Flowerdale Community House

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

Busted!

The Clean-Up Australia Day project for Flowerdale is complete for 2015. We encourage local residents, walkers and fishing persons to continue collecting rubbish in the region as they come across it.

Our group of willing rubbish busters doubled in size from last year. Consequently a greater area was covered (from Flowerdale Community House to the Flowerdale Hotel – @ 7.5 km) and more rubbish was collected. Most of the rubbish was collected along the road side, mainly empty plastic bottles, cans, and coffee cups and lids. The pedestrian path along the Creek was also cleaned up.

Rubbish was clearly concentrated at culverts that take water under the road and into the King Parrot Creek. By helping to remove rubbish, these volunteers are also helping to keep the Creek environment favourable for the many creatures that inhabit the waters. Thanks to all who participated and to the Shire of Murrindindi who supported us with lunch for the volunteers and the pick up of the collected rubbish.

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Flowerdale Landcare Blackberry Busting program ends for 2014

 

Volunteers from Flowerdale Landcare put in a total of 19 hours on Sunday the 14th of December. This effort assisted members of Flowerdale community in the residential hub who lacked the means or ability to manage blackberry on their properties. Twelve properties were listed for assistance with the energetic co-ordination of Bronwyn Graham, secretary of Flowerdale Community House.

Most of the work was completed using our 600 litre spray unit.

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One of the difficulties with managing blackberries in an urban setting are that the seeds are often dropped by birds perching on fence lines and in garden shrubs. This can make spraying inappropriate. On some properties the cut and paint technique was used to protect valued plants. The cut and paint technique involves cutting canes close to the ground and applying undiluted glyphosate to the stump. The poison is then drawn through the root system of the blackberry, killing the plant. This system is a targeted approach with minimal chemical use. It is also time consuming and you need to check for snakes before crawling under bushes at this time of year!

Much of the blackberry problem for the people of the residential hub comes from the heavy infestation along the banks of the nearby King Parrot Creek. At this time of the year the Macquarie Perch are breeding in the Creek and spraying is not appropriate with the risk of overspray contaminating the water. More voluntary work will occur along the banks in 2015.

This year, Flowerdale Landcare has assisted in treating blackberry infestation on approximately 180 ha in the Flowerdale region. This is a drop in the ocean really, but the aim is to lead the community and encourage others to take part. From the response we received on Sunday, we are certain more  people will be involved next season.

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.

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