Landcare Updates, February, 2015

Hello Friends and Landcarers All,
Welcome to the newbies receiving this missive and please let us know if you want to be removed from the list..

It is late summer, February to Mid March in the Wurundjeri calendar.
After the dry hot summer, the Autumn rains arrived and the days became cooler. People started burning those parts of the land where the scrub or tussock grass had become too dense during the summer, but they were advised by their elders where and when to burn, taking the weather into account so that the fires did not spread too far. It was important to clear the undergrowth and provide fertilising ash so that the small tuberous food plants could grow well after the rains came in March. Burning also made it easier to catch animals. Plants which had suffered from lack of water during the summer were now able to renew growth. DJAAK, Wattle gum , was plentiful, and in the middle of this month the WARRAK Banksia or Honeysuckle, Long-leaf Box and Silver-leaf Stringybark came into blossom, providing sweet nectar, and attracting birds. March has been called the Eel Season, because the female Short-finned eels were moving down the streams to the sea; the male eels had been leaving in smaller numbers during the spring and summer. These were an important food, and among the vegetables there were the starchy roots of the water plants, which began to die down after their summer growth. Some late summer fruits such as mistletoe berries were also available. Birds started to flock before heading north for the winter, to be replaced by other birds which will soon start to arrive from Tasmania.

 There are also ants and beetles everywhere, clothes moths emerging, preying mantids, stick insects and little native mud wasps building nests.  Watch out for the very beautiful Gum Emperor Moth. There’s alot happening with humans too, see attached national Landcare newsletter. Locally there is alot going on as well.   Bear with us as we work towards a more up-to-date website where you can access current information.  In the meantime though,  keep these dates for your diary :

Clean up Australia Day - Sunday March 1st.  SDLG will be involved in two sites, one in Belgrave with the Belgrave Traders Association and the other in Selby with Selby CFA.  There will be a skip in Hayes Carpark from 9am. next to the Postal Centre.  You can register with us there,  collect litter to your heart’s content in your favourite local place and return it to the skip.  We will accept the seed heads of agapanthus plants as litter too - just the bagged seedheads - no stems or whole plants please - that’s for another day.  We just want to stop the spread of this plant via seed into bushland RIGHT NOW when the seeds are ready to grow!   Selby CFA will be cleaning up around little Selby Station, the walking tracks there and the bushland reserve.
SelbyFest - Saturday, March 21st at beautiful Minak Reserve Selby - a great day celebrating community art, music and the environment.  Wonderful food to accompany the artists on the three stages and lots to see and do for the whole family .  Visit us at our SDLG stall to find out about local environmental activities including our  ‘Downpipe  Dis-Connect’ program funded by Melbourne Water.   Create your own little naturalistic rain garden to prevent your stormwater rushing into and eroding our creeks.  We will be promoting Earth Hour and the proposed Great Forest National Park, selling amazing Australian retro pottery and taking  guided nature trail walks - 11-30 to 6-30.  There will be a shuttle bus from Belgrave for hassle-free transport.  There is a very entertaining little Earth Hour video available at   Who says protecting the planet is all gloom and doom?
Conservation Convoy - this wonderful sell-drive educational tour of Toolangi State Forest is on again but this time leaving from Healesville.  It’s the same day as  SelbyFest   grrr!,  but organiser, Jordan Crook, tells me there will be more opportunities soon  to do this great free tour with environmental educators.  We will publicise the details.   Contact Jordan at 0401-635-573 or visit the Great Forest Rationapark website or facebook page.
Mini-Beasts Festival -  Sunday April 19th  from 11 to the Birdsland Environment Education Centre.   Another terrific family day investigating nature and we’ll have Connies' Collectibles this year as well as the usual great stuff. .  More info closer to the day but note that there will be a special session for adults wanting to know more about the creatures living in our creeks.  Macro-invertebrate specialist from Melbourne Water, Priya Crawford-Wilson , will bus interested people to creek sites to examine this fascinating world.  Information flyers available at SelbyFest or contact Priya at     Bookings essential.
Landcare for Singles - this time, due to popular demand, the Yarra Valley Landcare Network and Yarra Ranges Council are running Landcare for Single Parents!  It will happen on Sunday, May 3rd at Birdsland Reserve.  Parents will do a bit of speed planting while qualified community volunteers will entertain their children.   Lunch and refreshments provided.   This is a free activity designed to  get families out into nature and get further plantings into the ground at the entrance to Birdsland Reserve.
Landcare Australia has a great e newsletter  called Landline: News for the Landcare Network  We encourage you to have a look because there is much of interest there - especially for those of you with kids.
Green Army -  we farewell our first Green Army team whose time finishes at the end of February - we wish all the participants well and hope they find rewarding careers in Natural Resource Management.   They got alot done in a short time - thanks!   Our local Green Army was hosted by the Community Weed Alliance of Dandenongs , CWAD, who has applied for another team.  Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group is a founding member of  CWAD which now has its own website  We will publish a list of all the site on which the participants work soon.
Cheerio Possums,
Vicki Boyle
SDLG acknowledges the Wurundjeri,  traditional custodians of the land on which we work and would like to pay our respects to Elders, past and present.











Still learning how to add information to this site. Please  bear with us, it will be up-to-date soon.