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Riparian Walk #4 – County Creek, Ruffy

Another month, another beautiful walk, with this being the 4th in this series of famous SRCMN Riparian walks.

Ruffy is proving to be a bounty of new and exciting waterways to discover, and we’ll explore the beautiful County Creek this time.

The aim of these walks is to become better acquainted with our local waterways, and record some of their standout features along the way.

This walk is long (7km) and of moderate difficulty with some steep scrambles over loose, gravelly terrain. Hiking experience isn’t necessary, but an average level of fitness and mobility will be required. Difficulty will increase drastically if wet weather precedes it, or if it’s hot.

We’ll meet at the Ruffy CFA shed before driving out to the starting point at the bridge on Longwood-Ruffy Rd. From there, we’ll descend down the County Creek and it’s gorges, before taking a shortcut through paddocks back to the starting point (YAY! no car shuffle).

Please note, as we’ll be traversing private property, no dogs or other pets will be allowed.

Time/Date: 8:45am to 1pm, Saturday the 27th of April, 2019

Meeting Location: Ruffy CFA Shed – 1 Nolans Rd, Ruffy VIC 3666

Finishing Location: Longwood-Ruffy Rd

Length: 7km

Difficulty: Moderate

RSVPs are essential, so please email us at strathbogierangescmn@gmail.com to register your interest.

Riparian Walk #3 – Hughes Creek to Tarcombe

Despite the drizzle, 25 stoic walkers braved the weather to peruse this beautiful section of the Hughes Creek. Meeting at the Ruffy CFA shed, walkers piled into vehicles to the start point at Donovans Rd. The traditional pre-walk photo was taken before setting off down into the gorge.

The customary pre-walk rock photo

Rain from the chilly, saturnine night before had made the rocks along the first section of the walk just slippery enough to be worth avoiding, so the procession skirted them by walking off-piste above the creek and were rewarded by the spectacular views down into the rocky gorge.

Not much wildlife was seen other than a friendly wombat and a shy turtle/tortoise (debate still rages on this distinction) that were spotted by eagle eyed walkers. Neil Phillips captivated fellow walkers by sharing his vast knowledge of the district’s unique geological features, with his extemporary expositions on rock holes, granite varieties.

Weeds were surprisingly few and far between, with the occasional blackberry bush rearing it’s head, although the time of year made the leafless bushes more tricky to spot than usual. Electric fences and creek crossing were formidable foes, and it was noted that the creek was flowing stronger than a few weeks previous.

The walk started at 9am and concluded around 1:30pm, with the avoidance of slippery rocks accelerating the pace while still feeling leisurely.

A series of geo-tagged photos has been uploaded to the SRCMN Flickrfor public viewing.

Thanks to all of the walkers who came and helped out with the car shuffle, to the SRCMN members for their help and enthusiasm and to the generous landholders for allowing us access to the creek through their properties.

Children’s Artwork

A recurring theme across our events has been engaging with school children to create artworks based around the themes of our events.

The SRCMN acknowledges the significant contribution of Euroa Primary School teacher Pauline Fraser in the production of most of these beautiful artworks which were made during class time. The school has collaborated with us on many projects between 2012 and 2016 including several Butterfly Festivals and Festivals of Fungi.
Pauline’s work and that of her students has contributed greatly to successful community engagement in the community. Apart from the first six superb drawings of butterflies and moths shown here which were made by Peranbin Primary School students in 2012. All of the artworks shown were made in Pauline’s classroom at the Euroa Primary School

This is a collection of the various artworks by local kids across the shire.

Riparian Walk #2 – Wombat Creek

Our first walk for 2019 started with a bang, with 27 keen walkers setting out to explore the hidden gem that is Wombat Creek. With walkers from all over the state converging on Fergusons Rd, the cool, albeit dry conditions, were perfect for rambling down the creek.

With the creek constantly rearing its head and dipping back underground, crossing the creek was a breeze. Plenty of crevasses, rocks, holes, fences, boulders and fallen trees kept things interesting for walkers. with the creek playing equal parts nature hike and obstacle course. No snakes were spotted this time, but sunbathing lizards, sleepy wombats, grazing wallabies and a timid fox kept everyone entertained. The creek was notable for it’s lack of weeds, especially blackberries.

Among the walkers were experts in local flora, fauna, hydrology and geology, who were keen to share their vast knowledge with anyone keen to learn.

The walk started at 9am and concluded around 1pm, travelling at what some would call a very leisurely pace. As with previous walks, the locations of interesting features and weeds were logged via GPS, and a series of geo-tagged photos has been uploaded to the SRCMN Flickrfor public viewing.

Thanks to all of the walkers who came, to the SRCMN members for their help and enthusiasm and to Ian Pruess and Bruce and Jenny McMahen for allowing us access to the creek through their properties.

You can find a more detailed writeup of the walk at the Strathbogie Naturview website here.

Riparian Walk #3 – Hughes Creek Tarcombe – Pre event description

Come along to our 3rd walk in this series of famous SRCMN Riparian Walks.

After a few bogie based walks, it’s now time to revisit the stunning Hughes Creek.

The aim of these walks is to become better acquainted with our local waterways, and record some of their standout features along the way.

This walk is long (5.5km/3.5hours) and of moderate difficulty with several creek crossings and a lot of rock hopping. Hiking experience isn’t necessary, but an average level of fitness and mobility will be required. Difficulty will increase drastically if wet weather precedes it, or if it’s hot on the day.

Walkers will meet down at the Ruffy CFA shed before driving out to the starting point at Donovan Rd. From there, walkers will descend down the Hughes Creek, following it to Ponkeen Creek Rd. Walkers will then be driven back to their cars at the starting point.

Please note, as we’ll be traversing private property on these walks, no dogs or other pets are allowed.

Time/Date: 8:45am to 1pm, Sunday the 31st of March, 2019

Meeting Location: Strathbogie CFA Shed – 1 Nolans Rd, Ruffy VIC 3666

Finishing Location: Ponkeen Creek Rd

Length: 5.5km

Difficulty: Moderate

RSVPs are essential, so please email us at strathbogierangescmn@gmail.com to register your interest.

Riparian Walk #2 – Wombat Creek – Pre event description

Come along to our 2nd walk in this series of famous SRCMN Riparian Walks.

After our gentle stroll down to Polly McQuinns last time, this walk steps it up a notch, traversing from the Fergusons Lane down to Forlonge Memorial Road.

The aim of these walks is to become better acquainted with our local waterways, and record some of their standout features along the way.

This walk is long (5km/3.5hours) and of moderate difficulty with several creek crossings and a lot of rock hopping. Hiking experience isn’t necessary, but an average level of fitness and mobility will be required. The walk difficulty will increase drastically if wet weather precedes it, or if it’s hot on the day.

Walkers will meet down Fergusons Lane. From there, walkers will descend down Wombat Creek, following it to Forlonge Memorial Road. Walkers will then be driven back to their cars at the starting point.

Please note, as we’ll be traversing private property on these walks, no dogs or other pets are allowed.

Time/Date: 8:45am to 12:30pm, Saturday the 9th of March, 2019

Starting Location: Fergusons Lane, Strathbogie

Finishing Location: Forlonge Memorial Road

Length: 5km

Difficulty: Moderate

RSVPs are essential, so please email us at strathbogierangescmn@gmail.com to register your interest.

Indian Myna Day

Sightings of Indian (Common) Mynas have recently increased within the Strathbogie Shire, with residents reporting birds not only in towns and along roads, but in farmland, kilometers from the closest towns. Indian Mynas are extremely adaptable, aggressive and intelligent birds that not only compete for nest locations with native species, but actively attack and destroy natives, their nests and their offspring. Most suburbs in Melbourne have seen a massive influx of these little brown and yellow birds, and have experienced devastating declines in native bird populations accordingly.

The SRCMN decided that now was the time to act, before the birds had a strong foothold within the Shire. Luckily for us, we found perhaps the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic expert on Mynas this side of the globe. Senior Park Ranger for the Darebin Parklands, Peter Wiltshire, was kind enough to come and share his knowledge with locals, having had massive success with the removal of thousands of Mynas from the Darebin Parklands. He has conducted countless experiments (some successful, some less so) to find exactly what make Mynas tick. Among topics covered by Peter were Myna behaviour, their impact on native bird populations, methods of trapping, Myna social structure and strategies for drastically reducing Myna populations.

With the day being held at the beautiful Euroa Arboretum, attendees were inspired by Peter and enthusiastic to make a change before it was too late. Among the unexpected facts we gleamed on the day were that nest boxes are an ideal habitat for Mynas, with Mynas actively competing with local bird species and event possums. Another interesting note was that Myna populations seem to be directly correlated with increases in household chicken ownership (due to the availability of food), and litter (due to attraction to shiny plastics).

The SRCMN would like to give our sincerest thanks to Peter for making the trek up to Euroa. His vast knowledge and passion were obvious to everyone who attended, and will hopefully inspire definitive action to rid the Shire of Indian Mynas. The SRCMN would also like to thank all of those curious folks who came along and took and interest in their local area.

If you’re interested in taking action against Indian Mynas within the Strathbogie Shire, please email us at strathbogierangescmn@gmail.com

Roadside Vegetation Survey Presentation and Bus Trip

In 2018, the Strathbogie Shire commissioned Tim and Janet to undertake an unprecedentedly comprehensive survey of the Shire’s roadside vegetation health and diversity. What they found was a surprisingly diverse chain of ecosystems right next to our roadsides, something we take for granted every day. After delivering their recommendations to the council, the SRCMN knew they still had more stories to tell and information to convey, so we invited them back to spend the day with an enthusiastic group of interested community members.

The day started off with the all important morning tea, then with a presentation and Q&A. A quick lunch was needed to fuel the attendees for their hike up Big Hill, where they studied the plethora of local vegetation and soaked in the spectacular views on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. Then it was back on the bus for a drive up the Euroa-Strathbogie Road to a secluded spot at the base of the hill. There it was observed that seemingly minuscule changes in altitude led to huge variations in the flora species found.

The SRCMN would like to give our sincerest thanks to Tim and Janet, who are an inexhaustible wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm. To be able to ask questions and explore our local roadsides with them was truly a special experience. The SRCMN would also like to thank all of those curious folks who came along and took and interest in their local area.

Riparian Walk #1 – Strathbogie to Polly McQuinns

Our first walk in this new series of 5 walks took place on a beautiful spring morning. A chilly breeze soon gave way to perfect conditions, where 17 keen trekkers set out to conquer the Smiths Bridge to Polly McQuinns adventure.

Knee high grass mixed with wombat holes, blackberrys, fence crossings and snakes made for a challenging and diverse walk. As a reward, walkers were greeted with some truly special and seldom visited sights of the Seven Creeks reserve.

This walk joined two previous walks (Polly McQuinns to Gooram Falls and Brookleigh Rd to Strathbogie) together, meaning those lucky enough to have attended them all have experienced a long stretch of the best of the Seven Creeks.

The walk concluded around 12:30pm, with the group covering a solid 7.2km. As with previous walks, the locations of interesting features and blackberry bushes were logged via GPS, and a series of geo-tagged photos has been uploaded to the SRCMN Flickr for public viewing.

Thanks to all who came and ensured a speedy return home by helping out with the car shuffle.