Sunday, 18 November 2007

Committe Meeting November '07

Despite the forecast rain, it was a beautiful morning in the bushland, and the sun came out when we gathered for our committee meeting.

Muffins served were Pumpkin, Apricot and Pecan - which helped greatly in our deliberations.

From left - Vicky, John, Kim, Dorothy, and Dani

Still Geraldton Carnation weeds coming up!

Vicki joined me for a search for remnants of Geraldton Carnation Weed - unfortunately we found a lot - and amazingly there were lots of new ones coming up even though we have had little rain for a month or so and quite warm days.

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Monday, 12 November 2007

Walk Week - Bush to Beach walk segment

Six of us gathered at 10am on a warm Sunday morning at Shenton Park railway railway station.

We walked through the grounds of Shenton College, admiring some mature Tuarts that had been preserved during the development of the school (it was formerly a home for returned service men).

We noticed a new bat-box (installed by GreenCorps to a design by Joe Tonga. Nearby was another, hanging in a magnificent Jarrah habitat tree, one of the few left in the bushland as a result of frequent fires and logging.

Down the hill was a clearing created when the City of Nedlands removed some mounds created when the Army vacated the bushland after the Second World War and bulldozed their ablution blocks. A little further along was another remnant of the War in the form of a dense clump of Blue Lechanaultias, some of them still in flower. The Lechanaultias are not native to this bushland and were probably brought down from the Darling Ranges with gravel used for the parade ground for a Prisoner of War transfer station. This camp was also bulldozed at the end of the war.

Near Lemnos Street we discussed options for next year's walk, possibly going all the way to the beach.

A bare area (formerly a rubbish dump) was another scar this bushland carries which reflects the way people view bushland as waste land.

Last winter's plantings appear to be doing well as a result of the good rains we have had.

We returned to Shenton Park station after about an hour in the bushland.

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Removing the (almost) last GCWs

We are getting to the end of the 'pulling Geraldton Carnation Weeds' season - the warm weather is encouraging them to go to seed in a rush, and the lack of rain has stopped any new seedlings coming up.

Hopefully the rainy winter coupled with our constant weeding to prevent any going to seed will mean that the soil seed bank will be depleted next year - let's hope!

There were still quite a few to pull out - both in the south-east corner, and in the north-west corner.

It was nice to see that GreenCorps (supervised by Nedlands Council) has been also removing Geraldton Carnation weeds from near the southern boundary. The Council has also been mowing the fire access tracks. Thanks Vicki!

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Sunday, 4 November 2007

Three pleasant surprises!

I had three pleasant surprises in the bushland today!

After spending a couple of hours removing Geraldton Carnation Weeds I met Dorothy at the mound removal site, documenting recruitment of native plants in the area where Steve had removed dumps of soil.

Then, I came across an area where a whole lot of dumped concrete blocks had been removed (presumably by Nedlands Council) - thanks Vicki!

Finally, I came across this strange object slung up in a Jarrah near the Grace Vaughan House noticeboard - it looks like a bat box - a 1 metre long tube with a roughened surface and painted grey to blend with the bark of the Jarrah. The tube is open at the bottom, and appears to contain a number of lengths of carboard tubes jammed into it. I am wondering if it is one of Joe Tonga's bat boxes? Who put it there? If you know more, please tell us!

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Additional information provided by Joe Tonga:

Hi Daniel,
Yes, The long tubes are my special experimental bat homes. They are not completely my design but are Australian modified. They consist of two compartments. The bottom half has a collection of different diameter pvc pipes to allow bats to move around according to their temperature requirements. This part is more of a winter roost area. In Summer they are suppose to move up into the top half which is a 100mm pvc pipe which resembles a cave type atmosphere. The insides of this pipe is coated with a special cement render. It is also surrounded by 15 kilos of beach sand to act as a insulator to retain the heat. The micro bats require temperatures of 49 to 52 degrees c. This is what my latest research data.shows. This type of tube habitat heats up to about these temperatures.
The tubes were constructed under my supervision by the Green Corps group. The city of Nedlands paid for them. I have several of them scattered throughout the City of Nedlands bush areas.
Can you keep an eye on them and email me if you see any bats in them. I'm hoping the bats will find them sooner than the conventional timber type which takes approximately 3 years.
You can enter the above info in your blog or on your web page if you like.