Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

A threatened butterfly gets a lot of love in Kalimna Park

Posted on 29 November, 2018 by Tanya Loos

On Sunday 25 November, 2018 attendees at our Kalimna Park Butterfly Count were delighted to observe two Eltham Copper Butterflies flying and then perching on native shrubs such as Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa) and Rough Wattle (Acacia aspera).

The count was led by two Eltham Copper Butterfly enthusiasts, ecologists Elaine Bayes and Karl Just. Elaine and Karl have a long association with this tiny threatened butterfly, and the afternoon involved a very informative discussion about the ecology, life history, and threats facing the butterflies. We also went out butterfly-spotting of course!

This naturally deceased butterfly was found in Rhyll Plant’s bird bath in nearby Happy Valley. We thought it could be an ECB – but it is actually a closely related Grassland or Chequered Copper Lucia limbaria!

The Kalimna Park population of Eltham Copper Butterfly (ECB) is quite possibly the largest left in the state, but it is also not as well studied as other populations. Elaine and Karl are very keen to find volunteers who are willing to scour the park for adult ECBs.

The next butterfly count will be held on Saturday 12 January, 2019 between 1pm and 3 pm at Kalimna Park. Connecting Country will send out a blog post with all the details in early 2019. A subsequent count will be held on Saturday 16 February  – so pop those dates in your new diary 🙂

We were all fascinated by the complex life history of the ECB and this butterfly’s relationship with the Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa) and a species of ant. Elaine wrote a great article about this interrelationship in 2016 for one of our early Nature News – click here.

The Eltham Copper Butterfly has rightly received a lot of attention in our region over the years -Connecting Country is proud to take part in the story and work with the people who care for the butterfly in the coming months.

Please enjoy this gallery of photos from the Butterfly Count. Click on the arrow on the right to move through the pictures.

 

 

 

Newstead exhibition by three fine nature photographers

Posted on 28 November, 2018 by Tanya Loos

The expression ‘taking photographs’ is a curious and revealing usage. In English, we don’t ‘make’ photographs, we ‘take’ them. When photographing nature – wildlife, plants, landscapes – it can seem that the photographer ‘captures’ a beauty already there, taking something that belongs to the subject, but without diminishing the subject.

Bronwyn Silver, Geoff Park and Patrick Kavanagh roam the goldfields of Central Victoria, stealing images of the beauty they find. Birds, mammals, plants. Not even mosses and lichens are safe from their pilfering ways!

While the targets of their larceny are unaffected by the process, these thieves have been profoundly altered by the images they’ve stolen from the wild, seeing more deeply into the wonders of the natural environment. They are happy to share their bounty at Newstead Arts Hub during December.

Nature photography on the Goldfields – with Patrick Kavanagh, Geoff Park and Bronwyn Silver

Location: Newstead Railway Arts Hub, 8a Tivey St, Newstead, VIC

Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm on the first four weekends in December (1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 December 2018).

The official exhibition opening is at 11.00 am on 2 December 2018. Refreshments will be provided and everyone is welcome. For more details contact Bronwyn Silver on 044 8751 111.

Please enjoy a sneak preview of some of the beautiful photos that will be on display.

 

Harvest native seed – free workshop

Posted on 22 November, 2018 by Frances

If you want to learn more about local native plants and how to collect seed, Mount Alexander Shire Council is running a free workshop as part of their Sustainable Living Workshop Series.

Presented by Ian Higgins from Friends of Campbells Creek, you’ll learn how to identify local plants, work out which are ready to harvest and collect seeds for Landcare projects.

The two hour workshop is suitable for people of all ages. Make sure you bring along a hat, gloves, drink bottle, sturdy shoes and secateurs.  Long sleeves are recommended, as some plants will be prickly!

When:   Saturday 24 November 2018 from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm
Where: Meet at Honeycomb Reserve, Honeycomb Rd, Campbells Creek VIC
RSVP:   Secure your place by contacting Council’s Gabe Macauly
              at g.macauly@mountalexander.vic.gov.au or 5471 1834.

Paddock with dried native grasses.