Many hands in 2015 …

THIS FILE HAS REPORTS & IMAGES FROM THROUGHOUT 2015

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare has returned for 2016,
with our next 2-hour working bee on
Sunday, March 13, 2016, from 8am, at the end of McConachie Court.
Please come along and join our happy crew as we do
lots of important work in your neighbourhood.
*** Remember to at least wear long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt,
a broad-brimmed hat and sturdy, closed shoes.
***
Sunscreen, insect repellant, drinking and hand-washing water
as well as light refreshments will be provided.

November

Just a small roll-up for the final Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee for 2015, but there was lots to see and do on what is shaping up as a lovely creekside area.

Nearly a year on from when this revegetation project got under way, the improvements are evident and while there's more to be done, the new plants are establishing well.

Nearly a year on from when this revegetation project got under way, the improvements are evident and – while there’s more to be done – the new plants are establishing well. Picture: Trina McLellan

Importantly, we would like to thank all those volunteers who pitched in during our monthly working bees in 2015. Your work is beginning to pay off handsomely, with many invasive species minimised and healthy growth evident on native revegetation planted by you and your friends.

But as you will see from the images below, there is still a good deal of work to be done on this site to help the new plants get established and to eradicate both the invasive and non-native species (often garden escapees) from this patch.

Speaking of garden escapees, here are three that we’ve found on this site, which is only a few metres from homes. [That doesn’t mean the interlopers came from those homes because they could have easily been swept downstream during a rain event and settled there. This is why all gardeners need to be aware of plants that have the propensity to spread with little effort.]:

In the Dawn Road Reserve, the white butterfly plant (Syngonium podophyllum) has happily established itself in our revegetation patch but is being removed before it does too much damage

In the Dawn Road Reserve, the white butterfly plant (Syngonium podophyllum) has happily established itself in our revegetation patch but is being removed before it does too much damage. Picture: Trina McLellan

Syngonium podophyllum (white butterfly) is a creeping or climbing plant with arrow-headed leaves that was once widely sold in nurseries and markets around South-East Queensland. The State Government website Weeds of Australia notes this plant “is regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland, and as a potential environmental weed or “sleeper weed ” in other parts of northern and eastern Australia. It thrives in our sub-tropical climate and can creep or climb up to 10m in height, in the process scrambling over other plants. It is known to be a weed of rainforests, closed forests, open woodlands, waterways and riparian areas, roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas and abandoned gardens in tropical and sub-tropical regions”. It also notes that this plant’s “stem segments and cuttings are commonly dispersed in dumped garden waste and woodchips. Once established, a plant will spread outwards, forming a colony, and taking root wherever its stems touch the ground. Stem segments can also be spread by mowers, slashes and floodwaters.”

Another indoor and tropical garden plant that's a nuisance in the wild is the split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa).

Another indoor and tropical garden plant that’s a nuisance in the wild is the split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa). Picture: Trina McLellan

While another formerly popular market- and garden centre-sold plant, Monstera deliciosa (fruit salad plant, split-leaf philodendron), is regarded as an environmental weed in New South Wales, it has also become a common sight in the riparian (creekside) areas and in urban bushlands in the warmer parts of eastern Australia, including south-east Queensland. It can scramble up to 5m or more, well up into the canopies of trees. Sadly, in the wild, it’s mostly found growing where garden waste has been dumped, but its seeds are easily spread by birds and, hence, it can become naturalised and a nuisance that smothers native plants.

An up-close look at the Barbados lily (Hippeastrum puniceum) which was most likely first dumped in garden waste but has now begun to spread further afield in our revegetation zone.

An up-close look at the Barbados lily (Hippeastrum puniceum) which was most likely first dumped in garden waste but has now begun to spread further afield in our revegetation zone. Picture: Trina McLellan

Despite its exotic name, Barbados lily (Hippeastrum puniceum) is not suited to bushland settings and can spread easily by self-sown or bird-distributed seed.

Despite its exotic name, Barbados lily (Hippeastrum puniceum) is not suited to bushland settings because, as you can see here, it spreads easily by self-sown or bird-distributed seed. Picture: Trina McLellan

Perhaps the prettiest and most delicate garden escapees we have seen in our revegetation area are these flowering hippeastrums. There are many similar varieties of this usually ornamental plant and this quite possibly is Hippeastrum puniceum (Barbados lily), which has made its way into the south-western edge of our revegetation patch. Although thought of by gardeners as a bulb, this is another plant that, once escaped from gardens, can spread by self-sown or bird-distributed seeds.

In this case, these plants have possibly come from dumped garden waste. So, if you’re cleaning up around your garden, please remember to dispose of any plant waste thoughtfully (a good option is to drop it at the MBRC’s waste disposal centres (our local one is at Bunya). Sadly, when naturalised in the wild, this species can become invasive. Note: you do have to be an MBRC resident to dispose of waste at its centres, but there is no charge. In the Brisbane City Council areas there will be a charge if you don’t have one of its tip coupons that are issued to residents.

Brisbane City Council's handy weed identification poster comes in handy when introducing new volunteers at the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group. The eastern and southern edges of our reserve abut the BCC's boundary line, so their weeds are our weeds!

Brisbane City Council’s handy weed identification poster comes in handy when introducing new volunteers at the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group. The eastern and southern edges of our reserve abut the BCC’s boundary line, so their weeds are our weeds! Picture: Trina McLellan

Moreton Bay Regional Council has a similar weed poster that has proven handy, although it has a few different plants to that of the neighbouring Brisbane City Council's poster

Moreton Bay Regional Council has a similar weed poster that has proven handy, although it has a few different plants to that of the neighbouring Brisbane City Council’s poster. Picture: Trina McLellan

One of the declared weeds we worked on in November was Verbena bonariensis (purple top or tall verbena). Moreton Bay Regional Council has declared this persistent weed species that originated in South America to be a nuisance that disrupts native flora communities and ecosystems. Of this pest species, Weeds of Australia notes: “Verbena bonariensis reproduces mainly by seed and self-seeds readily. The seeds may be dispersed by animals, wind, or in water including storm water in urban areas. They may also be spread in contaminated agricultural produce and farm implements. It has a long-lived seedbank.”

Known widely as 'purple top', this weed (Verbena bonariensis) can take over an area quickly, hence our focus on removing it early.

Known widely as ‘purple top’, this weed (Verbena bonariensis) can take over an area quickly, hence our focus on removing it early. Picture: Trina McLellan

Of course, taming the regular weeds on this patch – such as Eugenia uniflora (Brazilian cherry), Senna pendula var. glabrata (Easter cassia) and the ubiquitous Onopordum acanthus (Scotch thistle) – is routine for our volunteers and, as the year wound up for our group, it certainly was no different in November. It’s a pleasure to see formerly overgrown areas giving life to native plants and grasses such as this Lomandra hysteria (Green mat rush). By the way, the Brazilian cherry isn’t the only South American invader on our patch. We also have Solanum seaforthianum (Brazilian nightshade) on the other side of the stream that bisects this revegetation site.

 

When removing Brazilian cherry plants (Eugenia brasiliana), it's vital to take any seed material off-site because they remain viable when dropped on the ground.

When removing Brazilian cherry plants (Eugenia uniflora), it’s vital to take any seed material off-site because they remain viable when dropped on the ground. This plant is one of Queensland’s top 200 environmental weeds. Picture: Trina McLellan

Catching the prolific young Easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) plants before they become established and spread more seed is another regular task

Catching the prolific young Easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) plants before they become established and spread more seed is another regular task for Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers. Picture: Trina McLellan

Weeds such as Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthus) need constant removal until native species regenerate.

Weeds such as Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthus) need constant removal from the revegetation site until native species regenerate. Picture: Trina McLellan

One of the matrush grasses native to this area is Lomandra hystrix, a clumping plant that prefers to grow on the edge of fresh and brackish water creeks, swamps, rivers and in moist gullies.

One of the matrush grasses native to this area is Lomandra hystrix, a clumping plant that prefers to grow on the edge of fresh and brackish water creeks, swamps, rivers and in moist gullies. Picture: Trina McLellan

*** Please note that there will be no Bushcare working bees in December and January, due both to the stifling summer heat and the school holidays. Please join us in the early new year (Sunday, February 14), to further improve this wonderful revegetation patch.

October

This was the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group's revegetation site at the beginning of the October working bee. Most of this month's plantings were on the far end of the site, on the embankment beyond the white cedar trees.

This was the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group’s revegetation site at the beginning of the October working bee. Most of this month’s tree and shrub plantings were on the far end of the site, on the embankment obscured here by mature trees. The embankment provides a handy connection between the two sides of the revegetation zone that sit alongside either side of a stream which is again running, thanks to some recent rain. Pic: Trina McLellan

Some of the Albany Hills State School students and their parents during the October Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee.

Some of the Albany Hills State School students and their parents get down to work during the October Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee. Pic: Trina McLellan

When it comes to a successful Bushcare working bee, the saying “many hands make light work” couldn’t be any truer. October’s Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group had the assistance of three Albany Hills State School family groups plus a ‘hands-on’ visit from one of the candidates in the next local council elections, Elizabeth Dalleston.

In no time at all the busy crew had 20 new plants positioned on the embankment at the southern end of the site, complete with protective Corflute barriers to stop inquisitive, hungry wallabies from nibbling on the tender leaves of the young plants. The covers will come off once the plants are well established.

An Albany Hills State School student gets a few pointers from Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group patron, Janet Mangan.

An Albany Hills State School student gets a few pointers from Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group patron, Janet Mangan. Pic: Trina McLellan

After the task of planting was complete, this Albany Hills State School student had fun hammering in the stakes holding up the protective barrier. Pic: Trina McLellan

After the task of planting was complete, this Albany Hills State School student had fun hammering in the stakes holding up the protective barrier. Pic: Trina McLellan

But the most impressive part was how enthusiastic and involved all the Albany Hills State School students were. They dug and planted, tamped and covered, watered and then had fun with a few special activities after the main planting was finished.

One dad and five fascinated Albany Hills State School students prepare the ground for a new plant.

One handy dad and five attentive Albany Hills State School students prepare the ground for a new plant. Pic: Trina McLellan

An Albany Hills State School student gets a hand from Dad as they add another new plant to the revegetation zone.

An Albany Hills State School student gets a hand from Dad as they add another new plant to the revegetation zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

This eager Albany Hills State School student was helping Mum plant a young shrub in the revegetation zone.

This eager Albany Hills State School student was helping Mum plant a young shrub in the revegetation zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

Then is was this Albany Hills State School student's turn to help his Mum plant a shrub.

Then is was this Albany Hills State School student’s turn to help his Mum plant a shrub. Pic: Trina McLellan

Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare member Alison shows a young volunteer how to place a shrub and protect it from nibbling wallabies until it is established.

Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare member Alison shows a young volunteer how to place a shrub and protect it from nibbling wallabies until it is established. Pic: Trina McLellan

The more the merrier! Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare member Alison gets a hand placing a shrub during the October working bee.

The more the merrier! Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare member Alison gets a hand placing a protective cover around a young shrub during the October working bee. Pic: Trina McLellan

First these two Albany Hills State School students placed the young plant carefully in a pre-dug hole that had some slow-release fertiliser already in it.

First these two Albany Hills State School students placed the young plant carefully in a pre-dug hole that had some slow-release fertiliser already in it. Pic: Trina McLellan

Then this Albany Hills State School pair carefully filled the hole around the new plant and prepared for it to get its own protective cover.

Then this eager Albany Hills State School pair carefully filled the hole around the new plant and prepared for it to get its own protective cover. Pic: Trina McLellan

The second-last important step when planting is to ensure the young plant is well watered.

The second-last important step when planting is to ensure the young plant is well watered. Pic: Trina McLellan

Another plant successfully positioned by an Albany Hills State School student at the October Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee.

Another plant successfully positioned by an Albany Hills State School student at the October Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee. Pic: Trina McLellan

After the plants had been positioned during the October working bee, it was time to check out the aquatic invertebrates, so the MBRC Bushcare officer Nicole Byrne showed a group of Albany Hills State School students how to collect water samples safely

After all the new plants had been positioned during the October working bee, it was time to check out the aquatic invertebrates, so the MBRC Bushcare officer Nicole Byrne showed a group of Albany Hills State School students how to collect water samples safely. Pic: Trina McLellan

These Albany Hills State School students patiently waited their turn to collect a water sample for inspection and matching up with an identification chart.

These Albany Hills State School students patiently waited their turn to collect a water sample for inspection and matching up with an identification chart. Pic: Trina McLellan

Wow, hasn't this native creek sandpaper fig (Ficus coronate) shot up! Planted back in summer, when it reached just knee-height on this Albany Hills State School student, by October it had outgrown him – despite the fact he'd grown in the meantime too!

Wow, hasn’t this native creek sandpaper fig (Ficus coronate) shot up! Planted back in summer, when it reached just knee-height on this Albany Hills State School student, by October it had outgrown him – despite the fact he’d grown in the meantime too! Pic: Trina McLellan

Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer Gary takes care of planting a new young tree amid shrubbery on the revegetation site, carefully positioning a bright pink tag so no one thinks it might be a weed species.

Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer Gary takes care of planting a new young tree amid existing shrubbery on the revegetation site, carefully positioning a bright pink tag on the sapling so no one mistakes it for a weed species. Picture: Trina McLellan

Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer Leo ensures a new shrub is properly positioned and tamped down on the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare revegetation site, which is coming along nicely as the project passes the nine-month mark.

Regular Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer Leo ensures a new shrub is properly positioned and tamped down on the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare revegetation site, which is coming along nicely as the project passes its nine-month mark. Pic: Trina McLellan

After the planting was done, the Albany Hills State School students were fascinated as Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group patron Janet Mangan demonstrated a clever way to remotely view what is going on inside a nesting box with a handheld monitor connected to a camera mounted on an extension pole.

After the planting was done, the Albany Hills State School students were fascinated as Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group patron Janet Mangan demonstrated a clever way to remotely view what was going on inside a nesting box temporarily located in a white cedar (Melia azedarach) tree. The students were able to see inside on a handheld monitor that was connected to a camera mounted on an extension pole. Pic: Trina McLellan

From a distance the beautiful – and drought-tolerant – white cedar (Melia azedarach) blooms blend into the foliage on the southern end of the revegetation zone. This is one stand of non-invasive trees that will remain on the revegetation site.

From a distance the beautiful – and drought-tolerant – white cedar (Melia azedarach) blooms blend into the foliage on the southern end of the revegetation zone. This is one stand of non-invasive trees that will remain on the revegetation site. Pic: Trina McLellan

The up-close view of the delicate white cedar (Melia azedarach) blooms that come on in spring. The proliferation of blooms on this winter deciduous tree are softly perfumed and the tree is a great shade-provider in the hot months.

The up-close view of the delicate white cedar (Melia azedarach) blooms that come on in spring. The proliferation of blooms on this winter deciduous tree are softly perfumed and the tree is a great shade-provider in the hot months. Pic: Trina McLellan

September

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare patron Janet Mangan speaks to Albany Hills State School fete-goers

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare patron Janet Mangan speaks to Albany Hills State School fete-goers. Pic: Trina McLellan

What a busy month we’ve had! For those of you who visited the Albany Hills State School fete, you may have seen our display up on the carpark level just off Keong Road.

And a big thanks to Gary, Michael and Charlie who helped Janet, Alison and Trina set up the display on the day.

Thanks to dedicated volunteers Janet, Alison, Trina, Michael and Gary, the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare Group was present all day at the recent Albany Hills State School fete

Thanks to dedicated volunteers Janet, Alison, Trina, Michael, Charlie and Gary, the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare Group was present all day at the recent Albany Hills State School fete. Pic: Trina McLellan

The native bee hive, just one week old, fascinated the children and adults who took a look inside at the Albany Hills State School fete

The native bee hive, just one week old, fascinated the children and adults who took a look inside at the Albany Hills State School fete. While fete-goers were lined up to see the bees, they also discovered that the bees’ greatest threat is the very common African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata). Pic: Trina McLellan

If you went to the fete, did you get to see the fascinating native bees that had set up home in a new hive just a week earlier? Amazing how much hive they’d built in just a week. A big thanks to our patron, Janet Mangan, for bringing along her new hive and explaining how to keep the bees going over the hot summer months. Janet also prepared a poster explaining how deadly one plant, the common African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata) can be for native bees.

This plant is a Class 3 declared pest and, apart from the harm is does to native bees, the Queensland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry explains on its website that “African tulip trees are becoming problematic in South East Queensland as environmental weeds (garden escapees), and as a public safety hazard (when these trees are planted along footpaths, their dropped flowers can create a slippery walking surface). The tree will reproduce via seeds and suckers and is very capable of spreading from a single planting. Areas most at risk include gullies, areas of vegetation around waterways and disturbed rainforest. Removal of African tulip trees is highly recommended, particularly when they are in close proximity to natural vegetation or waterways.

Then the very next day after the fete, we had our regular working bee on our revegetation site, which is coming along nicely.

For those of you following the progress of our special project – one that has involved several families from the Albany Hills State School – here’s a pictorial update on our progress:

Many of the trees and shrubs planted so far this year in the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare revegetation zone have survived both flood and a long dry spell

Many of the trees and shrubs planted so far this year in the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare revegetation zone have survived both flood and a long dry spell. The twigs placed along the western edge form a natural barrier for the council’s mowing crew. Picture: Trina McLellan

After almost nine months of work by Dawn Road Bushcare Group volunteers, this is the view to the north from he mid-point of the revegetation zone

After almost nine months of work by Dawn Road Bushcare Group volunteers, this is the view to the north from the mid-point of the revegetation zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

With the arrival of spring, the Dawn Road Bushcare Group finally saw signs erected in three places to warn off anyone not working on the revegetation project. This will allow the zone's introduced plants to get established.

With the arrival of spring, and thanks to MBRC’s Bushcare officer Wendy Heath, the Dawn Road Bushcare Group finally saw signs erected in three places to warn off anyone not working on the revegetation project. This will allow the zone’s introduced plants to get properly established. The signs have been placed for maximum visual impact for anyone walking into the Reserve and past the project. Pic: Trina McLellan

Sign2

Sign3

Work has also commenced on the eastern side of the section of stream that bisects the Dawn Road Bushcare Group’s current revegetation project zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

But perhaps the best indicator for volunteers is recognising the remarkable growth of native species they have planted over the past nine months. To give you some idea of the growth being experienced, this poison peach tree (Trema tormentosa) was planted as a seedling less than knee high just over six months ago. By early September, it was almost as tall as our patron, Janet Mangan.

It's amazing how quickly some of the reintroduced plants have shot up. Here Janet Mangan shows the height of a trema tormentosa which was only planted in February. Pic: Trina McLellan

It’s amazing how quickly some of the reintroduced plants have shot up. Here Janet shows how high a poison peach tree (Trema tormentosa) has grown since it was planted in February. Pic: Trina McLellan

August

Despite the brisk start to our August 9 working bee, Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers were happy to continue work on our special revegetation site as the morning warmed up.

This month we had two very eager and very focused Albany Hills State School students helping out, one of them from Prep! Their parents came along for the day and were a great help in the weeding and remaining mulch-spreading tasks at our revegetation site under the powerlines at the end of McConachie Court (and at the end of Jullyann St).

And how good is the site looking? Well judge for yourself. We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year and we’ve plans to apply for another grant soon to do a further portion of the riparian zone beside the stream (which has dried up in spots right now but will be back flowing as soon as it rains).

This month we worked on some important weeding of the main revegetation site and then some mulching further to the south. You’ll notice that a barrier of trimmings edges the main site (this is our mowing edge so that the council contractors don’t accidentally damage the tender young plants such as the broad-leaved paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia). A bit further to the south of the main site, we’ve been spreading mulch and that does the same job.

In between the two areas you can see a wonderful red bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) in full bloom

Just over six months since the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare revegetation project started and the riparian zone replanting is looking terrific thanks to help from Albany Hills State School students, their parents and regular volunteers.

Just over six months since the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare revegetation project started and the riparian zone replanting is looking terrific thanks to help from Albany Hills State School students, their parents and regular volunteers. Pic: Trina McLellan

Some of the persistent broad-leaved pepper trees are still needing to be removed from the revelation site. The trees have invasive roots and runners that often require drilling and spot-poisoning by one of the trained volunteers

Some remnant regrowth from the persistent broad-leaved pepper trees still needs to be removed from the revelation site because these trees have invasive roots and runners that require drilling and spot-poisoning by one of the trained volunteers. Pic: Trina McLellan

The fast regrowth of broad-leaved pepper tree needed to be lopped back, so these parents took on the task with gusto

The fast regrowth of broad-leaved pepper tree needed to be lopped back, so these local parents took on the task with gusto. Pic: Trina McLellan

When you visit the revegetation site you'll see many plants with bright pink ties like this native poison peach (Trema tomentosa). The Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group marks such plants to be protected and kept while weeding can go on around them.

When you visit the revegetation site you’ll see many plants with bright pink ties like this native poison peach (Trema tomentosa). The Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group marks such plants to be protected and kept safe while weeding can go on around them. Pic: Trina McLellan

Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare officer Wendy Heath teaches a young volunteer how to remove weeds by hand

Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare officer Wendy Heath teaches a young volunteer how to remove weeds by hand. Pic: Trina McLellan

Among a number of found objects this month was this snail and a handful of golf balls (candidus pilamalleus

Among a number of found objects this month was this largish snail and a handful of white golf balls (Candidus pilamalleus). Pic: Trina McLellan

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare leader Janet Mangan shows demonstrates how to prepare and plant revegetation species at the worksite.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare leader Janet Mangan shows demonstrates how to prepare and plant revegetation species at the worksite. Pic: Trina McLellan

A young Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer from Albany Hills State School prepares a planting hole in the revegetation zone.

A young Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer from Albany Hills State School prepares a planting hole in the revegetation zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

A young Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer from Albany Hills State School places his plant in the revegetation zone

A young Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteer from Albany Hills State School places his plant in the revegetation zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

Planted as a small sapling around about knee height in February, this melaleuca quinquenervia (broad-leafed paperbark) is now taller than our two youngest volunteers

Planted as a small sapling around about knee height in February, this broad-leaved paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) is now taller than our two youngest volunteers. Pic: Trina McLellan

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare leader Janet Mangan inspects the melaleuca quinquenervia and gives it her tick of approval.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare leader Janet Mangan inspects the Melaleuca quinquenervia and gives it her tick of approval. Pic: Trina McLellan

While this stream alongside the Dawn Road Reserve has been running all year, this month parts of it have dried up. Not to worry, all will resume after the next rains.

While this stream alongside the Dawn Road Reserve has been running all year, this month parts of it have dried up. Not to worry, all will resume after the next rains. Pic: Trina McLellan

A healthy specimen of callistemon viminalis (bottlebrush) sits on the western edge of the revegetation zone

A healthy specimen of red bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) sits on the western edge of the revegetation zone. Pic: Trina McLellan

Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare officer Wendy Heath rakes out mulch to form an edge to the revegetation zone. This helps demarcate the sensitive areas so mowing contractors do not mow over the young plants

Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare officer Wendy Heath rakes out mulch to form an edge to the revegetation zone. This helps demarcate the sensitive areas so mowing contractors do not mow over the young plants. Pic: Trina McLellan

Watched over by Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare officer Wendy Heath, this young volunteer demonstrates his skill with a barrow full of mulch.

Watched over by Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare officer Wendy Heath, this young volunteer demonstrates his skill with a barrow full of mulch. Pic: Trina McLellan

A young volunteer steers a barrow full of mulch to be spread out at the revegetation site.

A young volunteer steers a barrow full of mulch to be spread out at the revegetation site. Pic: Trina McLellan

The Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group would love to see more local dads like this one lend a hand with the revegetation project

The Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group would love to see more local dads like this one lend a hand with the revegetation project. Pic: Trina McLellan

The bucket brigade help spread the mulch to protect new plantings.

The bucket brigade help spread the mulch to protect new plantings. Pic: Trina McLellan

July

Many hands made light work of spreading around half our mulch heap along the southern stretch of our revegetation site to give new plants a chance to establish. We even had a special visitor helping us, Christian Perrin from Wild BNE. After the hard work was done, the volunteers enjoyed a short walk into the reserve to spot plantlife, birdlife and wildlife.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers spread mulch from a pile created by the removal of unwanted pest trees earlier in the year.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers spread mulch from a pile created by the removal of unwanted pest trees earlier in the year. Pic: Trina McLellan

Wild BNE's Christian Perrin pitches in with Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare's Janet Mangan to help spread some of the mulch around the edge of the revegetation site. Pic: Trina McLellan

Wild BNE’s Christian Perrin pitches in with Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare’s Janet Mangan to help spread some of the mulch around the edge of the revegetation site. Pic: Trina McLellan

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers spread the mulch along the edge of the revegetation site to protect plants from disturbance and council's mowers

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers spread the mulch along the edge of the revegetation site to protect plants from disturbance and from council’s mowers. Pic: Trina McLellan

May & June

There were plenty of new things to see and do when the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers gathered under the powerlines at the end of McConachie Court on Sunday, May 10.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers check out the streamside planting

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers returned to work in May under the powerlines at their recently planted streamside site. Pic: Trina McLellan

The site – which was replanted earlier this year – has come along well, with many of the grasses, young plants and saplings holding tight, despite a few heavy showers since they were introduced to the zone. Many have established themselves well and are growing happily.

There had been quite a bit of weed growth, too, in between the new plantings where the ground had previously been cleared, but this was not unexpected. So the team pitched in and cleared much of that away while the younger members of the crew were given a special treat.

Our local Bushcare mentor, Janet Mangan, and Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Bushcare officer, Nicole Byrne, organised the collection of a variety of aquatic macroinvertebrates samples with the eager assistance of young students from Albany Hills State School and their parents.

Nicole Byrne helps a volunteer family identify some of the aquatic invertebrate samples taken from the nearby stream

Nicole Byrne helps a volunteer family identify some of the aquatic invertebrate samples taken from the nearby stream. Pic: Trina McLellan

This saw buckets, nets and even transparent plastic cups used to skim and inspect small quantities of stream water for tiny creatures, noting the variety present – the greater the variety, the healthier our waterway.

A simple clear plastic cup proved the perfect vehicle for inspecting samples taken from the Dawn Road Reserve stream

A simple clear plastic cup proved the perfect vehicle for inspecting samples taken from the Dawn Road Reserve stream. Pic: Trina McLellan

Peering into a bucket with samples of aquatic invertebrates

There was much peering into buckets to note just what specimens of aquatic invertebrates there were in the Dawn Road Reserve stream. Pic: Trina McLellan

While volunteers became engrossed in the task of peering into buckets and drawing out cupfuls of stream water to inspect, a fine net was also used to skim the top of the stream, producing even more samples of insects and invertebrates that dwell on or just under the water’s surface.

Volunteers used nets and buckets to collect and document aquatic invertebrate specimens during the May Bushcare activity in the Dawn Road Reserve

Volunteers used nets and buckets to collect and document aquatic invertebrate specimens during the May Bushcare activity in the Dawn Road Reserve. Pic: Trina McLellan

Buckets proved handy for collecting samples of Dawn Road Reserve stream water

Buckets proved handy for collecting samples of Dawn Road Reserve stream water. Pic: Trina McLellan

Our delighted student and adult volunteers, helped by Janet and Nicole, used special sheets to help identify a decent array of tiny invertebrates, including Mayfly nymphs (Ephemeroptera), dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs (Odonata), Stonefly nymphs (Plecoptera), freshwater shrimp (Paratya australiensis or glass shrimp), segmented worms (Polychaetes), freshwater snails (Gastropoda) and copepods (Copepoda).

One of the student volunteers uses a handy aquatic invertebrates chart to help identify specimens collected from the stream

One of the student volunteers uses a handy aquatic invertebrates chart to help identify specimens collected from the stream. Pic: Trina McLellan

The children who attended also had a sapling tagged with their own names so they can come back in the months and years to come to see its progress.

Tree-naming using a tag with a student volunteer's name

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare mentor Janet Mangan helps a student name their very own tree. Pic: Trina McLellan

They also got to see plenty of funghi, deposited and growing after recent flooding rains. But the biggest mystery of the day was the discovery of an almost perfect semi-circle of unusual funghi, possibly deposited after recent flooding rains. At first someone suggested it had been left by aliens, but upon closer inspection, it was seen to be not limited to the circular deposit, with small growths evident around the base of a nearby tree.

Mystery surrounded this greyish semi-circle, until it was realised that it, too, was a form of fungal deposit left in the wake of recent flooding rains

Mystery surrounded this greyish semi-circle, until it was realised that it, too, was a form of fungal deposit left in the wake of recent flooding rains. Pic: Trina McLellan

The grey funghi deposit up close. Pic: Trina McLellan

The grey funghi deposit up close. Pic: Trina McLellan

After the flooding subsided, this tree stump became host to funghi spores deposited by the water

After the flooding subsided, this tree stump became host to funghi spores deposited by the water. Pic: Trina McLellan

Bright white funghi specimen in the Dawn Road Reserve

Almost mistaken for a golf ball, this bright white funghi specimen had popped up near the new planting in the Dawn Road Reserve after recent rains. Pic: Trina McLellan

While the May 10 was gathering was especially fascinating and well attended, the damp weather in June saw a few hearty souls pressed on regardless at another of the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare’s regular sites on the southern side of the reserve (behind Huntingdale Court). In July, on Sunday the 12th, we’ll be back at the original new planting site at the end of McConachie Crt.

However, as you can read elsewhere on this website, in between the two regular working bees, a very successful bird survey was conducted by Janet, Nicole and a few last-minute volunteers. They were rewarded with a rare and very special sighting, too.

April Report

What a great roll up we had on Sunday, April 12, with 15 eager volunteers – including 4 students from years 1, 3 and 4 at Albany Hills State School – as we worked on more planting as well as some weeding along the streamside where we’ve met for the past few Bushcare working bees.

The four students even got to plant their own tree, with one of them a special eucalypt tree that was planted in line with others already established on the site.

Albany Hills State School students with their very own trees to plant

Albany Hills State School students with their very own trees to plant. Pic: Trina McLellan

Thanks to demonstrations by Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare’s Janet Mangan, each student was involved in taking great care in preparing the ground for planting, sprinkling fertiliser, repacking soil around their young plant, tamping it down and ensuring stakes were positioned to take protective netting.

Sprinkling slow-release fertiliser into the planting spot before placing a plant is a good idea to give it a kick start

Sprinkling slow-release fertiliser into the planting spot before placing a plant is a good idea to give it a kick start. Pic: Trina McLellan

Planting a precious eucalypt tree

Planting a precious eucalypt tree. Pic: Trina McLellan

Replacing the soil around a new planting is an important task

Replacing the soil around a new planting is an important task. Pic: Trina McLellan

It's always important to ensure the soil around a new plant is tamped down to ensure it doesn't tip over or get washed away.

It’s always important to ensure the soil around a new plant is tamped down to ensure it doesn’t tip over or get washed away. Pic: Trina McLellan

And the students added to our found objects collection with several stray golf balls and some excellent specimens of native snail shells, finds which caused much excitement.

Shells of native snails found on the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee site by Albany Hills State School students

Shells of native snails found on the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare working bee site by Albany Hills State School students. Pic: Trina McLellan

Both the 11 adults and 4 children played important roles throughout the day, beginning with Bushcare’s Janet Mangan and Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare Officer Nicole Byrne scoping the site to see what regrowth had happened since our March working bee.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers in action on Sunday, April 12.

Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare volunteers in action on Sunday, April 12. Pic: Trina McLellan

Children and adults all pitched in during the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare April working bee

Children and adults all pitched in during the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare April working bee. Pic: Trina McLellan

Everyone was delighted to see most of the earlier plantings from February and March faring particularly well but all were quite surprised at the rate of renewed weed regrowth, especially that of Easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata), Cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli), the Broad-leafed pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) and the Brazilian nightshade (Solanum seaforthianum).

Of course the Easter cassia was in full bloom.

An Easter cassia plant up close – Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare Officer Nicole Byrne pointed out that you can see its yellow-edged leaves, one of its discerning features.

An Easter cassia plant (Senna Pendula var. glabrata) up close – Moreton Bay Regional Council Bushcare Officer Nicole Byrne pointed out that you can see its yellow-edged leaves, one of its discerning features. Pic: Trina McLellan

Easter cassia plants in bloom alongside the Dawn Road Reserve stream where Bushcare has been holding working bees

Easter cassia plants in bloom alongside the Dawn Road Reserve stream where Bushcare has been holding working bees. Pic: Trina McLellan

The pretty but rapid-growing Cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli) had taken over an area alongside the stream and will be treated with poison shortly

The pretty but rapid-growing Cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli) had taken over an area alongside the stream and will be treated with poison shortly. Pic: Trina McLellan

Brazilian nightshade (Solanum seaforthianum) was also in bloom, making it easy to identify for removal before it gets much larger

Brazilian nightshade (Solanum seaforthianum) was also in bloom, making it easy to identify for removal before it gets much larger. Pic: Trina McLellan

The Broad-leafed pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) were showing strong signs of regrowth after being trimmed back to stumps earlier this year

The Broad-leafed pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) were showing strong signs of regrowth after being trimmed back to stumps earlier this year. Pic: Trina McLellan

So it was down to work to trim back some (to expose stumps for later poisoning) and pull other weeds to give the new plants some space. What started as a slightly overgrown space ended up considerably tidier thanks to the work of our happy band of volunteers.

Much of the weed regrowth since March was obvious before the April working bee started

Much of the weed regrowth since March was obvious before the April working bee started. Pic: Trina McLellan

 

After the April working bee was concluded, there was plenty of space for new plants to get established, thanks to the hard work of 15 local volunteers

After the April working bee was concluded, there was plenty of space for new plants to get established, thanks to the hard work of 15 local volunteers. Pic: Trina McLellan

But the biggest buzz for those of the volunteers who are keen on wildlife in the Dawn Road Reserve was the sound of several native frogs – most likely striped marsh frogs (Limnodynastes peroni) – in and around one of the waterway traps at the northern end of our site. [If you click on the link, you can hear their sound on the frogs.org.au web page.]

The sound of several striped marsh frogs (Limnodynastes peroni) was heard coming from in and around this waterway filter trap

The sound of several striped marsh frogs (Limnodynastes peroni) was heard coming from in and around this waterway filter trap. Pic: Trina McLellan

Don’t worry if you missed out this month because we will begin on this same site next month, on Sunday, May 10 (Mother’s Day) before we move on to a new site a bit further into the Reserve.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for all the native birds, animals and plants in our neighbourhood. If you’re not sure about one of them, try to take a picture and bring it with you for identification.

External sources:
weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/cockspur-coral-tree
weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/brazilian-nightshade-solanum-seaforthianum
frogs.org.au/frogs/species/Limnodynastes/peroni/

March Report

Just one month on from the February working bee, this Dawn Road Reserve regeneration project has brightened the western side of the stream near McConachie Court at Albany Creek

Just one month on from the February working bee, this Dawn Road Reserve regeneration project has brightened the western side of the stream near McConachie Court at Albany Creek, with almost every plant surviving the deluge that occurred a week after the planting. Pic: Trina McLellan

It is just one month since the initial working bee at the eastern end of McConachie Court, Albany Creek, and the handiwork of the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group and neighbourhood volunteers is already paying off, with the site already attracting beneficial insects and other wildlife as well as allowing native plant species to flourish where once there was too much competition from invasive pest species.

Can you see the blue dragonfly in the top three images? It, and a red dragonfly - both with translucent wings - darted about the regeneration site during the working bee

Can you see the blue skimmer dragonfly (Orthetrum caledonicum) in the top three images? It, and a red dragonfly, possibly a fiery skimmer (Orthetrum villosovittatum) – both with translucent wings – darted about the regeneration site during the working bee. Pics: Trina McLellan

With its glossy sets of leaves, the mellicope elleryana - or the pink audio - is often mistaken for an umbrella tree. However, if you look carefully, its semicircle sets of leaves number just three, whereas umbrella trees boast up to eight leaves arranged in a full circle. This fast-growing tree will reach up to 10m. Pics: Trina McLellan

With its glossy sets of leaves, the Mellicope elleryana – or the pink euodia – is often mistaken for an umbrella tree. However, if you look carefully, its semicircle sets of leaves number just three, whereas umbrella trees boast up to eight leaves arranged around in full circles. This fast-growing tree will reach up to 10m. Pics: Trina McLellan

So the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group held its second working bee on this special regeneration site on Sunday, March 15, planting dozens of plants purchased through a special grant from the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

It was evident that the work done in February’s working bee was faring well on the western bank of the stream, so this time the volunteers planted suitable replacement plants on the eastern side of the waterway.

Again it was great to see the Albany Hills State School represented by one of its Year 3 students, who enjoyed building a very long pot snake from the plastic containers that had housed the plants being carefully positioned during the working bee.

But, with 700 plants to position, the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group is always looking for willing helpers.

If you would like to join us next month, the working bee will convene at 8am at the end of McConachie Court on Sunday, April 12 (the weekend after Easter) for further restoration activities. [LOYAL READERS, PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE. SEE ABOVE FOR DETAILS.]

Just remember to wear long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt as well as sturdy, closed shoes. And don’t forget to bring a broad-brimmed hat! Sunscreen, insect repellant, drinking and hand-washing water as well as light refreshments will be provided.

Listen to a brief interview (on SoundCloud) with the Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare group’s Janet Mangan, who explains how this latest regeneration project came about. (2mins30sec)

The lemon migrant butterfly (Catopsilia pomona), at rest here, is a common sight around this waterway.

The lemon migrant butterfly (Catopsilia pomona), at rest here, is a common sight around this waterway. Pic: Trina McLellan

This happy band of Bushcare volunteers worked on the eastern bank of a stream running through the western edge of the Dawn Road Reserve on Sunday, March 15

This happy band of Bushcare volunteers worked on the eastern bank of a stream running through the western edge of the Dawn Road Reserve on Sunday, March 15.

a massive 'pot snake' created with the plastic tubestock containers

Every volunteer gets a cool job, such as creating a massive ‘pot snake’ (Urna anguis) with the plastic tubestock containers (so they can be taken off-site at the end of the working bee). Pics: Trina McLellan

Preparing the ground for planting takes some digging with equipment designed for the task

Preparing the ground for planting takes some digging with equipment designed for the task, depending on how dry the clay-based soil has become. Plants are then carefully positioned alongside the waterway, according to their moisture needs. Pics: Trina McLellan

After carefully planting new species, the volunteers carted water from the stream to help the tubestock plants settle in to their new locations

After carefully planting a range of new species, the volunteers carted water from the stream to help the tubestock plants settle in to their new locations. Pics: Trina McLellan

 

Our usually quiet stream that runs along the western edge of part of the Dawn Road Reserve was transformed by flooding rains, but the plantings along its banks held firm.

Our usually quiet stream that runs along the western edge of part of the Dawn Road Reserve was transformed by flooding rains, but the plantings along its banks held firm. Pic: Janet Mangan

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