Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

If you go out in the woodlands today: staff Christmas lunch 2020

Posted on 23 December, 2020 by Ivan

Connecting Country staff enjoyed a celebratory Christmas lunch this week, in the bush near Castlemaine VIC, hosted by our Director Frances and her lovely partner Duncan. The outdoor affair, in a COVID-safe environment, was privy to a stunning display of birdlife and the last of the colourful spring wildflowers and grasses. The grassy-woodlands were a beautiful example of landscape recovery and restoration, thanks to a wonderful season of rain and sustainable land management by Frances and Duncan.

Connecting Country staff and volunteers extraordinaire enjoying lunch (photo by Ivan Carter)


Our festive lunch visitor: Scarlet Robin (photo by Frances Howe)

It has been a challenging year to operate an organisation that values engaging with landholders and the community face to face, but we have found new ways to engage and continue our projects throughout the year. We have learnt and grown together, with the nature lunch a perfect way to send off the year.

The beginning of summer is often a time where our forests and woodlands begin to lose their bright colour and flowers, but there were two indigenous species still providing colour and bling in the leadup to Christmas: Sticky Everlasting Daisy (Xerochrysum viscosum) and Copper-awned Wallaby-grass (Rytidosperma fulvum). Our lunch was also interrupted by a very festive visit from a pair of Scarlet Robins.

Sticky Everlasting Daisy

An Australian native daisy indigenous to our region, which is a small narrow-leaved plant up to 50 cm high and 40 cm wide. It is often known as Shiny Everlasting. Sticky Everlasting likes a sunny position and will tolerate dry conditions and poor soils, like many in our region. The leaves are quite narrow so it is fairly inconspicuous when not in flower. They have a slightly sticky feel, hence the name. The flowers are bright gold, glossy, crispy daises about the size of large buttons, see photos below. The flowers stay on show for many months and add colour to our subtle bush tones. Like many of the native daisies, Sticky Everlasting will attract numerous butterflies and moths, as well as native bees.

Copper-awned Wallaby-grass

Wallaby grasses are native perennial grasses that are common in our region. The fluffy tops are distinctive, and they catch the sunlight perfectly in summer. Aside from the flowers, they are fairly inconspicuous and are often missed in our woodlands and paddocks. They are known for their drought tolerance and also are a avourite grazing plant for wallabies and kangaroos.

Below are a selection of photos taken in the Grassy-Woodlands around Castlemaine by Connecting Country staff. Please enjoy, and stay safe over the festive season.

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