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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.

Riparian Walk #1 – Strathbogie to Polly McQuinns – Event Description

The famous SRCMN Riparian Walks are back for another year!

To kick things off, the first walk in this series of five will start at Smiths Bridge (just south of the town of Strathbogie) and finish at the beautiful Polly McQuinns.

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 is a beautiful walk with mostly gentle slopes that meanders down a unique part of the Hughes Creek.

The walk is long (7km) and of easy to moderate difficulty, with a few creek crossings and bush bashing involved. Hiking experience isn’t necessary, but an average level of fitness will be required. The walk difficulty may increase drastically if wet weather precedes it, or if it’s hot on the day.

Walkers will meet at Smiths Bridge at 9am. From there, walkers will descend down the Seven Creeks before being ferried back to the starting point.

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

A link to the route is below:
https://www.plotaroute.com/route/703593

Time/Date: 9:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday the 3rd of November 2018

Starting Location: Smiths Bridge, Main St, Strathbogie

Finishing Location: Polly McQuinns, Strathbogie (car shuffle back to Smiths Bridge)

Length: 7km

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

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

Roadside Vegetation Survey Presentation and Bus Trip – Pre event description

In 2018, the Strathbogie Shire undertook a massive survey of roadside vegetation that included information on weeds, conservation value and flora and fauna that could be found on our roadsides.

Tim and Janet are back to present their findings, and take us for a hands on trip around the shire to show attendees some of the most valuable and overlooked microcosms of flora and fauna the Strathbogie Shire has to offer. A walk up the imaginatively named “Big Hill” will also be featured, so sturdy shoes, a hat and a bottle of water are strongly recommended.

To see a map of their findings, you can visit this page of the SRCMN website where you’ll find a link and instructions for viewing the data.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided, and as always, the event is 100% free.

Time/Date: 10:00am to 3:30pm, Sunday the 25th of November 2018

Location: Euroa Arboretum, Euroa

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

Indian Myna Day

Have you noticed these little brown and yellow birds popping up in places where they weren’t before?

The Common or Indian Myna was named “Australia’s most important pest/problem”, yet it has not been declared as an invasive species in Victoria or NSW. Recent sightings of the bird have been reported not just in the flat urban areas of the Strathbogie Shire, but in remote farmland in the hills of Strathbogie. Because of its aggressive nature and tendency to drive away native bird species, the Indian Myna poses a real threat to the Strathbogies native birdlife.

But hope is not lost. Senior Darebin Parklands Ranger Peter Wiltshire believes that even a small amount of community action can have a large effect on Indian Myna populations.

In this three hour event, Peter will be drawing from 33 years of experience to give attendees an insight into Myna’s origin, history, behaviour,  habitats, effects on biodiversity and trapping methods in his entertaining video presentation.

Time/Date: 10:00am to 1:00pm, Sunday the 9th of December 2018

Location: Euroa Arboretum, Euroa

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

 

Riparian Walk #6 – Emu Waterholes Creek

The last, and by far the coldest of our riparian walks began on a dead still and very frosty Ruffy morning. Nonetheless the turnout was great with every walker set to make the most of the perfect winters morning.

The Emu Waterholes Creek walk was the easiest in the series, and ambling along the gentle curves of the waterway was the  best way to see out what has been a spectacular series of walks. With a decent portion of the walk traversing private property, the proliferation of blackberrys and other weeds species were mild compared to previous walks. A diverse array of native gums, fungi and reeds were just a few of the features noted along the way, with a fleeting appearance made by a few startled wallabys. A shy echidna was also spotted after having firmly dug itself in to the base of an old stump.

The SRCMN drone was again engaged to get some aerial shots of the spectacular gorge at the halfway mark. Despite the cold battery warnings, it once again show us what we were missing from our limited, ground level views.

The SRCMN would like to thank everyone who participated in this series of walks. The relentless positive attitudes and willingness to help out fellow walkers made our lives a lot easier, and it was a true pleasure to meet both locals and those from far afield.

 

 

 

Fungimap – How to use a fungi app with Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher

The final event in the 2018 Fungi Festival saw a grey but relatively mild winters morning after a day of heavy rain; perfect fungi hunting weather. With a quick introductory talk on how to use the iNaturalist app from Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher, attendees loaded up their phones and set off hunting. The Euroa Arboretum proved fertile hunting grounds , with the earlier rain giving a slight helping hand to the various species in the areas.

After the successful hunt, it was back to the Euroa Library for a spot of lunch and information on how to upload the observations.

The SRCMN would like to thank all of those who made the Fungimap events possible, including everyone who attended (from far and wide), with special thanks to Dr Sapphire and Lyn Allison for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and increase our fungi knowledge.

Fungimap – Fungi of the Goulburn Broken with Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher

The second last event in 2018’s Fungi Festival drew a crowd of both locals and dedicated fungi enthusiasts out of their homes on a chilly Friday night. Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher offered an introduction to the not-for-profit citizen science organisation called Fungimap, who work to increase fungi knowledge and conservation, as well as bring people with an interest in Australian macrofungi together.

Allowing the public to easily submit their fungi observations through the Fungimap web page, or through the iNaturalist app or web page means that anyone with a keen interest and an eye for fungi can begin contributing to Australia’s fungi knowledge. With speculation that around 50% of Australia’s fungi remains formally undocumented, there is a huge need for people to get out and start recording the weird and wonderful species in their local area. Dr Sapphire noted that for those keen on exploring bush for these elusive species, proper hygiene is a must to prevent the spread of fungi to areas where it’s not welcome. This means cleaning dirt from the soles of shoes, properly cleaning and drying coats and pants, and using solvents to kill long lived spores.

Fungi Festival Malaysian Feast and Intro Talk with Alison Pouliot

The first event in the 2018 SRCMN Fungi Festival lineup was huge, with over 70 fungi enthusiasts turning out for a short intro talk and Malaysian feast at the Strathbogie Memorial Hall. With the Hall near maximum capacity, everyone sat enthralled as the fervent Alison Pouliot delivered her introductory talk to the inquisitive crowd. Even those who had never given the world of Fungus too much thought had their curiosities ineluctably roused by the fascinating details of the fungi kingdom.

The SRCMN would like to thank all of those who made the event possible, including all of the tireless volunteers, cooks and participants of the Fungi Festival’s largest event.