A New Hope

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Woko
Woko's picture

If those Rosellas had something like human minds they might be very disappointed if their nest boxes were to be taken down. They might even be grieving for your own sense of loss.

While your anger at the tree killer is fully justified remember the old saying: "Don't get angry. Get even." Use your anger coldly & constructively. Results may be longer in coming if, for example, you kept an area outside your fence clear of weeds & allowed one of your native plants to shed its seeds onto the cleared area. Sneakiness in the defense of the environment is no sin.  

Yours truly

The Phantom Tree Hugger

Woko
Woko's picture

If those Rosellas had something like human minds they might be very disappointed if their nest boxes were to be taken down. They might even be grieving for your own sense of loss.

While your anger at the tree killer is fully justified remember the old saying: "Don't get angry. Get even." Use your anger coldly & constructively. Results may be longer in coming if, for example, you kept an area outside your fence clear of weeds & allowed one of your native plants to shed its seeds onto the cleared area. Sneakiness in the defense of the environment is no sin.  

Yours truly

The Phantom Tree Hugger

jason

I sat in my yard last night in the fading light, watching the bats fill the sky, listening to the Currawongs call last eats, and the Lorrikeets scoot for home; with my beer feeling pretty average.  A mate was comming around for dinner who is involved in Bushcare, so hopefully I had an understanding ear.  I was told stories of whole areas bigger than what I have done beeing pulled out.  But sadly, by the people who had planted them.  Someone vandictive, uneducated, possibily phobic person had complained to council about snakes so the whole lot had to go.  One person....can you believe that.  Here I am thinking what the, what have we become.  I'm sure my grandfather did not go to war to create such a selfish and pathetic society.  What has nature ever done to them....given them fresh air or something.  

But the gist of the story was my hater might have issues with snakes, planting a tree = more snakes. People fear snakes and right or wrong kill or clear every bit of nature that a threat may exit in.  Planting out clusters of trees may even mean the council mower has less grass to mow, one might see their job becoming threatened, so pull out trees.  It's impossible to say what goes on in peoples heads.  But some people just hate nature.

So we stopped looking at what I had done and moved onto the existing bush.  Well my bushcare mate started to get pretty excited.  Pointing this out, pointing that out, oooing over that, saying it could take 50 years to get some sites to this stage.  And where they has been working they have discovered regrowth of a tree that has not been seen in Oxley for the past 50 years.  That seed had lay dormant waiting, waiting, waiting for the carers to come. They too thought the nest boxes should stay, and when we spotted something had been adjusting the entry hole of one, it became a non argument in my head then and there.

So after dinner, identifying a few grasses we had brought home, and discovered a chinese elm in a slightly different colour guise, we both went out frogging.  Quiet night down the park, but found the two usual frogs that I hear regularly.  Striped Marsh and we are working on the other.  I was asked if I had the frog app, like I was some sort of nerd who goes out at night spotlighting in creeks.  Anyway we found a snake which I also can't recall, but it was the non venimous version of what looks like the Rough Scaled snake.  Just a little cuty that hopefully I see up the frog pond one day.  

So new plandeveloped. Stop activity and see what happens for the next 12 months with regard to what has been planted.  In winter will look at starting a bit in the existing bush using the Bradley method.  I will spend a bit of time helping out the Oxley bushcare mob to help with the soul.  Then hopefully organise a couple days for my part of the world doing some weeding. I think we are going to stir up the council regarding creek bank erosion and their responsibilities.  Erosion that is threating their/our asset the bike path, where I had planted, but also on the other side.  Plenty of bare eath there from spraying, leaving the bank to erode away with each flood.  I have seen 6 floods in the last 14 months of living here.  I'm hoping it unlikely the hater will pull out existing regrowth in the bush, and really hope they don't torch it.  And if we can get a bit of official support my mate has a few camers that might capture the hater if they keep going. But for now returning the bank to bare ugly earth, and ditching the fig puts their heat in the right place of thinking thay have one and it all fades away. 

Lastly woko,  I have a Braod Leaved Peperbark Melaleuca quinquenervia just starting its life in the rocks around the pool. It's not quite a seed, but I will pot it up and let it grow.  In due course I know a spot where a fig once stood.  The fig was never really a local in this part of the world, but a Melaleuca in a flood plain once was, and will be again.   Thank you for your inspiration.  And you to  NP. 

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Jason, if only the majority of Australians had the sensitivity & appreciation of the environment that you have!

Yes, it's great when you have a mate with whom to share learning about the environment. Having knowledge about plant communities & habitats & passing this on to others is powerful stuff.

In my experience there are those who, when exposed to information about the environment for the first time, immediately cotton on to what it's about. They begin to see the intricate realationships between all the different aspects of the environment. They begin to see that everything is connected. Then there are those for whom the information is like water off a duck's back. I suspect there's a relationship between a person's capacity to understand & appreciate the environment & the strength of that person's addiction to money.

The new plan that you've developed sounds great. It actually emphasises the minimum disturbance part of the Bradley method of bringing back the bush. I recall many years ago being with an experienced bush carer at a council reserve which we were assessing with a view to developing a management plan. When I asked him what we should recommend for managing a particular area of weeds his response was "Nothing." His recommended strategy was to allow a nearby stand of native grasses to compete with & take over the weeds because the native grasses were better adapted to the conditions than the weeds. Knowing your friends & knowing your enemies is critical.

Since then I've used this minimum disturbance or even non-intervention strategy a lot on my place. Yes, it takes time before results become significant but it sure saves a lot of  effort. One of the beauties of the strategy is that the native plants work out for themselves precisely how far apart they should grow! Another is that it doesn't draw attention to itself from official or unofficial boofheads as it slowly but surely enables the bush to recover.

The sad part about the strategy is that, for me, it's a constant reminder that it only takes a few hours to completely demolish wonderful bushland but aeons for it to regenerate. Even then it may never regenerate to its original condition because of the intricacies of plant communities. So patience is the go.

Here's an example of what doing nothing can achieve. These are recovering Garland Lilies Calostemma purpureum, indigenous to where I live.

timmo
timmo's picture

Hi Jason,

That story has me feeling a little upset, frustrated, and disappointed, for you in particular. Particularly on top of reading about verge gardens on the other side of the country being needlessly destroyed by council in response a single persistent complainant. It really disappoints me that people do this in order to be right and justify their view of the world.

I am following your lead and trying to think more broadly and generously - is it possible that it was turkeys or something and not vindictive people? If not, I think your approach of joining in the local bush care group and maintaining/expanding areas of existing bush is a good idea - let's you associate with like-minded people and rebuild your faith a bit.

Also, external people (haters) may have less crappy attitudes when you're not clearly changing the existing state of something (e.g. bare park/dirt to bushes), and it's usually council sponsored and sanctioned, so there's some level of authority to go back to if it's vandalised or damaged. It's great that you have a like minded mate to share your passion for nature with and chat around just to get a broader perspective on it and work out a different approach that avoids the ongoing battle with Mr/Mrs Anti-nature.

I've just had a weekend of doing a whole lot of bush care stuff - a few hours spent seed collecting and weeding down at Norman Creek yesterday afternoon and then half a day potting up seedlings and propagating new trays of native seeds today. While the weeding gets a bit dull, it needs to be done, and we should be into planting season in the next month or two which gives a bit of a sense of achievement.

If you're ever interested, feel free to come over and join us at the Norman Creek nursery. We have only been going for about 5 months or so and are starting to fill the space up - just not yet sure how the quantities of plants are going to work out, as we probably already have more than we can plant this season (including over 300 eucalypts). Next working bee morning will probably be March 20th.

I have also attached photos of the new solitary bee homes I put together yesterday, as well as the one with leaf cutter bees and wasps in it.

Anyway, chin up Jason, there are plenty of good people around and you're doing great stuff and using and sharing your passion for the bush and nature. Don't let one or two haters stop you, cause that joy you get from it will always be there, even if you get dispirited occasionally.

And you're definitely inspiring me, so that enthusiasm can be infectious if you find the right folks :)

Cheers mate

Timmo  

Cheers
Tim
Brisbane

jason

Thanks guys I'm thinking people that have a good affinity with nature are like nature itself.  As long as the sun rises it keeps growing. It's hard to stop or hold down, and always finds a way in some form. And...I must be more emotional than I like to think.

Anyway thinking back over some comments made on this thread; I am going to use Brisbane Coucils "lets do" apprach to bushcare as an example for Ipswish Council.  Highlight that a plant in Oxley, only a stones throw from Camira has been re-discovered and brought back from extinction by doing this work.  Also state that in 2016 we are still discoveing new plants in SEQ, along with insects, mamals, and more all across Qld and Australia.  Land for Wildlife people are good to know. 

So Timmo. if you guys have some good findings even if it's rare or uncommon let me know.  And I might just check the calander on that date.  I had been thinking of volunteering at SOWN nurery every Wednesday.  I have discovered rubbing my hands in the dirt mid week it's a lot brighter for me than other wise. Getting Earthed I suppose.  

So back on track I'll get my two differently skilled bush care mates around for a BBQ and we will nut out what's unique or possibily threatened to this area.  Then put a plan, and proposal to Ipi council to rattle their dags.  I live on a gentley sloping drainage plain to Melaleuca flats which is the park.  The shallow creek winds its way with deeper pockets on corners, nothing new there, but also has the odd lagoon off to the side of the creek.  One of these is down in the bush part wich is the heat of the strong vegitation.  It's a beautiful little park now, but given a chance it could a whole lot nicer, healthier, and a absolute pleasuer to be in.        

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

Out for a morning walk with the very cool fluff ball.  Spotted another snake the same as the other night.  Tried to get the dog to see it so I could do a bit of training with her to "leave it", but no.  Dog was 40cm away and counld not see it.  Snake was staying frozen, so we said good day and both went our ways.   

 

From the net

Keelback Tropidonophis mairii (also known as freshwater snake)

Non-venomous

The keelback or freshwater snake's head and neck are grey-green or brown with the body grey-green to brown typically with cross-bands of darker flecks. Upper body scales are strongly keeled or ridged. A loreal scale is present (a scale situated between the nasal scale and scales directly in front of eye), distinguishing it from the venomous rough-scaled snake. The keelback is found in and around creeks, rivers and marshlands. It feeds largely on frogs (including cane toads) that it actively pursues during the day or night. It grows to an average length of 0.5m.

Caution: this snake closely resembles the venomous and dangerous rough-scaled snake.

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Great to read that you're back on track, jason.

I checked the Keelback in A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia by Steve Wilson & Gerry Swan & note that the Keelback is "one of the few Australian native animals able to prey on...Cane Toads without ill effect" although "attempts to consume large toads are often fatal". Presumably, the Keelback chokes to death if the Cane Toad is too large for it - which stands to reason!

jason

That looks a nice publication.  My son who is constantly taking interest in reptiles might just get it for his birthday.

I'd say dinner as big as a match box would be its limit. And great to discover Cane Toads are part of the diet. I found that quite amazing and an 'at last" moment that something finally does eat the dam things and not die.   Both snakes I have seen are half a meter in length which indicates fully grown.  And both have been happy to be observed and made no attempt to look threatning, or skedaddle.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

It seems I am a slow learner.  Perhaps I should not have raked all the leaf mulch off the creek bank as to return it to its original horror.  The hater must be laughing hard as it seems playing power games is now the go.  After I removed the mulch there were 4 lomandras left that were missed by the hater, well I see today thay are gone.  Just adjacent the creek bank over the bike path is another cluster of trees I planted lomandras under, and a sinle tree to create some mid level thickning.  Well the hater has removed just the tree and left the lomandras.  Time will see what else goes.

The comforting thing for me was I didn't really care when I noticed.  To redo the whole show if the day ever comes is only about a day and a half work. And I can get the plants again for free or donation if required.

On a brighter note I almost trod on one of the prettiest snakes I have ever seen today.  Not that that was good, but a Common Tree Snake popped out on the bike path just in front of me.  Yellow underbelly, olive back, and a redish almost burgandy shadow from behind its head down 1/3 of it's body. About 1.2m long and sure was in a hurry to cross.  Seems to be the week for snakes in the park.    

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Better a slow learner than a non-learner, jason. 

Litter is best left to the natural litterers - the trees & shrubs. They know exactly how much litter to deposit so that not only is water runoff slowed but also terrestrial plants, mosses & lichens have the appropriate conditions in which to generate. They, too, play their role in slowing water runoff as well as preventing erosion & providing tucker for insects. 

It's becoming increasingly apparent that in your situation, jason, the less you draw attention to your revegetation &  bushcare efforts the less likely you are to have a boofhead wreaking havoc. 

Nice to hear about the Common Tree Snake. That suggests there's some good habitat there. 

jason

Yep think your right about boofhead woko.  Thinking I will just help out another bushcare group and let my park rest for a year or two.  I'll start a log of what weeds and what native plants are in it but that will be enough.  I'll just keep observing and work on my yard.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Rest can be best, Jason. There's little sense in knocking your head against a brick wall. Besides, letting an area rest & observing what happens is a strategy in itself. It can often provide information about what to do or what not to do under various conditions. 

Shirley Hardy
Shirley Hardy's picture

Jason, the reason why the hater finds the plants and removes them is because you keep cleaning up the place. Stop doing that. Nature is messy. Leaves, branches, twigs, flowers, seed pods, etc fall to the ground and its messy. Do you see nature cleaning up after itself with all the debris on the ground? Of course not. Let there be "mess". Simply hide the plants you want to plant in the mess and leave it alone. Don't clean anything. Don't rake anything. Just don't care about the mess. This way the hater will think you didn't plant "a particular plant there" and will leave it alone. It seems to me, the more attention you pay to something the more attention the hater gives to that object. Use that knowledge to your advantage and behave accordingly. Mimic "nature". As they say "There's more than one way to skin a cat." 

STOP CLEANING!

I'm at Tenterfield, NSW. (Formerly known as "Hyperbirds".)

Woko
Woko's picture

Let "Don't mess with mess" become your mantra!

jason

Shirley I am a little baffled how I have come across as cleaning up.  The plants I have put in amongst the weeds, grass, and what native trees are there on the creek bank are purposly place in spots hopefully where local kids can't find. The ones in the park have to be mulched to indicate a filled in area so the mowing contractors just don't mow them down. Any tree planted on the fringe of the park, or just randomly near another tree gets nuked by the coucil weed sprayers, or mowed. There is no discrimination here, they just work to an existing boundry and hold it. 

The lomandra on the barron creek bank that got pulled first would have no chance without mulching. West facing on a hard packed slope where the water just runs off. 

I have been recording plants species and animals sighted in my area. Seasons of flowering and basically educating myself. Especially in the Bradley method. I notice plants still getting removed randomly, there is no consitancy so it may be kids now. It doesn't bother me anymore as my hopes for this area are dead. Rather I'm thinking of ways to by acreage. 

I'm not sure why, but I'm helping a small Ipswich based bushcare project this weekend. Not sure why it got ok'd and mine didn't, but I could not be bothered finding out either. Think just getting earthed planting a few trees, bit of a social will be enough for me. 

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Shirley Hardy
Shirley Hardy's picture

Jason, I don't think we have the whole story as to what is happening in your neck of the woods. I know there's no excuse (on my part) to not read the entire contents of this thread but it's so long it's like trying to read a 300 page novel in one sitting and trying to remember it all is just difficult. So I do the best I can at remembering everything everyone has written. I will go back and reread comments before posting a new comment though. However, a common theme I have read in your personal comments is how you tidied up an area after planting something then someone comes along afterward and vandalizes the said plant/s. I'm not having a go at you Jason, I'm just mentioning how I interprete what you write about. I am not a judgemental person. I do want to help any way I can.

You see, Jason, when you tell us things about what is happening up there in Ipswich you don't really portray the whole story. A lot of people do this for all kinds of reasons so it is not just you who does it. Even I do it. We don't tell the whole story so we don't feel vulnerable and exposed. That's just human nature so our dignity remains intact. Feeling vulnerable and exposed online for the entire world to see and hear is 1,000,000 times worse that doing that with a stranger you've just met in the flesh. No-one expects you, or anyone else, to do that. So just throw us a bone every now and then that makes you feel comfortable writing about. Honestly, we'll understand.

Hmm, that indeed is a dilema. With what you just told me I can understand, to a degree, the problems you're having in revegetating areas. If kids are the ones responsible in vandalising plant life, then perhaps the only solution to this is to find these said kids, confront them, educate them and then get them involved in revegetating the area as well - somehow. At least they'll have something to do then. However, you just sound too frustrated with people and that is understandable, Jason.

Sounds to me, Jason, that you need some time away from all this stuff; you need time out for yourself. Nature will still be there when you get back to it. If you don't know why you are doing something then its time to do some self evaluating; some soul searching. Find your sense of self purpose; find your passion as you sound like you've lost it. Go home and think about things. Accept that what is happening is the way things are in your area. You don't have to agree with it though. By accepting it you give way to a new inner strength, as you no longer are fighting against it. Once you accept these things as fact you begin to think differently about everything. And if you go home and just stare at the plants you have in your garden and ask yourself (or the plants themselves) questions about the plants (as to why they do things like lean over or droop, etc), a whole new insight into nature will come forth into your mind as you connect back with nature in that moment. Sounds crazy I know but we humans are a part of nature whether we accept that idea or not. I stare at my plants a lot, probably too much, and ideas suddenly pop into my head that I wouldn't normally come up with. I see it as a way to connect with one's creativity within. If there's a problem there is always a solution to it. You just have to find that solution. If the problem revolves around nature, then in nature you will find the solution. How would nature solve the problems of being vandalised on a small scale? The answer is ants. Kids don't like being bitten by lots of ants at the same time, nor do grown ups for that matter. Plant things that will make ants swarm to it and cover it, as ants will usually protect their source of food especially if they are hungry. But this won't stop the council from mowing plants down. You need another solution for that problem. So go study nature itself and see where and how plants grow. Mimic nature. Don't work against it, Jason.

I'm at Tenterfield, NSW. (Formerly known as "Hyperbirds".)

jason

Just skimming the pool this morning and found this fella in no mans land.  So picked him up, nutralised him again in his original pool, and he can start the journey again and sweve the pool this time.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi Jason. I'm always wary about putting animals where I think they might best survive. Many years ago I thought I was doing the right thing by picking up a road-crossing Echidna some kilometres from the nearest bushland, putting it in a bag & then into the rear of my wagon & transporting it home for release among the gum trees. A few weeks later I learned that Echidnas wander considerable distances seeking mates &, possibly, new territories so my action in relocating the Echidna was more in my interests than the Echidna's. By the way, I never saw the Echidna again. Animals are great at seeking the habitat that best suits them (if it's available).

jason

Yes I subscribe to that pretty much whole heartedly woko.  I once parked my car accross the road while the biggest and laziest carpet snake I have ever seen meanderd accross.   

I have only found one other frog in the pool, dead unfortunately. Be it drowned due to nothing to climb onto, or the chlorine, or the salt got the better of it I can't say.  This fella was possibily asleep, but quite groggy when I picked him from the net.  I rinced him clean with pond water, then put him low on the rock near the water.  Within 30 seconds he had climbed to where the pic was taken.  

It's a matter of 15m from the frog pond to the pool, but the pool is off to the side the way of the crows flight to the creek. The creek is another 30 to 40m past the pool, and I have a developing garden on that route to provide shelter.  Past my boundry they are on their own with my park plans quashed. I have only found 2 frogs in the pool and the tadpole to frog growing cycle is at it's end. So pretty happy with the frogs and their inate ability.

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

Today was very special to me.  I took the ANZAC spirit of adventure, some larrikin anti establishment behaviour, and seized the opportunity throwing caution to the wind. Over this long weekend while the council had left the gate open to the park, I hired a cherrie picker and put up the 12 nest boxes I had made. Bringing the total to 14 ths far.  Duck, Kookaburra, Boobook Owl, Sugar glider/squirrel glider, Microbat in this lot. They are down in the denser strong point of the park, furtherest point away from humanity and their issues with wildlife.  It took 4 hours, 2 blokes, and 1 cherrie picker of course to hopefully make spring brighter for a few of the locals.  

Had a chat with a couple who passes today, have lorrikeets nesting in a dead tree fern. Over the road from my folks when they renovated, they had Pale-Headed Rosellas nesting in a besser blosk wall.  My buddy who helped me today said he had imediate occupancy in 90% of his 12 boxes last August.  Any nesting opportunity will do apparently as he had all sorts using boxes not initially thought for that species.  And it seems many others are finding the same experiance.  Better get build folks.

Forgot to get a pick of some of the boxes, got to busy with the task at hand.

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

Well done Jason. If only all people were like you. Ninety percent immediate occupancy shows up a big problem with lack of nesting space. There is probably a need for ten times the space. I understand that one species of glider will use up to 18 boxes. So maybe you need long term hire on the cherry picker or alternatively "learn the ropes" (abseiling would probably be cheaper). There is a mob at Cambroon (there are probably others) who make a business of making boxes. This is their website should you be interested in seeing their designs.

http://www.hollowloghomes.com/

jason

Thanks and thanks for the link NP. Some nice designs and the prices are very reasonable. It had crossed my mind trying to make a new career out of box's and hanging them. But figured only the cashed up would pay the price required, and I already work for some of them and they don't do nest boxes.  Actually they don't do nature at all full stop.  

I like making box's. It's easy and for a cause I can't ignore.  I have had the ply for some time now, just didn't happen at the last house.    But 3 x sheets marine 19mm ply at $100 plus $290 for the picker, $20 in glue and screws = $610 to supply and hang 14 boxes. I feel a small price for what nature gives me.  If I had to pay main stream prices for the places I have pitched a walking tent I would have been very few wild places indeed. 

I have done some experementation on a few boxes.  Hanging them in paperbarks, not where I'd expect to see a glider or a microbat.  But yes you are so right, seems a magor housing crises for our wildlife.  

Got my log bee hives ready to mount.  That's next on the list before another round of box building.    

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

I'll be interested to see photos of the log boxes when they are up Jason.

Last week in Melb I saw a hollow log in really good condition that was bought at one of the markets as a plant container (with plant inside). I thought it would have made a great hive box and I am hoping to find out a bit more about the logs that are being sold there, because they are fresh cut and unweathered, with no rotting or splitting. They would last for decades as bee boxes especially under cover.

Woko
Woko's picture

Congratulations, jason, on following through with our Prime Minister's encouragment for Australians to use initiative. There's no more exciting time to be a nest box builder & installer.

jason

Figuring if stingless bees live in water meter cavities but naturally prefer hollow logs, by building a log hive they will come.  As previously mentioned I found this log on the waiting pile to be split for firewood. 1200mm long, 450mm round, and 150 to 200 hollow centres. It has a nice 3 to 5mm crack filled with dirt that ran the length of it. Unfortunately in the cutting some dirt has come out, and on one of the cylners it fell into two pieces.  Nothing that water based no more gaps won't rectify, but I may use mud yet.  

One is to go in the back garden, no known bees in the area.  Another is to go 75m away from a known hive, and another I'm hoping to place 30m away from a mates hive.  It will be a patience game. But getting them up soon hopefully the bees will discover them and get organised for spring and summer.  They are not made to be opened but of course one can.  I'm coach bolting a steel plate with a welded capped pipe to it. The idea is so they can sit on star pickets.  Might hang one as well but they are heavy.  

I cut the log into 3rds.  Traced some tin for a top and bottom.  Top is 10mm bigger than log.  Fitted some 15mm coolight into the top for insulation.  No more gapped it to seal it from ants and the like, and screwed the tin on.  Bottom was just gapped and screwed. 

See how we go. 

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

Very Interesting Jason.

Not sure how you have put in the insulation but you will certainly need it with a metal roof particularly if it gets sun. I think it it the insulation from extremes that attracts the bees to ground meter boxes.

I think I mentioned i a previous post that I liked the look of some hollow logs I saw recently because they had no cracks. Security is just as important as temperature and you don't want to provide cracks for syrphid flies that will lay eggs in the cracks that will invade the hive.

It seems that once a log weathers on the ground it develops those longitudinal cracks. For one of my boxes I used a similar log that a friend found on his property and he glued all the cracks (see photo).

The experts are now saying that ants are no longer to be considered a problem with native bees. They will live with each other quite happily (the bees inside, the ants outside) and I have seen evidence of this myself. So you probably don't need the star pickets.

jason

Hi NP yeh it will be interesting.......ahh its always interesting.  That's a smart looking hive.  Accessible by the looks?

The coolight is in there under tension, its cut just a tad too big.  I used the no more gaps because it's low toxic and does not melt the coolight, but is only a bit of added support as it's not the best glueing agent. I also needed something to smooth out my poor chain saw skills and fill a gap or two.  I will have another look at the cracks. I wonder if a mix of wood clue and saw dust may be more perminant.  Maybe have it so the whole crack is filled and just drill a doorway like yours.  However probably just happy to see how it goes.  My understanding is a pre move team of worker bees fix things up a bit before the queen arrives to settle in. If they just have to fill a few gaps than I'm sure they can cope with that.  Have you read/heard of that?   

My mates log hangs under his deck, and only sees sun for about 3 hours each morning.  I have a nice site that gets reasonably strong  filtered sunlight all year. I think I'm happy for it to stay there.  Kind of good having a year in the place to observe these things.  The plan is to plant out underneath it and all around it making it a front centre piece when the garden shed gets moved.  Not sure what to do with the other two, maybe donate them for a raffle or something. Pretty sure council won't want them hanging in the park, and on the ground thay will only get knocked off.  Need them to work first lol. 

Did you noticed at Oxley those bees live with Golden Bum ants. So not surprised to hear that.  But I am cautious, there are many types of ants and some far more agressive than others.  Those Oxley bees biggest threat is the termites are eating that dead tree into dust and mud.  Might be just the reason to move into a new log hive with a bit of luck.         

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

This is a bit random but I find litter so demoralising.  I walk the new wonder fluff through a tiny nature corridore if you'd dare to call it that.  To walk past everyday what people have ditched in the bush kind of starts my day badly, or finishes it for that matter.  I imagine every bit of bush on the fringe of humanity, or little easement through industrial estates into bushland all suffer the same fate. So the idea to clean it up was conjured up, that will make my day more pleasent.  So I started collecting it into piles as the walks past.  Then emailed my councilor some pics asking for a day pass at my desinigated local tip.  Somewhere in council someone had a good idea and suggested a bin was easier, and I have to say it was. Saved me lots of time.

So I gee'd the kids up with no reward at all, just for the sake of it and to help out their dad.  3.5 hours, 4 loads, a few laughts, job done.  Well almost. There are some big pieces of concrete, and some deeply buried plastic swimming pools that are just to hard to deal with by hand.  But over all the bush looks like the bush again.  Even had a wren show up to celibrate, that was very cool.  And I decided to reward the kids with McCraponalds for dinner tonight, they thought that was very cool.  

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

Exemplary Jason. Australia wouldbe a great country if everybody was like you and your billy lids.

We should all try to do our bit.

I pick up where I can and my rubbish goes in the right bins which is more than many do. Some just use their yellow top as another bin.

I also take all my plastic wrappings to Coles; although I am suspicious about what happens to them after that.

I am also suspicious about the percentage of material in yellow top bins that is actually recycled. I know for instance that many people put bottles and cans in plastic bags and this automatically dooms them to landfill.

jason

Sadly NP if you happen to hit the transfer station at the right time many a recycling truck goes into main stream landfill.  Contaminated, over stocked at the sorting station I don't know, but it's demoralising.  I have witnessed 4 recyling trucks dump their loads.  

Perhaps what's sader is in Ipswich shire it's $8 for 500kg at the dump. People who illegally dump are just scabs.  But's that's the capitalist system we flourish in, and nothing like a free bit of endless bush to do so.  Have got another site in mind and I think council are going to gate it behind me which will be welcomed.  Where I was today access will get locked by the new industrial sheds to happen soon. It was a good motivator to get cracking.  Powerlink fencing block the other side so hopefully this 20m wide track with good breeding trees can only get better. Widening this track just another 10m is next on my agenda.  If they stopped mowing under the power lines the trees come back in droves.  Humanity consistantly nibbles at bushland for expansion, so I figure humanity needs to givith just a little as well.  10m on one side or 5 either side won't affect Powerlink's maintance trucks, but it will in some parts double the width of the existing wildlife corridore. Just so happens I'm in the Premiers electorate, and her office is currently looking into the future status of these mature trees with this little clean up bit. So I'm hopeing with my good deeds for my selfish needs kind of looks community focused and the ball rolls a little for nature.      

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Magnificent work by you & your magnificent kids, Jason. What an example you're setting! 

It's interesting to contemplate the various roles the bush plays: as well as sustainer of life, source of new medicines & cleanser of water it is an impediment to developers, dumping ground for humans & cover for marijuana crops. Such a valuable resource needs a lot more care than it's currently receiving from most people so you & your kids are setting the pace. With the Premier's support right behind you the bush is in safe hands.

jason

Thank you Woko.  I do wonder by posting on here I am similar the hords on facebook bragging about their latest doing.  But I think for me it goes deeper than that.  Yes I'm happy with what I get up to, but like to think it inspires others to do a little bit, or a big bit.  I don't need 45 people ticking "like" or post up "great work". I just need to say my bit and move on.  

It's also important my kids see and learn there is more to life than endless consumption and getting what they feel they need when they feel they want.  Not that really happens in my house but they do far better than when I was a kid.  They were happy with themselves yesterday afternoon.  Mum was even more impressed, but I'm not sure if it was my fathering or the kids attention span.  Still happy to say we survived being floundering amatures amongst the pros at McDonnalds last night. 

As I have said my prefered world is very different to the one I have to live in.  I accept reluctantly humans will never care much for nature, well not in a way I'd like to see.  So I take something I have picked up from you Woko.  Be happy with small achievents..... it all starts somewhere.  And I sincerely hope others see it the same.       

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

Well it's been 5 months since I planted out the front garden with local species.  Have to say I'm pleased with the results but have lost 8 plants in the midths of summer's burning heat.  Tuff gig I think going from a nursery to full sun in summer.  Still they were perhaps not the strongest looking plants in the first place so will try again in spring.   The original Banksia has flowered really strongly this year, so can't wait until the rest mature a bit.

I havent done the front frog pond.  Going on the racket of the rear pond I am not sure I want a frog party going off just outside my bedroom window.  Neighbours may not like it either as they look down onto the garden.  Might just work on lizards and birds in the front.  Top pic is from my bedroom.    

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

Excellent.

Woko
Woko's picture

Now that's what I call a garden! No wonder you're pleased with the result, Jason. 

timrp
timrp's picture

The garden is looking great! Awesome job cleaning up the nature corridor, it looks good.

jason

Yes I think I am very lucky living on alluvial plains next to a creek.  The sediment in the sandy soil, being relatively low to the water table, and the good quality top soil the bob cat man brought has really gelled with the plants. All I have done is plant them.  I did choose an open woody type mulch though.  Not much pine, fair but of sand on small fibers, but mostly larger chunks so the water can flow through it easily.  Only spread it 50 to 75mm think as well.  Have fallen into putting it on too thick in the past with a finer mulch that packed down like imenetrable rock.  

Of course the neighbour has suggested its going to be a snake haven.  Might tell him next time I put few in there just to make sure.  

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

Picked up some more local plants the other day.  Great to get some not so common ones which are very useful for filling gaps, and  butterfly host plants as well.   

Hibbertia vestita – Hairy Guinea Flower.   a sprawling, low shrub with yellow flowers.

Goodenia ovata -  Hop Goodeni.  a sprawling, low shrub with yellow flowers. Nice big leaves. 

Eragrostis elongata – a small grass.

Dianella brevipedunculata – similar to a blue flax lily.

Daviesia ulicifolia –Gorse Bitter Pea.  straggly small shrub with yellow flowers. 

Bursaria spinosa (Blackthorn) a thorny shrub to 2 m. Nice small white flowers. 

Lomandra muliflora. Has to be the most delicate and prettiest flowering one out of all of them.

Managed to get hive one mounted ready for spring.  There was a 7mm crack that ran top to bottom filled with termite dirt, which some  fell out of it when I cut the log up.  I refilled it with some very hard setting mud I found in the local area.  But when I drilled the entry hole it may have all beem for nothing.  The drill went for some way through solid wood befor finding the inner cavity.  Now to move the shed and garden on.  

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

I'll be....ask because you never know what will happen.  I have a green light to widen the nature strip that sidles the power line easement. The powerlink rep said they are pretty green company and they don't do it the same these days.  Had a walk along the area and many of the existing trees have resprouted well after the last slasher session.  They are easy to see being 6 to 12 inches in height, which is great as we have had little rain and they are currently leaving the grass well behind.  So my new job will be a days whipper snipping now and then to keep the grass down, and let nature do its thing.     

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

Well done Jason. Now, is it time you started a new thread? It takes a long time to get to the end of this one! :)

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Hi Night Parrot, at the top of each page I have the option to go to the "Last Post", yes sometimes it takes a while, but saves a lot of scrolling!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

jason

That's fair enough.  I have my garden, the park, and a bit of bush clean up all in here, to chuck the power lines in as well will make it messier than it already is.  On the ground it's all linked so makes sense in my head, but understand if it's hard to follow.

Will have to think on a good name for a new thread.  Get some pics and see how we go.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

jason

It seems the rewards of patience and watching nature grow is starting to come good. Well in the yard anyway. Today I found a Blue Faced Honeyeater in the surprisingly dense and fast growing Plunkett Mallee.  It could have been hiding from the pack of Noisy Miners stalking it, but I have not seen it here before and very happy to have it along.  I also watched a Currawong pick insects from the yard for a good half hour in the fading light yesterday afternoon. He/she is regular, but has not really been one for just hanging out on the lawn.  I have not sprayed any poisen here for over 12 months now, and I like to keep the grass at a spongy couple inches, so it's comming together.  Still waiting for the dung beatles to arrive for the dogs dealings, but there must be plenty of spiders, grubs, moths in the grass.  

Been thinking about spring also a bit, and what can be useful for birds to make or line their nests.  I have always tought Tillandsia usneoides or Old Man's Beard as a native.  I have seen it widely on the high Southern slopes of the Main Range National Park west of Brisbane. Apparently it's from the Everglades in the southern part of Florida and Louisiana.  But alas after giving the fluff ball a hair cut today I have an alternative answer.  I'll bag this incredibily soft hair untill spring and then pop it out to see what happens.  

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Old Man's Beard in my part of the world in SA is a native climber Clematis mycrophyla.

jason

That's a fine looking plant Woko, you are lucky to have it in your part of the world.  It doesn't quite stretch to SEQ unfortunately.  I have been over my local bible a couple times and their is no mention of any Epiphyte that fits the bill.  Spanish Moss is another common name, but here is a pic I borrowed from the net.  

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

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