Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) April 2007 newsletter

3 monthly government report due: Those of you who have worked outside group activities, could you please forward your activity sheet to me? Please let me know if you need a form. I would be very grateful if you could drop it at my mailbox. Thanks.

Dear Friends

I was amazed by how many people have an interest in ants: more than 80 people joined Ajay Narendra on two subsequent ant walks on March 25 and on the 1st of April. You will find an ‘Ant Package’ at our Website with report, species list, pictures, and Website links for more info. I would like to thank Ajay, who did a fantastic job explaining ants and their behaviour; thanks also to Peter who wrote the report and Steve for taking photographs.

Reminder: Woody Weeds Working Bee & Morning Tea – this Sunday 15 April 2007

Come along and lend a hand at our last woody weed working party for this season. We’ll start with morning tea before we indulge in a serious weed massacre. Noel will bring his water kettle and Laura promised delicious muffins. Bring your favourite Sunday morning treat if you like.

When: Sunday, 15 April
Tea at 9.00am, weed hunt from 9.30am onwards
Where: meet at the fire trail behind Mackenzie Street opposite Hull Place
What to bring / wear: sun protection, sturdy boots and full body covering clothing
All equipment will be provided.

Edwina Richardson: Retrofitting Gardens for Climate Change – Talk, Thursday 26 April

How can Canberra’s’ gardeners lessen the impact of a hotter and drier climate while putting less strain on the environment? Hackett landscape architect and FoMM member Edwina Richardson will present garden designs that are based on principles of sustainability. Her talk features local examples that demonstrate that sustainable gardens can be as pleasant and productive as “conventional” gardens.

When: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Where: Blue Gum School Friends’ Lounge, Hackett Shops

Edwina is working at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and combines research on sustainable gardens in Canberra with teaching at University of Canberra and with landscape design practice. She is compiling the AILA Sustainable Canberra Garden Website:

The talk is organised by Sustainable Hackett, an initiative of the Hackett Community Association, and by Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) ParkCare Group.

More Seeds and Seedlings – Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April

(1) Seed collection

If you have some time to spare come along and help collecting Eucalyptus seeds

When: Saturday 28 April, 3.00pm – 5.00pm
Where: Meet at the lower Hackett reservoir off Rivett St opposite French St

Please be prepared to walk in steep and rugged terrain. Please bring secateurs if you have them.

(2) Potting up Seedlings

The Kangaroo grass seeds planted on 25 March have germinated and are doing well. We will prick out the seedlings and pot them up.

When: Sunday 29 April 10.00 – 11.30 am
Where: 9 Selwyn Street Hackett

Bring: a wooden chopstick if you have one. Wooden chopsticks can be sharpened with a pencil sharpener and make fantastic dibble sticks as we’ve found out last time.

Please find below two Greening Australia events, which might be of interest to you.

Birds in your backyard: Bird ID at the Botanical Gardens  – Tuesday 17 April

Learn how to identify birds and how you can create habitat to encourage birds in your backyard. Greening Australia Capital Region & Canberra Ornithologists Group invites you to a bird identification-training event at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG).

When: Tuesday 17 April, 8:30am to 9:30am.
Where to meet: The bus stop in the ANBG car park, near the Visitors Centre. Please note there is pay parking at the Gardens.

What to bring/wear: Binoculars, bird ID guide, appropriate walking attire and hat.

RSVP essential: Friday 13 April; contact Bruce Higham at 6253 3035, 0427 270 328

Kids planting day at the Cotter  – Saturday 21 April

Join Greening Australia in celebrating the school holidays by planting native trees and shrubs in the Lower Cotter Catchment. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn how to plant trees and adults to do their bit to protect Canberra’s water supply. And afterwards, enjoy a snack!

When: Saturday 21 April, 9:00am—11:00am, followed by brunch
What to bring/wear: Hat, sunscreen, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, sturdy boots

How to get there: Follow the Cotter Road west from Canberra, cross the Murrumbidgee River and take the first right onto Brindabella Road. Follow this road all the way to the intersection with Uriarra Road (approx 7kms), turn left, follow for 1.3km then turn left at the Greening Australia sign. Then follow the GA signs to the planting site.

RSVP essential: Contact Haydn on 6253 3035, 0439 030 059 or

See you around. Warm regards

FoMM co-ordinator
ph 6247 7515 or

Special. Public Lecture: Mimicry and social behaviour of Australian magpies

Professor Gisela Kaplan

Centre for Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour, University of New England, Armidale

When: Saturday, 14 April 2007, 12:30 – 13:30
Where: Robertson Lecture Theatre, Research School of Biological Sciences

Biology Place, The Australian National University

Everyone welcome.

Magpies are intriguingly complex in their behaviour and vocal communication. In this public lecture Prof. Kaplan will relate their social life to their intelligence and vocal behaviour and thus help us understand this fascinating bird. Prof. Kaplan is a world authority on bird behaviour, with many books to her name, and is author of the bestselling book Australian Magpie. The Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Song Bird. (CSIRO, Melbourne).

The public lecture is part of the annual conference of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASSAB) .

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