February newsletter

 

I hope you have all been coping with our new weather system. While it has been excellent for some people regarding crops and hay some I know have had their hands full coping with fly strike on sheep and clearing fallen trees. Rockleigh has had above average rainfall which has possibly helped furnish us with new weeds, certainly helped the veldt grass to a bumper season and hopefully helped our seedlings and established vegetation through the summer. Whether the weather had anything to do with it or not I don’t know but a koala made a brief appearance on the property back on 20th December which adds another species to the mammal list.

 

The Rockleigh Management Group has been busy. We have carried out a trial mistletoe removal taking all the mistletoe from 5 E. porosa and 5 E. fasciculosa trees, all very heavily infested. Five similarly infested trees of both varieties have been marked and will be observed as a control. There are many reasons for not doing this and some previous trials (not on our property) have proved ineffective, but such is the prevalence of mistletoe we thought it worth a trial. We have also poisoned the veldt grass in the slashed area north of the ford. We have done this in a series of blocks trialling 2 chemicals at different concentrations. The other slashed area (below the old campsite) will be treated in winter as recommended by the chemical manufacturers. How we go about revegetating these blocks will depend largely on the outcome of the poisoning. Seeds have been collected of various native grasses and suitable plants for revegetating.

The Tothills have also received good rains. Thankfully fences at creek crossings have not been affected but John has been kept busy keeping other fences clear of fallen trees and branches. John also successfully applied for a grant from the Northern and Yorke NRM’s Burra to Kapunda project which covered the costs of volunteers’ travel and fencing materials when 1.2 km of fencing on the western side had to be upgraded.

The grant also included money for soursob and fox control. An appreciable part of the grant was donated back to the company by our generous volunteers and shareholders and this can hopefully be used to reduce John’s work load.

The update of the Tothill Management Plan is near completion and will hopefully be delivered to you as an email attachment in April.

At a recent directors meeting Anthea Howard and Aidan Galpin from DEWNR talked about Fire Management on KI and their efforts to develop a Fire Management Plan for the Dudley Peninsula with an invitation for us to join in the planning. At this stage we have declined but the communication lines are open. Should we as a group decide that some controlled burning on our property was desirable it would be in our interest to be a part of the scheme as it would automatically give us Native Vegetation clearance permits. If you have any views on this I would be happy to hear them.

Friends of Private Bushland

John Smyth will be leading a group from FoPB on a walk in the Tothills on April 9th.

New Shareholders

We welcome Michelle Denny and the Ragless family (David, Lorraine, Ruth and Kathryn) as joint shareholders and farewell Andrew Crompton whose shareholding they have acquired. We look forward to meeting them soon.

 

2017 AGM

With apologies to football followers, the date for the AGM has been set for Saturday 7th October. We have tried to tie it into SA and NSW school holidays and avoid the long weekend. The AGM will be held in the Tothills, probably at Webb Gap but not necessarily. As usual, members will be camping probably from the Friday to the Monday at least, so feel free to join us for any of that time.

 

The AGM Weekend

The Al1120528GM went very well with the weather being very kind until late Sunday morning when it blew us out of the place. Eight people camped on Friday and Saturday nights, 14 helped out at the working bee and 25 attended the meeting.

A display of photos courtesy of Bren and Elizabeth Lay and Kerry White showed various aspects of Rockleigh taken before and after the 2013 fire. Kerry  threw in a mystery photo of several white splodges in the creek with a prize for the best explanation of the situation. There were many interesting ideas but the actual scene was the Adelaide Hunt Club’s hounds on an outing with their brightly clad followers. And “No”, they should not have been there and “Yes”, the Hunt Club did receive a follow up letter.

 

 The working bee group managed to remove a large number of guards and weed many young plants while Bren, Elizabeth and Marg found a couple of pre Bushland photo points and re-photographed the scenes. This very interesting comparison between 1997 and 2016 will hopefully appear in the revamped Management Plan.

Our guest speaker at the AGM was Grace Hodder who is doing her PhD on diamond firetails in the Mt Lofty Ranges and has 2 sites on our Rockleigh property. She gave a very interesting talk on her methods and possible findings. Grace is investigating the finches food sources and how this affects their survival. Unfortunately many firetails at Rockleigh do not survive the winter and her study suggests at this stage that by encouraging native perennials we may be able to help them.

Grace addressing the AGMl1120580


 

  l1120567Our Relaxed Chairperson, Bill

                                                                                             

We have a new director in Steve White who has a lot of practical experience in environmental matters . He replaces Tom who has given Bushland valuable service and will no doubt rejoin the Board at some future stage. Marg Brown, the other retiring director, was re-elected.

In an endeavour to increase the participation of members in working bees we are calling on anyone with an interest in helping to send me their name and phone number (mobile if possible) so we can call people up at very short notice to inform them of a working bee. Possible options at this stage are seed collection, removing guards and / or weeding within guards, summer watering and fence repair.

After the AGM John attempted to clear debris from the fence where it crosses the creek on the eastern boundary but due to the depth of water was unable to do it all.Meanwhile another group tackled the blocked pipes under the ford. With the help of much shoveling and a plumbers snake both were cleared with a consequent large drop in the water level over night. This will limit erosion of the ford from over flowing water.

On the Sunday morning 8 of us tackled the invasion of False Caper on our southern boundary. It was a much bigger job than anticipated and took a good 15 volunteer hours with the north wind increasing all the time. Many thanks to all involved, particularly Denzel who made a very early start and to the youngsters, Kimberly and Brodie, who worked tirelessly throughout.

 l1120542 Rockleigh -Looking good .

JS update from KI

My recent 12 day camping trip to our KI land coincided with a burst of very wet and windy weather. With the help of the sheltering scrub at my 2 campsites, at the “ring of stones”, and the Simpson Track crossroads, plus my big Falcon wagon to sleep in, plus a weather proof tent for my gear, plus a LARGE umbrella, plus a certain acquired skill in improvising a campfire using jealously protected eucalyptus- oil- rich dry kindling leaves (the first day was dry) and saturated wood, I quite enjoyed the experience. When I say that the Cape Willoughby lighthouse 15 km NE of where I was, recorded 120 mm of rain over the 12 days, with 104 mm in total over the 4 consecutive wettest days and 41 mm and a gust of 106 kph on the wettest day, you will appreciate the conditions. The sea was fierce at times; the Willson River at Mouth Flat ran a banker, and the “ring of stones” at one stage was in a puddle! 
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The scrub is looking fresh, the vehicle tracks are good, all our signs are un-damaged and the orchids are having a good year. Too cold for goannas, but I did see one in a rare period of sunshine, down at Mouth Flat. I saw 3 echidnas, including one that the locals call a “blonde”, with cream coloured spines and pale fur. Plenty of ‘roos, their wet fur looking almost black, and a few wallabies too. One solitary Osprey on the coast at the end of our track; I suspect its mate would be brooding at the Black Point nest. Lovely big Shelducks in pairs were circling overhead, honking and keeping an eye on me at the crossroads campsite. The small birds were “lying low”, but special sightings were of pairs of Scarlet Robins, Golden Whistlers and Blue Fairy-wrens; the males all very colourful. Lots of Western Whipbirds singing and I managed to get a couple of quick sightings. They are exceptionally shy birds and it is always a thrill to see one. I heard Bassian Thrush calls in Simpson Conservation Park only a few metres from our land but couldn’t see them in the dense scrub and rain. I have seen pairs previously on our land only twice, and at least 20 years ago. Their call is like a quiet version of the introduced Blackbird.
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I  met 2 DEWNR  fire officers in the Simpson CP quick response firefighting vehicle (in the rain!). They were assessing the Simpson Track (fire access track) and will trim a few over-hanging limbs before the summer fire season.

Newsletter September 2016

The AGM is to be held at Rockleigh on Saturday 8th October at 1:30pm.

Grace Hodder, who is studying Diamond Firetails in the Mt Lofty Ranges with sites on our property, will be the guest speaker. Some of us will be camping on Friday and over the weekend and we would be delighted for anyone to join us for all or some of that time. We will be holding a working bee on the Saturday morning to remove guards from trees. This will begin at about 9am but anyone can join in at any time. Most of the guards are corflute (plastic) but some are metal mesh. If you wish to tackle the latter please bring gloves, pliers and /or wire-cutters.

I hope to put up a display of photos showing the effect of the fire on Rockleigh. If you have prints of trees or areas before and after the fire I would be keen to display them so please bring them along.

One of the important tasks of the AGM is to elect two members to the Board of Directors. Margaret Brown and Tom Reeves are the two directors retiring by rotation. They are of course free to renominate. So I now call for nominations for the positions of Director.

Once in the gate at Rockleigh turn immediately to the right and follow the fence line to the eastern boundary. The track continues to loop around to the campsite. Pink ribbons will show you are on the right track.

Calls

A reminder that the annual call is now overdue so please pay this as soon as possible if you have not done so. Contact graham if there are any problems connected with this.

 

Newsletter June 2016

 

Greetings All,

 

I have had a couple of trips to Rockleigh recently. One was notable for the heavy fog which enveloped the area. It was quite eerie wandering about and not being able to see much further than about 50m. That visit was after the very windy Monday in May which resulted in the destruction of several large trees, mainly Callitris, including the old one by the creek that once hosted an eagle’s nest.

Apart from that the property is looking good with reshooting on eucalypts up to 4m high and lots of seedlings still trying to gain ascendency over their many neighbours. Bird life continues to abound with about 40 species noted including restless flycatchers.

Tree Planting

We will have a planting day on Sunday 3rd July. We will meet at 10am at the old campsite. If you can’t make it till later you will probably find us on the other side of the ford. Just keep following the track taking the left hand turn where there are options.

So if you perhaps need some fresh air after the voting  and are able to help please come prepared for whatever the weather may throw at us and if possible bring a mattock, heavy hoe or shovel and gloves if you need them. Between us, Bren and I should have sufficient water. Again, many thanks to our members who make the time to grow our plants and Bren for coordinating the program among his many other commitments.

If you have any queries please contact either Bren Lay on 0430 595 947 or myself on either 83707951 or 0404 038 852

I hope to see you there.

Calls

 It is that time of year when I need to remind us all that the annual call is now due. This enables us to pay the running costs of the Company and ensure we have a reserve for emergencies.

BushBids

Recently, Marg Brown and I attended a “Celebration of BushBids” at Cambrai. It proved a very interesting day with several recipients of BushBids relating their stories on how the money had helped them in their conservation issues. Bushland, through the efforts of Bill Matheson, received a grant of about $4700 in 2006 which ran over 5 years and was used to help with pest problems on Rockleigh. A general question / answer session at the end showed how much people had enjoyed the expert help available as well as the money and how disappointed most were that the program is now in its final year. The morning tea and lunch supplied by the local “Hall” ladies was of course exceptional.

As a follow-up, Nicola Barnes, Senior Project Officer Ranges to River with the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM, joined Marg and me at Rockleigh where she helped put up 10 very sturdy guards (which she supplied) over some young Casuarinas that the roos were eating. She also offered some good advice on ways to go about tackling the Veldt Grass problem and ways she can use funding to help us.

A Thank-you

Thanks to Bryn Troath, a long time member, who recently donated a 2 0litre backpack pressure sprayer for weed control. Unfortunately, there is much it could be used for!!

 

 

 

Newsletter April 13th

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 Greetings All,

This is a short newsletter, but important because of the AGM.

AGM Change of Date

At the Board meeting on Thursday night it was decided to change the date of the AGM to October 8th. It is still at Rockleigh and more details will be published in a later newsletter.

This is probably a good time to repeat the call for someone to consider a directorship with the aim of taking over the secretary’s role after next year’s AGM. Please let me know if you are interested.

Waiting List

As many of you are probably aware we have a waiting list for those who wish to join our company. Currently we have 9 of these people of which several are unable to raise the funds to buy a share holding in the near future, (new house commitments etc). It would be good to extend our list. If you know of anyone who may be interested and who you feel would make a good shareholder, please ask them to forward their details (name, address, email and phone no.) to me or offer to do it on their behalf. Thankyou

What will I do with my shares??

While many of us have probably already organized where our shareholding will go on our demise, I have had a few queries regarding this issue. One possibility if you have run out of other options is to give them back to “Bushland”. The benefit to the Company in doing this is that it creates a spare shareholding which can be sold if we were to buy more land, or sold to help disburse a large shareholding which may come on the market.

 

All the best,

Graham

 

Newsletter March 2016

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     54 Fairlie Dr, Flagstaff Hill SA 5159

Ph 83707951 email gandkwhite@iprimus.com.au

Greetings All,

New shareholder

We welcome Scott Hartshorne to the Company. Scott is an artist who lives on KI. He is very keen on the bush and conservation and will be a great help to Deb Sleeman and others in the management of the KI property. Many of us were fortunate to meet Scott, and sample his scones, at the open day on KI after the last AGM. Scott recently purchased Geoff Rowett’s shares. We thank Geoff for his support of the Company over the last 22 years.

 

Awards

Congratulations to Janet Pedler and Lynn Pedler. Janet received a much deserved Pride of Australia Medal in the Environment category. Janet’s work in conservation and the environment has been ongoing for almost 40 years both privately and in conjunction with many environmental organisations. One particular contribution that stands out to me because I have attended one of the many courses she has conducted, is her association with the Nature Conservation Society of SA and the consequent development of the Bushland Condition Monitoring Method. Lynn received Birds Australia’s J N Hobbs Medal “…in honour of his extraordinary field skills and tireless efforts to locate and manage some of South Australia’s most elusive and threatened birds” We are probably all familiar with Lynn’s work in protecting Glossy Black Cockatoos on KI.

Photos

The fledgling website  for Bushland needs your photographs. If you have photos of Bushland activities, fauna or flora that you think are interesting please send digital copies to Alison. If you wish to be acknowledged as the photographer please state that as well. Please name plants, animals, people etc if you can. Alison’s email is tbullock@bigpond.net.au . Thankyou

Graham

Newsletter December 2015

1.  Calls

Thankyou to all who have paid this year’s levy. There were 2 shareholders who had credit from last year and 1 shareholder who has yet to pay, but I am sure that will happen at some stage. That leaves us with enough in our 3 accounts which should cover any emergencies should they arise.

2.  AGM

After enjoying a weeks good camping on KI for our recent AGM, it was recommended by those present to hold the next one during the school holidays and if possible at the time of a full moon. This makes it the weekend of October 15th and 16th with the AGM on Saturday 15th. By rotation the 2016 AGM will be at Rockleigh. This is somewhat later than usual and could put us in a spell of hot weather. Let me know if you think we have got it wrong!

3. Property Coordinators

Each of our properties has a Property Coordinator:-

Tothills: John Smyth,

KI: Deb Sleeman

Rockleigh: Bren Lay

The following people have agreed to work with those coordinators as able and when required:

Tothills; Andrew Wurst, Tom &Alison Bullock & Steve White

KI: James Doube, John Matheson & Reiko Hosokawa

Rockleigh: Graham White, Elizabeth Lay, Tom Reeves & Marg Brown

Each group becomes a Local Management Committee to work closely with the Board of Directors in helping to make decisions and see that work is done. There are many other shareholders who are happy to help out on special projects, eg tree planting. If you would like to be a part of any of these groups please let me or any other Director know and I will add your name. It is hoped that whenever some work needs to be done that I can get an email out to all shareholders inviting you to help. That brings me to the next topic.

4. Emails

If you do not have an email you will miss out on some notices as mentioned above. You may like to organize with a neighbour or relative to have such messages sent to their email address. If you do, please let me know the address so I can see that you are informed. Newsletters will still be posted where required.5New Member

5. New Members:

We welcome Jennifer Shaw as the newest member of our group, having bought Sonia and Tim Croft’s shareholding. We hope she and husband John Lyon enjoy their association with us.

If anyone wants to increase their shareholding please let me know as it may give an option in the sale of a large shareholding.

6.Web Site

The possibility of a web site for Bushland was mooted at the AGM in the Tothills some 4 years ago. After a good deal of preliminary work by Janet and lots of help from Pam Robinson, Alison Bullock offered to take on the project and is at the stage where she is looking for photographs.

Alison is looking for any photos of good resolution with an indication of where it was taken, what the subject is and if possible when it was taken. If it is a people photo please identify the subjects where possible. If you want to be acknowledged as the photographer please let Alison know.

She does not guarantee to publish all photos but will keep them all on file so they can be accessed if needed.

So please dig up your photos of rocks and plants, birds and other animals, people and scenery and whatever else you may have which are relevant to Bushland.

Thank you.

I will be in Tasmania from 11th Dec to 5th January.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year,

August 2015 newsletter

Greetings All,

 

I hope you are all surviving the cold wet weather that Winter has brought. Kerry and I have just come back from the Arctic and I reckon the coldest day we experienced was Adelaide on the day we returned!

 

The main purpose of this newsletter is to supply the latest details on the program surrounding the AGM on KI. If it also prompts some more payments of the $100 annual payment it will save me a lot of phone calls.

 

The Program:

Tues    Several members arrive to camp and a bush loo will be set up.

Wed    Nothing organized but I know that John Smyth and Marg Brown (and cakes) will arrive.

Thurs  Visit the bush property of Dr Richard Glatz and Janine McIntosh at 10am. Dr Glatz will be speaking        at the AGM and they will both hopefully join us for the evening meal.

Fri       Visit The Moth site.

Sat       Walk led by John in the morning

AGM at 1:30pm

Shared evening meal. See below for latest news on this.

Sun      Expecting about 20 visitors, mostly from the Island. They will join us at the camp site at about         10am for cake, cuppa and a chat before breaking into groups for a walk. Please feel free to join them          and fill them in on details of our company and properties.

Mon    Tom Reeves has offered to show anyone interested around his nearby property. We will pool           vehicles and meet at his gate at 11am.

Tues    Most will be going or will have gone home.

 

Bill Blessing has generously offered to supply and cook steak, his specialty, and sausages for all present at the evening meal on Saturday. The rest of us may like to cook veges, prepare salads or supply desserts. Please choose one to contribute, ie veg. or salad or dessert, and let’s hope we get a good mix. Anyone not into such a meal please bring food of your own choice. There will be several options for cooking.

 

In the last newsletter I asked people to bring copies of up to 5 interesting photos taken over the past 40 years or any artefacts, historical documents, etc. This is a reminder that we would still like to have these to make up a display.

 

I have also attached the directions on how to get to the property in case you have lost the last lot.

 

I have not had any requests for transport to or from the ferry at either end. Please let me know if you need to be picked up or delivered.

 

Calls

This is a reminder that the annual call for $100 is due. If finances are currently a problem please let me know. The Board has the discretion to waive or delay at least part of the call in extenuating circumstances.

 

Many thanks to those who have already paid.

 

Election of Directors

Unfortunately, at this stage, no-one has nominated with the express purpose of taking over the secretarial role next year but both Bill Blessing and Janet Pedler have renominated for the 2 positions they vacate.

 

All the best to everyone, and for those coming to the AGM I hope you have a pleasant crossing.

 

Cheers,

Graham

 

notes from JS KI 20 October 2014

DSCF1159-001
Hello friends,
I recently camped alone on our Kangaroo Island land for 15 nights and enjoyed some great walks on the sandy tracks and along the coast. The expected visit by the Copenhagen expert on primitive moths unfortunately didn’t eventuate, due to his ill health. He was coming to see the site on our land where local entomologist Richard Glatz discovered the tiny new moth species, soon to be described as a new Family of insect! I met Richard at the site, the Callitris (Native PIne) trees on the Willson River estuary. We didn’t see any of the moths, probably because it was a bit early in the short season of their adult life, but did see a specimen of a new Genus of parasitic wasps also discovered by Richard, for which the larvae of the moths are a host species. These discoveries are scientifically most interesting and it is exciting that they occurred on our land.
Although the Spring rains have been way below average on the Island our mallee scrub is still looking good and the coastal wildflowers are lovely. The Calytrix and Lasiopetalum are in full flower as are the Orthrosanthus (blue morning flag) tussocks. I had kangaroos around my tent many times at dusk, sometimes within 5 metres, and Bush Stone-curlews calling close-by at night. I think they were using the vehicle track through the thick mallee as a “landing site”, there being many large bird tracks each morning in the sand there. The notoriously shy Western Whipbirds were calling close to my camp and I managed to get a short sighting of one. At the coast the pair of Ospreys have moved from their previous nest site at Black Point to breed this year on a low limestone sea-stack close to where our track terminates. The female was on the nest despite the high seas sending showers of spray over her; occasionally she stood to shake herself off. I think they would need to be lucky to raise a brood there!
I saw several goannas and wallabies and just one echidna, a very red-brown one compared to the dark-brown to black Tothills specimens. The dawn chorus of honeyeaters and Golden Whistlers was lovely to hear. I  walked around Black Point on a day of Southerly gales and huge seas crashing on the rocks, such a contrast to the peaceful days and nights in the quiet scrub.
The only whale remains still in evidence at the coast are 10 articulated vertibrae and associated gristle and blubber on the rocks about 200 metres east of where the skull used to be. It was a privilege to be able to spend a couple of weeks in such delightful country.
I have attached some photos for those of  you getting this email version of my letter.    Regards,    John.