Park News – November, 2016

The Way We Were – Step by Step

  • Based on an original idea from naturalist Alan Reid, Committee has maintained a series of photographs taken from the same point and in the same direction in the Creeklands since about 1990.   Alan did some other innovative work in the park including leading Honeyeater walks in the early 1980s and his idea for a butterfly survey in the mid 1980s.
  • There are 60-70 “photopoints” and we now have five photos taken from each point.  These have been maintained in traditional photo albums.
  • Philip Brentnall, David Grounds and Anthea Swann have been key players in keeping this visual history going.  More recently, current Committee man Jim Lambert has digitised the existing collection in keeping with the revolution we have experienced in changes to photography.  These changes not only cover how photos are taken but also how they can be stored, protected and shared.
  • Jim has scanned all of the existing photos and has also updated and digitised the notes on where each photopoint is located – and has taken new photos at each point.
  • Anyway, a picture is worth 1,000 words – so here is an example of a photopoint you will probably recognise – at least in the later shots:

1990

photopoint-16-1990

1999

A note was made – 30/11/1999: No longer visible through trees!

2002

photopoint-16-2002

2006

photopoint-16-2006

2016

photopoint-16-2016

  • If you haven’t worked out where the photopoint is, here it is on a map:

photopoint-16

  • Isn’t it wonderful from several aspects?  Firstly, the change in the park from a mown (or grazed?) grassed area dominated by housing, exotic willow and poplar trees to something much closer to the bushland we intend.  Secondly, that we have this marvellous photographic record – for 60 or 70 places in the park!  We owe a great debt of thanks to our dedicated park people – for their ideas, efforts, time and persistence.

 Spring Bird Survey Update

  • Last month we showed a photo of a Tawny Frogmouth on its nest as part of our report on our Spring Bird Survey. We are delighted to present the photographic update below courtesy of Ian Moodie – one of our survey leaders. This author believes the photo scores 12 out of 10 for cuteness – what do you think?
tawny-and-chick

Tawny Frogmouth Parent and Chick in Blacks Walk. Photo courtesy of Ian Moodie.

  • A week or so earlier, Mary (our working bee coordinator) found a chick that had fallen from the same nest. She rushed the poor little thing to the Blackburn Vet where one of the veterinary nurses, who is a wildlife carer, took charge of it.

Happenings in the Park

  • The Maintenance Team has devoted a lot of effort to weeding and some mulching in the northeast corner of Furness Park this month.
  • There is more mulch to be spread but weeding is the priority because a lot of weeds are coming into seed. Also, more mulch is required at several sites before it can be spread effectively.
  • We’ve recently submitted our plant orders to the local Bungalook and Greenlink nurseries. These include a lot of grasses for next year.
  • Council has replaced a deteriorating sleeper seat in Blacks Walk with one of the new style seats.  Although perhaps less rugged, the new seats – being higher off the ground and having more comfortable backrests – are better suited to the elderly whose needs really should be first priority.
  • Some of you will know that David Stewart, formerly Bushland Coordinator from the ParksWide division of Whitehorse Council, has recently retired.  David has been a pleasure for Committee to work with – our park is so much the better for his care and measured guardianship over the many years of his long service to the community.  David had joined the former City of Nunawading upon graduation from Burnley Horticultural College 39 years ago.  Grant McAdam is acting in his role with a restructure planned in future.

Illegal Mulch Dumping

  • The Whitehorse News (14/11/2016, page 7) carried an article asking residents to look out for illegal mulch dumping in parks in the municipality  This is becoming a significant problem requiring expensive clean-ups ultimately paid for by ratepayers.
  • You may have noticed quite a deal of mulch being delivered to the Creeklands to be spread by volunteers.  So far,  this has been quality mulch provided by Council – but it is a good idea to be vigilant – watch out for cowboy contractors effectively rubbish dumping in the park.  Council’s ParksWide trucks are white with a blue/green logo on the side.  Take a photo of anything else – and report to Council’s Customer Service on 9262 6333 or e-mail customer.service@whitehorse.vic.gov.au .

Sightings

  • November is usually one of our best months for butterflies.  We’ve had reports Common Brown and Painted Lady butterflies so far…
Meadow Argus butterfly (courtesy Ian Moodie)

Meadow Argus butterfly (courtesy Ian Moodie)

  • Please also check our butterflies page for more information on these intriguing and beautiful creatures.
  • Our grasses are looking wonderful at the moment – having enjoyed the excellent rainfall and warmer conditions.  Friend Ruth’s picture shows some of our thriving Kangaroo Grass in Kalang Park:

kangaroo-grass

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the month is the Victorian Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos).  This example of a Christmas Bush is in Furness Park on the northern side of the creek – not far from Main Street:

Christmas bush

  • It is a tall, bushy shrub with masses of scented faintly purple spotted white flowers (inset) – usually flowering in summer – but is early this year.  It requires moist conditions to thrive, so many plants in the Creeklands died in the drier years – but there is still a fair population around.

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the Month is Chilean Needle Grass – Nassella neesiana.  The Maintenance Team have removed several clumps found growing in Furness Park on the hill near the path leading to the bridge.

chilean-needle-grass

  • It needs expertise to identify because it looks quite similar to good indigenous grasses such as the Spear Grasses and the common native tussock grass (Poa labillardieri).  Fortunately, some of our team have training in the identification of grasses.
  • The weed has been found on a couple of occasions a few years ago.  The original infestation is thought to have come in on vehicle wheels when the bridge was installed in 2010.
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