Murdoch branch North Lake walk.

Walking through the North Lake reserve is still quite confronting to some of us, not quite two years since Colin Barnett’s bulldozers tore a 5km gash through the wetlands and woodlands.  For some on the walk it was their first visit back since witnessing the horror of the summer of 2016-17.

As we set off on our walk Felicity gave us an update of the past 21 months.  First came the remediation of the construction site and then the development of a ten year management plan for the cleared area and surrounds to enable the best possible opportunity for restoration.

We walked through the remaining southern side of the reserve which while still a very diverse piece of bushland is sorely in need of some focussed weed control.  (This part of the reserve is managed by DBCA who as we know are not well funded)

Reaching the road reserve and immediately we see the wetland-bushland divide of natural restoration. With only weed control and some protective fencing the wetland section has literally bounced back with pioneer species such as kunzea establishing in their hundreds and now other wetland species reappearing.  It is a sight that gives hope and demonstrates the amazing resilience of nature with a little help from its friends.

To the west is a different story.  We knew the uplands were going to struggle in comparison and although there are areas of really encouraging regrowth some of the areas remain quite barren.  Areas where the topsoil was especially disturbed and where mulch piles compacted and cooked the soil are going to need more intervention and TLC to come back. Now the road reserve is under the management of the City of Cockburn and the very competent Linda Metz leading the Management Plan there will be ample opportunities for our community to be involved in this process.

To see the first flowering of our most beautiful and sacred Christmas trees was a bonus for us all and by the time we returned to the Wetlands Centre it seemed we had all been inspired and encouraged by the strength of nature and community around us.  It was a pretty special walk.

An Amazing Surprise

Last week Gerald Lorenz from Germany, a mad keen wildflower enthusiast and a WSWA member for 4 years, popped into the office whilst on holiday here in Perth with his family. Gerald had put together a calendar in Germany with his photos of several of the 50 species he now grows in Germany.

WA Wildflowers in Northern Germany?

Roadside Vegetation Seminar

 

 

Sat 10th November 2018 – Ecology Centre 1.30pm

Cost $25 ($30 non-members)

RSVP is required to the WSWA Office 9383 7979 or email enquiry@wildflowersocietywa.org.au  BY November 6, 2018 and payment can be made by direct payment to WSWA Bankwest BSB  306-058 a/c 4197355 WITH a reference with deposit: YOUR NAME + TYPE OF PAYMENT (in this case: RVSC sem).  If you wish to pay by credit card, then please phone the Office

Plant ID Workshop Success

‘What a fantastic workshop! Would have to be the best $20 I’ve ever spent!’ – these are comments from participants of the Eastern Hills Branch two day workshop on plant identification, led by botanists Janet Atkins and Penny Hussey, who taught the anatomy of plants and then went through a collection of plant families and their characteristics. What an amazing benefit of being a member of the Society.  Many thanks EH Branch, and Janet and Penny.

 

We’re on Gardening Australia

Josh Byrne visits the Helen and Aurora Range with WA Wildflower Society member Brian Moyle, who has spent many years working to protect this rare banded-ironstone landscape and its Gimlet gum (Eucalyptus salubris) woodland.  It is currently within a conservation park, but the Society is hoping to have it changed to a National Park due to its National Heritage values.  The view from the summit is breathtaking.

The hard, hot rock formations result in temperature extremes, ranging from 50 degrees to freezing.  The area has produced many species that occur nowhere else in the world, such as the Bungalbin tetratheca (Tetratheca aphylla), which produces masses of purple flowers in spring and grows in tiny cracks in the rock.  We also see the ironstone beard-heath (Leucopogon spectabilis), which has white flowers and seemingly grows straight out of the rock!

Link to video here:  http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/remote-ranges/10343146

At the Royal Show

In the 60th year of the Wildflower Society we are celebrating by having a presence at the Perth Royal Show for the first time in a very long while.  It is a great success!  Lots of interaction and a great quiz on ‘Guess if it is a weed or wildflower?’ More than 40 bug hotels are heading to new homes and the children worked with their siblings to create a limited edition, one per family ‘air bee ‘n bee’ habitat made of recycled materials. Well done to everyone who made it happen (especially Christine!).

Images:  F Arcaro

RSVP by 13 September

WSWA members only are invited to visit the delightful garden of a Society member in Gidgegannup on Saturday 15 September 2018.   Please RSVP to the Society Office by email  enquiry@wildflowersocietywa.org.au  or phone 9383 7979 by Tuesday 11 September 2018.  More details in the newsletter or September email update, or contact enquiry@wildflowersocietywa.org.au

RSVP EXTENDED TO 13 SEPTEMBER

My Experience from working in Conservation

Disclaimer: this article covers my Personal biased experience of working in conservation.

 

Now this might be a subject that interests a few people.

There are several branches to working in Conservation. But I will be talking about what I have the most experience in.

The physical labour of conservation work is highly seasonal, due entirely to weather and contracts. Most people in this branch of the industry are casual workers who will have absolutely no work during the Summer to late Autumn. So for about 4 – 5 months of the year, there is no work.

This is where a lot of people start before moving on, where a lot of people become stuck and where some people willingly stay. Because of the highly seasonal work there really is not that much opportunity for full-time employment in this branch of conservation.

Some people in this part and others will gain (become trapped, depending on your view) in the “full-time casual” position. Meaning you will have Full-time hours, but you will not be getting sick leave or annual leave. Every hour you are not working is an hour you are not getting paid. Even when you have a crippling flu.

And it is this part of the industry where you will experience the most strain on your body. Hand weeding pelargonium and pigface, working in the cold rain and the delirium inducing heat. In 100% humidity I might add. Planting in pure rock, steep sand dunes that make your knees dislocate and worst of all. Walking through that ungodly hell plant Acacia pulchella.

A lot of people don’t realise how hard Conservation work is. Most people just want the rewards of this field without putting in any work. One reward for this all this hard work is, you gain extremely valuable experience in addition to the skills and job referrals.

Around May – September I will always see wildflowers, and lots of them. I will even see quite a few orchids and uncommon plant species I would otherwise not normally encounter. Not only that I also get to work in some pretty nice locations, excluded from the public.

And almost all the people you work with will have a similar interest in their work. So you end up also making some nice friends as well.

 

Written by Mathew. W

Renewals Coming Soon

Many members will be renewing within the next six weeks.  Renewals can be made online on the ‘My Membership’ page – which is under the ‘Members’ main menu.  This Members Only area requires a password, although if you have previously logged into the system (on the same computer or device) you should get automatic entry.

Once on the ‘My Membership’ page, you will see the word ‘Renew’ in very small letters under your membership type.  Press the words and follow the instructions!

If you have any trouble renewing, or logging in, please email memberships@wildflowersocietywa.org.au for assistance from a volunteer member.  Of course, you can always renew in the usual way – with a cheque by post, or by telephoning the office during normal business hours and providing details over the phone.

Thank you for your support!

Mary Bremner Grant – New Round Closes 1st Oct

Volunteer community groups, Society sub-committees and Branches are all eligible to apply for small grants (up to $2,000).  Projects should align with at least one of the Society’s main objectives to Know Grow, Enjoy and Conserve WA wildflowers.

For grant guideleines please mail Honorary Secretary enquiry@wildflowersocietywa.org.au or ring the office Tuesday or Thursday 10am – 2pm on 08 9383 7979

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st OCTOBER 2018

YOU MUST READ THE FULL INFORMATION ABOUT THE GRANTS PROGRAMME BEFORE APPLYING.  DETAILS ON HOW TO APPLY ARE AT THE END OF THE GRANTS INFORMATION PAGE HERE.