Mia & Camilla - Griffith Mates 1 - 23 Aug 2014

Mia & Camilla dressed for action

By: Michael Fox

I was very proud of our Griffith Mates partners today. Rain and mud did not stop Camilla and Mia.

The rain meant it was unsafe to work removing Fishbone Fern on the steeper areas of the gully, so our focus was restoring and strengthening the silt filters along the Farm Fire Trail.

Simon Fox checking silt level - 20 Aug 2014

Simon Fox checking level of silt captured

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The silt filters are proving very effective. Simon Fox, our BCC Habitat Brisbane coordinator, is impressed with our simple low-tech solution to reduce erosion. Recycled deck timber is used to make stakes and timber barriers to hold the mulch forming the silt filter.

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Mia & Camilla - Griffith Mates insert - 23 Aug 2014

Muddy silty water

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The filters slow muddy water so the silt has time to settle out while the water filters away. In some areas up to 100mm of silt has been captured and stopped from flowing into Mimosa Creek.

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Restoring mulch around Koala trees

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We also restored mulch around the Koala trees Griffith Mates planted for National Tree Day.

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Golden-tailed Ant nest - 23 Aug 2014

Golden-tailed Spiny Ant nest

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Camilla and Mia were fascinated by what we found while we were looking for rocks to help manage erosion. The first two rocks we turned over we found ant nests so we carefully restored their home.

The first nest was a Golden-tailed Spiny Ant Polyrhachis ammon. When they named it spiny they were not kidding. Aside from the spines over the head and caster (tail) this ant has extraordinary sharp horns on the body.

Black-headed Strobe Ants - composite - 23 Aug 2014

Black-headed Strobe Ant nest

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Under the second rock we found a new ant to add to the species list for the Reserve. Black-headed Strobe Ant Opisthopsis rufithorax.

Enough work. Time to get out of the rain, have a hot drink and warm up.

 

 

 

Imperial Hairstreak - 23 Mar 2013

Imperial Hairstreak butterfly on Early Black Wattle

By: Michael Fox

We welcomed the Griffith Uni Bushcare Team back to Fox Gully on the Saturday before Easter.

Mind you, it took a while to get them onsite as we found some Imperial Hairstreak butterflies, Jalmenus evagoras, beside the track. It is always a pleasure to find someone else who can be totally fascinated by a few of butterflies, caterpillars and ants.

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Imperial Hairstreak chrysalis protected by Small Meat Ants

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Silt 100mm deep behind mulch filter

Imperial Hairstreak butterfly caterpillars and chrysalis are protected by native Small Meat Ants Iridomyrmex sp. referred to as Kropotkin ants. Read my article in Southside Community News.

The Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx are interesting with their distinctive triangular stems.

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The main project for the day was restoration and improvement of the “mulch filters” that keep silt from the dirt maintenance road flowing into the gully. The filters have proved very effective in reducing erosion and keeping the water in the gully clean.

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Mirandha and Sheamus installing mulch filter

The mulch filter is designed to slow the water flow at key runoff points on the track, allowing the silt to settle out. Silt is already 100mm deep behind one filters and starting to support natural regeneration of native grass.

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The original filters were made by simply mounding mulch at the runoff points as an experiment. Now that the effectiveness has been established logs are being installed to make the filters more permanent and allow mulch to be piled higher.

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Sheamus and Mirandha - 23 Mar 13

Bush food snack

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Of course after all the hard work a snack is in order. Mirandha try out the sweet roots of Blady Grass Imperata cylindrica.