Federation Track sign 1 - 10 Feb 14

Federation Track – 1.9km to top of mountain

By: Michael Fox

Part of preparing an accurate and useful map/walking guide for Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve is actually walking all the tracks to check times and signs.

This week I walked the Mt Gravatt Lookout Look starting at Gertrude Petty Place I followed the Federation Track. The track leads through the Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare site where a group led by Sue Jones has been removing weeds and restoring native grasses, vines and trees.

Ironbark Track junction - 10 Feb 2014

Ironbark Track junction – link to Logan Road

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The section of the Federation Track through to the junction with Ironbark Track is very easy walking with no steps or steep climbs. The Ironbark Track currently connects through to Logan Road via the Hillsong Carpark off Rover Street. The long term plan is to bridge the gully at the Rover Street Bushcare site creating a wheelchair accessible track from Gertrude Petty Place through to Mt Gravatt Showgrounds.

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Federation Track steps past Ironbark junction - 10 Feb 2014

Track climbs to reach Federation Lookout

From the Ironbark Track junction the track starts climbing to reach Federation Lookout.

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Federation Lookout junction - 10 Feb 2014

Federation Lookout junction

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Federation Lookout - 10 Feb 2014

Looking back to Federation Lookout

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A short side track to the right takes you Federation Lookout with excellent views over the city to the east..

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From Federation Lookout the track goes downhill over grey-white quartzite. Large quartzite rocks scattered beside the track create some interesting photographic opportunities.

Scribbly Gum junction - 10 Feb 2014

Scribbly Gum Track junction – links to Logan Road at old Scout Hut

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The Scribbly Gum Track links through to Logan Road at the old Scout Hut opposite Wishart Road. You can park at the Scout Hut to walk directly to Federation Lookout. The walk is quite interesting as it crosses Jo’s Creek before climbing towards the lookout..

Scribbly Gums - 10 Feb 2014

Scribbly Gums

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From the junction the track winds though Scribbly Gums Eucalyptus racemosa one of our iconic Australian trees that look like someone has been scribbling on the bark. “That can’t be scribbling, it is right up there metres above ground.” The scribbling is the work of moth larvae feeding on photosynthetic tissue just below the epidermal cells in the tree trunk.

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Bridge - 10 Feb 2014

Jo’s Creek Bridge

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Pause on the timber bridge crossing Jo’s Creek and watch for small forest birds..

Granby Street sign - 10 Feb 2014

Granby Street junction

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The Granby Street Track leads to Logan Road via Granby Street.

Federation Greebung junction - 10 Feb 2014

Federation Geebung Track junction

The track to Mt Gravatt Outlook is a solid climb gaining 55 metres in height over half a kilometre.

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I stopped where the Federation Track joined the Geebung Track to check restoration work on the degraded weedy area beside the track.

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Indigofera hirsuta - flower close - 7 Feb 2014
Hairy Indigo – Indigofera hirsuta

I am always pleasantly surprised at the resilience of our native flora and fauna species that hang on despite massive disruption by man and weed invasion. Among the metre high Guinea Grass Panicum maximum v maximum, Cobblers Pegs Bidens pilosa and Red Natal Grass Melinis repens, I found Slender Flat-sedge Cyperus gracilis, Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus, Scrambling Lily Geitonoplesium cymosum and a healthy stand of Hairy Indigo Indigofera hirsuta an attractive native shrub which is caterpillar food plant for the Long-tailed Pea-blue and Common Grass-blue butterflies.

Blue Skimmer Dragonfly - close - 10 Feb 2014

Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

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I also spotted a Blue Skimmer Dragonfly Orthetrum caledonicum resting in the sun.

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Common Crow - 10 Feb 2014

Common Crow butterfly

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Following the Geebung Track to the Mt Gravatt Lookout I came across a number of Common Crow Euploea core butterflies performing mating flights.

Geebung Summit Track junction 10 Feb 2014

Geebung Summit Track junction

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The Geebung Track joins the Summit Track just short of the Lookout picnic area.

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Lookout picnic area

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Have a picnic with the family …

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Echidna Magic

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have lunch at Echidna Magic …

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Lookout playground

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enjoy the playground …

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Historical Societ plaque - 10 Feb 2014

Story of road builders

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or learn some local history.

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Old growth trees on steep slope

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After refilling my water bottle I returned to Gertrude Petty Place via the Summit Track which winds around the northern face of the mountain.

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Multinational volunteer team

By: Susan Jones

We were fortunate to have a multinational group of eleven Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) volunteers at Gertrude Petty Place today to clear a large garden bed of Cobblers Pegs Bidens pilosa and lay mulch.

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CVA Mulch Team

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One team removed the weeds, whilst the other barrowed in mulch sourced from trees blown down in the March 20 storm.

We were unable to finish the job as we had to stop work when a nest of Green-Head Ants Rhytidoponera metallica swarmed out of a nest in the mulch, threatening volunteers with painful stings.

Well earned break at Summit

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We stopped for lunch at the summit, which proved a real treat for everyone.   Our international friends were amazed at the expansive views and the locals declared it better than that from Mt Coot-tha.

Removing Creeping Lantana

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Afterwards, we returned to clear Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis at the entrance to the Summit Walk, where we found a hive of Sugarbag native bees Trigona carbonaria.

Our day concluded with a tour of the Mt Gravatt High School National Tree Day Planting site, and a look at an old termite’s nest in an Ironbark gum,  which has provided a breeding site over many years for our local Laughing Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae.

A heartfelt thanks to these delightful volunteers who worked so hard to strengthen the environmental values of our Reserve.

By: Susan Jones

MacGregor Lions Bushcare Team

“Sue! I need you to bring 20 pair of gardening gloves”.  Newly appointed MacGregor Lions Vice President, Shan Ju Lin, had tapped into her many contacts within the Australian/Taiwanese community, organising volunteers from all over Brisbane to assist Lions with their Roly Chapman Reserve Gardens

Another tub of weeds removed

Project July working bee.   Amongst them were young Taiwanese tourists whom we hope will take home happy memories of their Australian bush experience.

Juvenile Grey Butchebird

Garden bed #3 was cleared of many garden escapes and weeds that had been dispersed as seed by birds and animals.  One large pile of mulch was then spread in the bed to improve soil quality and minimise weed regrowth.   A family of Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus torquatus sat close by and swooped each time an insect, spider or frog was uncovered: it was a gourmet smorgasbord that the birds relished!

Garden bed #4 was a tangled

Native trees being released from strangling grip of Devil’s Ivy

undergrowth of Cobblers Pegs Bidens pilosa, Mother-in-law Tongue Sanseveria trifasciata, Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata, Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia, Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis, as well as, Devil’s Ivy Epipremnum aureumthat was slowly smothering native gums.  With so many willing volunteers the garden quickly re-emerged and the weed heap grew to enormous proportions.  A Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus was disturbed from its sleep in a gum above and immediately a family of Noisy Miners Manorina melanophrys circled the unfortunate creature, announcing its presence with their shrill shrieks.

Thank you to our great volunteer team!  We enjoyed your company and appreciated the hard work you put in to move this MacGregor Lions’ project forward.  We would love to see you back next month!

At our next working bee on 4th August we will finish mulching Garden bed # 3, remove the last of the Devil’s Ivy and weed roots in garden bed #4 and then lay down mulch.     These two beds will then be ready for replanting with bird, butterfly and bee-attracting natives!

Join the MacGregor Lions team restoring birds, butterflies, bees and frogs to this special environment:

Next working bee – Saturday 4th August – 8am to 10am

Meet at garden #4 (from Hoad Street end of pathway).

For details email – Macgregor.Lions.Secretary@gmail.com

By: Susan Jones

Clearing jungle of weeds

Lions’ refurbishment of the Roly Chapman Reserve native gardens is steaming ahead.

A  thick jungle of garden escapees, including Purple Succulent Callisia fragrans, Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberosa, Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis, Cobblers Pegs Bidens pilosa and Cocos Palms Syagrus romanizoffiana, confronted  the volunteers when they arrived.

Innovative weed removal technique

Lions Team (l-r) Steve, Baska, Kevin, Glen & Shan Ju

The Cobblers Pegs were over a metre high and covered in seeds, requiring careful removal. The Purple Succulent also required careful handling to ensure all fleshy stems and roots were lifted, or they’d resprout. Baska and Kevin hit on the idea of using a small tarp onto which the weeds were loaded, and then lifted off the beds. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew were kept busy pulling weeds for removal.

Perfect weather, plus a great team produced an excellent morning’s work.  Well done, MacGregor Lions and neighbour Liz!

Next working bee:

Midweek – Thursday 17th May from 3 – 5 pm

Monthly – Saturday, 2nd June from 8 – 10 am

Meet on the concrete pathway at the third garden from Hoad Street end.

For details: email – Macgregor.Lions.Secretary@gmail.com or contact John Spriggs on 3849 6479.