@ Fiona Walsh (Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm): …

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

@ 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.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving
@ 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.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Centre of attention: Glory days of Anzac Oval in the 1950s
@ Peter Bassett (Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:33 pm): Appreciate your comment, especially about the old high school, Peter.
Contrary to what has been reported in the some media, the old school building is a very well constructed building with enormous inherent heritage value.
There has been – and is – a deliberately false and misleading campaign initiated by the NT Government, amplified by vested interests through a complicit and compliant print media, to denigrate the worth and value of that old education complex.


From mud, dust to grass: The beginning of Anzac Oval
@ Dr Ongo (Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:08 pm): You raise an interesting point; however, your observation applies equally well to other listed heritage sites, eg. such places as the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Alice Springs Heritage Precinct (including Stuart Park, old hospital, old Alice Springs Gaol, and several houses in Hartley and Bath streets), and the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct.
There are histories, stories or law applicable to all of these places since time immemorial but other than to acknowledge previous Aboriginal occupation or use of such sites, I’m not qualified or knowledgeable enough to comment about them.
In regard to “untyeye that once grew there” at the Anzac Oval site (referring to corkwood trees – Hakea divaricata), only one still survives just inside the boundary near the Senior Citizens Club. It’s the same tree on the right of the photo, framing the new school, taken by Prue Crouch’s father in the early 1950s.
The heritage statement for the nomination of Anzac Oval does state: “The Anzac Oval Precinct contains several sacred sites.”
Thanks for your comment.

 

Corkwood


Home owner bonus: New build sector bleak, says CLP
The situation generally in the Northern Territory is giving every indication that it’s rapidly spiralling out of control.
I suspect the NT Government’s reactions are too little, too late; and this latest scheme will likely end up being home owner bogus rather than bonus.


West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
Such a shame, Steve, that we’re unable to harness your sprays to put the wildfires out.


Government fails to protect major tourism asset
My recollection is that the major wildfire years in the earliest period of this century were 2002-03, and again in 2011. Both of those periods closely followed years of exceptionally high rainfall (2000-01 and 2010 respectively).
This isn’t unusual in itself – there were significant wildfire years in 1968 (following the breaking of the drought in 1966) and in 1975 (following 1973-4, the wettest period on record in Alice Springs).
What’s different now is that this major wildfire event has occurred after a very dry year, with a record set at Alice Springs in 2018 for the longest period without rain being recorded, although (as I recall) this wasn’t the case further west of town.
In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel west and east of Alice Springs a number of times and also to fly frequently to Darwin and back with clear views of the area around town.
The clear impression I’ve gained on every trip is the extent and dominance of the spread of buffel grass in the ranges.
It’s like a blanket hugging the ground as far as the eye can see. It’s spread is overwhelming, and the ecology of this region is forever changed.
There are often comments about the need for protecting Alice Springs from major floods but that’s the least of our worries.
It is major wildfire that poses the most serious risk to our town, and the recent disaster in the West Macs demonstrates this risk can occur at any time.


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