Flowerdale Primary School

Cleaning Up Flowerdale

 

Members of the Flowerdale Community and Flowerdale Landcare are meeting on Sunday, March 1st at the Community House to take part in a Clean Up Australia Day event. Registration takes place at 10:00. The event finishes with lunch supplied by the Murrindindi Shire. Come and give us a hand and enjoy the camaraderie of your community.

The kids are doing their bit too. Flowerdale Primary are holding their own Clean Up event tomorrow (Friday).

Important Event for your Diary;

Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 23rd of August (Sunday). Our guest speaker is one of our members who has been involved with the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Program . Whet your appetite by clicking on the following link – http://www.zoo.org.au/werribee/animals/eastern-barred-bandicoot

Platypus watchers  may want to click on the following link for some video footage taken by Wayne Watson http://youtu.be/AoBXfonRsG4

 

Snapshot 2 (24-02-2015 8-17 AM)

Variations on a theme

Pobblebonk

Keen observers of our flora and fauna often become excited thinking they may have stumbled across a new or rare species. More often than not, the difference observed is a variation within a species. For example the frog in the above picture is your typical representative of the Banjo Frog or Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerili), commonly found in the Flowerdale area and widespread in a variety of habitats in Victoria. The frog pictured below with the yellow flank is also a Pobblebonk, a colour variant found in the nursery operated by Rick Wheeler near the Flowerdale Primary School. A survival adaptation of frogs is the ability to merge into the surrounding environment Combined with the ability to remain motionless, the frog is able to  avoid detection by predators. Colour change is achieved by sensing its surroundings and releasing hormones that control the movement of the pigment melanin to contract deeper into the skin cells, or disperse across the cell and closer to the skin surface, thereby creating lighter or darker shades. This yellow flanked Pobblebonk may have been hiding in some of the yellow pigmented grasses that Rick is growing, it would be interesting to know.

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The evenings in Flowerdale at the moment are punctuated by the call of the Peron’s Tree Frog, also known as the Maniacal Cackle frog. It is the middle of breeding season for this species. With little suction caps on its toes, the Peron’s Tree Frog is a skilled climber. I watched one last night climbing the window and catching insects attracted by the light bulb. Click on the following link to hear it’s spooky  call http://frogs.org.au/frogs/species/Litoria/peroni/

Flowerdale Landcare Launched with a Flotilla of Ducks

What started as a cool overcast morning quickly cleared to a warm day in the mid twenties. A perfect day for some 27 Flowerdalians who gathered at the Community House in Silver Creek Road for the Launch of Flowerdale Landcare.

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Native plants for small gardens

Community House provided us with a wonderful venue of well manicured, shady grounds, play equipment, and a BBQ. Participants were soon engaged in conversations about the marvel of bees and the art of beekeeping. The Playground was the first stop for Max and Connor. Others perused and purchased vegetable seedlings.  Native plants suitable for small gardens  were displayed by Rick (proprietor of RAW Plants a native nursery located in Flowerdale). John and Ellen put on a feast of sausages and onions  for those who had missed breakfast and kept up supplies for lunch as well

Sue, Steve and David wandered  down to the Silver Creek at the back of the house for some serious water creature investigation with Connor and Max. Armed with pocket magnifying glasses  several water nymphs were observed as well as a fresh water crayfish Euastacus armatus (listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee as threatened). Greater fun was had by seeing who could throw the biggest rock and make the biggest splash.

Whirligig Beetle Larvae

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Look Mum!

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Talking Compost!

While these children were engaged at the creek, Derek was discussing permaculture and composting in one of the meeting rooms, with a focussed audience. 

After lunch there was a short walk to the King Parrot Creek for the much anticipated Great Flowerdale Duck Race. Although there were only 30 entrants in this years field, the ducks were soon strung out over the course. With the first 4 ducks under the bridge to be awarded a prize, there were some pretty excited duck owners urging their chances along. DSC_0108The race was all but won when a swirling breeze blew straight upstream taking the ducks with them. To make matters worse, the ducks that were lagging behind then forged to the front with ducks belonging to Jenny, Carol, Deb and Paul claiming the prizes of organic moisturizers, a nest box, a rustic watering can and some gardening magazines.DSC_0110 Onlookers on the bridge also observed a fresh water crayfish (identifiable with it’s whitish claws) before heading back to the Community House for birthday cake to celebrate the second anniversary of the formation of the Group.DSC_0125

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Duck Retreivers

Thanks to everyone who assisted and participated in the day, including Joe who helped set up and Claude for cutting a safe walkway through the long grass to avoid snake surprises.The feeling amongst the participants was that the day was very entertaining and will most likely be an annual event fitting in with our objective of encouraging more people to enjoy and appreciate the King Parrot Creek. The water was very refreshing too for our duck retrievers Wayne, Paul and Steve. The turnout on the day was a great response considering the event was only advertised through our blogsite, the Flowerdale Flyer, Parrot Chatter and an email.  If you want to keep in touch with what is happening in Flowerdale Landcare, just click on the Follow button to join 66 other followers.

Upcoming Community Event:

Remembrance Day will be observed at the Flowerdale Community Hall on the 11th of November with the involvement of the Primary School and the Men’s Shed Choir. Everyone is invited to join in this observance. Flowerdale Community House will be running a bus for those who need assistance with transport. Arrive by 10;50 a.m. for an 11;00 a.m. start

 

100 snags, 2kg of onions, 100 slices of bread…kids play

Remember the last day of school term? It can be a bit of a stretch for some of us, yet Steve, Derek and Rick had the opportunity to relive the fun and join with the students at Flowerdale Primary School on the morning of the last day of term last Friday (19th of September). The school day began with the children walking along the path from the Hazeldene Store to the school, enjoying the music of the King Parrot Creek as the path meanders along the bank most of the way. That worked up an appetite for a healthy snack of fruits when they arrived at their destination.

Meantime the three of us had been busy on Ricks family property alongside the school, laying out seedlings for the next activity of the morning. The aim was to enjoy planting 100 seedlings which will form an attractive natural bushland screen behind the school. Amidst lots of chatter and laughter, the children had the 100 seedlings planted staked and guarded in about half an hour. Of course we had forgotten that many of Flowerdale’s children have had plenty of planting experience with Peter Auty during their time at the school. The three iof us were then kept running to put out more seedlings and auger more holes to keep the momentum going.

The children returned to school through the back fence and while some were engaged in painting nest boxes (and themselves) assisted by Deidre, others enjoyed the playground. That gave the three of us time to put together a BBQ lunch for the school community. The smell of cooking onions brought the children in like flies and before long there were queues and queues and queues (some went around 3 or 4 times) with bread in the plam of their little hands! The manners were commendable too.

Result for the day; 200 seedlings well planted, 100 sausages, 100 slices of bread, 2kg of onions and a couple of bottles of sauce consumed. I won’t reveal how many were involved in the feast, but as they say at Flowerdale “Small schools are great schools”. Rick, Derek and I were impressed at their appetite!. Thanks to Christine, Barbara, Brooke, Amy, Tash, Annie and Deidre for sharing the day with us and we look forward to further engagement between Flowerdale Primary School and Flowerdale Landcare in the next term with the assistance of Landcare Co-ordinator Chris Cobern.

Wheeler planting site with Mt. Disappointment State Forest in the background and Flowerdale Primary School on the left behind the tree row.

Wheeler planting site with Mt. Disappointment State Forest in the background and Flowerdale Primary School on the left behind the tree row.

Wheeler property after planting; Grannie Hill in the background, Flowerdale Primary School on the right.

Wheeler property after planting; Grannie Hill in the background, Flowerdale Primary School on the right.