Exocarpos cupressiformis - close - 22 Nov 2014

Bushfood – Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis

By: Michael Fox

Australia is famous for its loud brightly coloured parrots … read Tim Low’s “Where song began” or visit any park when the eucalyptus are flowering.

Our flowers however, with some notable exceptions, have a reputation for being understated or inconspicuous.

Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis is an excellent example of inconspicuous. The orange or red fruit are quite noticeable but the flowers are the tiny buds smaller than the stems they grow on.

Native Cherry - flower - 13 Apr 2015

Tiny flower of Native Cherry

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The flowers are so tiny I had to use an olloclip macro attachment on my iPhone 6 to get close.

 

Walking Mt Gravatt – Garden City Library

Promo“I’m in the bush, why can I hear an ambulance siren?” When I’m walking in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve I feel like I am in a national park far away from the houses and traffic of the city. Then I catch a glimpse of buildings through the trees or hear a truck of ambulance reminding me where I am.

Join me for a virtual exploration of this unique diverse habitat with breeding Koalas, Echidnas, butterflies, native bees and amazing orchids. Michael Fox

  Sunday 14 June 10:30-11:30am

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.

Willow Bottlebrush -Flower - 20 Mar 2015

Willow Bottlebrush Callistemon salignus

By: Michael Fox

If you want a gentle walk or ride though the bush, Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve is worth a visit and the new cycle path crossing Mimosa Creek expands community access to this special place.

Damselfly - 30 Mar 2015

Damselfly (blue) – not identified

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Kate and Liz inspecting new planting

Walking through the Reserve last Friday morning with Liz Pell, restoration project leader and Kate Flink, BCC Habitat Brisbane, was particularly special as I was immersed in a world filled with the scent of honey from the flowering Willow Bottlebrush trees Callistemon salignus and the chattering of dozens of Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus drunk on the nectar.

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Mimosa Creek in flood – 23 March 2015

Roly Chapman Bushland is very different to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve because it has permanent water flowing though Mimosa Creek. Walk quietly as you cross Mimosa Creek. It is common to see turtles in the creek, Eastern Water Dragons Pogona barbata sunning on the rocks. Last Friday Dragonflies and Damselflies were also everywhere resting on leaves or skimming over the water.

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Post flood – no damage to planting

The new cycle path  is a credit to the Brisbane City Council Bikeways Project team and the contractors who did the work. The BCC designers minimised the impact on this sensitive habitat. The new track weaves to reduce loss of trees and, at the same time, creating an interesting and pleasant route instead of a straight strip of concrete. Even the installation of cabling for lights minimised impact on trees by using vacuum excavation around the roots.

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The quality of the restoration planting is evidenced by seeing virtually no damage after the flood water over the track in January. None of the new Lomandras were lost and the fibre matting is hardly disturbed.

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Orchard Swallowtail caterpillar - 20 Mar 2015

Orchard Swallowtail caterpillar

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Further along the track only one of the new trees has been lost – we normally consider anything than 80% survival is very good for restoration planting. Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus butterflies are already breeding on the advanced Crow’s Ash Flindersia australis planted.

Originally posted on Pollinator Link:

Barbara and Krista - 15 Mar 2015 Barbara & Cr Krista Adams

By: Michael Fox

Visiting Abbeville Community Garden and meeting that community was a real pleasure, not to mention the amazing chilli chutney and cheese on offer.

Anissa - 15 Mar 2015 Anissa, garden member, with fresh Basil

Barbara tells me the event was organised to celebrate receiving grant from Brisbane City Council which will enable building the remaining eight garden beds and filling them with soil.

The garden community is an inspiring group ranging from young kids who love the raised beds where they can plant their seeds, young parents and retired people. The people I met certainly reflected the group’s mission on their Facebook:

OUR MISSION: To provide community driven food gardens, where children and community members of all ages can come together to learn, play, share and grow food – FOR LIFE !

Chilli - 22 Mar 2015 Fresh Chilli – makes great chutney

This special group is looking for new members to…

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See nature close-up

2015 Photography Workshop
Mt Gravatt Environment Group
Sunday 24 May

Register here

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Shape, texture and colour in bushland – Photo: Alan Moore

 

Erebus Moth - 15 Mar 2015

Erebus Moth Erebus terminitincta

By: Michael Fox

I identified another moth species yesterday in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve – Erebus Moth Erebus terminitincta. (Identified using Brisbane Insects website)

At 100mm wingspan it is quite a large moth for south east Queensland.

Erebus Moth - close - 15 Mar 2015

Soft hairlike scales around the head

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The eye spots on this moth are spectacular and it seems to have a layered wing creating an interested 3D effect.

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Lilioceris bakewelli - Feb09

Red Narrow-necked Leaf Beetle Lilioceris bakewelli

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Caterpillars of this moth feed on Barbedwire Vine Smilax australis. The only other species I have found that feeds on this tough vine is the Red Narrow-necked Leaf Beetle Lilioceris bakewelli.

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