By: Michael FoxKoala - 50 O'Grady - 201 Aug 2016

Neighbours, Roger and Margaret called a short while ago. A Koala had just come down one tree and jumped across to another tree in the gully.





Looks young and definitely male.

Koala male - 50 O'Grady - 201 Aug 2016 low res

It’s a boy


Breeding season has started so the males will be on the move.

Koalas are particularly to dog attack when they are on the ground moving between trees. So it is important that dogs are kept on a leash when visiting Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

By: Michael Fox
Photos: Alan Moore

Sunday morning 31 July and one hundred and thirteen volunteers have arrived for 2016 National Tree Day. So I took one team to tackle the Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses while Sue Jones organised the other team to start the planting. The teams swapped jobs after morning tea.

Lantana Busters hard at work
Lantana Busters hard at work clearing 1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana

Creeping Lantana is a major weed threat in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Lantana competes for native plants for scarce water reserves and nutrients, physically smothers other plant and the chemicals in Lantana have a significant negative effects on native plant species.

The Lantana Busting teams cleared an amazing 1,600 square metres with one group raking the weed into long swales to manage erosion and retain water while others followed up, hand pulling the remaining roots. I explained that once the roots are removed the Lantana can be left piled up without regrowing. Slow, detailed but amazingly effective work. I showed the teams the natural regeneration of native grasses: Pademelon Grass Oplismenus imbecillis and Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus, Tufted Scleria Scleria mackaviensis (native sedge) and Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea (native vine). Nature works 24/7 to build on our work and the forest will regenerate naturally if we clear the weeds.

Planting - 31 July 2016

Over with the planting team it was all action, lots of smiles and a big job in hand. This year the team is building on the work from 2015 National Tree Day with in-fill planting of 564 creepers, grasses, shrubs and trees to provide safe habitat and food for small forest birds, including nectar, pollen, insects and seeds. 2016 National Tree Day Planting List

Like last year, this was real cross-cultural event with the Griffith Mates Bushcare Team, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and Alpha Phi Omega teams returning. This year we welcomed a new team representing carbon neutral energy supply company Viridian Energy Australia. Viridian team members traveled from the Sunshine and Gold Coasts to join us making a practical contribution carbon sequestration to protect our children’s future.

Kids having fun - 31 July 2016

And the kids were there digging in to build their own future. Kids love digging in dirt and look at the skill development! Let’s invite these future builders back for 2017 National Tree Day.

Morning tea - 31 July 2016

All that hard work deserves some tea and bikkies and time to learn about our native bees from Len Kann.


Ross Vasta - National Tree Day - Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve

I show Ross Vasta and his son an Acacia Falcata planted in 2015 and already flowering.

Of course events like this are not possible without the strong support we receive from our local, state and federal politicians. We were pleased to welcome Ross Vasta MP, Federal Member for Bonner and Jo Kelly MP, State Member for Greenslopes.

Ian Walker MP, State Member for Mansfield and Cr Krista Adams, Councillor for Holland Park both wanted to attend but had other prior commitments.

Event supported by:

BCC Habitat Brisbane
Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C)
Planet Ark National Tree Day
Peaks to Points Festival


An amazing event – see Stats below, and importantly it looks like 2017 National Tree Day will be even bigger with all the teams and local community members telling me they want to come back.


115 participants including two BCC Habitat Brisbane team members

  • Three groups from 2015 returned this year, one new group and lots of locals
  • All fours groups want to return next year when I hope to hold the event at the Summit

273.5 volunteer hours

564 plants

  • 30 creepers
  • 230 grasses
  • 114 shrubs
  • 190 trees

1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana cleared.



Koala - climbing - Miranda Scott - 11 June 2016

By: Michael Fox

Fox Gully neighbours Miranda, Scott and children, Freya and Clementine, had a special wildlife experience today.

Walking the Geebung Track just near the National Tree Day planting site the family spotted a Koala Phascolarctos cinereus on the ground beside a tree. They managed to get a special photo of the Koala reaching up to climb a tree.


Koala - Scott and Miranda - 11 June 20161

                                                                Koala beside Geebung Track

The family’s sighting has been added to Koala Tracker and our Google Earth map of wildlife sightings.

Google Map - Koalas 2016

                      Koala sightings 2016

Koala 8 June 2016

Koala in Tallowwood

8 June 2016

Healthy-looking Koala at Gertrude Petty Place 

He (or she) was in a large Tallowwood between public housing at 59 Gosford Street and footpath from Gertrude Petty Place to Federation Outlook this afternoon. Was quite high up so this is the best I could do with my Iphone.

Also two quite large microbats patrolling GPP at 5.15pm tonight.

Sue Jones


Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus - 23 Apr 2016

Koala – Federation Track

23 April 2016

Griffith Mates – Lantana Busters

Our Griffith Mates bushcare partners were very happy to find a Koala beside the Federation Track heading down to Granby Street.




Koala - Vittal - 17 April 2016

Koala – Federation Track

17 April 2016

Koala along Federation Track 

We are sighting a koala bear for last two weeks, during a trek to Mount Gravatt lookout.
Today, we sighted them on top of a eucalyptus tree 100m from carpark near Logan Road entry. Last week, sighted them near Federation lookout.

Attaching pictures of the same to inform respective authority.




Koala - Upper Ekibin Creek - Pieter D. 9 April 2016 close

Koala – Ekibin Creek – P. Demmers

9 April 2016

Koala – Ekibin Creek Pollinator Link







Koala - Fox Gully 10 Dec 2016 - Maria Hill adj

Koala – Fox Gully


Koala – Fox Gully Pollinator Link

Maria, Matt and their children often find Koalas in the trees right behind their house.

In January 2013 the family had a Koala mum and joey visiting.

Photo: Maria Hill


By: Michael Fox

Alan presenting crop

Alan Moore introduced contre jour

At our 2016 Photography Workshop Alan Moore introduced us to a new way of seeing the bush around us … contre jour: French for “against daylight”, a technique in which the view is directly toward a source of light. A form of photography artistry Alan related to French impressionists like Claude Monet.

Alan challenged participants to experiment with their camera’s manual settings like aperture and exposure before sending them out on assignment to see nature in a new light.

See ferns in a new light:





Playing with camera flair:

Kate 1


Dana - 15 May 2016


Lyn C














Misting spider webs to catch the light:





X-ray view of leaves:





Forget contra jour and just meet the locals:



The 2017 Photography Calendar will be available in November ready for posting to family or friends overseas.

Light Work

Sunday 15 May – Book Early

A photographic journey led by Alan Moore


High intensity side lighting to emphasise line and texture.

The Golden Rule is:

“Do not shoot into the light, have the sun over your shoulder.”

Time to break the Golden Rule at 2016 Photography Workshop

At the 2016 Photography Workshop Alan will challenge you to break that rule. Explore the wonders of contre jour style to intensify line and form, shapes and silhouettes.

After a review of basic and advanced photographic techniques we will take to the bush to explore the wonders of photographic Light Work.

Book Here

Calendar coverBring mountain magic into your home or office or share the with family and friends.

Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader has produced a special 2016 calendar as a fundraising initiative for Mt Gravatt Environment Group.

This year’s Photography Workshop was called Nature Close-up, so Alan has selected participants pictures show the mountain habitat up through a macro lens.

Order your 2016 Magic of the Mountain calendar and put a bit of Nature Close-up on your wall at home or share with family and friends around Australia or overseas.

Thumbnails example


“Stunning, well done!”

Robert Ashdown – Nature Photography

Peek inside your calendar

Price: $15 plus $3.00 post & packing.

Purchase calendars at:

All funds raised will contribute to Mt Gravatt Environment Group research and community education activities.

Mt Gravatt Campus - 22 July 2015

Mmm … almost there. Now to just get past this fence.

By: Michael Fox

They go looking for a good education.

An alert cleaner at Griffith Mt Gravatt Campus caught this intruder on camera. Outstanding wildlife photography!







Mt Gravatt Campus - rail - 22 July 2015

Just hanging out. Don’t worry about me.





Of course being a university qualified Koala he was climbing into the Education building.

Small Leaved Privet - bush - 5 June 2015 lr

Small Leaved Privet

By: Michael Fox

Discriminating between environmental weeds and similar looking native species can be difficult at times:

Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) may also be confused with native privet (Ligustrum australianum), which is present in northern and central Queensland. Native privet is not a pest plant. (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)

Working at Roly Chapman Reserve Bushcare with Liz and Marshal, I was confident we were dealing with a grove of Small Leaved Privet but to be sure I Googled the Ag and Fisheries site.

Small Leaved Privet - 5 June 2015 - cropped

Small Leaved Privet – seeds

The description matched except for “Deep-green finely hairy leaves”. Deep-green was right but the leaves looked smooth not hairy.

Liz and I had both watched Todd Sampson’s Redesign My Brain on ABC the night before. In the series Todd works with Dr. Michael Merzenich, Chief Scientific Officer, Posit Science, to explore brain training. Our sense of touch was one area explored in the program so Liz and I decided to experiment with our sense of touch to detect fine hairs we could not see.

Running our fingers then thumbs over the leaves we could feel the “finely hairy” even though we could not see it. Apparently we have 3,000 touch receptors or neurons in each finger tip. However, we lose neurons as we age reducing our touch sensitivity. Brain training can help compensate for the loss of neurons. Interestingly both Liz and I found that, like Todd, our thumbs were more sensitive to touch.

To actually see the fine hairs on the Privet leaf I had to take a macro-photo with my iPhone and AlloClip adapter. Click on photo to enlarge further.

Small Leaved Privet - finely hairy - 5 June 2015 - cropped

.Small Leaved Privet Ligustrum sinense …. Finely hairy too fine to see? Use your touch instead. Photo: iPhone with alloclip

Exocarpos cupressiformis - close - 22 Nov 2014

Bushfood – Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis

By: Michael Fox

Australia is famous for its loud brightly coloured parrots … read Tim Low’s “Where song began” or visit any park when the eucalyptus are flowering.

Our flowers however, with some notable exceptions, have a reputation for being understated or inconspicuous.

Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis is an excellent example of inconspicuous. The orange or red fruit are quite noticeable but the flowers are the tiny buds smaller than the stems they grow on.

Native Cherry - flower - 13 Apr 2015

Tiny flower of Native Cherry


The flowers are so tiny I had to use an olloclip macro attachment on my iPhone 6 to get close.


By: Michael Fox

I'm partied out ... time for a rest.

I’m partied out … time to rest.

September to March is Koala mating season and Photographer, Alan Moore, reports that on Tuesday night there seemed to be a late night party in the trees behind his house.

Alan identified the sounds of three different Koalas … typically lots grunting, hissing and squealing/screaming.








LED LENSER - Alan Moore



Photographing Koalas high in the trees is difficult at the best of times. At 11:30pm it is a bit of an art.

Alan uses an LED LENSER P17 torch that can be focused into a power spot light beam. The bright white LED light is ideal for photography even for back-lighting in daytime.


Koala3 - male - Alan Moore - 7 Oct 2014

Definitely a male Koala






“Ok, back to the party. The girls will be missing me.”

If you see a Koala:

  • please take a photo – even a phone camera photo is fine as it provides details of date/time
  • note the location – beside Summit Track or backyard of number/street
  • report to Koala Tracker; or
  • email details and photos to

Sick or injured Koalas can be reported to 1300 ANIMAL or Daisy Hill Koala Ambulance

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