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Monday, 29 October

06:30

Don McGlashan Australian Tour October 2018 Concerts & Gig Guide in Castlemaine

Sunday 28th Oct, 7.30pm 10.00pm, The Bridge Hotel Castlemaine
Castlemaine

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Wednesday, 22 August

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Tuesday, 21 August

16:08

Gardener resident, well almost. in the garden

I am pretty thrilled to be appointed the Gardener in Residence, though I have been more likely to be found resident at dig cafe, in the igloo, or on the phone during August. Thankyou to gardeners for taking the time to meet and talk, share experiences and ideas and allow me to get a feel Continue reading Gardener resident, well almost.

06:00

Frogmouth action Natural Newstead

Photographing Tawny Frogmouths during daylight hours rarely requires a fast shutter speed!

Our favourite local pair surprised me with an unexpected burst of action when I popped by to see them at the weekend.

Tawny Frogmouths, Newstead Natives, 19th August 2018

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Monday, 20 August

18:00

FOBIF AGM: Monday 27 August 2018 Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests

Ian Higgins, well known local landcarer and co-founder of Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare, will be our speaker at the upcoming FOBIF AGM on August 27.

In an article about Ian after he received the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award in 2017, the Victorian Landcare Magazine wrote:

Higgins early interest in native plants has continued through his life. He developed a remarkable knowledge of indigenous flora species, their propagation and revegetation, leading to a 30-year professional career during which he has contributed significantly to revegetation and environmental planning in Victoria, in both professional and voluntary capacities.

You can find out about Ians history of involvement in environmental projects here.

Topics he will cover in his FOBIF speech will include:

  • Changes in our landscape and vegetation since colonisation, including the profound local impacts of gold mining and the consequences of a European mindset
  • A short history of rehabilitation efforts, including the contribution of landcare groups
  • Is aiming for something more like the pre-European condition viable?  Given that weve already lost many components of the ecosystem, together with massive invasions of exotic species and climate change, what should our local landscape and vegetation management goals be?  

The meeting will start at 7.30 in the Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine (next to Mostyn Street IGA supermarket). Information on how to nominate for the FOBIF Committee can be found here. All welcome and supper will be served. 

16:00

A walk in the winter sun Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests

Occasional violent gusts of cold wind didnt change the basic picture: Sunday was a bright winter day, perfect for a brisk stroll over to the Welsh Village from Chinamans Point via the Garfield Wheel and Sailors Gully, with a return along Forest Creek. Wattles are getting into their stride, and Dusty Miller was flowering abundantly along Sailors Gully.

Walkers take a break in Sailors Gully. Photo by Bernard Slattery

The village is at its atmospheric best in winter, and a strong group on FOBIFs September walk enjoyed that atmosphere to the full: the forest setting, the abandoned buildings and mine works, and the dramatic nearby slate quarry walls made for an exhilarating experience.

Our thanks to Barb Guerin and Lionel Jenkin for guiding the group through the labyrinth of tracks around the village.

Next months walk is in the Fryers Rangessure to be abundant with wildflowers. Check the program for details.

14:45

Fires: the themes are getting familiar Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests

Fires have ravaged Greece, and are still burning California. Gippsland has had a large bushfire in the dead of winter, and NSW has had its earliest ever total fire ban day. Were bracing for another serious fire season.

If you have the nerve, a bit context on this contentious issue can be found in California burning, a long and provocative article in the New York Review of Books. The article can be found here. Familiar themes abound in the international story: poor forest management, climate change, arson, flammable weeds, unwise urban development at the forest interface, poor understanding of fire ecology. Heres a sample:

In the United States, exurban and rural property development in the wildland-urban interface has been, perhaps, the final strawor at least another lighted match tossed on the pile. Most wildfires that threaten or damage communities are caused by humans. Campfires, barbecues, sparks from chainsaws, lawnmowers, power lines, cars, motorcycles, cigarettesthe modes of inadvertent ignition in a bone-dry landscape are effectively limitless. Lets say nothing of arson. Houses and other structures become wildfire fuel, and vulnerable communities hugely complicate forest management and disaster planning. In his panoramic 2017 book Megafire, the journalist (and former firefighter) Michael Kodas observes pithily that during the century in which the nation attempted to exclude fire from forests, [those forests] filled with homes.

Interestingly, the article suggests that old growth forest is more resilient to fire than the even aged stands resulting from clear felling, and notes that the current US administrations policy is to respond to fire with more logging, which may well result in less resilient forests and, of all things, more fire.

14:33

September Trivia at The Taproom 94.9 Main FM

This month we have amazing quiz masters: Melissa Scott from Main FM Hello Darling and her mate Jan!

4-6 people per team!

Every third Thursday of the month- MainFM hosts a fundraising trivia night presented by MainFM presenters

$5 on the door for subscribers
$10 on the door general public
All fund raised go to assist your local radio station to stay on air!

craft beer and home-made pizza available come on down!

More infohere

09:41

Why the food movement is unstoppable! "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

What makes an ethical food future? What kind of agriculture can our planet sustain? How can we reduce demand on global resources? How can you be a change-maker in the unstoppable food movement?

Industrial food systems are key drivers of environmental destruction, from rainforests to reefs, and water supplies to climate change. Farmer and author of Call of the Reed Warbler Charles Massy, US crop scientist and director of the Poison Papers, and farmer, meatsmith, and president of AFSA Tammi Jonas discuss how regenerative agriculture can turn Australias ecologies and economies around, revitalizing rural communities while nourishing land, animals, and people.

Join us in Daylesford on Thursday 30 August for an inspiring and activating evening, or if you cant make it to the central highlands of Victoria, catch Jonathan and Charlie elsewhere on The Food Equation tour of Australia.

The post Why the food movement is unstoppable! appeared first on Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.

07:45

Spring bird photography workshops book now! Natural Newstead

Chris Tzaros and I are running our Spring 2018 bird photography workshops in Newstead on 24th November.

Please contact me via email, geoff.park@naturaldecisions.com.au if you would like to book a place. For further information click here.

A selection of Chriss images from further afield are shown below.

Comb-crested Jacana

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Sunday, 19 August

18:03

Whats all that intensely green stuff? Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests

We havent had a huge season for rain. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Statewide rainfall was 33% below the long-term July mean of 70 mm, the driest July since 2002, and large areas in the north and east of Victoria, and to the north of Melbourne had rainfall totals in the driest 10 per cent on record for July. This follows a dry autumn, with rainfall almost 40% below the long term average.

Tayloria octoblepharum, Spring Gully road, August 14: a characterful history.

But weve had plenty of dampish days: very good for moss, which has given much of our bushland its intense green winter tinge. Get down and enjoy it!

The picture shows a patch of Tayloria octoblepharum, a characterful plant with cigar shaped spore heads. It favours rotting matter. A gruesome detail: the moss was first described for modern science from a sample collected from the decaying remains of a Tasmanian bushranger! You can find this and other edifying details from FOBIFs Mosses of dry forests of south eastern Australia. The second edition of this book is almost exhausted, and a third printing is planned for the coming months.

12:50

More photos for Creatures project Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests

Newstead photographer, Patrick Kavanagh, has generously contributed many of his terrific nature photos to our FOBIF exhibitions. Here are five of Patricks most recent offerings. 

Click on each photo to enlarge. You can see our Creatures Flickr page here and find out how to contribute to our Creatures project here.

08:40

Blink and youll miss it! Natural Newstead

Courtship feeding in Eastern Yellow Robin happens during nest-building, incubation and nestling feeding stages.

It is always a fleeting event, with the male drawn to the begging female, either on the nest or a favourite perch nearby, carrying a tasty morsel, In this instance a colour-banded male arrived at the nest where the female was sitting on two eggs. I was fortunate to capture the female in focus but the male was just too fast.

Female Eastern Yellow Robin arriving at the nest, Rise and Shine, 18th August 2018

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Saturday, 18 August

08:43

Egret monochrome Natural Newstead

I enjoyed a few quiet moments in fading light last evening with the Great Egret at Joyces Creek.

The egret was resting in shallow water just upstream of the bridge and making occasional lunges at water life as the light disappeared.

Great Egret, Joyces Creek, 17th August 2018

Friday, 17 August

13:34

Heaven in a Haystack Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

Click here to view the embedded video.

On 22 July 2018, three abandoned sows and a piglet were found severely emaciated and riddled with parasites in a forest. Paving their way to kindness and our sanctuary were a wildlife rescuer and a four wheel drive enthusiast. Whilst their circumstance raises so many questions that remain unanswered, we do know they have now truly found heaven in a haystack.

Our heartfelt thanks as always to Manfred and Helen from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue and our new friend Anthony, who all serendipitously came upon the pigs on that fateful day, and whose actions ensured their safety.

Want to help animals like Sadie, Toni, Princess and the cheeky Gizmo? Heres how:

  1. Like us on Facebook and Instagram
  2. Share our posts
  3. Rescues such as these involve much time, energy, compassion and so too costs. Please, if you can, support our Medical Fighting Fund to ensure our life-saving and life-changing work on behalf of animals can continue.

10:25

Together we can change the world Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

Together

And together with our Five Dollar Friday community, we have well and truly changed the world for one exceptionally brave and fortunate goat, who we have aptly named Together. Having arrived into our care some months ago after experiencing an horrific dog attack, it has been a long road to recovery for Together. Daily management has seen us able to gradually heal many of Togethers injuries, which included one ear having been completely torn off, another partially removed, a fracture to the delicate bone surrounding her eye and multiple bite wounds, one of which came frighteningly close to claiming her vision. Yet there is one thing veterinary care, wound management and medications cannot treat and that is the healing of Togethers spirit.

However this, we are pleased to say, is also slowly taking a turn for the positive. Whilst she most certainly does not welcome her daily eye baths and ointment application, Together no longer trembles at our touch, nor does she now fight with all of her might to escape us. In fact, a cheeky side has also begun to emerge in this dear girl as she now licks her lips in anticipation of the tasty wheet bix biscuit that is promised after each interaction with her caregivers. With time, love and of course, kindness, we have no doubt that Together will indeed have a life worth living here at Edgars Mission.

Once again, we send our unending thanks to the Five Dollar Friday community who make this arm of our work possible. If you too would like the change the world together, please visit www.fivedollarfriday.com.au

10:05

Open Edible Gardens Saturday & Sunday 1-2 September 2018 Kyneton Transition Hub

This year were offering a whole weekend of edible gardens for you to visit. That means you can see more gardens and spread it over a weekend if you prefer.

More details to follow shortly.

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