Working bee – 18.04.2021

It was a late start for Sunday’s working bee but it still turned out to be a productive day.

Mist flower is popping up again in numbers. Grrrr. I am not sure if that one will ever completely disappear.  It seems fairly well established in the seedbank. Some of the plants grow in very difficult to access locations so they do not get removed as quickly as I would prefer.

One win I noticed on the weekend is the false bracken fern on the East bank after first fall. I had noticed a few struggling bracken ferns amongst the fishbone fern about twelve months ago. I cleared around those and they expanded and I cleared around that and it has expanded again. It appears the false bracken fern is very capable at taking on the fishbone fern. when it gets a chance.

Another win was a dead camphor laurel tree which the green team had dealt with in their last visit. A bunch of privet was also killed via glyphosate. I typically avoid using herbicides but then, I tend to end up with situations as seen at ‘Glen’s alley’ which has a troubling number of privet saplings and trees springing up.

Many privet saplings can be seen in the foreground
Cabbage tree palm and poison peach seen here will be crowded out by next year if privet is not held in check
In the adjacent areas, not yet cleared, privet and lantana dominate.

My original intention was to start on the area in the photo above but instead, I learned a large, dead, rotting tree had finally fallen. I had noticed it a long time ago and was amazed it was still standing given the amount of rot at the base. Finally it has come down.

Looking at the base of the tree, it boggles the mind how it was standing at all.
There was a lot of burnt pieces lying around. Hopefully from a fire long ago and not from someone doing anything silly.
It was once a very large tree. A substantial portion of it landed on the other side of the creek. Very lucky that it did not take out anything notable.

 

Rather than let the lantana close in on the vacated space, I thought I would open up the area for the nearby sandpaper fig trees which are sure to appreciate the extra light.

The privet tree holding my bag was previously scaffolding for lantana. I will still need to remove more from that tree.
Sandpaper fig on the left should now get much more light. I will be surprised if I don’t see some natives popping up here within the next 12 months.
This lantana pile looks larger than it is. I use the sea of lantana to keep the cleared lantana off the ground.

I have a long list of areas that need attention so I will need to get to work a bit earlier next week. That privet beckons me…

A flying Scrub Turkey at Dick’s Creek

Scrub turkeys (otherwise known as Brush or Bush Turkeys) always seem to show up when we visit natural areas frequented by people. However, at the Dick’s creek Landcare site they are a rare sight, so we were very excited to see one flying up through the trees a few days ago. Normally they tend to walk rather than fly but it occurs to me that is probably because National Parks and the like do not allow dogs. This turkey could not rely on the absence of dogs and other nasty predators so it obviously decided the trees were the place to be.

I was able to take some photos of it while it did some calls (which I had never heard before). Here is a snippet of the video I took:

I imagine it was driven to explore up the creek for the sake of finding a partner. I hope it does find a partner and we get to see little scrub turkeys in the future.

Fighting Fishbone Fern – 3hrs – 09.11.2019

Spring is here and the weather has been perfect to get some bush regeneration sorted.
My object was clear, remove the remaining lantana on the East bank that overhangs 2nd fall. I was doing this a few days back when I decided a final effort of at least a few hours. The object was not met. I never actually got to 2nd fall. Walking down the creek I came across infestation after infestation. Stuff that I just could not walk past.

Firstly, this sucker…

Privet stump had to go

I had cut down this privet tree quite a while ago as other choices were limited and it was getting too large to ignore. However, as expected, it was doing its best to make a comeback. I couldn’t ignore it so I got in and finally dug it out. It was harder than usual due to the fact it had wedged itself between some bolders and rocks. Still, out it came so yay for that.

With my focus brought to privet, I decided I need to scope the size of the job to tack the privet between 1st and 2nd falls. I started walking along the East bank of the creek to look for any smaller privet I could pull out directly and determine how many larger privet trees needed to be dealt with. Privet is probably now the worst invasive tree in the creek as the other offenders have been beaten down. The most notable plant on the East bank though is Fishbone fern. Fishbone Fern is native to Australia but not to this region. It is clearly identified here as a weed by how strongly it dominates the area.

It is so numerous and prolific it has always been put off for another day. However, I stumbled onto a small outbreak of Bracken fern. I was most impressed that this Bracken Fern had somehow been able to take on the Fishbone fern. The Bracken Fern was still struggling though as it could barely be seen amongst the Fishbone so I got in and gave the Bracken Fern a bit of space and hopefully a bit more light.

Hopefully this will give it a chance to start spreading and push back the Fishbone fern somewhat.

As well as coming across a few new outbreaks of Bracken Fern, I was quite happy to see some Rasp Fern taking root further along the creek. Unfortuately it too was battling various weeds. I chopped down some privet as a temporary measure but it was need to be addressed.  Small Rasp fern can be seen in the images below. It appears to have only come through after a weed was pushed back some by the landcare green team. I am uncertain about the name of that weed but I remember it was identified as originating from the african continent.

I was also a bit disturbed to find some fully grown privet trees which dominated certain sections of the upper canopy. A ‘privet attack’ is very much so needed. It will need to be a more permanant solution as well. That’ll either be pulling them out of the ground or using herbicide of some sort.

I didn’t get to my objective but it was a productive bush bash with some positive results coming through.