. Mother Brushtail moved in shortly after the initial installation and has since raised at least two joeys in her home.

Returning via the Eastern Outlook Track we examined the seam of quartz rock that runs through the mountain, the natural regeneration in the area where Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses has been cleared and the Stingless Beehive Tetragonula sp. in a fallen tree.

The Scouts had a good time and we hope to welcome them back for National Tree Day on 30 July

 

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

On Assignment - 7 May 2017

On Assignment

The theme of this year’s annual Photographic Workshop was Line and Form. Participants learned to pre-visualise the most simple things in the bush as art … to capture as an image the feeling of being in the bush.

Alan Moore, Workshop Leader introduced participants to the Elements they could use to help them see the bush with new eyes.

Line and form putting it togetherAs with past Workshops, Alan’s presentation covered the basics of camera operation and image composition before introducing the Elements of photographic art and how to put it together. The magic of Alan’s approach is summed up in comments like:

  • “I am a beginner and interested in learning the “technical stuff” in language I can understand.”
  • “Alan is very encouraging and this brings out the best in people.”

The effectiveness of his approach is best demonstrated by the extraordinary photos participants shared when they returned from “On Assignment in the Bush.” Alan’s comments (following) help us understand the concepts of Line and Form.

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Lovely image, well planned, well executed. Ticks so many boxes, has line and 3D form, texture and great use of space.

I did rotate and crop the image a little after a slight contrast and saturation emphasis on the berry.

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Photo by Frank

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A bold statement here of shape with the leaf, form and texture with the fungus and nice colour emphasis of the multicoloured leaf.

I have saturated the leaf and cropped the whole.

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Photo by Rob

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Great use of colour emphasis in this image.  Background well blurred and focus firmly on the leaves.
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I did drop the saturation of the background and upped the saturation and contrast on the leaves somewhat and did a minor crop.

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Photo by Madonna

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Here Madonna has captured the texture of the rock well.
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I have cooled the image a little to bring out the whites and greys in the rock and cropped slightly.
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Photo by Ange

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Nice and tight capture encapsulating line and shape with texture.
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In processing I’ve desaturated the background and cropped a little to emphasise the subject.
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Photo by

Right on theme, a piece of art in itself.  Kept simple with background totally out of focus and tight focus on the subject, shows pattern with the repeated shape, proportion and rhythm with the small leaves descending in size.

I did rotate slightly and desaturated the background to concentrate on the visual element.

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Photo by Tricia

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Lovely use spot on focus to capture this pattern and rhythm.

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I have given the saturation and contrast a small upwards nudge and rotated the frond to the diagonal.

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Photo by Fiona

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Very nice artwork, right on topic.  Spiral lines and texture in the fine hairs, you want to reach out and touch them.. Well isolated from the background by great depth of field control.

I rotated and increased saturation and contrast slightly.

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Photo by Sue

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This image is almost totally monochromatic green and works well to show the form of the fern fronds, nicely seeing the water droplets.

I cropped a fair bit off to emphasise the central in focus frond and did a slight contrast increase to highlight the water droplets.

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Photo by Mee Wun

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This shot has caught line so well and I have presented the image in black and white to complement the simplicity of the capture.

The background is a bit intrusive and I have dodged the dark shapes just a little.

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Thank you and congratulations to all participants. Participants’ photos are used in production of our Photographic Calendar.

Funds raised from our Annual Photography Workshop and Calendar go towards equipment like infrared wildlife cameras that support our research.

See Alan’s work at:

www.freelargephotos.com

Click on The Photographers then scroll down

find Alan Moore and Click

Contact Alan: editoramcj@gmail.com

By: Michael Fox

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(clockwise) Mik Petter, Wayne Cameron, Ian Walker, Dr. Christian Rowan, Michael Fox, Sienna Harris

Our local MP Ian Walker gave us to opportunity yesterday to brief Dr. Christian Rowan, state Shadow Minister for Environment, about our restoration work around the mountain and the broader Brisbane catchment. We met at the Love Well Project … excellent coffee and an outstanding place to meet with a view over Brisbane City.
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Mik Petter – B4C President and Wayne Cameron – Catchment Manager, represented Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C). Sienna Harris represented Griffith Mates and Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader, and I represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group.
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Mik and Wayne shared information on the history of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee Inc. (B4C): established in 1997 as a community based social enterprise that provides coordination, support and specialised ecological services to protect, restore and maintain Bulimba Creek catchment in partnership with our members and wider community to build a web of green across the region.

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Particularly significant points were the business like management of B4C which complements grant funding and volunteer contribution with commercial projects across Brisbane and as far as Esk. This combination of financial strength and depth of on ground experience across both technical environmental areas and community engagement allows B4C to provide valuable support for groups like ours: technical advice, legal framework, insurance and bookkeeping.

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Explaining the value of interpretative signs.

The excellent support our five Bushcare groups receive from BCC Habitat Brisbane is complemented by B4C’s support that allows us to source grant funding for printing our popular Walking Mt Gravatt track maps and the interpretative signs which help create a real “National Park” experience for visitors to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.
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Sienna talked about Griffith Mates, a Griffith University initiative that organises events for students, including Volunteering at Bushcare. A powerful partnership we find ourselves working with students studying engineering, international business as well as the expected environmental science. Listening to students talking about home in Hong Kong or Zimbabwe, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter.
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(l-r) Ian Walker and Christian Rowan

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Alan told us about the 2017 Photography Workshop, our fifth year helping visitors “See the forest in a new way” through the lens of their camera. Each year Alan focuses of a new theme and many participants return each year … so it is important to book early as we have limited numbers.
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Time to get the politicians out to experience this special Conservation Reserve in the middle of the city.
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I explained that the butterfly sign was positioned at the entry to the Summit Track where the natural amphitheatre creates a speed dating site for dozens of butterflies of different species.

See the forest in a new way.

Discover art in the bush.

Sunday 7 May

 

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Line and Form

The 2017 Photography Workshop will examine line and form art through photography.  Photographer Alan Moore will discuss the artistic concepts of shape, texture and colour and how to capture nature’s art as photographic images.

Learn to use pre-visualisation to imagine the outcome and plan your shots when you go bush on assignment.  Return from assignment to share, compare and discuss a sample of participants’ photos.

An advanced skill workshop. However, the focus is on learning to plan your photos, so camera basics will be covered and even simple point and shoot cameras are welcome.

Time: 8am to 1pm

Cost: $20 per person ($15 for B4C members)

Limited places book early 

 

 

 

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