Roly Chapman Reserve 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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mulch-filter-school-oval-29-nov-2016

Mulch Filter along oval fence

By: Michael Fox

This morning was the final Bushcare event for 2016 and the 80 metre Mulch Filter along the Upper Mt Gravatt State School fence is ready to capture water run-off during the summer storm season.

The current dry weather highlights the importance of keeping as much rain water as possible on site to support the bushland restoration. The school oval represents over 10,000 sq metres (one hectare) of rain catchment available for the Buchcare site.

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Composting weeds on site

Natural regeneration of Monkey Rope Vine Parsonsia straminea and Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea is already enhancing the on-site composting of weeds. Slowing the water run-off reduces erosion and allows the water soak in to support the natural regeneration.

It is encouraging to see the native vines setting seed ready for the summer growing season.

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Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea (left)                     Wombat Berry Eustrephus latifolius     

 

 

 

By: Michael FoxMorning tea for team

Join Group Leader Liz and the team for the next working bee at Roly Chapman Bushcare site … lots of fun clearing weeds and morning tea.
Roly Chapman meet site

Location: Carson Lane behind Upper Mt Gravatt State School

Date: 11 September 2016

Time: 8:30 to 10:30am

Edited by: Michael Fox

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Mulch filter

 

Sunday 10th April, a lovely sunny morning and new volunteers join the team for the second community working bee of the year.

First step, before it gets too hot, is working along the fence between the reserve and Upper Mt Gravatt SS oval. One group continued clearing weeds along the fence line while the other group starting moving the mulch delivered by BCC Habitat Brisbane last month, staking plants and installing a timber edge to contain mulch to create a break between the oval and the bush. The 20cm thick layer of mulch will act to slow the large volume of  water runoff from the large area of the school oval. This allows the water to soak in rather than just run off and also acts as a weed seed filter protecting the bush.

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Kate demonstrates cut and dab

Only partially complete this mulch filter is already working to stop weed regrowth and promote growth of the planted melaleucas (doubled in size) and the clumps of Common Rush Juncus usitatus

Kate Flink, our Habitat Brisbane Officer, also joined us for the morning. Besides helping to move heavy barrow loads of mulch she gave a demonstration on herbicide application using the cut and dab method.  This is an ideal way to deal with thickets of Easter Cassia Senna pendula var. glabrata and Small Leaved Privet Ligustrum sinense that have infested this area.

Morning tea for team

Hard work is rewarded with morning tea

At the end of a busy morning we were very grateful for our morning tea (especially the raspberry slice) prepared and brought to us by Trevor and Carol.  Thank you to all the volunteers and especially Kate for her help, encouragement and invaluable information.

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Mulch filter along school fence

By: Michael Fox

 

Sunday 13th March was the first community working bee of the year. Despite the rain we decided to go for it and got our wet weather gear on. The light showers that came about every half hour were very light and kept us cool. So it proved a bonus.

Out tasks for the morning were to remove seed heads, chip away the weeds next to the school fence and cover them with a layer of mulch to suppress weed regrowth, filter out weed seeds and slow the large volume of water coming off the school oval.

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Zone 2 Mar (3) 2016

Delivering mulch

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BCC Habitat Brisbane delivered a large pile of forest mulch. So we took it in turns to fill barrow loads and dump them in a two metre strip along the fence. While we were working we spotted a few butterflies including the Common Crow and a Blue Tiger.

Zone 2 Mar (7) 2016

Morning tea and banana cake!

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While we were working we spotted a few butterflies including the Common Crow and a Blue Tiger. Our reward for an enjoyable morning’s work was some delicious banana cake courtesy of neighbours Carol and Trevor, who unfortunately couldn’t be there but sent the cake in their place!

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Mimosa Creek in flood – Jan 2015

Edited By: Michael Fox

Saturday December 5th was the last working bee of the year at Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve.

2015 started out very wet with January storms flooding the new bikeway bridge over Mimosa Creek.

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Flood damage repair – straightening and staking

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After the flood Lomandras have done there job holding the bank in place. However, the newly planted trees are a different story with most knocked flat by flood water.  Liz, Marshal and I moved in to straighten and stake before this beautiful new planting is lost.

Zone 2 - 22 May 2015

Zone 2 – weed infestation May 2015

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Repairs done our Bushcare team returned to working in Zone 2 to tackle the infestation of Guinea Grass Panicum maximum, Small Leafed Privet Ligustrum sinense, Easter Cassia Senna pendula and Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus.

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Zone 2 - 15 Dec 2015

Zone 2 – weeds gone – natives returning

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Having cleared the larger weed species the area we are working on near the boundary with Upper Mount Gravatt School now resembles a primary forest. In the open spaces, native plants no longer smothered in weeds, are springing back to life. Many Cheese trees Glochidion ferdinandi, free from competition are racing for the sky. Ground covers such as Native Wandering Jew Commelina diffusa and Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus are protecting the soil from erosion and keeping it cool, acting as Living Mulch.

Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas - 15 Dec 2015

Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas

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As we were packing up and looking forward to morning tea, a delicate Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas damselfly with bright metallic green stripes paid a visit, hovering over a small patch of vegetation.

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Koala 13 Nov 2015

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

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We now have proof at last that it’s not just Mount Gravatt that is home to Koalas Phascolarctos cinereus. The one pictured here, almost invisible from the path was spotted last month by a dog walker. A mother and baby have also been sighted. This is another good reason to keep weeds at bay. Koalas need to come to the ground and move across the forest floor to look for suitable food trees. Their task is made much harder when there’s a lot of thick weedy vegetation in the way.

Noisy Miner - feeding chicks2 - Roly C - 16 Oct 2015

Noisy Miner feeding chicks in nest

By: Michael Fox

Some species, like the Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala, are quite happy to share our urban environment. These Miners like to make their nest in the protective wire basket on the lights. Very clever … protection from bigger birds and warmth at night for the eggs.

Now they just need food for the chicks. Nectar feeders, Noisy Miners are honeyeaters, still need protein from insects for their growing chicks.

So it was interesting to have Helen Schwencke, Earthling Enterprises, join us for Roly Chapman Reserve Bushcase last Friday.

Monarch Danaus plexippus - caterpillar - Roly C - 16 Oct 2015

Monarch butterfly caterpillar feeding on Red-headed Cotton Bush

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We found a number of fascinating and photogenic insects in the Reserve.

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Sometimes environmental weeds are the place to look for some of our most attractive insects. The milkweed species, Red-headed Cotton Bush Asclepias curassavica is a favourite of the Monarch or Wanderer butterfly Danaus plexippus.

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Small Green-banded Blue - Psychonotis caelius - caterpillar2 - Roly C - 16 Oct 2015

Small Green-banded Blue caterpillar on Red Ash

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One way to find micro-locals is to look for chewed leaves. An expert like Helen Schwencke can even tell what insect she is looking for just from the pattern of chewing on a leaf.

Caterpillars of the Small Green-banded Blue Psychonotis caelius feed on leaves of the Red Ash/Soapy Ash Alphitonia excelsa. The caterpillar’s lime green colour blends perfectly with the underside of the leaves.

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Native Hibiscus Hibiscus heterophyllus

The name Soapy Ash comes from the effects of saponins on the leaves which create a foaming soapy action. A useful bush soap.

The attractive Native Hibiscus Hibiscus heterophyllus growing in the Pollinator Link display gardens are fast growing and good plants for attracting food for insect eating birds.

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Small Brown-black Leaf Beetle - Nisotra bicolorata - Roly C - 16 Oct 2015

Small Brown-black Leaf Beetle on Native Hibiscus

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We found a number of Small Brown-black Leaf Beetle Nisotra bicolorata feeding on Native Hibiscus.

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Ladybird Coelophora inaequalis - wings - 16 Oct 2015

Ladybird Coelophora inaequalis

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Seeing a Ladybird Coelophora inaequalis spreading its wings is something special. The pattern of dots is a key to identification of Ladybird species.

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Milkweed Aphid - Aphis nerii - 16 Oct 2015 crop

Infestation of Milkweed Aphid Aphis nerii

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Ladybirds are particularly valuable for control of infestations of Aphids.

Aphid infestations can cause massive damage as they suck juice from plants. Ladybirds are particularly valuable for garden pest control as both adult and larvae Ladybirds are predators.

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Sawfly - 16 Oct 2015

Sawfly – species not identified

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We found this beautiful Sawfly adult feeding on Sandpaper Fig Ficus opposita. We have not identified the particular species of Sawfly. I have sent the photo to the Queensland Museum Ask a question team for identification.

Sawfly larvae are curious looking caterpillars that feed on native plants.

The Sandpaper Fig is often called the Supermarket Tree. It attracts birds, can be used for shade, food, medicine, tools, fire and string to make nets and traps.

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