@ Myf (Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:41 am): There’s …

Comment on Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving by Alex Nelson.

@ Myf (Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:41 am): There’s no need for these plant species to be sold at nurseries as, despite the encroachment of buffel and other exotic grass species, they remain ubiquitous in the local environment.
For example, I live a short distance away from Geoff Mier’s Garden Solutions nursery which specialises in the propagation and sale of many local native plant species which otherwise are difficult to obtain; however, species such as tarvine and munyeroo (pig face – Portulaca oleraceae) are readily encountered on the footpaths and laneways within urban areas.
Over several years I’ve taken advantage of conditions such as we’re experiencing now to uproot buffel grass, stinking lovegrass, caltrop prickles, thistles, wild turnip, soursob and other introduced weed species along the few metres of the backyard fence in the laneway at the rear of the property where I reside (occasionally I go a bit further).
All native plant species (except prickles) are left alone to fend for themselves.
The result now is that along the entire length of the public laneway where each side is dominated by buffel grass and other weeds, there’s about a 10 metre stretch adjacent to my home which currently features bluebells (Wahlenbergia species) and variable daisies (Brachycome ciliaris) in full bloom, plus tarvine and munyeroo (upon which both species of caterpillars have been feeding); also a compact form of ruby saltbush (Einadia nutans subspecies eremaea) which has spread from plants I’ve cultivated in my garden, and two native grass species (Brachiaria and Enneapogon) which produce easily accessible bird-attracting seeds. Occasionally I glimpse large skinks weaving their way through the foliage.
These plants are able to flourish in this location despite being slashed or sprayed by council workers – all that is necessary on my part is to remain vigilant for the presence of new weeds germinating in this spot, which only requires a few minutes’ attention every so often.
Once the initial weed control is achieved, the follow-up maintenance is not difficult, and the rapid recovery of native vegetation and response of wildlife is most gratifying, even in the most unlikely and limited of circumstances.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving
@ Fiona Walsh (Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm): Great advice, Fiona. I’ll check to see whether the portion of fenceline abutting the laneway where I live can be registered with the Town Council as a managed verge (after all, the old laneways are gazetted roadways).
Given the results of the weed control at my place, there’s good scope for the laneways to be quickly restored and easily managed wildlife corridors within the old urban areas of town, with potential to extend further afield over time.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Student boarding funding restored – for now
Isn’t that something? A minister of the NT Government has listened to concerns about a government decision, and reversed it in a day.
Little aggravation, and great relief for many, I should think.
Minister Selena Uibo has set a fine example – now, if only certain others of her colleagues would take notice of public concern about the NT Government’s poor decision-making over the location of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery…


Remains of missing man found near Yambah
@ John Bell (Posted September 20, 2018 at 10:21 pm): The skeleton was identified, a young man only recently arrived in Alice Springs in 1965. It’s believed he was a victim of an accidental discharge of his rifle, not a suicide.


Ring a bell?
Is it just me, or is it the case that the “Boundless Possible” embarrassment has suffered a swift death, consigned quietly to the wheelie bin of history?
Ah yes, a government elected into office that promised us all greater standards of honesty and accountability; but no, it’s just business as usual, that we’ve long endured for decades in the Northern Territory.
It really makes no difference who’s in charge.


Four dogs suspected poisoned with 1080
@ Ruth Weston (Posted September 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm): Sodium fluoroacetate is the commercially produced 1080 poison, and is closely related to potassium fluoroacetate, the poisonous chemical found in a wide variety of plant species.
Both chemicals have the same effect, disrupting the Krebs Cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle) which disrupts the ability of cells to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.
It was biochemist Ray Murray, based in Alice Springs with the Animal Industry Branch from 1954 to 1966, who first identified the naturally occurring 1080-based compound that occurs sporadically in poison Gidgee (Acacia georginae) which plagued the beef cattle industry in the east of Central Australia and across the Queensland border.


Stagnant CBD; industrial land, rental shortage; houses hold
The photo caption “The ANZ Bank has relocated from this prime Todd Street North site, opposite the Visitor Centre, to Gregory Terrace” serves – perhaps inadvertently – to emphasise the “moving of deckchairs” in the CBD, as the Visitor Centre itself was relocated to its present site a few years ago from its former Gregory Terrace location adjacent to the Civic Centre … and that particular building, the former Queen Elizabeth II Infant Welfare Clinic, that was heavily modified and opened to great fanfare in 1997 as the new Visitor Centre, remains steadfastly vacant.
Aside from the shift of the ANZ Bank (which, incidentally, opened its doors on its former Parsons Street site in August 1962, exactly 56 years ago) and the recent Wicked Kneads shop on the opposite corner now up for sale, there has also been the closure recently of two nearby hairdresser businesses, too – one of which was for sale for a long time but obviously attracted no serious interest.
Just yesterday, walking along Gregory Terrace, I was shocked to see “For lease” notices plastering the windows of La Casalinga restaurant, a long-standing business in this town and even something of an institution.
This town has weathered significant economic downturns on previous occasions – the mid 1970s, the late 1980s and early 1990s – but I’ve never seen the relocation of so many businesses (the “shifting of deckchairs”) on such a scale as has been occurring in recent years. It’s quite a phenomenon.
This situation is concurrent with the only significant new developments – the Green Well Building in Bath Street and the multi-storey Supreme Court building in Parsons Street – being occupied by government departments and instrumentalities, to the detriment of existing commercial lease stock in town. These developments, along with the re-opening of Todd Street North to traffic again, have done nothing to arrest the decline of the CBD, notwithstanding all the hype and propaganda of government and the private sector arguing in support of them.
Recent history quite clearly shows that the proposed National Indigenous Art Gallery will prove NOT to be the economic nirvana for this town. Exactly the same rationale was given for the developments of the casino almost four decades ago, the major hotel developments in the 1980s and the Alice Springs Desert Park in the 1990s – clearly none of these institutions, either on their own or altogether, have assisted in averting the current decline of our town, and there is no reason or evidence to show that the gallery will prove to be any different.
On the contrary, it will be yet another expensive long-term burden for the taxpayer to bear.


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