Monday, January 21, 2019

Battling pests of all kinds

One of the things I didn't expect in the recovery period after the bush fire was the huge number and variety of weeds that exploded in growth throughout the property. All of the bracken came back, of course, and grew over my head in some places. But worse were the thistles. Not just Scotch thistles, which we have always had a few of, but another variety with bright green leaves that grew everywhere to huge heights.

It was somewhat therapeutic when I gave up normal weed procedures and took to about 200 of them with a home-adapted machete! It was horrible hot work but was worth it as since then the number of them has greatly reduced.

However, other weeds have also multiplied, in particular a pink-flowering thing called Centaury. Never seen it before, and now it just keeps coming. The only satisfying thing about that one is it pulls out easily, so it soon becomes a habit that every time I go for a walk, I try to pull out at least 30 or more.

It is depressing, but on the other hand, there are native plants growing now that before were fairly sparse. One is the vanilla lily, of which we now have dozens in different spots. The bosseia has come back well, and there has been a big expansion in Running Postman with its bright red flowers. Lomandra has grown everywhere, which in turn has led to many more butterflies this year (I read somewhere that the butterflies lay their eggs in lomandra).

And there have been a few entirely new plants I haven't seen before, such as the Wallflower orchid below. With our efforts to keep weeds and rubbish plants from the house area, it's meant more native grasses have grown, and so our wallaby is now a regular visitor in the early mornings for breakfast.

On the other hand, we have picked up a wild pig on our trail camera. Not good at all.Which is why I found the Guardian article on the increase in pests of all kinds so interesting.

 Vanilla lilies.
 Nine sulphur-crested cockatoos all fighting over their spots in the tree (sadly one of the many gums that have died after the fire).
 Fringe lilies are blooming.
 The Wallflower Orchid? Or is it a Broad-lip Diuris? Hard to tell from the book I have.

 Wallaby for breakfast visit.
 Many of the outgrowths from the burnt gums are persisting into almost-branches.


One of the oldest gums doing its best to come back.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

July and August fungi




 This one is moss, of course, also growing on burnt wood.




Friday, March 30, 2018

Trail camera near the wombat hole - solve the mystery?


So the camera was set up near the wombat hole nearest to the house. The camera has a night setting as well, but here our friendly wallaby has wandered in and is hanging around.


At some point after about three days, something pushes the camera over (which was on a tripod). Could well have been this wombat.


And here is the wombat again (I think) in daylight.


And one would think ... the wombat again. Except. Legs and tail.
What do you think? Wombat or pig?



Yes, wombat again. Camera still in the same (sideways) place. What was that other animal?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New trail camera

This was once our trail camera, until the bushfire and then it melted. Now we have a new one at last.
 We set it up near the house and these are from the first week of photos. Meet the wallaby. She's used to the house so we often see her around. For a while we watched her joey in the pouch and then it was out, scampering around.

 Now what is that thing with the light on it? This is small (below) - a wallaby  joey? Curious!

 The wombat emerges and wanders past.


A fleeting passerby - a bird of some kind!



Monday, March 6, 2017

Spiders and things of late summer


The fire has left all kinds of burnt bizarre things behind, including this tree where a branch has gone and the inside is now hollow. Home for a possum or owl perhaps?

Not sure if this is a native geranium or pelargonium.
 If you saw us walking along, waving a large stick in front of us, you might think us mad. But this is what we are trying to avoid - walking into the web of one of these. They are St Andrews spiders (I think) and are enjoying catching all the grasshoppers bounding around at the moment.
(Note: thanks to Snail, I now know this is a golden orb weaver - see comments.)

 Same web but this spider was off to one side. Is this its back, or an egg sac?

Lots of kookaburras around at the moment. Two youngsters keeping their eyes on things.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Late December - flowers aplenty

 The array and numbers of wildflowers this spring and summer continues to astound me. Where in the past there have been small clumps of things like Blue Pincushions (above) and Vanilla-lilies, now there are swathes of them - in several places the Vanilla-lilies are in patches metres square. In past years I've had to go searching for them. Yes, the bushfire probably cleared the way for them to sprout but I suspect the huge amount of rain over winter and spring had a lot more to do with it.

 Chocolate-lily - not very many of these. (The hyphen is used in my reference book - Wildflowers of the Brisbane Ranges - Clive and Merle Trigg.)

 These fringe-lilies are my favourites, mainly because of their colour and, well, the fringing!

 I never get tired of trying to capture the perfect image of a vanilla-lily. In fact this flower is about the size of my smallest finger nail.

While slogging my way around attacking weeds, I've found some plants I've never seen before like this Everlasting.
I've been waging a huge battle over the past three months against a massive weed invasion (also an after effect of the bushfire). It seems that the bare ground was a big opportunity for the weeds to move in, especially because neither of my neighbours with paddocks seem to do any weed control. First it was a species of huge green thistle (not scotch thistle) with thick hollow stems, and now it's dandelions. Massive clumps of the things that are now starting to go to seed, so it's a fight to see who wins. I think they are! But I can't afford to give up.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

More spring wildflowers

 Showy violets - about twice the size of Ivy-leaf violets (so think five cent coin).

 The spectacular Kangaroo apple in flower.

 Can't find what these are - tiny flowers about 4-5mm across.

 An unusually large Ivy-leafed violet.

 Unable to identify this either. A lot of new plants are coming up I've never seen before.

Tall Bluebells.

Eggs? What do you think?

 
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