Jian: proud of his planting

The Lomandra hystrix Creek Mat-rush Jian planted last week are doing well after the storm last night.

The planting is at the bottom of Zone 15 where we are clearing Brazilian Pepper Trees and Singapore Daisy to restore the original water flow of the ephemeral creek. The Lomadra hystrix are ideal for this area reducing erosion, creating frog habitat and attracting Brown Ochre and Splendid Ochre butterflies.

Splendid Ochre - Trapezites symmomus

We are also planting the cleared areas with native grasses Ottochloa gracillima and Oplismenus aemulus.

These grasses grow fast forming a thick cover that dramatically reduces weed infestation, doing our bushcare work for us, and allowing natural regeneration.

Magpie Moth - Nyctemera secundiana

I also got an excellent photo of a Magpie Moth to add to our research document: Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve. Click on the photo to get a good look at this extraordinary animal.

Helen Schwencke of Earthing Enterprises was particularly facinated by the very un-mothlike behaviour: sitting with wings up more in the manner of a butterfly.

What do animal or plant would you like to photograph for our Flora & Fauna?

All photographs used in Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve are taken on the Mountain.

Seeing a bee flying past with a large piece of leaf neatly rolled and held between its legs is something suprising and special. The Leaf Cutter Bee Megachile sp. is a solitary bee not living in a hive community. Australia has about 1,500 native bee species and nearly all of those are solitary. See Aussie Bee for more infomation.

The female Leaf Cutter Bee cuts circular pieces out of leaves which are then shaped into a tube for the eggs and food for her larva. This female is building her nest in the cat’s scratching post. Watch video: Leaf Cutter Bee

The singless Sugarbag Honeybee Trigona carbonaria are better known. These tiny bees are about half the size of a common house fly live in colonies of up to 1,000. See Sugarbag for information on keeping sitingless native bees for honey or polination. Watch video: Sugarbag Honeybee

Article in Southside News

If you receive the Southside Community News you will have read my article on the FWR Group visiting Fox Gully … otherwise see below.

FWR (Four Walls and a Roof) Group is a clever team of individuals who help companies find real profit opportunities in looking after the community and envirionment.

David Cooperrider, interviewing a long time management hero of mine Peter Drucker in 2003, reported the following exchange:

“Can social responsibility also be profitable?”

Drucker, then 93, smiled and laughed at my misdirected enthusiasm—he told me I was asking the wrong question. It’s not whether social responsibility can be profitable to business, he said, but rather how profitable business can make social responsibility. That day, he declared to me something we should all remember:

“Every single social and global issue of our day is a business opportunity in disguise.”

BizEd july/august 2008

FWR Group is Peter Drucker’s words in action. I am honoured to have this team working with us restoring our amazing bushland.

Southside Community News - http://www.southsidesportsclub.com.au


Wattle Notodontid Moth or Monster – click if you dare

I was inspecting the bushcare site with BCC contractor Jo when she pointed to a Brisbane Fringed Wattle “What is that?”

What Jo had spotted was either an amazing example of nature’s creativity or…

… the stuff of nightmares. A chocolate brown Wattle Notodontid Moth decorated with spots, wiskers and false eyes.

Imagine coming face to face with this creature on as you go trick or treating on a dark Halloween night.

Personally I love to discover these fascinating creatures and wonder why it has grown whiskers all over its body. Note the skin fold on the bottom left. apparently if startled these caterpillars open this fold to expose big blue and black eyes like the one in the photo.

As the name suggests these caterpillars depend on Acacias as their food plants.


Planting Day – Sunday 31 October – 8am to 12noon

Please join us in the next stage of restoration – Zone 14 Stage 2 replanting.

Habitat created by our restoration work is already home to Noisy Minors and Imperial Hairstreak butterflies. Clearing weeds is also bringing Koalas back to the gully.

On Sunday 31, over 400 grasses, vines and trees indigenous to Mt Gravatt Reserve, will be planted in the second stage of Zone 14 restoration: near the water reservoir at the top of Azania Street.

Even if you only have half an hour come and put in your plant.

Noisy Minor Nest – Zone 7: Sept 2010

Where – access site via:

46 O’Grady Street, Upper Mt Gravatt

Wear protective footwear and sun protection. Morning tea, plants and equipment provided.

Information:      Mike Fox – 0408 769 404

Our regular Wednesday afternoon bushcare is really starting to make an impact in both Zone 15 behind 36 to 40 O’Grady Street and Zone 17 at the top of Azania Street.

Stephanie and I worked on Zone 17 last week removing and composting Singapore Daisy as well as clearing the first of a number of piles of garden waste dumped in the bush over the years.

We did get a bit of a shock to disturb two Golden Crowned Snakes among the branches we were clearing. At the time we didn’t knowing what type of snakes we had disturbed so we decided to move onto another area and clear more Sing Daisy.

I was able to identify these beautiful snakes Golden Crowned Snakes – Cacophis squamulosus, which are classified as not dangerous.

Crowned snakes rear their heads, flick their tongues and attempt to look dangerous. Have weak venom, tiny mouths, short fangs and a general reluctance to bite. Queensland Museum Fact Sheet – Crowned Snakes.

These snakes are a real find because Golden Crowned Snakes are currently not on the EPA’s species list for the mountain. I will be working with Sue Jones to provide regular updates for the EPA to ensure our governement policy makers have the best data when they make decisions about our mountain.

As well as removing the garden waste we also have to change the habit of dumping in the bush. So we have roped off the area with one of Ian Darby’s excellent bright orange REVEGETATION ZONE signs.


Walking through the forest this morning I had the pleasure of seeing dozens of Small Dusky-blue butterflies.

About the size of a ten cent piece – 22mm these butterflies are real show-offs. Landing on a leaf they will slowly open their wings so you can see the dusky-blue top side, then slowly close and open again. Note the fine white fringe along the edge of the wing and the fancy striped antenna.

The Dusky-blues caterpillars depend Dodder Laurel – Cassytha pubescens, a delicate native vine common in Fox Gully. 

We now have thirty nine butterflies species identified in Mt Gravatt Reserve and twenty two have been photographed and included in our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve CD.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Have you seen these Dusky-blues in the bush or in your backyard?


We were thrilled, last night, to be visited by a pair of Tawny Frogmouths – Podargus strigoides, who sat together on a branch of a big Tallowwood.

One flew off but the other stayed around long enough for our Korean Homestay student, Cindy to catch this photo. “This was very wonderful because in Korea I have never seen birds like this except in a zoo. We only see pigeons and sparrows.” says Cindy.

Frogmouths feed at night on moths and other insects. During the day they will roost in a tree, all but disappearing as they pretend to be a branch. In December a Frogmouth used the rail of our deck to shelter from pouring rain, just lifting his nose in the air and scowling as I took a photo.

Tawny Frogmouths are not owls, although often confused with owls.


Click on photos to enlarge.

The results of our work with Fox Gully Bushcare have been recognised with two awards at the Australia Day Awards Breakfast hosted by the Southside Sport & Community Club.

Councilor Krista Adams, BCC Wishart Ward, presented me with Community Australia Day Award in recognition to continued commitment to the envirionment.

Phil Reeves MP, State Member for Mansfield, presented an award to recognise that Fox Gully Bushcare was  Finalist for the 2010 Community Group of the Year.  Jude, my wife and inspiration, and myself with Phil Reeves. Thank you to Heather Barnes, Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Commitee, for nominating our group for the award.

Bushland restoration is already having a visable impact on the abundance of wildlife in Fox Gully.

Work by the ANZ Fox Gully Team has resulted in the second Koala sighting in the gully. This male Koala was photographed last week in a Tallowwood preserved on the property of Jason and Tash Olson-Seeto. Another Koala was photographed behind Sam Bilton’s house in November. The ANZ Team have removed over eight cubic metres of the invasive weed Purple Sucullent allowing free movement of Koalas down this wildlife corridor.

Yesterday I found this cicada, a Black Tree-ticker, while clearing weeds in Zone 15.

The cicada had just shed its old shell ready to grow a new larger shell.

I estimate this photo was taken fifteen minutes after it had shed its old she

ll. The wings are still wet and folded.

Eleven minutes later the wings are dry and the cicada is moving around freely.  However its new shell is not yet dry and its colour is still pinkish not the rich brown that will develop.

Our Korean Homestay student,  Cindy (Suhyeon) helped me identify this cicada as a Birrima varians – Black Tree-ticker by examining the embryonic body markings and vein pattern in wings.

This morning there were between ten and twenty Imperial Hairstreak butterflies – Jalmenus evagoras, flying among the Acacias in Zone 7. Zone 7 was cleared of building rubbish and weeds then replanted with Brisbane Fringed Wattle and Black Wattle in October 2008. Acacias are the laval food plant for the Imperial Hairstread, so now, just sixteen months later our planting is supporting a thriving Imperial Hairstreak population. I was even able to capture two butterflies mating.