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Posts from the ‘environment’ Category

Western Rim Wanderings

Fitzroy Falls is really a showcase of waterfalls – from above, from on top, from the side and from afar. In fact it’s every way of experiencing waterfalls while staying dry. A great Winter waterfall way.

The Western Rim Walk is like a virtual tour guide of spectacular views and different perspectives of the waterfalls.  Fitzroy Falls, Twin Falls and the Grotto –  each tip from sheer sandstone edges forming the Yarrunga Creek, and ultimately flowing to the Kangeroo River. Metre-for-metre its got to be one of the best waterfall walks around…

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Searching for Glenn the Glow Worm

Glow Worms are like Fireflys that failed to launch. I’m sure there is a more apt technical description like ‘Glow Worms are the larvae of fungus gnats’.

In local colonies they present an astronomical Milky Way-like phenomenon in the right setting (like at Newnes). So it was we were searching for that starlight on the ceiling experience at the ‘Glow Worm Glen’ at Bundanoon in Morton National Park.

Whilst the parking and access arranged by the Council were not particularly welcoming, the interpretive signage from NPWS was right on one count…

It nearly takes longer to find a park than to get to Glenn’s home…

The experts recommended searching for Glenn over the Summer months – but we had an hour to kill and the need to burn energy in Ms 4 & 6.  While the sign said two hours return – we were “nah, that’s always overestimated”.

So it was “off we go kids – lets go find Glenn” – and we streaked down, down, down, the 1 km path to the Glen. A beautiful rapid stroll through urban interface, sclerophyll and into a rainforest gully.

The trail is easy and well-established and the boardwalk at the base is great. Ending in a sandstone room with a bubbling stream – the ideal place to find Glenn, Glenys and Grandaughter Guilfoyle hiding in the cracks.

Alas – the NPWS folks were right the best time to find Glenn is in summer-time.  We were back out in 50 minutes round-trip – meaning we have an hour and ten minutes up our sleeve to do it next time!

A beautiful bubbling rainforest stream awaits – with or without Glenn and Glenys

Fitzroy Falls – where the Lyrebird calls

On a Winter long weekend hundreds of visitors have their breathe taken away on the cliff-hanging platform at Fitzroy Falls.

But a fraction take the Wildflower Walk.

With its pre-Wattle Winter-promise of not-a-lot I didn’t have high hopes either…

However – a minute off the main boardwalk and a prominent ray-gun call from deep childhood memories piqued the ears. Sure enough there it was again just ahead of us and responding to far-off calls ahead and behind us.

Largely uninterested in our presence we were treated to a blasting male Lyrebird calling and scratching, scratching and calling. A unique and amazing Australian wildlife experience.

As for the wildflower experience – there was enough botanical engagement to ensure a Spring return…

A great botanical tour awaits at Fitzroy Falls on the Wildflower Walk

So that was the Year of the Sheep…

What will the Year of the Monkey bring?

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Keeping the bush in ‘Bush Capital’

Canberra Nature Park puts the bush in ‘Bush Capital’. More than 20,000 Canberra houses are within 250 m of this bushland  matrix, which includes nationally and regionally threatened and, now, previously extinct species.

Formally, the Canberra Nature Park protects 36 discrete nature reserves and covers approximately 6,000 hectares in and around urban Canberra. The close proximity of the Canberra community provides recreational, education and nature-based inspirational opportunities. But all of that comes with costs and impacts, these have been managed by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, who recently celebrated 30 years of service to the Australian community.

Importantly, in the national capital, the Canberra Nature Park comes with additional baggage – it has the weighted responsibility of being the ‘front-of-house’ of biodiversity conservation for national policy makers and those that control the weightiest of purse-strings in Australian environmental investment.

Regardless of whether you think it is in as good-a-nick as it could be, I have been thinking lately about what it would be like if it wasn’t proactively managed by the Parks and Conservation Service.

And I keep thinking that it would be like the patch of scrub at the end of the road when I was a kid…

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Feral Fun in the Cotter

So after spending all week working on biodiversity restoration – what does one do for the Australia Day long weekend? Make a concerted effort to control feral trout in the beautiful rivers of our region of course… Read more

Nature Behind the Scenes

“If a tree falls in the woods in 2015 it will probably be recorded, and we have another year of surprises to look forward to…”

The great wildlife camera trap tales of 2014

According to my Twitter profile, I have been on social media since 2010.  It seems to me the camera trap really came of age last year as a tool for publishing ecological interactions instantaneously. Perhaps I followed different people in the year, or a few big labs brought their cameras in for the first time, but there was a plethora of cool stuff captured and shared in Australia in 2014.

I am stoked for the new generation of ecologists with these tools at their disposal, capturing moments of ecological interaction that reams of peer-reviewed publications can’t portray in the same way.  Interactions are the essence of ecology, and a picture tells a thousand words.  Here I compile some of the most engaging photos and users of camera traps in Australia – let me know if I have missed anyone…

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