Working hard and lots of smiles.

By: Michael Fox

Clairvaux MacKillop Year 10 students have been working with us since stepping up in 2018 to help with preparation of the National Tree Day site.

The students are amazing when it comes to finding insects for me to photograph. A double bonus … weeds cleared and more species to add to our Flora and Fauna research.

The target weed for the event was Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberos which is currently covered in fruit.

The vine is a vigorous invasive weed with seeds spread by fruit eating birds. Ironically Corky Passion Vine has become our new target weed as it is thriving in now that the other weeds have been cleared. It is important to remove the roots to ensure that we don’t have to do our work all over again.

True to form a sharp eyed student found a new insect for me to research.

So far no confirmed identification it looks very similar to a Shield Bug/Stink Bug. However, this bug is closer to the Horned Coreid Bugs. Both are True Bugs and both are sap sucking insects.

I have submitted my tentative identification Noliphus erythrocephalus Colourful Board-headed Bug to iNaturalist for id confirmation before I add this species to our Flora and Fauna database. Part of my identification process was to check the iNaturalist map of sightings.

Another tentative identification is a female Three-eyed Leaf-rolling Cricket Xiphogryllacris orthoxipha.

I have found this species before however this time I noticed a tail like appendage curved over the abdomen. This oviposter identified the cricket as female and is used to deposits eggs deep into soil.

The two short appendages are cerci which are sensitive to puffs of air and low-frequency vibrations.

I love having our student Bushcarers finding me insects to research. I learn something after every event.

By: Michael Fox

Eleven Clairvaux MacKillop College students and two teachers joined me last Monday to clear weeds in preparation for our National Tree Day planting.

The first of three innovative events organised by Sandra Stadhams: Campus Minister with the theme Revive The Earth. It is an inspiring initiative founded on the words of Pope Francis:

We can change, and we can make a new start. The whole human family needs to work together to care for our planet earth so that we sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. So, let’s put love for the world and love for our neighbours, into action, by living together in harmony, and caring for nature.

The Revive The Earth program utilises the Shared Path Framework “… to go beyond mere surface-experience in our endeavours to develop students who are compassionately engaged human beings.”

The interrelated movements of the Framework are:

Movement 1: PREPARE
Attention of the Heart/Holding Space
How can we ground experiences in the here and now?

Movement 2: PARTNER
Receptive Presence/Connecting
How do we form authentic reciprocal relationships with the communities we are engaging with?

Movement 3: PERCEIVE
Critical Reflection/Seeing Beyond
How do we train the eye to see beyond the experience? How do we use reflective tools that mirror the pathway of incoming information through the brain?

Movement 4: PRACTICE
Reciprocal Intention/Discernment
How can we ensure that students aren’t developing pre-mature solutions to complex community challenges?

Integration of Purpose/Transformation
How can this be placed to animate, orient and innovate a new way of being human and a new way of relationship which is radically open-hearted and transformational.

Leaning to use a hand saw.

On site the Team dived in with a will to subdue a forest of weeds: Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus var. maximus*, Cobblers Peg Bidens pilosa*, Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberosa*.

The team also helped us trial a new tool to remove Guinea Grass by separating the plant crown from roots with minimal root disturbance. The diverse living organisms critical for soil health can be damaged by if the soil is disturbed, so we are working with the BCC Habitat Brisbane team to develop best practice techniques for habitat restoration.

It is also a pleasure sharing basic skills like using a hand saw safely.

I am looking forward to welcoming the Clairvaux Bushcare team back for my own learning. Observing how the students apply the Shared Path Framework will strengthen my skills with community engagement.

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 – or contact John Spriggs on 3849 6479.