The very generous and constructive comments are great. Thanks. A …

Comment on Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving by Fiona Walsh.

The very generous and constructive comments are great. Thanks. A few suggested actions:
– Recognize the four caterpillars and their host plants then tell others about them.
– Enjoy and share the article, Flikr album and fun videos like this one sent to me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-68SCBHyzM
– Adopt the ‘pennies for pounds’ concept that Linda proposed. Look after the small critters that make our land interesting and ecosystems function.
– Let the caterpillars eat rather than spray, poison or kill them. The plants will regrow.
– Clear parts of your land, garden and/or verge of Buffel and Couch grass and maintain as a native garden. It is likely native plants will flourish with rain and fade as it dries. As Alex wrote, native seeds and suckers recolonize remarkably quickly. Planting a few natives (as Myf suggests) to begin does help but is not essential.
– Register your verge with the town council as a managed verge. If landowners and the council collaborated to grow this program it would reduce the costs of their current whip, snip and mow expenses.
– Become an active member of a local landcare group or commit to manage and maintain an area of bush near you.
– Support policy change that recognizes Buffel grass as an environmental weed.
– Listen to and respect the custodians, traditional owners and native title holders for the deeper stories that shape this town and what they would like to see happen.
– Encourage the concept of Ayepe-arenye (Yeperenye) as part of our Alice Springs identity and your children’s identity.
– Recognize and respect the sacred sites with their Altyerr that are integral to this country (see the little book ‘A town like Mparntwe’).
What else do you think we should do to care for custodians, caterpillars and country?

Recent Comments by Fiona Walsh

Backtrack Boys: lessons in hope and perseverance
This film screens Araleun 7pm tonight. I recommend it for those who feel concern for young people, dogs and better lives. If your work relates to local people or intergenerational connections or ‘youth policy’ then see it. Deservedly, the documentary has won national awards. In some ways it emanates from Central Australia, The title holds a deep meaning that is wisdom learnt from Warumungu men. I hope their families hear the credit given – let them know. The Backtrack program reveals alternatives to costly punishment, detention and jail-dominated approaches.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet
Of course the Aboriginal flag must fly on ANZAC hill (aka Atnelkentyarliweke). In my view, it should so as to:
– show respect to the modern Aboriginal population that those who are Other Australians live amongst
– remind us that the lands of Alice Springs were occupied and cared for by thousands of generations of Aboriginal people before European colonisation
– recognise we all live on or nearby legally-determined native title lands
– acknowledge the Aboriginal people who have died on the slopes and surrounds of Anzac hill
– honour the Aboriginal servicemen and women who died in defence of Australia and their country

These are sufficient reasons for the Aboriginal flag to continuously fly on top of a hill that is a sacred site, a memorial site and a major focus for locals and visitors. Both symbolic and practical actions are needed in Alice Springs.
The link to a petition is here – https://www.change.org/p/alice-springs-town-council-fly-the-aboriginal-flag-on-anzac-hill-alice-springs


No-brainer # 2
There are many reasons why I love trees especially River red gums.
This recent burn is less than 400m long and 100m wide but about 38 River reds have been damaged (more than “several”).
My adoration is unfortunate as it hurts deeply to walk amongst the carnage of amputated limbs.
Some of those trees were older than my great great great grandfather and certainly each of us.
These trees overlooked explorers, pastoralists, cameleers walk through Ntaripe (aka The Gap) and the Ghan line built.
Yes, a few River reds may re-sprout. But some wear scars from more than five fires. They are tiring.
Over the past few days, the fire brigade bravely poured more than 3,000 liners of water into one of several trees they’ve treated. But its roots, heartwood and sapwood still burn today.
It will soon fall down dead too. If you have trees nearby – pull the buffel grass weeds away; be careful with fires. Don’t burn other people’s country. Please look after this country.


They must be joking!
‘Rabbit With Yellow Mustard’ and a ‘Camp Oven Court’ seem a suited combination. See an excellent recipe from Milner Meats and a comment on earlier article that the courthouse reminded reader of a camp oven. Perhaps when Adam Giles’ government are celebrity chefs they could cook and eat that rabbit on the top floor. All in all, a costly insult to current and future Central Australians and our townscape.


In the company of birds: Iain Campbell
Mike’s and Kieran’s reflections have each brought to life a little of Iain Campbell’s life journey and works. Thank you. I never met or knew Iain in person but his artworks I admired for their ironic reflection on this town within our country. I can see his passing leaves a space within and amongst friends and colleagues.


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