The distinctiveness of the Australian landscape results more from the extensive domination by eucalypts, and their close relatives, than from any other single factor.
There are about 60 species of eucalypt in the Mid-Western Regional Council LGA/Watershed Landcare area, many of which are economically important as timber, nectar for honey production and for shade and shelter within pastoral areas.
To some there is a superficial sameness or similarity about the eucalypts, but to those that spend a little time getting to know them, there are subtle differences that all add up to give each eucalypt a distinct character.
It is extremely difficult to identify a eucalypt without a combination of these subtle differences. However, once you know what to look for, identifying eucalypts, or 'Gum Trees' becomes a lot easier and becomes more so with practice.
Watershed Landcare will be hosting a workshop on Eucalypt Identification on Friday, September 27 at the Cooyal Pub.
We have invited local ecologist, David Allworth, to run a hands-on workshop to increase your eucalypt identification skills. David will highlight the basic features to look for to allow successful identification.
The workshop will focus on the key characteristics of eucalypts, such as fruits, buds, leaf characteristics, including juvenile and mature leaves, and bark.
Using the above characteristics people will be introduced to a simple computer program that helps identify eucalypts of the Mudgee district.
A nationwide identification computer program will also be available for people to try.
Come along, meet other Watershed Landcare members and be introduced to some of the local eualypts.
The Eucalypt ID workshop will be held at 6:30pm on Friday, September 27 at the Cooyal Pub. Admission is free, with dinner provided. All welcome but please register for catering purposes by Monday, September 23 to Agness Knapik, Watershed Landcare Coordinator, on 0435 055 493 or by email:email@example.com.
This event is supported by Wateshed Landcare through funding from Landcare Australia and Michael King.
Climate Truth: The Secret's in the "Source."
When is "the news" not the news? One answer is "when it deliberately misleads the reader."
Unfortunately, some newspapers do this routinely on the issue of Climate Change.
An example of this is an article in the Australian last Monday.
The headline "Climate Change a Cold Fact of Life" with subtitle, "The Fact is that Our Earth has Ice in its Veins" mocked "alarmists" and "activists", and used irrelevant geological references to suggest that the idea of attempting to curb the worst effects of climate change is "barking mad."
Google the article, then the author; David Shelley. To credit him as a source, the Australian stated that he "lectured in geology at New Zealand's Canterbury University." A two minute search will reveal papers he published in 1968, 1975 and the early 1980's. You'll also see that his work was in the area of petrology, not climatology.
I also emailed the faculty he belonged to at Canterbury University to clarify his background. I included the article. I received back this response from Associate Professor Catherine Reid, Head of Department:
"I can assure you that the opinions of David Shelley are not shared by the Department of Geological Sciences and its current academic staff. David Shelley retired from our Department some time ago and is not on the current teaching or research staff. It is a shame that a newspaper would choose to publish such an article"
In this instance, the "source" of "news" has no credibility at all.
At the June 25 Council meeting, all but three councillors voted against a motion that Orange should join over 630 jurisdictions worldwide, in declaring a Climate Emergency.
The video of the meeting featured phrases such as "I'm not an expert but you read that..." and "I don't really understand all this but we're told....."
If their source of information about climate change is The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, and others that regularly mislead readers as per the above example, it's no wonder they feel confused.
Maybe there are two seasons in your life: footy and cricket? There is definitely the 'season to be jolly' when we exchange gifts and enjoy time with family and friends! Travelling to the top end requires careful planning according to the 'wet' and 'dry' seasons.
Is it logical to divide our Australian calendar into four rigid European seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter? Consider how diverse our climate is: monsoon tropics, desert, savannah, alpine and temperate regions can all be found in various locations. Each of these brings its own seasonal variations and subtleties.
Indigenous communities link events in the natural world to a cycle that predicts seasonal changes. The ability to do this has ensured the successful development of their communities and societies. The names of the seasons are often dependent on localised events or resources. These are not uniform across the land, but instead use the reaction of plants and animals to gauge what is happening in the environment.
If you really look at Aboriginal seasons, you see there's a great, complex structure out there. Unlike us, they were responding to the world around them and it was often to do with food, it was to do with when the eels were spawning or when the Acacia seeds were ready. They were taking notice of the world because they had to, so the D'harawal near Sydney have six seasons. At Cranbourne, near Melbourne, the Boonwurrung have seven and if you travel around Australia, it's between two and seven seasons - quite often six. Seasonal cycles as described by the various Aboriginal cultures differ substantially according to location.
To the people of D'harawal country during Marrai'gang, when the cries of the Marrai'gang (quoll) seeking his mate can be heard, is the time when the lilly-pilly fruit begins to ripen on trees. However, when the lilly-pillys start to fall, it is time to mend the old warm cloaks from the last cold season, or make new ones, and begin the yearly trek to the coastal areas.