Friends of Mt Majura February 2013 Newsletter

  • FoMM from Space and other news from the mountain
  • Neighbour gathering to tackle woody weeds – Sunday 10 February
  • Working party at the Fair – Sunday 17 February
  • Walking with Ants – Sunday 24 February
  • Mt Majura Bush Clean-up – Sunday 3 March; help with volunteer registration

Dear Friends

Do you know that our work is visible on Google Earth? Click FoMM from Space: the little dots east of the water reservoir and on the Majura paddock are the trees and shrubs we’ve planted over the past years!

At our January working party a small team did a great job controlling weeds in the grassy woodland below the Majura twin dams. Sarah and Grant cut, daubed and bagged a huge amount of Japanese Honeysuckle – click on Before and After to see the difference; Cindy and I tackled Sweet Briar and Blackberry; Chris focused on Scotch thistles and discovered a 3m tall monster Asparagus shown here; we pulled some St John’s Wort that escaped Noel’s earlier spray treatment and Noel carted a trailer load of weeds to Sand and Gravel where they are turned into compost. At the seepage site I discovered Emu-foot, Cullen tenax a rare native plant species and new addition to our growing flora list.

Also in January, Majura Mountain scouts, parents and grandparents gave a hand to water the west slope and the Majura paddock School plantings – the young plants look terrific. Unfortunately about a fifth of the plantings at The Fair succumbed to the hot and dry conditions in December and January; rain just a day before a scheduled watering bee saved us work.

Over the last months, with ranger permission, we cut logs from trees that fell close to backyards and placed them around plantings for additional protection from grazing damage. Sadly somebody removed guards and these logs from our Majura paddock plantings and used some of the logs to block a foot path behind Helms Place, which unfortunately resulted in a new track through an orchid area parallel to the blocked track. Rangers are aware of this problem.

Rabbits advancing. You may encounter up to five rabbits at a time on a short stroll between Helms Place and Majura paddock. Over the past year prolific breeding occurred in a large warren under a woodpile in a backyard of a Rivett Street residence and under a large pile of garden debris dumped in the nature reserve nearby. New warrens in the Majura paddock and adjoining drainage line have now opened – one with eight entrances amongst the Majura paddock plantings. The re-invasion is devastating. Native raspberries in the drainage line suffer a severe set-back from recovery after years of drought and grazing; view defoliated stems here. You can help. Write to Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and request funding for a permanent rabbit control program.

Before you scroll through the upcoming events below, have a look at this photograph. A couple of days ago I discovered this strange and wonderful 12cm long silk cocoon covered with dark brown bristles. Does anyone have an idea what it is?

Best regards,
3 February 2013

Neighbour gathering to tackle woody weeds – Sunday 10 February
Neighbours initiated a woody weed working bee which will be held in the reserve behind Mackenzie St on Sunday, 10 February, 8 – 10am; the working party will be followed by morning tea. Hackett residents are welcome to join in; further details are here

Working party at The Fair – Sunday 17 February
We will be mulching and watering the young plants at The Fair National Tree Day planting site.
Sunday, 17 February 2013 from 9am to 1pm – give as little or as much time you want.
Where: Nature park access at the intersection Tay / Ian Nicol Sts, The Fair, North Watson; click this map or see direction at the website announcement.
Bring: sun protection, sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants.
Gloves and equipment will be provided.
Enquiries:  email or phone 6247 7515.
For further information, click on Fair Working Party.

Walking with Ants – Sunday 24 February
Join specialist Ajay Narendra of the Australian National University for an afternoon stroll to glimpse the fascinating world of ants.
Sunday, 24th February, 4.00 – 5.30pm
Meet at Helms Place off Rivett Street near intersection with Richard Street, Hackett
Enclosed shoes and a magnifying glass if you have one; a gold coin donation to support the conservation work of FoMM would be much appreciated.
accompanied by adults are especially welcome
ph 6248 8955 or email
For further information, click on Walking with Ants.

Mt Majura Bush Clean-Up – Sunday 3 March,help required with volunteer registration
We will be hosting a Clean-up Australia Day event in the Mt Majura nature reserve east of The Fair. If you can help with volunteer registration from 9.00 to 10.00 am, please contact 6247 7515 or
Sunday, 3 March 2013 from 9.00am to 12.00noon
Where: Nature park access at the intersection Tay / Ian Nicol Sts, The Fair, North Watson; click this map or see direction at the website announcement.
Friends and family, sun protection, enclosed foot wear and long sleeve and pants; we’ll provide the gloves and rubbish collection bags.
For further information, click on Mt Majura Bush Clean-up.

Other date of interest: the Conservation Council will host a forum on Wed 20 February 6pm with Shane Rattenbury as guest speaker on his first 100 days as the Minister responsible for land management in the ACT and the implications for biodiversity conservation; more details and registration here.

FoMM February 2013 newsletter

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