@ 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

Town planning farce: Lawler dodges the hard questions
This encounter instantly reminded me of a passage in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” when Winston Smith followed an old man into a pub with the intention of finding out from him what life was like before the revolution that led to the rise of Big Brother.
Yet no matter how earnestly he asked the old man to recall the early years of his life, “Winston had the feeling they were talking at cross-purposes.”
He kept on prodding the old man for information but “a sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The old man’s memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details. One could question him all day without getting any real information.”
Plying the old man with beer, he tried one more time but failed: “Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old man suddenly got up and shuffled rapidly into the stinking urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-litre was already working on him. Winston sat for a minute or two gazing at his empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet carried him out into the street again.”
Welcome to the Big Brother reality of honest accountable government in the Northern Territory!


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.


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