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HIGHLIGHTS...
MEET IMPORTANT LOCALS

Here are some of the local friends we met... scroll down...

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Some photos are clickable for larger size and info

FEBRUARY 20, 2022

False Garden Mantid
False Garden Mantid
False Garden Mantid
Slant-faced grasshopper
False Garden Mantid
False Garden Mantid
moth Taxeotis genus
Slant-faced grasshopper
Paper wasp
Paper wasp
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Sawfly sp (Bottlebrush?)

All images by Vicky Shukuroglou unless otherwise stated

MARCH 6, 2022

Common grass-blue butterfly
Yellow-banded Dart
Concealer moth
Case moth shelter
Case moth (sp?)
Common Anthelid Moth
Wing possibly from Common Anthelid Moth
Native predatory wasp
Native wasp (sp?)
A beautiful egg sac
Yellow-banded Dart
Blue-banded bee
Alternanthera denticulata - Lesser Joyweed
Blue-banded bee
Slender Knotweed
Slender Knotweed with a Common Grass-Blue Butterfly on the flowers

APRIL 30, 2022

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The complexity of Box-Ironbark forest is evident throughout the year. We focused on the bark and leaves of various eucalypts for species identification. Top right - Yellow Box (Eucalyptus Melliodora) has roughly fibrous/finely tessellated bark at the base, to smooth, variably patterned upper trunk & limbs. 

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Red Stringybark close up

Red Stringybark
Eucalyptus macrorhyncha

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Red Ironbark
Eucalyptus tricarpa

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Long-leaf Box or Bundy
Eucalyptus goniocalyx

NOVEMBER 26, 2022

Blue Pincushion - Brunonia australis 

Murnong/Yam Daisy - Microseris lanceolata

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Dampieria - Dampiera stricta

Common Wedge-pea - Gompholobium huegelii

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Button Everlasting - Coronidium scorpioides - photo Michael Smith

Also seen were:  Chocolate lily - Arthropodium strictum;  Dianellia - Dianella revoluta; Longhorn moth (genus, not sure of the species) were also seen, along with Common Brown Butterfly, Forester moth - Pollanisus viridipulverulenta, Net-winged Beetle, Chequered beetle (genus, not sure of the species)

FEBRUARY 2023

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TOP IMAGE:
Lampides boeticus

Long-tailed Pea-blue Butterfly

SECOND:

Hypochrysops delicia

Moonlight Jewel Butterfly

THIRD:
Chrysolopus spectabilis

Botany Bay Weevil

FOURTH:

Nacaduba biocellata
Two-spotted Line-blue Butterfly

BOTTOM:
Runcinia acuminata

Pointy Runcinia (amazing camouflage!)

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MARCH 25, 2023

Musk Lorikeet - Glossopsitta concinna. These beautiful birds are endemic to south eastern Australia.

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These amazing little constructions are made by the
nymphs of some type of tube spittlebug.
This is home!

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Mushrooms - probably a type of Inkcap

 

The eggs of a Katydid

The egg sac of a Jewel Spider

JUNE 10, 2023

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Wonderful diversity of fungi are found with careful looking. We have noticed a correlation between the health of the environment (greater diversity and abundance of locally-appropriate species) and the diversity and abundance of fungi. The relationships are innumerable and complex. 

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Elegant Blue Webcap Cortinarius rotundisporus
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SEPTEMBER 3, 2023

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All images by Vicky Shukuroglou unless otherwise stated

OCTOBER 28, 2023

A busy and terrific time at the Moor-rul Grassland. So MUCH weeding! 

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Pink flowers of indigenous Convolvulus used to be relatively common through Nillumbik. We care for their return!

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A bunch of common weeds found in Nillumbik. These displace indigenous grasses, herbs, and other plants. This then applies pressure to the relationships between plants, insects, other animals, and the soil.

We were fortunate that Dean Stewart joined us for some of the time and shared his perspectives. One of the images he showed can be seen here - it depicts a grassland with its diverse flora and a scattered group of women bent over with their digging sticks. These women would have been harvesting edible plants such as Murnong (yam daisy), bulbine and other lilies, and various orchids. It was a common practice carried out by Wurundjeri women, and helped maintain the health of local ecosystems. 

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Carefully weeding, ensuring minimal disturbance and maximum root removal. By holding the base of the weedy vetch, it is gently and firmly pulled up, without breaking the stem and with minimal soil attached. The same technique is used for weedy grasses including Sweet Vernal and Quaking grass.
Here we can see how MANY vetch seeds are ripening... so we prevented the spread of thousands of weedy seeds. What a great effort!

Dandelions filled the lower section of the grassland.
Two of us returned with a scythe (great for fitness, no petrol, no plastic)... and got to work.
We collected all the flower heads to prevent seed spread. 

 

Before and after!
 

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We carefully worked around indigenous grasses such as Themeda triandra (Kangaroo grass), seen here, before and after. 

NOVEMBER 20 & 27, 2023

Equipped with headtorches and warm clothes, we were ready for night wonders...
What joy! So many incredible creatures - a giant grasshopper carrying dew drops, paper wasps with their eggs in the safety of their stunning architecture, two native bees sleeping head down in a half-closed flower, critters with engaging eyes, gown-like wings and whacky hairdos, Powerful Owls and Frogmouths, and so much more! We are so fortunate.
They deserve our love and care. 

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Common names of some creatures we saw:
Scarab beetles, Net-winged Beetle, Hanging fly, Pine looper caterpillar, Frogs – Pobblebonk, Southern Brown Tree Frog, Peron’s Tree Frog and Spotted Marsh Frog - Boobook Owl, Powerful Owl, Tawny Frogmouths (two juvenile and one parent feeding them), White-striped Free-tail Bat (heard), Brushtail Possums, Lasioglossum bees.

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 Thanks to Tim Handfield for the photos of the Powerful Owl and Tawny frogmouth family 

JANUARY 20 2024 

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All images by Vicky Shukuroglou unless otherwise stated

more walks planned - register for updates

AUGUST, 2022

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Fungus commonly known as White Punk (Laetiporus portentosus), usually growing on Eucalypts, often high up the trunk. Used as a fire carrier/tinder by Indigenous people in many areas.

Last season's fruiting bodies/seed capsules from a Sun Orchid. These have dried, split open to release seed, and remained standing.
 

A Nodding Greenhood, in earlier stages of flower formation.

The immature fruit of Exocarpus Cupressiformis, commonly known as Cherry Ballart, Bush Cashew or Ballee. The darker green upper part will swell and turn red, with the seed remaining on the outside. Fantastic habitat for owls and others.
 

One of the many Bitter Pea (Daviesia) species of the area. Daviesia 

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