Calendar coverBring mountain magic into your home or office or share the with family and friends.

Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader has produced a special 2016 calendar as a fundraising initiative for Mt Gravatt Environment Group.

This year’s Photography Workshop was called Nature Close-up, so Alan has selected participants pictures show the mountain habitat up through a macro lens.

Order your 2016 Magic of the Mountain calendar and put a bit of Nature Close-up on your wall at home or share with family and friends around Australia or overseas.

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“Stunning, well done!”

Robert Ashdown – Nature Photography

Peek inside your calendar

Price: $15 plus $3.00 post & packing.

Purchase calendars at:

All funds raised will contribute to Mt Gravatt Environment Group research and community education activities.

Small Leaved Privet - bush - 5 June 2015 lr

Small Leaved Privet

By: Michael Fox

Discriminating between environmental weeds and similar looking native species can be difficult at times:

Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) may also be confused with native privet (Ligustrum australianum), which is present in northern and central Queensland. Native privet is not a pest plant. (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)

Working at Roly Chapman Reserve Bushcare with Liz and Marshal, I was confident we were dealing with a grove of Small Leaved Privet but to be sure I Googled the Ag and Fisheries site.

Small Leaved Privet - 5 June 2015 - cropped

Small Leaved Privet – seeds

The description matched except for “Deep-green finely hairy leaves”. Deep-green was right but the leaves looked smooth not hairy.

Liz and I had both watched Todd Sampson’s Redesign My Brain on ABC the night before. In the series Todd works with Dr. Michael Merzenich, Chief Scientific Officer, Posit Science, to explore brain training. Our sense of touch was one area explored in the program so Liz and I decided to experiment with our sense of touch to detect fine hairs we could not see.

Running our fingers then thumbs over the leaves we could feel the “finely hairy” even though we could not see it. Apparently we have 3,000 touch receptors or neurons in each finger tip. However, we lose neurons as we age reducing our touch sensitivity. Brain training can help compensate for the loss of neurons. Interestingly both Liz and I found that, like Todd, our thumbs were more sensitive to touch.

To actually see the fine hairs on the Privet leaf I had to take a macro-photo with my iPhone and AlloClip adapter. Click on photo to enlarge further.

Small Leaved Privet - finely hairy - 5 June 2015 - cropped

.Small Leaved Privet Ligustrum sinense …. Finely hairy too fine to see? Use your touch instead. Photo: iPhone with alloclip

By: Michael Fox

Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader, and I were planning the trail for the participants’ photo assignment when I found this flamboyant new addition for our Flora & Fauna research.

Our 2015 Photography Workshop will focus on macro-photography like this amazing shot taken by Alan.

Want to learn see Nature Close-up? Register today for Workshop on Sunday 24th May

Only a few places left!

Exocarpos cupressiformis - flower - 28 April 2015 - Alan Moore - low res

Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis beside pin head

By: Michael Fox

Want to know about macro-photography learn from Alan Moore at our 2015 Photography Workshop.

Exocarpos cupressiformis - fruit - 25 April 2015 - Alan Moore - low res

Native Cherry fruit

Alan helps with our research of local flora and fauna, however, I think this has been the most challenging assignment yet.

Just finding suitable flowers to photograph on the Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis required the use of a magnifying glass.

Smaller than a pin head this surely has to be Australia’s smallest flower. Now the challenge is the find how these tiny flowers are pollinated so they create tasty bushfood¬† fruit.

Oxalis chnoodes 4 - 3 July 2014 - Alan Moore

Hairy Oxalis Oxalis chnoodes – photo: Alan Moore

By: Michael Fox

I am currently checking and uploading our research Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Keep checking for updates.

Botanist, Ann Moran, has generously checked our first couple of files and we gained another native species bringing our count to 270 native plant species in the Reserve.

Oxalis chnoodes 1 - 3 July 2014 - Alan Moore

Hairy Oxalis Oxalis chnoodes – photo: Alan Moore

I had photographed and identified what I thought was Creeping Oxalis Oxalis corniculata, a weed. Ann took one look at my photos and said that is the native herb, Hairy Oxalis Oxalis chnoodes.

Hairy Oxalis? When I had a close look I found the leaves of our local plant are very hairy. To be able to show this curious plant to community members we needed some real close-up pics … time to call in Alan Moore our local photography guru.