Working Bee – 23.06.2024

It had been too long since I last worked in Dick’s creek. My intention was to take out some lantana from the rear of the reserve but I never made it that far. I ended up removing some palm grass and mist flower in the upper sections of the creek and then did a quick walk through. Unfortunately it seemed too dark to get any descent images. There were lots of things to be happy about but also a few disappointments. After such a long period I had expected some weeds to be encroaching on some areas I had previously worked on but in general, that wasn’t the case. The patch of sedge (Gahnia?) was going strong and appears to be out-competing the fishbone fern. Fern wall is doing very well. The swedish Ivy that I had previously removed was still clear. Also, areas I had cleared around bracken fern was paying off.

On the down side, the Bleeding hearts that popped up in abundance at site A appeared to be attacked by someone or something. A lot of the trees had been snapped or pulled to the point of having quite a slant. I can only think it must be kids making a game that was tough on the trees. It was good that lantana had not bounced back but the site is currently dominated by fishbone fern which I will be addressing in a future working bee.

I did not get any further than site A as night was closing in. Hopefully it is a similar story at the rear of the reserve as well.

Reptiles loving the heat

As the weather warms up, the reptiles are seen more often. We often have multiple water dragons at the front of the reserve and throughout. They have probably always been there but for the last few years, the land mullets have become more comfortable and at least one is seen regularly.

I don’t see the two species fight but they do appear to keep a distance from each other so I assume they must fight every now and again.

Here is a short video that was taken on a day when I could easily see a few from my balcony…

Land mullet family 19.02.2023

My children noticed a few additions to the land mullets we have seen a lot this year. I was able to get some footage of a young land mullet.

After reading, we found out this is fairly routine for them. The offspring stick with their parents for about 3 months during the first year. My perception of the uncaring reptiles needs to be rethought.

Hopefully I will be able to get some better quality video of them one day.

Site Inspection – 2022.11.13

Rain combined with family commitments has left Dick’s Creek bush regeneration on the back burner over the last few months. To prepare for a renewed effort, I did a quick site inspection on the 13th of November, 2022. Really just a quick walk around to see if any areas were pressing. It was a mixed bag…

At the top level, near Green Valley Rd, It was good to see Lomandra popping up in new places:

And the cheese trees planted towards the front all look healthy, even if they are growing soo slowly:

Sandpaper figs appear to be able to grow in the most unlikely of places. Here from the cliff at first falls (underneath the false bracken fern):

Also an example here, growing in the smallest patch of dirt that lies in the middle of the creek:

Still, the bank on the north side is dominated by invasive weeds. Apart from the obvious Ginger lilly seen in the image below, palm grass and mist flower have never given up trying to own this location.

At the bottom of First falls, on the south side, the bleeding hearts are going well. There is also a red cedar (I think) as can be seen in the middle of the image below. There are also other natives taking hold but unfortunately they are accompanied by wandering willy, crofton weed and many of the other weeds that are common throughout the reserve. Maintenance is definitely needed.

Here is the video of the same spot, saying the same stuff but showing off my lacking video editing skills:

Between the first and second falls, the Swedish Ivy has been loving the extra rain. I have tackled it previously and I find it is easy to remove but with so much of it, I am going to need to dedicate a day to get the bulk of it done:

It is not all bad though… Various natives are still hanging on as can be seen in this clip:

One sad finding was the loss of some sandpaper fig saplings that I had planted at a spot near the top of Second falls:

I had previously planted them at this location when there was a lot more soil on the bank. Ironically, the intention was to reduce erosion. Considering sandpaper fig’s ability to grow in the most unlikely of spots, I was thinking they would make it here. However, we had some big rain events since then and clearly this spot was not protected enough to stop them from being swept away. Who knows, maybe they found a spot further down stream…

After moving past the top of second falls, I had great difficulty moving through the bush. Tracks that were previously clear and easy to follow, no longer existed. It was the same picture however. A big mix of good and bad. My next working bees will be a mix of tackling the swedish Ivy on the west bank and the lantana that is still strong at the rear of the reserve.

 

Working Bee – 06.02.2022

Was able to do a solid 3hrs on the Saturday which felt quite productive. Great day for bush regeneration with a cloudy day keeping it quite cool and previous rains making the soil easy to work with.

We have had a lot of rain so everything is growing well at the moment.

 

Including the weeds unfortunately. The track from second fall that I normally use had been swallowed by fishbone ferns.

So that was a good place to start… I looked through the fishbone fern for any natives and cleared around those. I found pittosporums, false bracken, blue flax lilly and others who were all doing their best to stay above the fishbone fern. I have done this multiple times now and each time the desired native plants get more numerous and larger. It is all heading in the right direction.

A native olive tree that I had previous cleared around is doing well with new growth showing but no new shoots closer to the cliff were visible. Still, other natives were taking advantage so that’s a win.

Notice the blue flax lilly and elderberry panax in the bottom left corner…

After this I moved down the lower creek section and pushed back lantana around a stand of bracken that I have posted about previously. Unfortunately the rain came in so no photos.

There are many seedlings of desired species popping up at present. Another two years will see a transformation I believe.

One last thing I could not resist taking a photo of was this spider. A beautiful specimen I thought… A golden orb spider I have been informed.

I’m looking forward to next weekend. My intention is to once again look for natives that need some more space to grow but there is also an infestation of Swedish Ivy that needs attention. It has been disturbing to see it popping up in more and more places.

Mystery plant No.5?

I noticed this plant on a property in Dudley, NSW.

I asked about it on facebook NSW plant identification group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332752936930981/posts/1986545751551683/

It looks similar to Senna, and there is Senna in the area, but these leaves were much bigger and did not have the usual yellow margin that Senna has. I notice the leaflets are mostly opposite but not all of them. This plant was about a metre in height.

Most likely suggestion was: Robinia pseudoacacia

It seems to match images: https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=Robinia%20pseudoacacia

and the description: https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Html/robinia_pseudoacacia.htm

But I still need to return to confirm some of the characteristics (ie alternative leaf structure, spines near base of leaves).

Working Bee – 23.01.2022

Was able to get another 3 or so hours in this afternoon. I took the weedpuller down with me to help with some privet but in the end, I didn’t get to the section I intended to work on (nothing new there…).

Palm grass has been getting ignored for the last six months or so and it was showing. Multiple spots where it was getting far too healthy. So I tried the weedpuller out on the palm grass and surprisingly, it made easy work of it. I expect it depends on how soft the ground is but as it was, it made easy work of most of it (easier than a mattock at least). I dared not clear all of it in case it was holding the bank together but I did enough to keep the shade off the nearby cheese tree sapling.

I was disturbed to find the tree fern near first fall was in dire straights. I hope it makes it. It seems that removing the camphor laurel has just allowed too much light to reach it. Fingers crossed that it adjusts to having more light for a while.

Once again, I decided to help out the Gahnia by picking on the fishbone fern. Not removing all of the fishbone fern but rather, just thinning it out and breaking off any large fronds. It is a slow process but it seems to be working. I hope the area along the creek between first and second falls will end up being mostly Gahnia.

 

Another inspection at the top of 2nd falls shows the Swedish Ivy really taking off.

 

On the positive side, the area has a variety of desired species doing well


Including a first for Dick’s Creek, a Blueberry Ash.

I do need to address the Swedish Ivy issue but today I only got to the a couple of privet trees and some camphor laurels. A productive day though.