This month it was Tradding with a difference.
With one of the group doing a painting course, it appeared several members also have artistic talents.
Nathan, for example, showed an impressive portfolio of botanical drawings at morning tea.
And then it was back to the Trad.
The Trad campaign continued, but everyone still seems keen to don the gloves and do battle with the green enemy.
And progress is being made, with the park revealing some surprises – emerging Bleeding Hearts, and Liz (of course) unearthing some “truffles”.
Among the weeds Here comes the Bleeding Heart
Three bags full Spot the “truffle”
First there was the bushfire break, and then the COVID-19 break. So it was great to get back to Else-Mitchell again after all the disruptions.
The happy group, social distancing of course, got stuck into some serious Trad work after learning about the new COVID-19 ways of working. Sanitise!
Photo album of the early days Nathan’s hand-drawn eucalypt map
At morning tea, officer Nathan shared his extensive knowledge of eucalypts and the history of the local area.
It was terrific to join together again to help the park in its battle against Trad.
Tools down, off to tea Sanitising – the final chore
Else-Mitchell’s very own Mike Purtell was honoured at the annual Blue Mountains Seniors Recognition Awards for his fantastic contribution to the environment.
Congratulations Mike, and richly deserved.
Lachlan Garland (Blue Mountains Conservation Society) and Mike Purtell.
Congratulating Mike With thanks to the Blue Mountains Gazette
Careful what you wish for – 220mm of rain was certainly welcome, but also rearranged quite a bit of the landscape within Else Mitchell.
An ephemeral creek in full flow
The sheer volume of water was most unusual, even flowing over the top of the dam, which might have been unprecedented. Of course, the planks on the bridge were washed away, as usual.
Big water moved big wood…and note the heavy bridge plank that ended up at top of gully
The hot and dry summer continued into 2020 and the plants were suffering.
Multiple days of 40-plus temperatures were having an impact, with the tree ferns by the bridge in obvious distress.
Suffering tree ferns
On a positive note, the local community was doing what it could to alleviate the stress on flora and fauna. People (including bushcare members) watered plants, while others placed water bowls around the reserve.
There was even a “Wildlife feeding and watering station”, with a sign that ended “Thanks, and stay safe” – a reminder of the dangerous fire season this summer.
The last session of the year was cancelled due to a severe heat warning, so no Christmas morning tea to celebrate Malcolm’s 20 years of bushcare.group.
However, a small hardy group turned up early for some watering of thirsty plants. And to have a cup of coffee in honour of Malcolm.
Buckets at the ready
Thanks to Karen and all the members of the group for another terrific year of bushcare in our special pocket park.
A busy session for the group saw a variety of activities with maintenance a major focus.
The revegetation “island” and the new tree plantings were watered and re-guarded. Trad was, of course, a central focus again, with maintenance targeted at the gully area between the bridges.
An island of green
More unusual activities were the cutting up of a large branch fallen across a path, and some remediation at an area showing evidence of biking.
Two types of Lomandra (also known as Mat Rush)