All but the most hardy were deterred by the dark clouds and threatening weather for our Busy Bee this morning. The rain held off and we managed to collect around 50 bags of weeds - a great effort, in readiness for our big planting push, starting next month, July 7th - keep the date free and bring your friends. You will be rewarded with a sausage sizzle and the satisfaction of a job well done, as we were this morning.
A small but enthusiastic group of Friends spent the morning weeding the plants in the old shade house while others covered the new shade house with cloth. Now we are ready for the rain - plants are busting out of their pots and we've got new seedlings arriving shortly. Send it down, Huey!
Thanks to all, especially to Ruth who looked after us with food in spite of her wounds.
Our project to reintroduce native fish and mussels into the Lesmurdie Brook got underway yesterday and today. Scientists from the Freshwater Fish Group from Murdoch Uni placed fyke nets and box traps in selected spots in the brook and returned the next day to see what was living in the brook and how suitable the area would be to reintroduce native fish and mussels.
The good news is that there is a variety of wildlife existing happily in the watercourse. We found healthy long-necked turtles in a range of ages and many gilgies also of different sizes. Our fish population appears to be "invaders" - cobblers from the eastern states, many one-spotted livebearers and some eastern gambusias. It should be possible to reduce the numbers of these and to introduce stocks of trout minnows and pygmy perch as well as mussels.
It was rewarding to see how healthy the environment is. We would welcome any locals who wish to become involved in this exciting initiative.
We are delighted to announce that we have received a grant from the State Government of $37,000 to conduct a survey with the ultimate aim of restoring native fish into Lesmurdie Brook. The survey will be conducted by the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems at Murdoch University's Harry Butler Institute.
Most plants in our area are not flowering now in this intense heat. However, this Hakea ruscifolia or Candle hakea is at its best. You can see it beside the northern side of the northern track at the eastern end of our area.
This is the time of the year bush walkers are likely to attract ticks. Stephen Scourfield in The West Australian on Saturday summarized the different method of dealing with these unwelcome passengers. He quotes Dr Ian Rogers, describing the "knot method" - lassoing the tick with a thread (or dental floss) as close to the skin as possible and removing it this way. Using Lyclear for small ticks and Wart freeze for larger ones is another recommendation. Tick removal cards (Lifesystems and Smidge are mentioned) are another method as are tick removal tweezers TickEase). A reader recommends a drop of neat Dettol on the tick.
Let's just hope you are one of the lucky people that ticks aren't attracted to!
Our final planting busy bee for the season was a huge success; our shade houses are almost empty and we have planted over 10,000 plants this winter/spring. Many thanks to Rotaract Club of Kalamunda, our Friends Of Upper Lesmurdie Falls and their families and to the community members who were on hands and knees planting all morning. Thanks also to Angie for her culinary delights. Many hands make light work!
With the help of Conservation Volunteers Australia, we planted more than 600 trees and shrubs yesterday. That brings the total to thousands now, with the help of the Rotoract Club of Kalamunda and we have another Busy Bee planned for Sunday 30th September, starting at 8 am. At the moment, the acacias and trymalium are blooming and the hillsides are covered in yellow and white blossoms. It's well worth a visit!
These days, some wet and some warm, are ideal for planting. We have another 1,000 seedlings ready to go into the ground and there is still is some of the ripped area ready to be rehabilitated.
Our next busy bee is Sunday 22nd July at 8am.
If you are thinking of joining us for the first time, now is the best time to most effective - you will be most welcome.
So please bring, if you have them, gloves, small spades/trowels and wheelbarrows.
Angie has kindly left us the keys to her pop up restaurant - so we will finish with a sizzle, hot drinks and something sweet.