Newsletter 098 July 2002

Dear Friends

Some rain at last! Greeted by a cold damp morning a small group braved the elements to tag the Bridal Creeper on the block opposite Greenhill Dam. It is good to have the weed tagged as it greatly helps the parks staff  to locate it when they are spraying.

The rain has been gentle and made little difference to the water levels in the dams, all of it being soaked up by the ground litter.

Rainfall total for June was 46mm which fell over 16 days. The total for the year so far is 228.2mm compared with last year’s total of 296.8mm.

The damp conditions have prompted mosses lichens and fungi to appear. Among the fungi was a white Vegetable Caterpillar, Cordyceps hawksi which  is uncommon, some bright orange jelly fungus on dead wood, lots of tiny grey gilled fungi {like the bird world’s “little brown jobs!}and some larger gilled fungi and Forest Mushrooms. Identification of the mosses and lichens will have to wait until August when our visiting specialist arrives. It is much easier to be a birdo than a fungiphile!

Rosettes of Pterostylis curta, Blunt Greenhood, P. nana Tiny Greenhood and P nutans Nodding Greenhood were noted. Golden and Varnish Wattle is in good bud but the eucalypts are really dragging the chain this year.

After lunch we took a walk along Greenhill Road where we looked at some huge and ancient tree stumps. Two old Red Box  stumps, one with a girth of 6 metres, made us pause to reflect upon the forest of the 1850’s, pre the gold digging days. We looked around for other sizable stumps to make up the picture of a more open landscape with huge well spaced trees and an understorey of wattles, peas and wildflowers. The second ancient butt we looked at was over two metres tall and bore the scars of the sections cut out to hold the planks which the cutters stood on. We tried to imagine the effort expended to fell this giant with a cross-cut saw!

A Yellow-footed Antechinus hopped across the track and paused on a lichen and moss covered log seemingly  alert to our presence. Once we moved it disappeared. This chance meeting prompted us to wonder what other small creatures may have filled this forest in its former grandeur.

From the meeting:

Members are reminded that in order to be covered by insurance while working in the park it is necessary to financial.

A donation of $100 to VNPA towards the Box-Ironbark campaign was approved.

A contribution to the Chiltern Tourism Booklet for printing of the bird list was approved.

The North-east Seed Bank is up and running. Fleur Stelling has offered to provide a training session. Friends have requested one for the December meeting. More on that at a later date.

Please keep in mind the AGM date, August 31. Our guest will be David Meagher a specialist in Mosses and Lichens {Bryophytes}. There will be an afternoon field trip and an evening presentation which will be preceded by our usual tea {good food not to be missed}. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the flora of the forest floor and the service it performs in nature.

The venue is the Senior Citizens’ Hall in Conness Street. Time: 5.30pm onwards, tea at 6.15. Visitors most welcome.

 

NEXT MEETING SUNDAY AUGUST 4TH  9.00AM AT CHILTERN POST OFFICE

Walking the White Box Walk in search of returning Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters. This coincides with the national survey dates. The walk has been chosen as there will hopefully be some White Box in flower at that time.BYO lunch, water, and a friend. The walk takes over three hours and will be leisurely. Lunch at Cyanide dam at the conclusion.

Contact: June Gotham 0357 261 619

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Logging Banned

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen ended all logging in Cambodia yesterday as he vowed to preserve the country’s remaining forests.  Mr Hun Sen said no trees would be allowed to be cut down from the start of 2002 and companies that continued logging would be immediately shut down. Mr Hun Sen said he was no longer willing to allow Cambodia’s precious forests to be traded off  for foreign currency!

<hr>

Membership Renewal   Friends of Chiltern Park inc

 

Name:...............................Address..............................

.

Telephone................E/mail.......................................

Please find enclosed cheque/money order for $10.00 being membership for the year 2002-2003

Your membership and support is appreciated and we hope you will rejoin for the coming year. Thankyou.

Mail to: Friends of Chiltern Park Membership  P.O.Box 60 CHILTERN  3683