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.

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