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Nature CHAT

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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby buffy » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:17 am

Glad to be of help. I also dig the woodash into the veggie patch, but also use it for paths there too. As well as putting down boards to walk across the beds. I don't know where I first saw the ash used, I doubt I thought of it myself. Probably it was suggested for veggie patch paths that get dug in later in something I was reading somewhere.

Anyway, I'll be back to work tomorrow, I'm back into normal routine now with my Monday off. The redirected mail has just come in. My part time girl is going to have a lot of attaching of letters to patient files to do tomorrow with two weeks' worth in one go.

Going to Allansford this morning for more Warrnambool butter. And I should pick up a skirt zip so I can try to get motivated about piecing together the 8 gore skirt with godets that I've got cut out and glaring at me...
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:23 am

Wood ash could have some advantages over gravel. Gravel though if not too thick, would press into the soil and meld in.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:35 am

Image
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:25 am

This looks cool. Ant maps
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Teleost » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:24 pm

It is very cool, but it can be somewhat deceptive.

If you look up Anoplolepis gracilipes you get a very distorted view of Australia. Instead of some localised spots in Qld and Arnhem land and an eradicated in NSW, it looks like they're absolutely everywhere.
The same goes for Wasmannia auropunctata which are localised around Cairns and Kuranda.

It's understandable that they can't show these sort of things easily, but as I say, it can be deceptive if you don't know. I'd love to see an Australian only version with much higher resolution as we really do have amazing myrmecological diversity.

I was given some samples of the biggest Camponotus I've ever seen today :)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:01 pm

Teleost wrote:It is very cool, but it can be somewhat deceptive.

If you look up Anoplolepis gracilipes you get a very distorted view of Australia. Instead of some localised spots in Qld and Arnhem land and an eradicated in NSW, it looks like they're absolutely everywhere.
The same goes for Wasmannia auropunctata which are localised around Cairns and Kuranda.

It's understandable that they can't show these sort of things easily, but as I say, it can be deceptive if you don't know. I'd love to see an Australian only version with much higher resolution as we really do have amazing myrmecological diversity.

I was given some samples of the biggest Camponotus I've ever seen today :)


Yes. An Australia only version would be most applicable for us.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:03 am

I really should read up AND USE the gallery here.

Long ago Bob Bates, South Australia's orchid man, came here and identified an orchid here that I showed him, as Corysanthes despectans.

It turned out to be the first record of it in the Adelaide Hills; it's generally on the coastal plains.

I have hunted for it every year since then and finally spotted it in bloom a couple of days ago.
It was late in the day so the photos are crap, but at least "prove" that it still exists ... after 6 years I was beginning to doubt it.


Dept people are coming out tomorrow to see it for themselves :)

This Hybanthus floribundus (Shrubby Native Violet) is coming up all through the area cleared of erica (weed) last year; the plants are verywoody, though healthy, so must have just kept going underneath the cover. It will be interesting to see if they manage now they are in more "open" areas.

http://www.ipernity.com/doc/justjjoke/17849469

So far I have counted over 20 plants in that recently cleaned up area.
I'd only ever seen half a dozen in all the other sections of the block until now.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:08 am

Just had a look at images of the orchid. Gawd, they must be difficult to spot. I hope the Dept people don't tread on them!

That Hybanthus is speccy.

I miss the grassland/shrubby woodland plants of southern Aust.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:16 am

Helix wrote:Just had a look at images of the orchid. Gawd, they must be difficult to spot. I hope the Dept people don't tread on them!

That Hybanthus is speccy.

I miss the grassland/shrubby woodland plants of southern Aust.


Yeah, have to confess that despite all my hunting, since there are heaps of Corysanthes diemenicans, which is bigger and very similar, all around and even amongst them, it was more a fluke than anything that I did see them.
Bob said it is the world's smallest helmet orchid and I can surely believe it.

Now, to unpack a cupboard and pull it away from the wall so the working bee here can fill the gaps that let the wind whistle through the place
Cheers!
:)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:29 pm

*jj* wrote:I really should read up AND USE the gallery here.

Long ago Bob Bates, South Australia's orchid man, came here and identified an orchid here that I showed him, as Corysanthes despectans.

It turned out to be the first record of it in the Adelaide Hills; it's generally on the coastal plains.

I have hunted for it every year since then and finally spotted it in bloom a couple of days ago.
It was late in the day so the photos are crap, but at least "prove" that it still exists ... after 6 years I was beginning to doubt it.


Dept people are coming out tomorrow to see it for themselves :)

This Hybanthus floribundus (Shrubby Native Violet) is coming up all through the area cleared of erica (weed) last year; the plants are verywoody, though healthy, so must have just kept going underneath the cover. It will be interesting to see if they manage now they are in more "open" areas.

http://www.ipernity.com/doc/justjjoke/17849469

So far I have counted over 20 plants in that recently cleaned up area.
I'd only ever seen half a dozen in all the other sections of the block until now.

Good news about the Corysanthes. I'd suspect that shade or lack of light was the issue with the Hybanthes.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:31 pm

*jj* wrote:
Helix wrote:Just had a look at images of the orchid. Gawd, they must be difficult to spot. I hope the Dept people don't tread on them!

That Hybanthus is speccy.

I miss the grassland/shrubby woodland plants of southern Aust.


Yeah, have to confess that despite all my hunting, since there are heaps of Corysanthes diemenicans, which is bigger and very similar, all around and even amongst them, it was more a fluke than anything that I did see them.
Bob said it is the world's smallest helmet orchid and I can surely believe it.

Now, to unpack a cupboard and pull it away from the wall so the working bee here can fill the gaps that let the wind whistle through the place
Cheers!
:)


Terrestrial orchids are too easy to walk on. Many of them tend to be small and relatively inconspicuous and they tend to face in the direction of the sun so walking up behind them they are difficult for the uneducated to see.

On that subject, there are some huge specimens of Pterostylis nana on my local hill this year. The Spider orchids are opening now as well.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Teleost » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:09 pm

First dog makes some noise...

Image

And funding magically appears.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/new-funds-allow-cassowary-rehab-centre-to-stay-open/6688888

Coincidence? Surely not ;)

It'll keep the doors open for another three months at least. It doesn't address the other Cassowary problems that have been occurring though. Reports of injured birds are still going to Brisbane with no one in the region able to respond after hours or on weekends. Bloody Cassowaries not keeping to office hours. It's all their own fault!
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:19 am

From First Dog's Facebook page:

Also today I received tweets from Premier Palaszczuk and QLD Environment Minister Steven Person (or something) confirming that the funding the Cassowary Rehab in yesterday's cartoon had been reinstated! Some people suggested it was because of the cartoon and that is silly, a lot of people have been working on this for some time - I will say this though IT WAS ALL ME I DID IT AND I DESERVE ALL THE CREDIT AND A FREE CASSOWARY DELIVERED TO MY HOUSE!
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby nut » Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:27 pm

I see the Night Parrot has been making the news lately :)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:36 pm

It certainly has, nut! Great news.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:38 am

Helix wrote:It certainly has, nut! Great news.


Indeed. :)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:40 pm

How's the ant-killing going, Teleost? Is this good weather working in your favour?
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Teleost » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:34 pm

It's a bit so so at the moment Helix.

The last round of helicopter work appears to have been very effective. I was out on Wednesday doing a bit of a tour and there were some places where it was very difficult to find any. At one site that was historically very heavily infested I turned over a log and found piles of bait so the ants were definitely collecting it and taking it home. There's definitely a drop in ant activity.

I was up at the Kuranda site today and while there were very few ants out foraging, there were plenty to be found under rocks, logs etc.

The thing is it's very difficult to tell how much of the drop in activity is due to successful baiting and how much is due to the cooler weather

Our monitoring does not have enough resolution both temporally and geographically to get clear pictures of what's happening. We see massive swings and dips that are taken at only a few sites. I'm currently designing a better program, but I'm hamstrung in terms of resources. The sampling program I'd like to run would bring in around 25 samples per hectare. I have around 840Ha to deal with so if we were to only sample 10% we're looking at 2100 samples that take around 10-15 minutes each to process and count in the lab. And I'd like to do it monthly.......

This pales to insignificance when you look at the standards for proving freedom of infestation: 3 surveys per year for two years at 5x5 meter sampling intervals. I'm a very long way from that.

We have a delegation heading to Canberra next month to discuss future funding. We have got a lot of political support at the federal level now, but local and state are still not very interested. The very cynical part of me has the opinion that the current government is so desperate to regain some shred of environmental credibility that they may just stump up a few dollars. However we are asking for some very serious cash to enable us to do the job properly.

It's not all doom and gloom though. I have two sites that I have a high level of confidence have been successfully eradicated and I'm waiting for a third to be fit to survey (got to wait for the sugar cane to reach a better height) that I have high hopes for.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:27 am

Best wishes for some good weather and better funding, Teleost.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:47 am

It's good news that those two sites could well be ant free. But, heavens, I didn't realise that the standard procedure for declaring an area ant-free was so intensive. Perhaps we should threaten to charge the cost to the people responsible for the problem. (If we could find out who they were.)

I did a back of an envelope calculation for the costs of 25 samples/hectare over 840 hectares. Probably missed out some of the costs, but it's chickenfeed compared to how much the government wastes on projects that are never going to fly. Governments at all levels don't seem to understand the idea of a stitch in time...

Anyway, good luck with it all.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:36 pm

[album][/album]
Hiya Teleost (and all)

I'm sitting here miles away and thinking how lucky we are, as in how lucky Australia is, to have people doing work that matters (or play if doing"work" that matters without conventional recompense).

Mostly I feel like my days are positive /productive albeit on a different scale, but I love reading about proper field work, especially the observe / record / evaluate cycle.

I could kick myself for not having begun decent records when I came to this patch of bush, but it feels a bit late to start now.

This week a DENR contact came and spent a couple of hours walking the block with lots of suggestions thrown in as we walked, for future care; few were expensive, most just took advantage of his deep knowledge of the place.
I have about 200 H carinata seedlings, almost double what we'd thought we'd potted up, and he showed a good spot for them that I'd not have considered.

A significant section has recently been cleared of erica, and he'd like to see some cover re-establiished over the softer understory that they had protected, so that's the go.

I think I had mentioned (here ?) finding a patch of Native shrubby violets (Hybanthus floribundus) which are now out in the open and will take a beating in Summer, if not sheltered.


Pity it is on such a rocky ledge, but we can do it slowly.

:)

Today is the day I will try uploading a photo to the gallery ... if it goes well I will be back :)[album][/album]
OK It seems I did upload a picture but it makes no sense to me as yet, so "submit", and *hopes*

=====*gives up hope*
It spent ages saying it was uploading but couldn't seem to take the next step; think it is likely to have been my connection.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:56 pm

If it's any consolation, jj, I have to relearn how to upload photos every single time!
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:01 pm

Only slightly, but thanks !
I keep getting an error message that says "You must enter your path and filename", but I'd have thought clicking on the photo would have supplied that since I have followed the file path to get there.
oh well.
It's not important and besides it could be as simple as the photo being too big .
Cheers everyone ... I'll post it to ipernity and then link to here.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:31 am

Hey jj. take it from me that Hybanthus can cope with extremes you and I have difficulty imagining.

as for my species of Cyathus.. and adding it to the map or not.

or actually, it doesn't.
I have the capacity to kill this species out, where it is occurring locally.

I'm the only one I know who has it.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:33 am

Helix wrote:If it's any consolation, jj, I have to relearn how to upload photos every single time!


tags are easy; bracket img /img bracket

but first you need an image link.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:35 am

*jj* wrote:Only slightly, but thanks !
I keep getting an error message that says "You must enter your path and filename", but I'd have thought clicking on the photo would have supplied that since I have followed the file path to get there.
oh well.
It's not important and besides it could be as simple as the photo being too big .
Cheers everyone ... I'll post it to ipernity and then link to here.



You need to navigate via the system to the folder. to the image, in a window the browser provides.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:30 am

roughbarked wrote:
*jj* wrote:Only slightly, but thanks !
I keep getting an error message that says "You must enter your path and filename", but I'd have thought clicking on the photo would have supplied that since I have followed the file path to get there.
oh well.
It's not important and besides it could be as simple as the photo being too big .
Cheers everyone ... I'll post it to ipernity and then link to here.



You need to navigate via the system to the folder. to the image, in a window the browser provides.




Yeah, thanks rb.
That's what I did, and is why I think the file size was too big


I'll just head back to picking up my blog I think and post links to that when I get around to it .
"Laziness must be your middle name", my mother used to say ... guess she was right.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby fsm » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:56 am

*jj* wrote:That's what I did, and is why I think the file size was too big


I'll just head back to picking up my blog I think and post links to that when I get around to it .
"Laziness must be your middle name", my mother used to say ... guess she was right.


The problem is not so much the file size, it is the image size. To save space on the server, images are limited to a maximum size of 1024 pixels in either direction. There is a maximum file size limit of 10MB but a correctly sized image should easily be much less than this.

If you don't have an image manipulation program handy then there are many websites where you can resize images online before uploading them here.

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=online+image+resize
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:54 pm

Thanks fsm.
I am not so good as I used to be at remembering these things .. or maybe I was never as good at remembering things as I like to think I was :)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby buffy » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:20 pm

Been out in the bush today. We took a friend's daughter (in her 30s) who has an acquired brain injury. She's terrible with memory and stuff. She's fit though, so she walks faster than I do and left me behind a few times. She wanted to look at stuff, but her concentration span is very short. But she got a walk and out of the house and away from her parents for a while.

There are scented sundews coming out, a few nodding greenhoods and just the start of the gnat orchids (Acianthus). The pink heath has been out for a couple of months, but there is not a lot of it. Then again, the best month for our wildflowers is October, so I will just have to be patient.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby fsm » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:28 pm

The bush around here (Central Coast) has been full of wildflowers for about a month. Here are some from yesterday...

263

264

265
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby buffy » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:01 pm

You've got trigger plants. They must be pretty widespread, I think. A couple of years ago I demonstrated annoying a trigger plant with a grass stem for my sister's American partner when they were visiting Australia.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby buffy » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:02 pm

Oh, looking more closely, that bottom one isn't a trigger plant is it.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:12 am

Good Morning all ... your bush walk sounds great buffyand I can imagine is very much appreciated by your walker and the family.

I thought trigger plant as well on first glance, but think you're right ... something else.
Like you, I used to "use them".
Too often people reckoned boys had poor fine motor skills, when actually there was nothing of interest in the classroom that needed them, ie they were not seen.

Trigger Plants always sorted that.


My midge orchids are fruiting now, a couple of different Acianthus but cant recall species names at present.
We also have bearded heath in full bloom, though (like yours) the E impressa have been flowering for months. Tetratheca are looking good as well.


This year I am enjoying finding still-standing seed heads of the orchids and trying to photograph them with the new leaves so I can work out IDs without always having to ask.

I've given up on loading the pics here for now but here is my Hybanthus page for the blog I began years ago and abandoned (several times). The DENR man suggested I get it going again as it helps him to have up-to-date or ongoing evidence of his department's successes.
It turns out that many who apply for assistance to protect their bush are really only looking for half the costs of fencing; they get that and then do nothing more.

http://thispatchofremnantscrub.blogspot ... nthus.html

Birds are awake, and I must get going; today is TobyTuesday (can't say Toddler Tuesday any longer :))

Cheerio.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby nut » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:34 pm

fsm wrote:The bush around here (Central Coast) has been full of wildflowers for about a month. Here are some from yesterday...

263

264

265


buffy wrote:Oh, looking more closely, that bottom one isn't a trigger plant is it.


Great pictures! I find it difficult to identify plants. Having said that...

Kunzea capitata

Actinotus helianthi, Flannel Flower

Woollsia pungens

Hope it helped :)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:06 am

nut wrote: I find it difficult to identify plants.


Seems that you managed well enough. ;)
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby fsm » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:12 am

Well done nut! Here are a few more from that excursion.

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267

266
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby nut » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:55 pm

fsm wrote:Well done nut! Here are a few more from that excursion.

268

267

266


Best guesses:

Rice Flower, Pimelea sp. do you think it is Pimelea linifolia, Slender Rice Flower

Smoke Bush, Conospermum sp. do you think it is Conospermum longifolium, Long-leaf Coneseeds

Pink Spider Flower, Grevillea sericea.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:04 am

P. linifolia seems likely from the leaves and distribution.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:41 pm

Teleost wrote:Weeds :( They're everywhere.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/08/20/4296253.htm

Everywhere they aren't wanted, yes.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Grasshopper » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:46 am

I sure is going to be a great Spring with the rain we have had over Autumn and Winter, so much in bud already and so many wild flowers already prolific
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:36 am

*waves to everyone*

Rains still coming ... not fond of grey skies but love the rain ... some of us are picky eh?
:)

Beaut to see ilago and all and wish Teleost good luck.

Am still loving First Dog's take on politics and busy (trying to be) keeping up with family ... one little guy with newly diagnosed serious food "issues" is on strictest FODMAP rules, which is wearing but we'll get used to it as so many others have (*hint and thanks*)
Little wonder his Mum seems to have shingles now

Apart from that, all well here at my own place, thank goodness!
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:50 pm

'noon

Sunny and warm here and promising to get even warmer next week. They're burning off on the other side of the valley and it looks as though it's already gone into the hills. Well done, people. :(

Meanwhile, the pressing question is what to plant in a shallow concrete trough in full sun. I'm leaning towards some of the savannah Fabaceae or smaller Malvaceae. I'll probably just fill it with plastic gnomes.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:56 am

Helix wrote:'noon

Sunny and warm here and promising to get even warmer next week. They're burning off on the other side of the valley and it looks as though it's already gone into the hills. Well done, people. :(

Meanwhile, the pressing question is what to plant in a shallow concrete trough in full sun. I'm leaning towards some of the savannah Fabaceae or smaller Malvaceae. I'll probably just fill it with plastic gnomes.



I plant strawberries in concrete troughs but that's also because I can't keep them moist enough in the soil.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:35 pm

roughbarked wrote:I plant strawberries in concrete troughs but that's also because I can't keep them moist enough in the soil.


Strawberries grow quite well up here, but it'd be too much of an effort to keep the fauna off them!
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:39 pm

Helix wrote:
roughbarked wrote:I plant strawberries in concrete troughs but that's also because I can't keep them moist enough in the soil.


Strawberries grow quite well up here, but it'd be too much of an effort to keep the fauna off them!


Netting stops the birds well enough apart from those cassowaries and brush turkeys.. May need mosquito netting for some flying pesties. Crawling and sliming eaters may need other methods.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby Helix » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:17 pm

roughbarked wrote:
Helix wrote:
roughbarked wrote:I plant strawberries in concrete troughs but that's also because I can't keep them moist enough in the soil.


Strawberries grow quite well up here, but it'd be too much of an effort to keep the fauna off them!


Netting stops the birds well enough apart from those cassowaries and brush turkeys.. May need mosquito netting for some flying pesties. Crawling and sliming eaters may need other methods.



Hmmm...Have you ever been to the Wet Tropics? Or, indeed, any part of the tropics?
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby roughbarked » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:27 pm

Helix wrote:
Hmmm...Have you ever been to the Wet Tropics? Or, indeed, any part of the tropics?


Only the subtropics. That was bad enough.
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Re: Nature CHAT

Postby *jj* » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:00 pm

http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/new ... o/2757954/

A NEW web service has been launched by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to provide easy and direct access to information on species sightings held within the BioNet Atlas of NSW Wildlife.
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