Sep 17, 2008

Next Working Bee

A Change of Plan
We usually have our Franke’s Scrub meet on the 5th Wednesday (of every month which has a 5th Wednesday).
However, the next one, which is in October, is a problem for some of us, so we have decided to go on the 1st Wednesday instead.
So it will now be on Wednesday 1 October.
It will be the usual thing - from 9.00am (or earlier if you’d rather work in the cool and see more birds) until we break at 10.30am - then further work for those who still have time and energy left. We did some great work after morning tea last time!
This time we will need to do the usual check for large asparagus vines, but there are getting to be few of them left. The small asparagus seedlings really need attention, and has the advantage of being relatively light work, requiring small digging tools.
We could also make a start on the patch of cats claw. It’s only a small one, but we need to find where the tubers are and get rid of them.
Steve Plant will be there as usual, and prepared to deal with some of the heavier and pricklier jobs. (we found another African boxthorn lurking in a thicket last time. Hopefully it was the last.)
Don’t forget to bring gloves, and something to put your rubbish in as you work.

A Painting of our Favourite Tree

Another item you might like to put in your diaries is an art exhibition by Kathy Pollitt (who has worked with us at Franke’s Scrub) and her husband John. Called “Fresh Fields” it is at the Highfields Pioneer Village , from 6/10 to 6/1, and includes a painting of our favourite leopard ash tree - the one we sit under for morning tea.

Franke’s Scrub in September

“Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where
the birdies is?”

The answer (or part of it, anyway) is that they are in Franke’s Scrub. There are some lovely nests happening. If you go down to have a look, try to make it before 9.00 or after 3.00, when the birds are more active. You’ll find it rewarding.
And while you’re there, you could take a quick walk along the top - the sort you can do in ten minutes in your good clothes - to see how spring is springing, plantwise. Here are some things you’ll see:

The yellow-flowering mistletoe (Amyema lucasii) is looking good on the leopard ash, and the “variable mistletoe” (Amyema congener) which has blood-red bases to its flowers is looking good on several plant species. Keep an eye out for Jezabel butterflies.

This tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis parviflora) is flowering massively, its sweet-scented little flowers attracting every nectar-loving insect in the district. It’s just buzzing with life (and no doubt the insects it is attracting are part of what the birdies is counting on, to feed their babies). The tuckeroo may give us a splendid display of its orange fruits after Christmas, if the quality of the flowering is any indication.

The great grandmother scrub boonaree (Alectryon diversifolius) is flowering, too, so we must keep an eye on it for a possible display of its little red rooster fruits at the same time.

The wonga vines are also blooming away. The flowers on these vines throughout our district are variable, and the Frankes Scrub ones have particularly yellow throats.

Yellowtop (Senecio pinnatifolius var pinnatifolius ) also known as (Senecio lautus subsp dissectifolius) is there too. It has been particularly good around the district this year, offering a good opportunity for gardeners to collect seed and establish this lovely plant in their gardens.
For an article about this plant, and some of the issues (there are a few) about growing it, go to