Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


By: Michael Fox

Koala - walking - 4 Dec 11 - J McCrystal

Koala Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive

Koala breeding season is here again: August to February. So it is very important that dogs visiting Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve are kept on a leash at all times. Dog owners regularly tell us that “their dogs wouldn’t attack koalas because they’re well trained and don’t cause problems.” However, the RSPCA rescue volunteer releasing a young male Koala at Gertrude Petty Place yesterday told Sue Jones different story “dogs are more often than not implicated in Koala rescues.”

Koala Family - Alan Moore - 29 Sept 2018 lr

Koala Family (l-r) father, joey (male), mother

Alan Moore photographed this family group last Saturday in Fox Gully Bushcare behind houses in O’Grady Street.

 

Toni McDonald photographed another Koala last Wednesday in Firefly Gully off Mt Gravatt Road.

We now have a healthy Koala population in the Reserve and people often ask how many Koalas there are. Until now, other than telling them that we have two or three joeys each year I don’t have any detailed numbers to share. The joint Queensland University of Technology-Brisbane City Council research using heat-seeking drones should provide valuable population information.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bellvine - Ipomoea plebeia - 1 Oct 2018 lr

Young Bellvine Ipomoea plebeia

By: Michael Fox

I love the sound of rain so I was very happy to sit with my coffee yesterday watching the rain. I also appreciate not having to water the National Tree Day plants this morning.

Good site preparation and good planting means the most of the plants have been going well even with the dry weather. So it was particularly special to visit the site this morning and find the first signs of natural regeneration: a young Bellvine Ipomoea plebeia with it distinctive first two leaves.

Dusky Coral Pea - Kennedia rubicunda - 1 Oct 2018 lr

Dusky Coral Pea Kennedia rubicunda

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The Dusky Coral Pea Kennedia rubicunda is already spreading ready to climb the Habitat Tripod to create habitat for small birds. Note the new dusky ping leave to the right.

 

Costal Banksia - Banksia integrifolia - 1 Oct 2018

Coastal Banksia Banksia integrifolia

 

 

 

A number of Coastal Banksias Banksia integrifolia have been lost to the dry weather. However, most have not only survived but are already putting out new shoots.

 

 

Flat-stemmed Wattle - Acacia complanata - 1 Oct 2018 lr

Flat-stemmed Wattle Acacia complanata

 

 

 

The Flat-stemmed Wattle Acacia complanata also have new shoots.

 

 

 

 

Small Acacia Longicorn Beetle - Ancita varicornis - 1 Oct 2018

Small Acacia Longicorn Beetle

 

Even more exciting when I was inspecting a Flat-stemmed Wattle I found a Small Acacia Longicorn Beetle Ancita varicornisa new species addition to our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. This is part of the planning for the small bird habitat: attracting insects to feed insect eating birds. Providing food for insects is a key to attracting birds and butterflies to your garden: Plant Local to Feed Locals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Mother of Millions - Bryophyllum tubiflorum - weeds - 29 May 2018

Mother-of-Millions

Tuesday Bushcare focused on maintenance and clearing weeds at the 2017 National Tree Day planting site.

Two garbage bags of Mother-of-Millions Bryophyllum tubiflorum removed will not eradicate this garden escapee. Complete eradication will take years however systematic control will reduce the spread while the area is cleared of other weeds.

Resurrection Plant - Bryophyllum pinnatum - leaf sprouting - 13 Apr 2018 lr

Resurrection Plant growing from a leaf.

Dumping garden waste like Mother-of-Millions is a real problem for our bushland, parks and creeks. Being a succulent it survives even in harsh conditions. Like Resurrection Plant Bryophyllum pinnatum, another invader from Madagascar, Mother-of-Millions regrows from as little as a single leaf. Garden waste like lawn clippings, prunings from shrubs and old pot plants are rubbish not compost adding value to bushland.

 

 

Dump garden rubbish in rubbish bin not in bushland.

 

 

 

I was also able to show Jake and Carl some of our interesting flora.

Like the curious Bird’s Nest Fungi Cyathus novaezelandiae which propagates by the action of rain drops knock the egg-like peridioles out of the cup shaped fruit body.

 

 

 

 

We also found moss fruiting. Orthodontium lineare, called Cape Thread-moss in the United Kingdom, an addition to our Flora & Fauna Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve species list.

 

 

Insect - 29 May 2018

Rasp Fern

 

 

Rasp Fern Doodia media (australis) with an, as yet, unidentified insect. You realise how well named Rasp fern is when you run your fingers over the leaves: they feel just like the rough sharp surface of a wood rasp.

Star Goodenia - Goodenia rotundifolia - 29 May 2018 cropped

Star Goodenia

 

 

Star Goodenia Goodenia rotundifolia is easy to identify with its unique leaf shape.

The yellow flowered Star Goodenia is a caterpillar food plant for the Meadow Argus Junonia villida butterfly.

 

Pardalote nest holes - 29 May 2018 lr

Pardalote nest holes

 

 

 

We also found what are probably nest holes for the small Pardalotes: small birds that dig nest holes in earth banks but spend most of their time high in the trees where you can hear their distinctive “chip chip chip” call. Watch video of Striated Pardalote.

By: Michael Fox

Clairvaux Bushcarers - 14 May 2018

Clairvaux Bushcarers

Our new partnership with Clairvaux MacKillop College is off to a great start. Clairvaux Bushcarers joined us last Monday to help prepare the 2018 National Tree Day site.

The team worked so hard removing weeds and moving branches to make the site safe, our Tuesday Bushcare group was able to finalise the preparation ready for spreading mulch.

 

Proud Weed Busters - 14 May 2018

Proud Weed Busters

It was a real pleasure to work with the students, a bit like herding cats, but still a real pleasure.

Over fifty years ago Frederick Herzberg identified recognition and a sense of achievement as two key factors in helping individuals build their motivation. Watching the students’ level of engagement and energy grow as they worked was an excellent example of Hertzberg’s research in action.

Variable Ladybird Beetles - Coelophora inaequalis - 14 May 2018

Variable Ladybird Beetle

Removing huge clumps of Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus really does provide a great sense of achievement and by removing and bagging the seed heads dramatically reduces weed regrowth.

The Clairvaux Bushcarers also had a wonderful time finding “bugs” for me to photograph. Like this Variable Ladybird Beetle Coelophora inaequalis.

26-spotted Potato Ladybird - Epilachna vigintisexpunctata - 14 May 2018

26-spotted Potato Ladybird

 

The students also found  26-spotted Potato Ladybird Epilachna vigintisexpunctata which is a new addition to our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

 

Variable Ladybird Beetles - Coelophora inaequalis - larve - 14 May 2018

Variable Ladybird Beetle larvae

 

 

I was also able to introduce the students to the strange looking Ladybird Beetle larvae.

 

Variable Ladybird Beetle Coelophora inaequalis larvae.

Common Spotted Ladybird - Harmonia conformis - larva - 14 May 2018

Common Spotted Ladybird Beetle

 

 

 

Common Spotted Ladybird Beetle Harmonia conformis larvae.

 

Common Assassin Bug - Pristhesancus plagipennis - 5th Instar - 14 May 2018

Common Assassin Bug 5th Instar

 

 

 

 

 

Common Assassin Bug Pristhesancus plagipennis 5th Instar. As the name suggests Assassin Bugs are pest controllers for your garden feeding on spiders and other insects.

Common Methana - Methana marginalis - large nymph - native cocoroach - 14 May 2018

Common Methana

 

 

 

 

Common Methana Methana marginalis large nymph. A native cockroach, the Common Methana are great recyclers turning leaves into soil and food for lizards and birds.

Bark Cockroach - Laxta sp. - 14 May 2018

Bark Cockroach

 

 

 

 

 

Bark Cockroach Laxta sp. are another curious native cockroach working hard to recycle leaf litter.

 

 

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly - Simosyrphus grandicornis - 14 May 2018

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly

 

 

 

 

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly Simosyrphus grandicornis 

 

 

Clairvaux Bushwalkers - Weed Busting - 10 May 2018

Creeping Lantana

 

 

 

 

The Clairvaux Bushwalkers helped the previous week, removing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses* (the asterisk * is used to identify non-native species).

 

Small Dusky Blue - Candalides erinus - topside - 10 May 2018

Small Dusky Blue butterfly feeding

 

 

 

 

 

Small Dusky Blue Candalides erinus butterfly feeding on nectar from the flower of a Purple Fleabane Cyanthillium cinereum. Look for the proboscis: a hollow drinking straw the butterfly unrolls. Natives like the Purple Fleabane are returning as Creeping Lantana is removed.

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday we hosted the Clairvaux Scientists who checked water quality in Mimosa Creek.

 

 

 

Checking acidy - 18 May 2018

Acid Test

 

 

The water sample was then tested with litmus paper which established a healthy neutral water.

 

 

Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly - Orthetrum villosovittatum - 18 May 2018

Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly

 

 

We also spotted a new dragonfly species to add to the species list. Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly Orthetrum villosovittatum

 

Thank you to all the Clairvaux students and staff.

I am looking forward to growing a long partnership restoring Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and learning environmental skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large Tick-trefoil - Desmodium brachypodum - flower close - 26 Mar 2018

Large Tick-trefoil – flower

By: Michael Fox

It is a real pleasure and a bonus of my Bushcare work to find new species to add to our Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

Today, botanist Ann Moran, identified the plant I photographed yesterday as Large Tick-trefoil Desmodium brachypodum a new addition to our list of plants found in the Reserve.

Large Tick-trefoil - Desmodium brachypodum - leaf - 26 Mar 2018

Large Tick-trefoil

We have already identified two other native Desmodiums growing in the Reserve:

  • Slender Tick Trefoil Desmodium gunnii
  • Hairy/Rusty Tic-trefoil Desmodium rhytidophyllum

Finding Large Tick-trefoil means we now have two hundred and eighty three native plant species identified in the Reserve.

Large Tick-trefoil - Desmodium brachypodum - seed pod - 26 Mar 2018

Large Tick-trefoil – seed pods

Equal to 20% of the total native species found in the 32 million hectares of the United Kingdom, two hundred and eighty three native plant species is an excellent measure of the species diversity found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

Net Casting Spider - Deinopis ravida - female - web - 27 Mar 2018

Net Casting Spider – female

 

 

 

This morning’s find was a different species of the curious Net Casting Spider Deinopis ravida. The two bumps on its sides identifies this as a female.

Net Casting Spiders have a unique way of catching breakfast. They sit with their web held between their front legs ready to quickly spread and trap prey. See the web on lower right of photo.

Watch the action in slow motion: Youtube video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fungi colourBy: Michael Fox

Thanks to our Photography Workshop leader Alan Moore we have an extraordinary fungi tour of colour and shape.

Like what you see?

Register for the 2018 Photography Workshop.

Colour display - 12 March 2018

Colour display 3 - 12 March 2018

Colour display 4 - 12 March 2018

Colour display 5 - 12 March 2018

White fungi 6 March 2018

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Orange Mushrooms - 23 March 2018

Log display - 26 March 2018 lowres

Basidiomycota - red fleshy pore - 8 March 2018

Polypore (Word Decay) - Basidiomycota - 26 March 2018 lowres

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Earth Star - Geastrum triplex - 25 March 2018

Learn make your own photographic story.

Register for the 2018 Photography Workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple fungiSunday 27 May

Discover tools to see nature up close to tell your story.

Macro photography is about concentrating on small details. You, the photographer, control subject selection, isolation, lighting, perspective and camera controls to create a spectacular visual narrative.

We will start by running through some camera basics (controls, modes, settings) before exploring how to use camera settings to isolate close-up subjects and get the most from lighting and angles.

Then we put it into practice exploring Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve to find your story to share with the group.

Registration form

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