Geocaching family - Southern Star - Sept 2014

Southern Star – 24 September 2014

By: Michael Fox

Marshal Kloske and I met the Wood family at Mt Gravatt Summit the morning they were there to meet the Southern Star photographer and we were there to photograph butterfly mating displays as part of our research for the new interpretative track signs.

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Noisy Miner chicks calling for food

Marshal showed the family the large new sign with maps and information about local history and environment. Like most people the family were surprised to learn about the local “glow-in-the-dark” mushrooms and they were very interesting our research and restoration work.

Nest watching

Nest watching team in action

Heather, Eloise and Lincoln then joined Liz, Marshal and I on Wednesday afternoon for our regular Fox Gully Bushcare. Knowing we would be joined by young children, I planned a special afternoon of activities including checking the nest-boxes and making a portable plant nursery to propagate native seedlings for re-vegetation work. When the family arrived we found out that Marshal and I are now officially called “the Bush Men” … definitely an honour.

First stop was to check on the Noisy Miner family nesting in the Lillypilly hedge. A mobile scaffold makes an ideal place to look down into the nest. Checking the nest boxes we found two Squirrel Gliders at home in one nest box and three possibly four Gliders in another box.

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Kids and sand – always a success

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Watering in with Seasol

The next job is potting up Creeping Beard or Rainforest GrassĀ Oplismenus aemulus and Love Flower Pseuderanthemum variable. Rainforest Grass is ideal for creating Living Mulch that keeps the weeds down, controls erosion, feeds butterflies and creates a natural fire break with its low fuel load. Love Flower spreads rapidly in the garden and is considered of nuisance by some gardeners. However, this pretty little native herb is host plant for the caterpillars of a number of butterflies including Australian Leafwing Doleschallia bisaltide and Varied Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina. Also Bearded Dragons Pogona barbata like to eat the flowers.

First Eloise and Lincoln helped build a self-watering seedling nursery … sand and water … a recipe forfun.

The idea for this neat seedling nursery came from a Gardening Australia segment on building a simple hothouse. It was a productive and fun afternoon. I will provide an update on the success of the seedling nursery which may become a valuable project for Pollinator Link gardeners.

Bob Hawke

The Hon. Bob Hawke AC launches Landcare

By: Michael Fox

It was a real pleasure to watch Gardening Australia over the weekend as Costa interviewed The Hon. Bob Hawke AC about his support to establish Landcare Australia in 1989, then followed up later in the program interviewing an amazing 84 year old ball of energy, Don Wilson of Clive Park Bushcare in Sydney and founder of Bushcare’s Major Day Out.

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Click on link to watch the two segments: 25 Years of Landcare Australia

Don Wilson with Costa - Gardening Australia

Don Wilson talking with Costa at Clive Park

I met Don Wilson last year and visited Clive Park Bushcare. Don really is an inspiration. Not only is he out there pulling weeds … I hate Asparagus Fern too Don … he has also pulled together an amazing group of professionals who are behind the annual Bushcare’s Major Day Out. In 2014 BMDO has spread to every Australian state except NT with a record 58 events in Queensland.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group was not involved this year however our 2013 Bushcare’s Major Day Out – Photography Workshop was a great success with participants really starting to see the bush in a different way.

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View over Sailor’s Bay & Middle Harbour

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The Clive Park Bushcare site is worth a visit. With views over Sailor’s Bay and Middle Harbour …

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Clive Park - tree - 2 April 2013

Picnic in the park with water, trees and wildlife

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… it has some of the most beautiful picnic spots you will find in Sydney.

Click on photo to fully appreciate this majestic tree.