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.
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.
Not really a working bee on this day but I did remove some privet on the west side at the top 2nd fall and removed some fishbone fern on the East side.
This video shows the East side of the creek at the top of 2nd falls. It has a small native olive tree clinging to life by growing mostly horizontally from the cliff edge. It has always been forced out by the fishbone ferns growing from the edge.
Fishbone fern has an impressive ability to create its own root structure. It can end up in the most unlikely of places.
I partly removed the fishbone fern to hopefully encourage some other native flora and to hopefully aid the growth of the native olive tree.
Between ‘Site A’ and the creek, I often referred to as ‘Site A extension’. It has been around a year since I did that work and this video shows the progress at that location. There is a large pile of dead lantana which I want to remove somehow and there is some weeds that have popped back up but largely, it is pretty good. In particular, I liked seeing the hairy clerodendrum budding. I have never seen it flower before.
After taking that video I inspected the west bank of the creek. Under No.2’s property. I don’t normally go over the west bank as I decided quite a while ago to focus on the East side first. The west bank was a mixture of good and bad. There are many natives so we can be confident that the seed bank is in good health. It will be a matter of removing the weeds. In particular, privet along the creek is dominating.
One interesting find was this staghorn fern:
It is the first one I had noticed on the reserve. There was also a large birdnest fern nearby which was good to see.
In summary, the west side is in mostly good condition but the privet will need to be treated. That won’t be as easy as it sounds because getting around was very difficult. Lots of barbwire vine and sizeable cliff edge along the bank makes traversing the area quite difficult.
It was a productive day. After working on a small amount of palm grass before first fall, I decided to finally help out the gardia growing between the first and second falls. Gardia has been growing well but it is still having to compete with a lot of fishbone fern and some ginger lilly.
Here it is before trying to thin out the fishbone fern…
You can see in the image that the gardia (the tall grass seen in the center of the image), is getting above the fishbone fern but it is not very numerous. As I started weeding the fishbone fern I found a lot more gardia that was just too small to get to the light and hence were not looking very healthy.
After spending half an hour or so removing fishbone fern, the gardia now has a lot more space to expand and young shoots should now be able to grow above the fern. The image below shows the spot after weeding. I tried to use some judgement as to how much I should remove. I would not want to allow erosion to take place. Fast flowing water can cover the area if there is heavy rain.
A hairy clarodendrum I walk past when going to site A is being attached by these guys…
It was a straight forward lantana and privet removal after this point. No photos to show because I was too tired afterwards. I starting an area requiring maintenance but then expanded on that to clear a good section under ‘Site A’.
One concern is a lot of plants showing a brown discolouration. I am hoping it has to do with the extra light coming through after a large gum was removed in a nearby residence but that does not seem to match. I noticed it on some bleeding hearts and most notably, on the giant tree fern along the creek after second falls. Hopefully it is not a big deal but it is a concern at present. Might need to ask the experts at lakemac landcare.
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.
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…
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.