Morning Mist - 30 June 2015

Winter sun through the mist

By: Michael Fox

Winter is a great time to walk in the bush in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Misty mornings, bright sunny days and no summer heat.

The light in winter is special – softer. Winter light helps you see and photograph the bush in different ways.

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Acacia leiocalyx  - flower - Jun 07

Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx

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Explore the mountain tracks and discover the winter flowers.

Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx is just past its best.

Also called Lamb’s Tail Wattle, it is a key food supply for caterpillars of Imperial Hairstreak butterflies – Jalmenus evagoras. Look for the caterpillars around February-March.

Learn to identify Early Black Wattle with the winter flowers so you can find the trees in summer. The red colour and triangular shape of the stems are key identifiers.

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Acacia fimbriata - flower - 5 Aug 10

Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata

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Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata is now coming into flower.

With its bright yellow ball shaped flowers this is one of the most attractive trees in the forest.

Once the Acacia fimbriata produces seeds it is very popular with the spectacular King Parrots Alisterus scapularis.

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Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa - 12 June 2015

Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa

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Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa flowers all year.

As the name suggests Blackthorn, with its spiky habit, is useful for Security Planting keeping people out of bushland areas and protecting small forest birds from larger more aggressive birds.

Blackthorn nectar is also popular with butterflies like the Blue Tiger Tirumala hamata.

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Black She-oak Allocasuarina littoralis is one of the most interesting trees flowering at the moment. In March the male Black She-oaks started producing their flowers showing up as the russet brown tips with the trees glowing in direct winter sunlight. Female Black She-oaks only started to produce their distinctive red flowers in June.

Allocasuarina  male female

…………. Black She-oak Allocasuarina littoralis – (left) male (right) female

Bulimba Creek Environment Fund
Mt Barney National Park – Yamahra Creek Catchment
Bulimba Creek Environment Fund supports Mt Gravatt Environment Group
Please help with a Tax Deductible Donation

Bulimba Creek Environment Fund

The Bulimba Creek Environment Fund was established to accept tax-deductible donations in support of a community-driven commitment to deliver critical environmental outcomes through socially and ethically sensitive programs.

Purchase of Environmentally Valuable Land
This year B4C made an important social investment to secure a 129 ha buffer area for the World Heritage Listed Mt Barney National Park. The aim of this investment is to achieve and social and environmental return not a financial one and as such it is a social investment in the region’s future.

In this issue you will find the highlights of our donations in 2014-2015.

Open DaysB4C 1Monthly Saturday Open Days at the B4C Sustainability Centre, sponsoring expert presenters. Themes have included:

  • Native freshwater fish
  • Fauna and ecology of Bulimba Creek
  • Creating habitat for birds
  • Geology of SE Queensland
  • Worm Farming
  • Reef Check Australia
  • Native Grasses
  • Sustainable Living
  • Snails
  • Wetlands

Environmental Education and TrainingB4C 3

A number of training courses and conference attendances have been funded through the Environment Fund.

  • Site skills training for the B4C field crew in Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Training (ACDC) was completed by 10 volunteers.
  • Registration for a B4C volunteer to attend the “What’s in your Waterways” Workshop and another volunteer to attend the “Communities in Control 2014” Conference.
  • Expert guided catchment tours: Chinese delegations, Universities, International Engineers.

RehabilitationB4C 2

Donations of plants and materials for on-ground works have been given to schools and other catchment groups:

  • Gold Coast – Water quality testing for Black Swan Lake
  • 200 plants – Whites Hill College (Squirrel Glider Corridor)
  • 200 plants – Brisbane Catchments Network Clean Up
  • 20 cu mulch – Australia Day – Queensport Rocks Park, Murarrie.

ActivismB4C 4

The Environment Fund has provided support to a number of community environmental programs, which include:

  • Twinnings – School Kids Gardening & Fishing – Delegate to attend the Gregory River Trip and Landcare Rubber Vine eradication.
  • Administrative support for the Hemmant Action Group.
  • Ecological Assessment of Black Swan Lake, Gold Coast.
Variegated Fairy Wren - 22 June 2015

Variegated Fairy-wren Malurus lamberti

By: Michael Fox

Our 2015 National Tree Day planting will restore important small forest bird habitat. So it was a real pleasure to see a family of Variegated Fairy-wrens Malurus lamberti among the Wonga Wonga Vine Pandorea pandorana growing just 100 metres south-east of the site.

This is the first reported sighting near the Eastern Outlook Track. I was not able to get a photo of the male with all his bright colours.

Variegated Fairy Wren - habitat - 22 June 2015

Small Forest Bird habitat

The aim is to create the scrubby tangled habitat where larger like Crows and Butcher Birds cannot get in to rob nests of egg or chicks.

Habitat Network has published an excellent guide for creating small bird habitat.

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Habiat haven

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“Keep up the good work. I can find more worms.”

By: Michael Fox

The locals definitely approve of our Friday Bushcare at Roly Chapman Reserve. Every Friday morning a family of Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus torquatus joins us to hunt worms, spiders and bush cockroaches uncovered as we clear the weeds and let in the sun.

Cheese Tree - regrowth - 19 June 2015 - Roly Chapman

Regrowth of Cheese Trees

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As we clear the weeds and let the light in, Cheese Trees Glochidion and other native species are sprouting new growth.

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Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum - 19 June 2015 - Roly Chapman

Weed regrowth – Arrowhead Vine

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Unfortunately, letting in the sun also allows the weed species to regenerate. Most weed can be composted on-site, however, in future we will bag and remove any Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum.

The Weeds of Australia Fact Sheet describes Arrowhead Vine as:

Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum - roots - 19 June 2015 - Roly Chapman

Roots on Arrowhead Vine

A rampant creeper or climbing plant that grows over other vegetation, often reaching 5-10 m or more in height when climbing larger trees.

Stem segments and cuttings are commonly dispersed in dumped garden waste and woodchips. Once established, a plant will spread outwards, forming a colony, and taking root wherever its stems touch the ground. Stem segments can also be spread by mowers, slashes and floodwaters.

Weeds of Australia Fact Sheet

Most of the weeds in our first compost pile have rotted down to soil. However, the Arrowhead Vine is not composting but growing through up to 300mm of mulch cover to sprout new leaves.Normally we use black plastic to promote heat aid composting and cook weed seeds. Because the current restoration site at Roly Chapman is so close to the path people were removing the plastic covering. A Security Planting of Lomandras beside the track will progressively reduce random access to the restored area.

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

Mount Gravatt Rotary Challenge Header

Come conquer the mountain.

Rotary Mt Gravatt Challenge

Walk, Jog or Run

Sunday 21st June 2015

Register online Now!

Federation Greebung junction - 10 Feb 2014

Sunday, 14 June | 10:30 – 11:30am

Book your seat: Garden City Library

“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

Book your seat: Garden City Library

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