By: Michael Fox

 

Cr. Steven Huang was interested in everything when he visited Roly Chapman Bushcare in February. He was particularly impressed with the Gross Pollution Trap installed to catch drink containers and plastic bags washed out of the storm water drain.

The trap was made with a recycled security screen and star pickets. We have been waiting on a storm event to test out the structure. Last week’s storms dumped about 170 mm of rain on Upper Mt Gravatt in 24 hours. A good test for the Pollution Trap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We inspected the trap this morning to find the water flow must have been very strong to build litter up about 30 centimetres

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic bags and drink containers that didn’t pollute the bushland.

The success of the pollution trap is great contribution to protecting our bushland.

You can make a contribution by joining Clean Up Australia this Sunday. 

 

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By: Michael Fox

Join CleanUp Australia – Mt Gravatt Summit

Green Carpenter Bee - Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus - 31 Jan 2018 cropped

Green Carpenter Bee

Clean Up and restoration work is making an impact with wildlife like this female Green Carpenter Bee Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus returning to the restored habitat. Video shows the female chewing a nest hollow into an Acacia.

Date: March 4th 2018

Start time: 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM

Meet at: Mt Gravatt Summit carpark – near Love Well Project

Please join our Clean Up teams picking up rubbish or removing Creeping Lantana

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Photos: Andreas Listle

A beautiful Saturday morning and I met up with an inspiring group students for our regular Griffith Mates OWeek guided walk in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. I vary the walk each time to highlight plants in flower and other special sights and sounds. A highlight this time was meeting Ma Poss (Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula) and her joey. (Baby possums are called ‘joey’.)

 

Checking nest box - collage - 28 Oct 2017

Checking nest box with GoPro and excited students watching on the iPad

 

 

 

Meeting at Mt Gravatt Campus the Griffith Mates team introduced students from Germany, South America, China and Japan all keen to learn more about the Australian bush.

The students were very interested in learning about our native ground orchids: Slender Hyacinth Orchid Dipodium variegatum.

Mycoheterotrophy-NewI explained that, lacking any leaves, these orchids are critically dependent on their relationship with fungi in the ground.  The fungi mycorrhiza, fine root like fibres, feed the underground orchid with organic carbon and minerals collected from roots of adjacent trees.

 

These native orchids cannot survive if removed from the bush as they are totally dependent on their relationship with the fungi.

 

 

 

Along Acacia Way we looked at the unusual Bottle Brush Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea macronema in flower. Looking closely we found Stingless Native Bees (Tetragonula sp.) collecting pollen and nectar.

 

Pardalote sign

Pardalote interpretative sign

 

 

Bird song is an important part of any walk in the Reserve.


Blueberry Lily berries
The QR code on the Pardalote interpretative sign linked to a video of a Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus singing. I introduced the group to the iconic and cheerful song of the Laughing Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae

 

Blueberry Lily - 28 Oct 2017 lowres

Blueberry Lily fruit

 

Along Acacia Way we found Settlers Flax Gymnostachys anceps: used by early settlers to sew bags and indigenous people combined it with bark to make fishing line, Blueberry Lily Dianella longifolia and Native Raspberry Rubus moluccanus.

 

Collage 2 - 28 Oct 2017

Leading guided walks with Griffith Mates is always a pleasure … lots of smiles and laughter along the Eastern Outlook Track.

 

Nat Tree Day 2016 planting - 28 Oct 2017 lowres

2016 National Tree Day planting

 

 

A quick stop to inspect results from the 2016 National Tree Day planting: thickening nicely and some trees over 3 metres.

 

 

Curculigo ensifolia - flower - 31 Oct 2017 lowres

Curculigo ensifolia flower

 

Last stop was the 2017 National Tree Day site.

I showed the natural regeneration in the area where the invasive weed Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses was cleared as part of National Tree Day. Nature is very resilient if we give it a chance and the returning natives are strong evidence of the effectiveness of our Bushcare work.

Vicent and tree - 28 Oct 2017 - lowres

Vincent and his tree

 

Vincent took the opportunity to check in on the tree he planted on National Tree Day.

 

 

 

Griffith Mates ... the end - 28 Oct 2017A great walk … everyone seemed to be inspired to return and help with our Bushcare work.

Thanks to Andreas Listle for staying behind the camera and capturing memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: D. Frenkiel

Koala mun and joey on branch - 29 Oct 2017

Koala Mum and Joey – Photo: D. Frenkiel

By: Michael Fox

 

Hearing loud grunting at night?

Koala breeding season is here, August to February, so males are loudly announcing their availability and we have our first report of a new joey (baby) Koala.

Mountain neighbour Dominic, shared video of a Koala mum with joey clinging to her back while she climbed a Tallowwood Eucalyptus microcorys in Fox Gully Bushcare.

Bottle Brush Grass Tree - Xanthorrhoea macronema - 1 Nov 2017

Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema

Look for Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema in flower along Acacia Way and Eastern Outlook Track. Very popular with our native Stingless Bees Tetragonula sp. and Blue Banded Bees Amegilla cingulata these uncommon Grass Trees are found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve but not in Toohey Forest just one kilometre away across the Motorway.

Daviesia villifera - fower - Aug 07

Bitter Pea Daviesia villifera

 

 

 

 

 

Along Acacia Way you will also find Bitter Pea Daviesia villifera with it’s bright yellow flowers and distinctively shaped leaves.

Broad-leaf bramble - Raspberry - Rubus moluccanus - flower - 1 Nov 2017

Broad-leaf bramble (Raspberry) Rubus moluccanus

The Bitter Pea is caterpillar food plant for the Fringed Heath-blue butterfly Neolucia agricola

 

 

 

 

 

Look for native raspberries in flower along Acacia Way. We have ten native raspberry species in Queensland. Broad-leaf bramble Rubus moluccanus occurs naturally in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

However, if you want to grow your own native raspberries I recommend Large-fruited Raspberry Rubus probus, fast growing and the biggest raspberries I have ever eaten. Just make sure you restrain it by planting in a large pot as these plants sucker aggressively.

King Parrort Acacia seed

Acacia fimbriata seed                                                       Male King Parrot

Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata has finished its beautiful bright yellow winter flowering. However, if you are lucky you will see a King Parrot Alisterus scapularis feeding on the seeds. Listen for the King Parrot call as you walk.