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European Wasp Nest

Found in a dry mulch heap and destroyed, this deconstructed nest is safe to inspect. Made up of wood pulp and saliva, this is only a small nest. Layers of comb are cemented one on top of the other with struts made from the same material. The same hexagonal cell shaped used by honey bees to give strength to the structure and minimize waste of space is also used by wasps.

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Nests destroyed by 10.3.17- now tally 23, including a big one on the walking track near our local shop, one beside the community tennis court and one behind the Men’s Shed. All areas well frequented by unsuspecting locals.

Wasp Alert!

As summer slips into autumn, and the nights become a little cooler, the salad days and outdoor living is marred by the huge increase of black and yellow invaders-we’re not talking Richmond Footy Club here, but something even more annoying. The plagues of European Wasps are back! The next month will see even more activity as they prepare to release queens  from the nest in April.

Last season, volunteers from our group located and destroyed 27 nests in our community, free of charge. With Melbourne Pest Controllers charging nearly $200 per nest, that is an effort valued at $5,400 to the people of Flowerdale. This year the problem looks like being even worse with at this stage 15 nests located and destroyed in the last couple of weeks, mainly in Coonan’s and Moore’s Reserves and along Spring Valley Road. We expect to eradicate probably another 40 nests over the next 6 weeks on the current trend, representing $11,000 of donated benefit to the community.

Finding the nests can be difficult. The way I do it at this time of year, is to go for a slow walk between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m., when the sun is still low. This enables you to pick up the shine on the wings and work out the direction they are heading. Most times the nest entrances are as big as a 50c piece and  in the ground. There could be tens of thousands of wasps in the nests, so there is a great risk of being stung badly if you disturb them. I frock up in my bee suit and go to work during the day with pyrmethrin powder and by next morning, when no further activity is observed at the nest entrance, I chalk up another kill.

Our native wasps are also active at this time of year. Their nests are often solitary such as the mud wasp species, which has made quite an artistic series of rosettes on a leadlight pictured below –

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Others wasps nest in small colonies such as those of the paper wasp above. Note the pupa in one of the cells. Thanks to Wayne Watson Photography for use of this image. These wasps will defend their nests, so do not interfere! Richmond for premiers – not this year!

 

Unwelcome Visitor

The Weed Orchid from South Africa, Disa bracteata, was recently spotted in Spring Valley Road, Flowerdale. Only one individual plant was found and has since been destroyed. This species has great survival skills and can soon colonise an area. It doesn’t rely on specific pollinators or soil fungi as  many of our indigenous orchids do, to set seed and germinate.

The seed from which this individual originated may have been brought into our area with machinery that has been slashing the roadsides over the last couple of years.Report  any sightings of the South African Weed Orchid to your local NRM organisation or Landcare Group.

 

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Disa bracteata

 

Australia Day Award for Flowerdale Landcare Secretary

 

 

Australia Day in Flowerdale was celebrated at the Spring Valley Recreation Reserve. Again deserving members of the community received awards for their contribution to the community. This year awards went to Lachlan Hunter of Flowerdale Primary School and Nigel Parry captain of the local C.F.A., chosen by the Flowerdale Australia Day Committee from a number of nominations.

The Mayor of Murrindindi Shire also attended to award the Shire Citizen of the Year Award (2015)

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It was a great honour to be the recipient of this award as there are so many in the Shire that contribute to the fabric of community life. The Mayor Margaret Rae indicated that the award was for work done with Flowerdale Landcare, Yea Beekeepers, the Flowerdale Men’s Shed and Flowerdale Community House as well as 17 years active participation in the Strath Creek Landcare Group . In particular the Mayor highlighted the 100km White Ribbon Walk I made to Marysville, work in the Family Violence Initiative through the Men’s Shed and reviving observance of ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day in Flowerdale.

I want to express my appreciation to my partner Heather, fellow committee members and others who have given me support and mentored me in all these valuable community initiatives. I hope that the award will assist in encouraging volunteer involvement in the community and greater awareness and care of our social and natural environments.

Upcoming Events

  1. Creatures of the Creek (platypus/rakali survey)
  2. Clean Up Australia Day

See Calendar of Activities page for further details.

 

Flowerdale Remembers

Remembrance Day in Flowerdale yesterday was proudly organised under the auspices of Flowerdale Landcare. Fifty two adults and around 25 primary school children gathered at the Flowerdale Community Hall at 10.50 a.m. to observe the Minute Silence at 11;00 a.m, commemorating the Armistice of 1918, the end of the Great War. The commemoration saw a strong contribution from the Flowerdale Men’s Shed who provided crucifixes to the school children.

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These crucifixes were inscribed with the names of family members who had served Australia. The children respectfully placed the crucifixes into the lawn at the Hall before joining the adults in the service led by John Brown and supported by the Men’s Shed choir. The Cuppa that followed the service was provided by the Hall Committee assisted by the senior Flowerdale School children. Thanks to the 12 Flowerdale Landcare members who participated, especially those who provided the yummy home made ANZAC biscuits. Thanks also to Flowerdale Community House who provided the publicity and the service sheets for the commemoration. The children are commended on their participation, learning and respectfulness of the occasion. Our local Flowerdale Hotel closed for the observance so that staff and proprietors could take part.

 

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A new page is being developed by Flowerdale Landcare that will focus on local plants for small gardens. From time to time Flowerdale Landcare members involved in nursery production will submit local plant species and notes on their use in the garden landscape  as a resource for Flowerdale residents to refer to when planning or renovating gardens, enjoying their garden or landscaping around the family home. The first of these plants  is the Gold Dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea).

Gold Dust Wattle is found growing locally on sunny banks often under red box. It can colonise an otherwise inhospitable site and provides a low growing splash of spring lemon yellow colour. This local plant can be trimmed to keep it compact and bushy and promote suckering. Without trimming the Gold Dust Wattle can grow to 2 metres with a straggly look. A good plant for embankments, rockeries and anywhere that receives full sun or dappled light. Good drainage essential. Drought and frost tolerant. Good habitat for small birds and as with other wattles; fixes nitrogen in soil.

Administration Matters…

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  • ANZAC Day; KPCEG has taken a lead in convening an ANZAC Day committee for Flowerdale. This committee has developed a service to be held at 11.00 a.m. at the Flowerdale Community Hall on the Yea/Whittlesea Road. All members of the community and visitors are welcome to attend and share a respectful remembrance followed by a cuppa at the Hall. To our knowledge, this is the first time an ANZAC Commemoration has been held in Flowerdale. The commemoration will be followed by the planting of an Aleppo Pine seedling descended from the ‘Lone Pine’ of Gallipoli.
  • Members of KPCEG will be attending a working bee at the Flowerdale Community House in Silver Creek road on 3.5.14, joining with other community groups to contribute to this day which runs from 10;00 a.m. to 2;00 p.m. Support us by attending for all or part of the day.
  • KPCEG has been given a grant through FRRR (Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal)  to conduct a strategic planning workshop and develop a strategic plan for the group.
  • Notice of the A.G.M. for our group is given and will be held at the Flowerdale Men’s Shed in Spring Valley Road, on 24.5.14 at 1;00 p.m. Lunch will be provided followed by a presentation on ‘Permaculture”. The presentation will be followed by A.G.M. formalities. The Committee of Management hope that as many members as possible can attend. Guests are also welcome. R.S.V.P. the secretary for catering purposes.

Looking Back on 2013

King Parrot Creek Environment Group Activity Report;

  • Established on 26th October 2012
  • Incorporated 29.11.12
  • Submitted application for Communities for Nature Grant for works along King Parrot Creek (unsuccessful)
  • Fundraising; Catered for 80 people at the opening of Flowerdale Men’s Shed in March 2012.
  • Members attended ‘Grass Roots Governance’ training seminar
  • Applied for Shire Grant to purchase camera or BBQ for the Group – awarded $410
  • Worked towards an M.O.U. with Flowerdale Community House over  spray equipment purchased with 2009 Bushfire Appeal Funds.  – negotiations still in progress
  • Ran a recruitment table at Flowerdale Australia Day 2013 Celebrations
  • Represented at Yea Show 2012 and at Yea Autumn Fest 2013
  • Participated in Night walk and Platypus survey in February 2013 at Coonan’s Reserve
  • Members assisted in a voluntary fencing day at another member’s property in March
  • Donated  200 free seedlings to another Environment Group to sell at Yea Market to raise funds for their group
  • Members attended Waterwatch training day
  • Held a night walk along King Parrot Creek at Flowerdale Community House in June 2013
  • Assisted at a corporate planting day on one of our members properties at the foothills of Yea Spur; 500 seedlings planted
  • Donated 100 seedlings to a Father’s Day school planting at Thomastown
  • Assisted Flowerdale Primary School and Concordia School (Adelaide) to plant 166 seedlings at the Spring Valley Recreation Reserve in Spring Valley Road, Flowerdale. Guards and stakes provided by KPCEG. Article published in Flowerdale Flyer.
  • Assisted Franklyn Scholar Conservation students learning weed management techniques at Spring Valley Recreation  Reserve
  • Assisted  Franklyn Scholar Conservation students to plant 200 seedlings on a Flowerdale property as part of a Landcare Farm Dams project
  • Delegate attended Upper Goulburn Landcare meetings at Yarck and at Merton, and Bendigo Bank Community Grants information evening
  • Endangered species day awareness media article with Leady and Karak  published in Yea Chronicle.
  • Received donations of tree guards and stakes from more than 30 members of the Flowerdale community for revegetation projects by the group.
  • Report Card survey x 2 submitted to  Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
  • Held a wildflower walk in Spring Valley Road on road embankment and private land
  • Started and maintained a blogsite that has attracted more than 2500 hits in just over 11 months from 38 countries with 46 followers.
  • Initial membership of the group was 11 adults which has now grown to 27 adults and 5 juniors

The new committee  of  the King Parrot Creek Environment Group looks forward to  engaging members and friends in activities that build on the success of our first year in 2014.

White Ribbon Day supported by KPCEG

Carry the Flame Walk              Flowerdale to Marysville

November 25 marks both the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and White Ribbon Day, the first day of the White Ribbon Campaign.

‘Do your bit’ to help stop men’s violence against women.

White Ribbon Australia needs your help to raise awareness about the issue of violence against women and there is no better way to do that than to host an event with your colleagues, mates, family or community.

Steve Joblin from the Flowerdale Men’s Shed is leading this walk starting on Sunday 24th of November, everyone is welcome to walk along side him. If you would like to join Steve in raising awareness about Violence against women please see below times and dates of the journey.

Sunday 24th November 5pm Flowerdale Men’s shed to Flowerdale Community House

Monday 25th 9.15am Flowerdale Community house to Kinglake

Tuesday 26th 9.00am Kinglake to Toolangi

Wednesday 27th 9.00am Toolangi to Healesville

Thursday 28th 9.00am Healesville to Narbethong

Friday 29th 7.00am Narbethong to Marysville arrive at the Victorian Men’s Shed Assn.   A.G.M. at Marysville Triangle Men’s shed 10.00am.

You are helping to break the silence around violence against women

The White Ribbon Campaign                                                              

The White Ribbon Campaign is the first male-led campaign to end violence against women in the world. We encourage men to take a stand and say that violence, in any form, is never acceptable.

Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge that the wearer does not excuse violence against women, and is committed to supporting community action to stop violence by men against women.

Men who wear a white ribbon demonstrate their opposition to violence against women and their commitment to equality between women and men. Men of all ages, from all workplaces, of all political affiliations and of all racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, sexual orientation and physical ability are needed to help establish community leadership to stop violence against women.

Steve can be contacted on 0412334521 if you would like further information, or visit www.whiteribbon.org.au and swear the oath and find out how you can help.

This  event is supported by Flowerdale Men’s Shed, King Parrot Creek Environment Group  & Flowerdale Community House CoM’s.