Report 31, 30 September 2018
Next Working Bees
Sunday 14th October, 9am and Saturday 27th October 9am. Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees. We will be clearing and watering new seedlings.
- Wear suitable clothes, footwear, gloves and hat and bring your own tools if you prefer.
- Bring a full water bottle and biscuits will be supplied.
Working Bees for November will be Sunday 11th and Saturday 24th (9-11am).
We had two normal working bees this month, with 4 of us on Sunday 16th and 10 of us on Saturday 29th. Our work included weeding, mulching and watering new seedlings. Thanks to Council for providing us with some new clippers which have made the job easier and we made good progress. Thanks also to Barb for biscuits!
Plant of the Month: Boneseed or Saltbush
This evergreen shrub has lovely flowers, but is an invasive weed which we will be trying to eradicate from the Reserve. You can see large areas of it on the coastal parts of the Port Hills, where the climate is similar to its Mediterranean origins. Blackbirds in particular, eat the black berries which form after the yellow flowers and then disperse the seeds. The plants invade the habitat of many of the native species on dry rocky coastal hillsides. It can be easily pulled out when young, or larger specimens can be cut off just below ground level (to avoid sprouts emerging if wood is in the light).
We have 16 plant name stakes out now and more will come. We will try and confine these (sometimes where different ecosystems join) so they can be informative but not distracting from your enjoyment of the natural character of the Reserve. You may notice that the stakes are untreated pine, but we have charred (burnt) the bottoms to stop them rotting in the ground (a very old technique which avoids toxic chemicals in the Reserve).
The occasional rain has been insufficient to stop the ground from drying out so we will now restart our “Adopt a Tree” watering scheme (two months earlier than last year! and that was a very dry Spring!).
Adopt a Tree Scheme
Could you please adopt about 6 plants each, tie your own cotton ribbons on their stakes so you can easily find them and try to give them about 500ml of water each week. There will be several 3L milk bottles at water tubs, the stream pond above the Waterfall Lookout and where the track meets the stream below the waterfall. Leave your empty bottles at any of these places.
We will be doing our six-monthly bird count from 9am on Friday 19th October. Ring me if you want to take part.
The tally of animal pests eliminated in September was 3 rats and 6 mice. That is one more rat and 3 more mice than this month last year, reversing our recent trend of decreases. The bait on our rat traps has been disappearing consistently so we think there are a lot of mice yet to catch.
We have 140 supporters on our email list and look forward to having more volunteers join us for a chat and helping hand on our future working bees. You are sure to find it very satisfying, planting and caring for native trees and wildlife and restoring the Reserve to its former glory, especially for the local community.
If you want to volunteer any time or resources to this long-term community project, contact Dave Bryce 021363498 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.