Upper Spring Creek Landcare Group and Mid Loddon CMN

Community caring for our environment

28 May, 2017
by wp possum
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Miniscule

Frank and Jenny sent in this sighting of Iron Ant Man:

While we were out sitting on our front veranda recently, we were intrigued with the continual procession of insect life past us as we enjoyed a coffee.  It reminded us of the series that ran on ABC some while ago called “Miniscule” and this particular episode made some of the heroics in the Miniscule series pale into insignificance!

 

There are several ant nests on our property, so we weren’t surprised to see an ant wander past us, but what caught our eye was the article it was carrying. 

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 Whatever it was, it looked interesting.

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We realised that for the ant’s size, this was like one of us picking up something relatively as large as a full door – say 2.5 metres by 1.5 metres –  and carrying by one corner by our teeth!!

ant.3

 

The sheer power of the insect registered when we looked on as it lifted the moth’s wing up high for the big step across the mortar line of the bricks.

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What a job! 

These photos were taken on a relatively simple “pocket” camera, so they are not of full “macro” quality, but hopefully they are still clear enough for you to gain some insight into the amazing strength of an ant.

3 May, 2017
by wp possum
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Spiders visit the Curlews

Landcare members, Frank and Jenny have a number of breeding curlews at their property. They have sent in some great pics of a  golden orb weaver they found visiting just outside the curlew enclosure.

Here is their report:

Our curlews have had some spectacular company just outside their enclosure over the past few days.  This spider was observed setting up an elaborate construction between the water tank and the enclosure wire, and has already gathered a good supply of food awaiting consumption.

Golden Orb Weaver visiting

She has been there for quite some time already, and looking at her food supply, we think that there might also be a good insect supply for our birds at the moment.  The fine structure of the web is fascinating and we think that it is a “golden web orb spider”.

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I’m not completely sure about the identity this particular spider, so if anyone has a good spider book and can help with a more positive identification, then we’d be happy to hear about it.

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6 December, 2016
by wp possum
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Last Newsletter for 2016

It’s the end of the year and Christmas is coming!

Below is the final Community Network News for this year.

Please note the annual USC Landcare BBQ is being held on Tuesday 13 December at Happy Jack’s Reserve on the Alternate Calder Hwy at Lockwood South. Bring salads and sweets to share. Fun and games for all.

Click here for the newsletter:

NL- December 2016

5 November, 2016
by wp possum
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Such an abundant Spring!

How lush is the countryside this Spring!

Yes, there are millions of mozzies, but there are also many butterflies everywhere too! Spotted these Caper White Butterflies decorating a cypress tree on the property.

caper butterflies

These butterflies are usually associated with native caper plants that grow in northern inland NSW. They regularly migrate to areas where there are no food plants for their caterpillars and nobody knows why! The Willy Wagtails love them especially now that their chicks are hatched.

We have also  had lots of sun orchids this year — many more than we have seen in the past 6 yea

Slender Sun Orchid 2 (Thelmitra pauciflora)

Slender Sun Orchid 2 (Thelmitra pauciflora)

 

Salmon sun orchid (Thelymitra Rubra)

Salmon sun orchid (Thelymitra Rubra)

 

And what about the masses of chocolate lilies!!

Chocolate lilies en masse

Chocolate lilies en masse

Wonder what we will see this week?

 

5 November, 2016
by wp possum
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Annual Network Dinner and speaker, Associate Professor Rodney van der Ree

The Annual Network Dinner will be held at the Maldon Hotel at 6.15pm for drinks and socialising, with Dinner at 6.30pm on Wednesday 16th November

The pre-ordered roast dinner will be $17.00 ea and special order for any vegetarians can be organised in advance . Send your  RSVPs to Judy on 0428 506 525 by Sunday 13th November.

We are fortunate to have an exceptional speaker, Dr Rodney van der Ree who promised to be riveting and entertaining!

Rodney is currently working at the Ravenswood Interchange site, designing wildlife underpasses and overpasses, so will be working locally for some time. So this will be a good chance to catch up with him and maybe have some input into his design ideas.

Our sculptured Curlews will be in attendance with one lucky person winning the lucky number competition able to leave with it if they promise to give it a good home?

Others may gain one in return for a $50 donation to the breeding and release program.

Our Speaker:

Rodney van der Ree – brief biography. (Nov 2016)

Associate Professor Rodney van der Ree is the Director of Ecology and Infrastructure International – a research and consultancy company focussing on the interactions between ecology and built infrastructure, such as roads, railways and cities. He is also an associate of the School of BioSciences at The University of Melbourne. He was awarded his Doctorate from Deakin University in 2000 for his research on the impacts of the loss and fragmentation of habitat on wildlife. He is currently leading a number of research projects on the impacts of roads and traffic and urbanisation on wildlife.

Rodney is recognised internationally as an expert on the ecology of linear infrastructure and has presented the results of his research in plenary lectures and invited seminars across Australia and in Europe, USA, South Africa, and India. He consults widely with industry, government and NGOs, including with all levels of Government in Australia, the European Union and elsewhere. Rodney co-founded the Australasian Network for Ecology and Transportation (www.ecoltrans.net) and has just finished editing the award-winning 62-chapter “Handbook of Road Ecology”, with over 100 authors from 25 countries. In 2014 he was awarded the Graeme Caughley Travelling Fellowship to promote sustainable linear infrastructure practises in developing countries. Rodney has authored or co-authored over 60 refereed publications, 60 reports or popular articles, 100 conference presentations or public lectures and >30 media appearances.

 

 

 

25 October, 2016
by wp possum
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Statuesque Curlews!

USC Landcare members, Jenny and Frank have some quirky news:

Curlews get together to plan their next “outing” 

Curlew garden sculptures!

Curlew garden sculptures

This is a sneak photo of the newly arrived “Garden Bush Stone-curlews” holding their inaugural Field Day meeting to discuss which properties they would enhance with their sculptured beauty.  Not long after this “meeting” several of these Curlews made their way to the gardens of Landcare members and their friends.  Quite a few of them were lucky enough to head off to their new residence with a mate for company although there hasn’t been any talk of possible offspring at this stage.  Because of their popularity, there are now barely enough Curlews left for a” quorum”, but apparently there has been a membership drive amongst these steely birds and the rumour is that there will soon be a whole lot more ready to go out into the Landcare gardens of Bendigo and Beyond!  

PS: You can contact the “Sculptured Curlew Committee” via Jenny Steele at:  effandjay@bigpond.com   who is overseeing the “relocation” of these beauties, and she will also discuss the “Relocation Fee” (or donation) that is involved.