By: Michael Fox

Fox Gully Bushcare


More than 50mm of rain this week has created an opportunity to move to Zone 6 and remove Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata before the flowers set seeds. Ochna has a deep tap root which is very hard to remove unless the ground is soft.




Rani with TreePopper and Chinese Elm


I introduced our newest volunteer Rani Lustosa, of Two Dogs Landscaping, to the TreePopper, an ideal tool for attacking woody weeds like Ochna. The TreePopper design means that the weeds are pulled from the ground vertically minimising the risk of breaking off. At the same time there is minimal disturbance of the soil, the wildlife and fungi living in the soil.



Regina tackling Fishbone Fern

While Rani was having fun with the TreePopper, Regina, Liz and I were clearing Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus and Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia.

Mates on trail - 9 Nov 2019

Fishbone Fighters on the trail

By: Michael Fox

Our Griffith Mates Bushcare team joined us again today to help eradicate the invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia from Fox Gully Bushcare Zone 10.

As always the team was an interesting mix of international students: Osaka Japan with its amazing aquarium, cold Gansu in north-west China where winter temperatures range from -13°C to a toasty 3°C, and a local student with a French heritage whose passion is environmentally sensitive urban planning.


Weed Busters - 9 Nov 2019

Fishbone Fighters hard at work





The Fishbone Fighters worked hard first cutting back the prickly Barbed Wire Vine Smilax australis which will tear an unsuspecting Bushcarer’s arms to pieces. However, Barbed Wire Vine is very hardy local native which can tolerate a hard cutback to allow access for weed removal.

Proud Bushcarers - 9 Nov 2018

Proud Fishbone Fighers


Thanks again to the extraordinary Griffith Mates Bushcare team who have been partnering with Mt Gravatt Environment Group since April 2013.



First Chinese Scouts - 28 July 2019

Brisbane First Chinese Scout Group

By: Michael Fox

130 participants planted 450 native shrubs, vines and grasses … another successful National Tree Day and another large area of Fox Gully Bushcare restored.


As in past years many community groups returned for our 2019 event:

Shinnyoen - National Tree Day 2019, Mt Gravatt Environmental Group

Welcome to Resurge Digital Team … looking forward to meeting again in 2020

Planting Team - 28 July 2019

Holes ready: planting underway

Please accept my apologies if I got any names wrong or missed any groups. I normally do this report soon after the event.

Thank you to the BCC Habitat Brisbane team who organised the plants, mulch and holes for the planting.

National Tree Day is always an inspiration, having all these community members helping us restore the Reserve.

Weeding Team - 28 July 2019

Weeding team returns

The Weeding Team cleared a huge area of the invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia, Fishbone is a native but not to Brisbane bushland and parks where it is an invasive weed.

Thanks to the Teams work Fishbone is well on the way to be eradicated from another part of Fox Gully Bushcare.

Griffith Mates Team - 28 July 2019

Griffith Mates Team







Tree Day fun - 29 July 2019

Of course it is never all work and no play.




Jake and Georgia - 18 Oct 2019

Georgia (left) and Jake planting








Three months on and thanks to the watering done by Jake, Georgia and Robyn while I was away, only four plants have  died, our best result ever. And click on the photos to see the amazing growth of Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea which is already growing out the top of the green plant shelters.

Spangled Drongo - Dicrurus bracteatus - 18 Oct 2019

Spangled Drongo




Jake, Georgia and Griffith Mates have been working with me to finish the planting. Watched over by a Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus.





Kookaburra welcoming commitee - 20 July 2019

Kookaburra welcoming committee

By: Michael Fox

Everyone loves to welcome the Griffith Mates Bushcare team to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Even the Kookaburras were ready to welcome our visitors.



Common Spotted Ladybird - life stages - 20 July 2019

Common Spotted Ladybird life stages – larva, adult, pupa

While we waited for the Team I explored the Fairy Fan Flower Scaevola aemula and found three life stages of the Common Spotted Ladybird Harmonia conformis. The larva stage looks nothing like the adult however they still perform valuable pest control services for your garden, feeding on sap-sucking aphids. The pupa stage (right) looks more like the adult Ladybird beetle. The best known adult stage (middle) also feeds on aphids.

Love learning about wildlife - 20 July 2019

Meeting the locals


Most of our Griffith Mates visitors had not seen Lady beetles before and they were eager to meet these miniature Australians.



Cotton Harlequin Bugs - Tectocoris diophthalmus - nymphs - 20 July 2019

Cotton Harlequin Bugs nymphs

Walking - 20 July 2019





On the back of Macaranga leaves we found pretty Cotton Harlequin Bug Tectocoris diophthalmus nymphs







Walking from Mt Gravatt Campus to the Bushcare work site along Acacia Way we could hear the Pardalotes chip-chipping in the trees and Australian King-Parrots Alisterus scapularis  whistling in the distance.


Going bush - 20 July 2019

Going bush


Equipment collected, we headed off track to the day’s work site.




Griffith Mates - 20 July 2019

Weeds bagged for removal - 20 July 2019

Great work Team – weeds bagged for removal

The target for the day is the invasive weed Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia. Once the Team is briefed on the difference between Fishbone Fern and the local Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula they dived removing and bagging huge clumps of roots for removal off site.



Weeding Team - 20 July 2019

Thanks to Griffith Mates Bushcare Team

17 Team members and 51 hours of restoration work. A great morning’s work.

Fairy Home found in forest


Leading the Team to Mt Gravatt Lookout to meet their taxi we discovered the Fairy Home made by one of our Gully neighbours.



Fairys for Climate Change Action



Open the door to discover a special climate change message from the Fairies.










Restoration Team - 6 April 2019

ACYA Team at work

By: Michael Fox

I welcomed the hardworking ACYA team back today to continue restoration in our Fox Gully Bushcare site. I love working with these students because they are so happy and full of life.



Green Jumping Spider - Mopsus mormon - 6 April 2019

Green Jumping Spider Mopsus mormon



The team continued to find lots of wildlife including a moth caterpillar I still need an id and spiders including this Green Jumping Spider Mopsus mormon.


Basket Fern - Drynaria rigidula - regrowth - 6 April 2019

Basket Fern new growth





Pulling out bags of weeds is not the most exciting of our Bushcare work but today I was able to show the team the effectiveness of their work. Native ferns like this Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula are already returning in the areas cleared of weeds.


Rasp Fern - Doodia media - 6 April 2019

Rasp Fern returning



Rasp Fern Doodia media with its attractive pink new growth is an excellent replacement for weed Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia in your garden. Also grows well in pots and hanging baskets.

Want to buy Rasp Fern or other local native visit a Community Nursery.






By: Michael Fox


Members of the Australian Chinese Youth Association (ACYA) joined me yesterday to restore Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. A diverse group with students from China, Japan and Australia, all passionate about working with China.

The team were also all interested in everything I showed them, like the Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula growing, not in cool shady gullies but on dry rocky Mt Gravatt.

Proud Bushcare team - 23 March 2019

Weed Busters at work removing Fishbone Fern


Casey asked what we do in the forest so I showed the National Tree Day plantings and explained our work educating and engaging community members with grant funding for interpretive signs and maps of walking tracks.

I put the team to work removing invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia. A native species indigenous to north Queensland it is an environmental weed in Brisbane spreading from garden waste dumped in bushland and smothering local natives.

Bark Cockroach - Laxta sp. - 23 March 2019

Bark Cockroach



Remember I said the team were interested in everything?

We have never found so many different species at one time. Casey found one of our bush cockroaches: Bark Cockroaches Laxta sp. live in the leaf litter preforming valuable recycling work.


Black Woodland Cockroach - Platyzosteria melanaria - 23 March 2019

Black Woodland Cockroach



A Black Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria melanaria is a new addition to our Flora and Fauna species list.




Brisbane brush-footed trapdoor - Seqocrypta jakara - 23 March 2019

Brisbane Brush-footed Trapdoor Spider


Brisbane Brush-footed Trapdoor Spider  Seqocrypta jakara is another new species identified.




Net-casting Spider - Deinopis sp. - young - 23 March 2019

Net-casting Spider






A newly hatched Net-casting Spider Deinopis sp.

Brown Huntsman - Heteropoda sp. - 23 March 2019

Brown Huntsman









I think Wentao (right) set a new record for finding wildlife including a Brown Huntsman Heteropoda sp.







Weeding disturbed a  Sugar Ant Camponotus sp. The ants immediately got busy relocating their larvae and when I checked today the site was completely clear.




Fungi - 23 March 2019





Cute fungi were also found.



Tiny mushroom fungi - 23 March 2019








Tiny mushroom fungi.







Eight plus bags of weeds - 23 March 2019

Proud Weed Busters



Eight and quarter bags of weeds removed and ready to go to Green Waste at the dump. We compost most weeds onsite however the roots and nodules of Fishbone need to be removed from site or they regrow.

Thank you to the ACYA team. Looking forward to welcoming you back in two weeks.

By: Michael Fox

Compost pile Creeping Lantan - 15 Aug 2017 lr

Creeping Lantana removed into piles

The old car park area will be restored as the 500 plants mature and spread.

Nature will now take over natural regeneration of the 500 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses* cleared by the Lantana Buster Team on National Tree Day.

Seed stock of native grasses like Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus will still be in the soil and with the Lantana not suppressing regrowth the grasses will return with the summer rain.

Griffith Mates - 25 April 2015

Griffith Mates clear the last weeds


The work of our Griffith Mates partners shows the effectiveness of natural regeneration techniques. The team removed the last Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia* from Fox Gully Bushcare Zone 8 in April 2015. Note the bare ground.



Graceful Grass - Ottochloa gracillima - 14 Aug 2017

Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima







August 2017 and Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima is returning naturally. Second hand decking timber is reused to manage erosion on the steep slope and collect leaf litter to retain moisture.


Shelter for lizards - 15 Aug 2017 lr

Lizard highways




Providing Shelter for wildlife helps nature bring the wildlife back to the site.

The piles of fallen branches are restored to the site to create lizard highways across the areas cleared of Creeping Lantana.

Eastern Bearded Dragon - Pogona barbata - 1 Aug 2017

Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata




Lizards like this young Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata are at risk crossing the bare weed-free ground. Creating lizard highways allows these cute creatures to stay safe while they hunt for lunch.


Griffith Mates (l-r) Laura, Lothar, Vikram, Sienna and Herman

By: Michael Fox

The Griffith Mates team helped us reach an important milestone last week. The final stage of a five year project was reached as the last patch of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia has been cleared at our Fox Gully Bushcare site Zone 13.



Fishbone jungle - 11 May 2013

Lost in Fishbone jungle

A team from FWR Group started the daunting task of clearing the Fishbone jungle from the gully.

In its natural environment, Fishbone Fern is usually found growing in rocky areas, on rainforest margins, or as an epiphyte on palm trees in the wetter parts of tropical and sub-tropical Australia. (Weeds of Australia)

CVA team Fox Gully - 22 May 2013 2

Conservation Volunteers (CVA) team

In urban areas where Fishbone Fern has been cultivated as a garden plant it has escaped into remaining patches of bushland crowding out indigenous species. Six species of native fern are indigenous to the Fox Gully habitat. Removal of the weed is allowing natural regeneration of indigenous grasses, ferns and vines.




Removing Fishbone Fern is a time consuming job so the support of a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) was a major boost for the project.



White-banded Plane -25 Apr 2015

Common or Varied Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina



It is a particular pleasure to welcome Griffith Mates back as they always have a great interest in our local wildlife. They even insisted on walking through the forest from Mt Gravatt Campus.

So it was good to be able to show this perfect specimen of Common Aeroplane Phaedyma shepherdi butterfly posing on a Spotted Gum Corymbia citriodora.


Squirrel Glider - 25 Apr 2015

Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis


We finished the morning by checking the nest-boxes introducing our visitors to some of our cutest wildlife.




Magnified Native Cherry

“That is a tiny flower.” Photo: Herman Kai




And Australia’s smallest flower on Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis. Looking for flowering bushfood trees is difficult when you need to carry a magnifying glass.

Griffith Mates team - Fox Gully - 21 Mar 2015

Hard workers (l-r) Sienna, Lara, Indya, Dan, Alex, Shiori, Abraham

By: Michael Fox

The Griffith Mates team joined Fox Gully Bushcare again in March. It is always fascinating to have team around. I listened to two students, one from Norway and one from China, who have never met before, having an in-depth discussion of the Chinese economy while pulling weeds in the Australian bush.

Scorpion-tailed Spider - 21 Mar 2015

Scorpion-tailed Spiders Arachnura higginsi

The students are always interested in the wildlife as well. It can be checking Squirrel Gliders in the nest boxes or like this time finding an interesting spider or beetle.

Snail-eating Carabid - 21 Mar 2015

Snail-eating Carabid Pamborus alternans

Scorpion-tailed Spiders Arachnura higginsi are a curious Orbweaver spider. Female Scorpion-tailed spiders develop a long tail that can be arched over the head must like a scorpion’s attack position. This female Scorpion-tailed Spider is the first I have found in the Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and a new addition to our Flora & Fauna list.

The team also discovered a Snail-eating Carabid Pamborus alternans which has not been recorded before in the reserve. These beetles live under logs and feed on snails and earthworms.

A great team effort … two new species found and fourteen bags of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia roots removed from site. We concentrate on removing the roots because the leaves have very few fertile leaves to spread spores.This invasive environmental weed is typically spread by dumping of garden waste in bushland. The industry website Grow Me Instead lists alternative garden plants all of which are indigenous to Fox Gully  – Gristle Fern Blechnum cartilagineum, Rasp Fern Doodia aspera and Rough Maidenhair Fern Adiantum hispidulum.

Pied Butcherbird - 15 Oct 2014

Pied Butcherbird (adult)

By: Michael Fox

Marshal’s brother Dennis joined us at bushcare today.

We were also joined by a family of three Pied Butcherbirds Cracticus nigrogularis, a parent and two juveniles, as well as two Laughing Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae.

We were clearing Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia and disturbed a number of Centipedes Cryptops spinipes. This made us very popular with our bird visitors.

Kookaburra - 15 Oct 2014

Kookaburra with blind snake

It was fascinating to watch the Butcherbirds beat the slower moving Kookaburras. I tossed one Centipede to a juvenile Butcherbird which quickly snatched it up and flew off just before a Kookaburra landed on the same spot.

Marshal and Dennis - 15 Oct 2015

Marshal and Dennis – productive team

The Kookaburras did have some success. This one caught what looks like a blind snake, possibly a Common Eastern Blind Snake Ramphotyhlops nigrescens which has been found in the area (Catterall & Wallace (1987) An Island in Suburbia). Blind snakes are non-venomous and harmless, living in soft surface soil and debris typically feeding on small ants.

The Mt Gravatt Bush Men had a great afternoon of tall tales and laughter. We even managed to clear a lot of weeds, collecting six bags of Fishbone roots, a bile of compost and Marshal used the Treepopper to remove another sixteen Ochna bushes.