Revegetation Project

Flutter by Butter Fly

Swordgrass Brown butterfly

The butterfly pictured above was photographed at Kinglake last week and is the Swordgrass Brown Butterfly (Tisiphone abeona albifascia). Keep your eyes open for the many species active now the warmer months are here.

The Great Victorian Koala Count took place in early November. One Koala was reported by a member of our group and was added to the survey. This was Ted, (refer;  If you go down in the woods today ) who shows up every few months for a snooze in one of his favourite trees and then wanders off again. Ted hadn’t been seen since March and we feared he may have become road kill or died of old age- great to see him again. More Koala stories can be found in March is Koala month or Snippets or visit Great Victorian Koala Count

Flowerdale Landcare Newsletter, November 2015

Engaging with Our Community, Our Environment

Next event;

Sunday December 13th; Coonan’s Reserve, Flowerdale

Breakfast, Bird and Brook, End of year Celebration.

8:30 a.m.

Hi everyone,

There hasn’t been a newsletter issued for some 6 months, so bringing you up to date is well overdue. In case you missed our Annual General Meeting,-  the committee is now;

President – Derek Hall

Treasurer – Claude Baxter

Assistant Treasurer – Rick Wheeler

Vice President – Paul Michael

Secretary – Pam Watson

Ordinary Committee – Steve Brennan, Steve Joblin, Carol Stadelmann, Wayne Watson

We have since engaged in National Tree Day and Schools National Tree Day plantings as well as a successful Broom Busting day at Moore’s Reserve. These activities as always were followed up by a BBQ lunch and beverage. Since then a volunteer blackberry spraying day was again undertaken by the group. Thanks to Paul Michael, Derek Hall and Steve Joblin who put in around 20 hours on this project.

Flowerdale Landcare has now turned 3 years old and held the 2nd Great Flowerdale Duck Race last weekend. Last year we had a turnout of 23 people and a real fun day on both the Silver and King Parrot Creeks. This year the Landcare Group decided to have a Picnic on the Lawn at Flowerdale Community House in the hope of attracting locals as part of a Fire Awareness initiative.

Long time resident and CFA Fire education officer Judy Baker presented information on developing a family fire plan and staying safe through the fire danger period.

Our lunch was provided through grant support from Kinglake Ranges Foundation, which meant that any donations received on the day could be presented to the Flowerdale CFA. Thanks to Viv Phelan for the tasty sandwiches and cakes prepared for us. Flowerdale Landcare president Derek Hall was proud to present Judy Baker with a cheque for $115 which will assist our CFA community volunteers who put in many hours of training on our behalf. (By the way, Madam Secretary Pam Watson’s duck was first under the Bridge which gave her the prize of a meal voucher at the Flowerdale Hotel!). Thanks to our supporters and members Steve and Viv Phelan proprietors of Flowerdale Hotel , for their support.

Flowerdale Landcare years end will be officially celebrated again at the Coonan’s Reserve with a breakfast at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday December 13th. Come along and celebrate the achievements of the year, you might even be lucky enough to see a platypus or rakali as we did at lunchtime last year. This gathering will also be the opportunity to confirm events planned for the next 12 months.

In 2016 we will have access to 5,000 plants supplied by Fifteen trees  and we are grateful to our corporate sponsors for their continued support. In 2015, Flowerdale Landcare assisted in the planting of 4,250 seedlings which I believe was the greatest effort by any of the 16 groups in the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network. This effort was supported by Fifteen Trees and Pana Chocolate

Snippets

 

On my weekly trip over to Willowmavin working with Chris Cobern (Fire -Recovery Co-ordinator for the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network),we often come across interesting creatures or plants in the environment. In a previous post I noted the Golden Moth Orchids on the roadside. On one property where we have been fencing off the Kurkuruc Creek, we have been watching the flowering of clumps of Xanthorrhoea minor, the small grass tree. Normally found in open woodland or heath, this clump is in an open paddock heavily grazed by sheep.DSC_0167

Obviously a tough customer requiring good drainage and drought tolerant, it would make a great garden specimen. Although slow growing, the foliage is attractive and when it flowers it is a striking plant. Nectar rich, it is a great bird and insect attractor. In terms of bush tucker, like Banksia species, the flowers can be used to sweeten drinks

.DSC_0169

A sunny day on the Kurkuruc Creek means snakes and plenty of them. Tiger snakes abound as well as Red-Belleid Black snakes, taking advantage of the many rocks in the creek to sun themselves. On a walk across the creek, one of our volunteers “Shorty” came across an interesting find half buried in the mud. this fresh water mussel contributes to keeping the water clean through filtering out bacteria and algae which is it’s food source. The life cycle of the fresh water mussel is interesting in that the female filters sperm released from the male through her gills where the eggs are stored and brooded. The fertilised eggs develop into larvae which need to attach to the gills or fins of fish in order to complete their development. The juvenile mussel then detaches from the fish and buries itself in the mud where it continues to grow. The advantage of attaching to fish is that the mussel population can get free transport to other locations in the waterway. Streams that have poor fish habitat therefore are not likely to have a good mussel population. Another good reason then to fence off waterways from stock and revegetate stream banks! Keep our native fish and mussel populations strong. Thanks to Shorty’s sharp eyes, I will know what to look for next time I’m down at our own King Parrot Creek.

DSC_0223[1]

Flowerdale Landcare committee of management met for the last time for 2014 recently. Normally a meeting is kept strictly to 1 and a half hours, but while Claude cooked up our BBQ dinner, the rest of us piled into cars for a quick trip up Spring Valley Road to locate Ted. Ted is our local Koala who pops up from time to time and was written about in an earlier post. His latest resting place is in some River Red Gums planted at the back of a farm dam that has been fenced off and revegetated. This patch is only 12 years old but has good connectivity to roadside vegetation and koala forage trees. Ted’s an old bloke that likes to sleep a lot and looks a little peeved when he is woken  for a photo opportunity.IMG_6014

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.

Planting Project in the foothills of the Yea Spur

NAB ClarkOn the 3oth May, Corporate volunteers from National Australia Bank and JBWere descended on the property of Rick and Claire, Wildlfe carers and members of the King Parrot Creek Environment Group. Other members of the Group; David and Laurie, Steve and Heather joined with the volunteers to lay out seedlings and help supervise, as many of the volunteers had not been involved in this kind of project previously.

The target for the day was to plant and guard at least 300 native trees, shrubs and ground covers into a narrow gully to provide good cover for local fauna using the gully as a link to the remnant vegetation along the top of the ridge. Most of the vegetation on Rick and Claires block is Red and Yellow Box forming an open woodland. The only shrub layer had been a substantial blackberry infestation in the gully which made it inaccessible.

After a couple of years of hard slog, this gully has had the blackberry removed by Rick and  through this planting day it has been replaced by 480 diverse local plants. Target over- achieved! In 12 months to 2 years, the guards will be removed as these plants should have established and be able to survive the attention of wallabies, sambar and fallow deer. A lot of sedges ( Carex appressa) were planted which are really good for holding erosion prone soil and providing quick ground cover in damp spots. The underside of the leaf of this sedge is quite abrasive which discourages browsers.

IMG_5411

Morning tea, always welcome

This project was enabled through the support of Chris Cobern, Upper Goulburn Landcare Network.