Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Barkers Creek bush delights in Nature News – October 3rd 2017

Posted on 4 October, 2017 by Tanya Loos

For this month’s Nature News, local landholder and member of Barkers Creek Wildlife Landcare and Wildlife Group, Lois Denham writes about the joys of getting to know the bushland on her block, and how to care for it. This article was featured on page 38 of the Midland Express, October 3rd 2017.

One of the many joys of living in the bush is observing the wildlife. Today we enjoyed watching the male blue wrens chasing females in and out of the golden wattles. Last week we saw scarlet robins, and we have been amused by the querulous, chattering choughs drinking from our bird bath.

Our soundscape includes the faint soprano sounds of the bats at night and the continuous croaking of the many frogs in our dam. We have learnt to identify some birds by their calls, but not many of the frogs!  We are delighted by the kangaroos and the resident wallaby hopping through the bush; the lizard scurrying around or sunbaking on the rocks and then there is the thrill of discovering an echidna or two. No need for pets here!

A tiny Caledenia sp, by Bonnie Humphreys

My husband and I retired to live on eight acres of Box Ironbark bushland block 19 months ago. We had no desire to own much land but this block and its lovely mudbrick house and studio ‘found’ us.  A friend, who is a local and an active Landcare member, informed us it was a good bush block even though it had been turned upside down by miners in the gold rush days.  He also noticed that there weren’t too many weeds we would have to control. With our friend’s encouragement, we bought the property and joined Landcare with the knowledge that there would be help available to manage  and continue the rehabilitation of the land.

We knew we would be on a steep but enjoyable learning curve. With the help of Landcare members, Connecting Country’s Bonnie Humphreys, and some professional assistance we learnt to identify the native plants and weeds. Our newly acquired weed management skills haver resulted in fewer invasive species and more natives on the property than were here when we moved in.

We were fortunate that there was good rain and a bumper wildflower season last spring. This year the wattles have put on a magnificent show, and I am enjoying watching many other wildflowers come into bloom.  I will always remember the joy of discovering the tiny ground orchids as they emerged and I thought I had struck gold when I found our first spider orchid. I wonder how many orchids I will find this spring?

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