Grassy Woodland Ecology Course 2014

DSCF2604During October 2014, the Euroa Arboretum delivered the first Grassy Woodland Ecology Course in the Goulburn Broken Catchment. Delivered at Dookie College, the five-day course covered a wide variety of the ecological and management issues faced by land managers (farmers, Park Rangers, ecologists). The course was well organised (& catered!) and the field activities (which included, site visits, monitoring techniques, ecological principles, cultural landscapes and more) were particularly useful – here are a few images. Continue reading

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View from Golden Mount

View towards Eildon from Golden Mount escarpment

View towards Lake Eildon & The Paps from Golden Mount escarpment.

At 1028 m, Golden Mount is the second highest peak in the Strathbogie Ranges, complete with some Snow Gums on top. Immediately to the east of the peak is a spectacular and steep rock escarpment that plunges down to the valley of Clear Creek, a tributary of Brankeet Ck. In spite of the rubbish left by visitors and the illegal off-road trail-bike tracks (all too common!), it’s a glorious spot. And at this time of year there were quite a few wildflowers on show, though it’ll be better in a few weeks. If you visit on a week-day you’ll have the spot and the glorious serenity of those rocks, to yourself. Here are a few more pics; click a pic to start the slide show.

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Doing anything this Thursday afternoon and evening ? (October 23rd 2014)

imageThere is still time to book at place at this informative  and practical field day – Day 4 of the Grassy Woodlands workshops organised by  Euroa Arboretum. The outdoor program starts at 3 pm and concludes at 9.30 pm .

The theme is long-term management and monitoring of woodlands.Paul Foreman will  present “Understanding Outcomes from Actions”.  Monitoring techniques demonstrated include drone technology and how we can use it to enhance our reporting . Tools for measuring vegetation structure , the science of bird surveys, monitoring and recording reptile and frog species, thermal imaging of nocturnal mammals, spotlighting techniques and practicing the rare art of MOTHING .

This field day will be held in the bush  at J & J Hagen’s property “Wetlandia”at Miepoll – 110  Bready Lane – off the Euroa Shepparton rd- a few kms towards Shepparton after the Murchison – Violet Town intersection . Ring Janet  0458 904268 .

Includes afternoon tea and BBQ dinner.

Bring torch , insect repellant, boots, binoculars, notebook,

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Butterflies getting in on the act.

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With the Strathbogie Ranges Butterfly festival approaching, it’s exciting to see so many butterflies on the wing already this season. Our recent patches of warm, sunny weather have helped to move things along, though our hardiest butterflies have been around for months.

My first for the season was a Painted Lady on the 27th July, though down towards the plains, not up in the hills. It was a mild, sunny winter’s afternoon and this adult had emerged from wherever it was over-wintering, to enjoy a spot of sun-baking.

In our dry, mild August, Meadow Argus and Australian Emperors started appearing. In the last few days Caper White and Lesser Wanderer butterflies have visited our garden at Boho South. And on a recent outing to the Pyalong district there were Wood White butterflies ‘hill-topping’ on the Black Range (High Camp).

It promises to be a good butterfly season – fingers crossed!

Nov. 6 to 23, 2014 Strathbogie Butterfly Festival – Wild Strathbogie

 

 

 

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Another postcard for Detective Tim to research

Impressed with Tim’s research on Gooram Falls. I wonder if it’s possible to locate this spot near Violet Town  and supply updated images

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Wattle Seed Yield this season

Local acacia species have flowered profusely this season but will these blossoms translate into a decent crop of viable seed. Seed production was patchy in quality and low in quantity last season.

Earlier flowering patterns and the threat of late frosts can combined to reduce the availability of healthy seed from wild wattle populations. This happened last season. Many species aborted their seed after the frosts. Perhaps pollinators were absent at  critical times.  Acacia pycnantha, acacia paradoxa, acacia montana and acacia verniciflua did very poorly and these are core revegetation species and basis food sources for seed eating insects and birds.

Acacia implexa and acacia mearnsii didn’t produce any seed at all. These species always a step behind because they develop seed pods that mature this season on the previous years flowers. It is said that the black wattle (A. mearnsii) only  produces seed when the following year is going to be very dry. Indigenous people knew when and where  to burn to prevent bad bushfires in the future  by observing  when  the Gang Gang Cockatoos arrived to eat these  green seed pods. There are no obvious seed pods developing on the black wattles around here  this season ( maybe still too early to call )so next summer season should be fairly average. Let me know if you find seed pods developing on the black wattles near you and we’ll test this theory out.

Janet Hagen

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Pinniger Cairn number 5

Locating all the Pinniger Cairns in our area has been an intriguing  challenge.I  discovered this one with the help of David Chalmers & Darryl Sloan on one of our U3A field trips.

It’s in Longwood East between Elgo Winery and the Goodall’s Property. The condition of the cairn is excellent, even the pole in the centre remains intact after all these years.

Scott McKay has found  another one near the summit of Mount Stewart at Highlands – that’s the next one on our list to visit .

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