Tag Archives: herbicide free regeneration

A working weekend.

Cooler mornings make physical work a pleasure. Lantana flowers amass with brown butterflies feasting on the nectar.

Progressing up the valley as we walk over previously mulched lantana. Counted 6 varieties of rain forest seedlings emerging through the dried lantana. Exciting as the regeneration is so quick, 4 months after the slash.

Following a 2 hour lantana slash, a besan flour base pizza.





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A busy, mostly sunny week.

Whirl wind of business is slowing down after 2 farewell dinners.  Sunny days and cool for here, nights.

Best to Grant and Stephen who are relocating permanently to Napier in New Zealand.

Lil gone to Griffith to work in a packing shed for citrus harvest. She lives there in a comfortable shipping container.

Busy week too working slowly up the valley. Good progress as the soil is damp. Eye sight sharpened when an emerging rain forest seedling shows its first leaves. Pencil, white and red cedar sprouting in clusters which a trowel dig transplants further up. Bird life abundant in the higher vine covered canopies.

New growth through the lantana mulch.

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Showers and turmeric.

Busy Easter with work and visitors.

Began the turmeric harvest for an early order for 10 kilos. Harvesting earlier than usual shows the tubers to be lighter in color.

I think this is a young Marbled Frogmouth. It is often perched on the rain outlet pipe when I get up at dawn.

Mist playing on the ridges. From the verandah.

A fig enveloping a dead eucalypt.


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Showers and cooler at 24 degrees.

Cicada’s are deafening as they have emerged from the earth. Their exit holes are visible around the edges of the gardens. Some mornings I have had to put ear plugs in yet the shrill pitch still disturbs. The male cicada is the shrill one with the females silent.

Beautiful creatures with their nymphal skins discarded on the ground or tree trunk.


Davidson plums. Abundant setting of fruit.

With the continuing showers, ideal transplanting conditions for the mulched lantana slashed sites. Red cedar seedlings in cluster I transplant the stronger ones into the lantana mulch. Blue figs, germinated in the gardens, I replant on the edges of the stream. Slippery work.


Cavendish in the garden here.


And to learn this week tree clearing has increased massively in Queensland .


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Over 70 mls of rain.

Bursts of rain, over with in minutes, has allowed me to transplant 10 red cedars and Blue quandong trees along a lantana cleared valley. As well, transplanting self seeded vegetables in the garden. Growth is visible and with a sudden cooler spell it will be interesting to watch what bolts to seed as soon as it heats up again.

First apples.

Sharing a new nest on the verandah.

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Richmond River

The Richmond River catchment is the sixth largest in New South Wales and covers an area of nearly 7,000 square kilometres in the north of the state.

It was once a thriving, heavily timbered forest, but since European settlement it has changed dramatically.

The banks of the river are now home to intensive agriculture, grazing, and urban development, which Rous County Council chairman Keith Williams said had long been blamed for killing the river.

“We all thought the river was bad five to 10 years ago,” he said.

“But when all the oysters at the mouth of the river died, the entire estuary — hundreds and thousands of oysters — they just died all at once.

“It’s like a slap in the face and you suddenly realise, this water and the river is not fit for marine creatures to live in anymore. So there’s got to be something majorly wrong.”

Coral tree poisoning, Wilson Creek.





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Enjoy a walk through the forest behind the vegetable gardens.

tree-14 On the extreme heat days I started reading PETER WOHLLEBEN’s  THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES.

He discovers trees are social beings. he draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families. Tree parents live together with their children. Communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those sick or struggling and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben shares his deep love of forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death and regeneration from what he has observed.

And as Tim Flannery says ” Opening this book, you are about to enter a wonderland.

So out I went after the rain had stopped and walked through my emerging new forest behind the gardens. It was a wonderland……………….many photos. Hope you enjoyed.






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Early morning cool.

Ideal working conditions for Vincent and my self to advance our lantana slash and prepare the ground for a red cedar planting. Its a beautiful site to work in too.


Woke to hear the distinctive call of the Green Catbird. Its harsh call is similar to a cat searching for a mate. Quite disturbing, if not heard before.  Another new arrival to the flowers of the pineapple sage flowers in the garden is the Eastern Spinebill, a difficult bird to photograph.

Below is a black-chinned Honeyeater feasting on the few non poisoned Coral tree flowers in the valley.


Photo by Rodney Weidland.




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Busy, busy, busy with the cooler weather. Garden catch up is my daily priority with the beginning of the harvest of galangal, turmeric, yacon and ginger.

Below, a waterfall still running.



What a depressing week with the government about to call a DD election in July. Cynical politics and with a Banker PM and the scrutiny of the Panama papers, it could be an interesting 70 days of campaigning.


More images have been released on the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef alongside more reported clusters of Parkinson’s disease  and Alzheimer’s in heavily herbicide use farming areas.

Is it too late?

Lets hope the candidates, particularly any Green aspirants for political office, are carefully selected. Our own local Council election,  a candidate  who ran on the Green Party ticket  (Rose Wanchap) here in the Byron Shire and who deserted her elected role to the pro development side within 6 months of being elected, outraged and disappointed many Green electors.




The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on our blue planet, and home to a vast array of marine plants and animals, including reef fish, sea turtles, sharks, hard and soft corals.

I’ve just come back from the Reef, and I was shocked at what I saw. I knew there would be bleached coral, but I had expected some patches of bleaching surrounded by mainly healthy, colourful corals.

I saw the opposite. The reef flat was a field of white coral as far as the eye could see. It was the face of climate change, and it was devastating.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on our blue planet, and home to a vast array of marine plants and animals, including reef fish, sea turtles, sharks, hard and soft corals.

Imogen Zethoven
Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director.

And with most of the coral trees poisoned along the creek banks, we are expecting a visible change in the nectar feeding strategies of many birds along the valley.

coral-flowers-providing-winter-nectar Coral tree flower with a honey eater.

Photo by Rodney .

With the odd glimmer of realistic news.








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Rain forest walk.


Victor visited for a work site tour. Still humid and leeches had to be constantly removed.


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