#LandcareStoryContest 'The Creek' » Landcarer

Susan King
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Danielle Packer
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Dodie Henderson
This week we had the wonderful Kate Pickering, Landcare officer with South Coast NRM, at our Dalyup property, measuring potential project fencelines and filming plantings within fenced riparian areas....View More
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Joanne IAnson
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James Walsh
Some of Landcare Australia's direct seeding work in SA - 2021. In partnership with Banrock Station, National Parks and Wildlife SA and Trees for Life!
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Danielle Packer
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Mick Taylor
Hi Everyone, We have a Bush Garden Nursery that we open to the public twice a week. We are gaining a lot of interest from a lot of reveg companies and we are needing to improve our inventory manageme...View More
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by Published on June 2, 2021

When I first saw the creek it was drowning in weeds. Crofton solidly infested the banks. Lantana clambered up sandpaper figs, smothering them and blocking the light. The sheer weight of Australia's number one pest plant (it covers 4 million hectares) snapped limbs off the struggling rainforest trees. Day by day, a little at a time, I cut through the lantana trunks close to the ground. The weakened roots were easily ripped out later. The bulk of the plant high up the trees, died off, dried up and eventually fell out, especially when the big winds blew. During the winter, slowly, slowly, I hand pulled the crofton, strategically timed to get it before it flowered again in spring. A large shady camphor laurel was ringbarked. The suckers were regularly removed as it gently gave up its life.

Now ten years later, there is no lantana and no crofton on that stretch of the creek. The rainforest trees reach freely for the sky, unimpeded by the killer climbers. Pollia has returned to the creek banks, a thick carpet now prevents further incursions by pest species. The stark trunks of the camphor are surrounded by regrowth – pencil cedars, red cedars and kamalas took off, once they could see the light.

The bush is back. At night the wark, wark, wark of the great barred frog calling the ladies keeps me awake. I listen to low rhythmic flaps of a flying fox's wings, whoomp, whoomp, whoomp, as it searches for fruiting bangalow palms. The channel-billed cuckoos scream in the wee hours of the morning, shrieking for love. The brush turkey rises early in the morning and methodically rakes through the leaf litter, scrape, scrape. scrape. He will build his mound soon, painstakingly collecting everything: mulch, soil, leaves and twigs, from 20-30 metres around to create an incubator. The heat from the decomposing and decaying plant matter keeps the eggs warm. While mum doesn't hang around to nurture her offspring, dad stands guard against predators. He checks the temperature regularly with his beak, adding more or removing layers as required. When the turkey chicks have hatched, the old nest makes great potting mix.

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