Photos - December 2014 - Parkcarers of Southern Murrumbidgee

Photos taken 13 December 2014

These photos were taken by Deb, mostly on the slopes above the Murrumbidgee River, north of Point Hut Crossing. In late November there was an unplanned fire, either accidentally or deliberately lit, which burnt the rocky slope above the Murrumbidgee where we've been planting and watering quite a few times during the year. Many of the seedlings we'd planted were grown by one of our lovely POSM members from seeds collected late the previous year. In the two and a bit weeks from the fire to when these photos were taken there was very good rain, so the African lovegrass was bouncing back quickly, and the Murrumbidgee was high and fast flowing. The photos are not all fire related.

First view of the fire affected area, standing about 200m N of Point Hut Crossing looking NW. The Murrumbidgee is below to the left. Barney's Gully is upslope and across to the right (east).

Sadly surveying the scene and wondering if the burnt Casuarinas will survive. The fire reached a long way up the Eucalypts. African lovegrass burns very fast and hot because of the high fuel loads it produces.

One of the many melted plant guards (we'd already collected up most of them).

Kunzea ericoides Burgan, still flowering despite being so burnt.

The fire revealed a rabbit warren hidden amongst woody weeds and large tussocky African lovegrass near the top of the slope.

Exposed rabbit warren.

Sorghum leiocladum Wild Sorghum, a tall native grass. My book says it is commonly associated with kangaroo grass, which does grow well on rockier parts of the slope below. I think this is the first time we've identified Native Sorghum on "our patch". You can just make out the ring of long white hairs around each node (nodes are joints in the stem)

Close associate of Wild Sorghum, Themeda triandra Kangaroo Grass is a widespread perennial native that was once very common in our region but is reduced by persistent grazing.

Glycine tabacina, Variable Glycine or Vanilla Glycine or Native Soya.

Convolvulus erubescens. It's great to see this Australian Bindweed climbing up and on top of the dense African lovegrass to get to the light.

John collecting lower Eucalypt branches to use as erosion control and reduce risk of trees catching on fire.

Paul collecting branches.

Unidentified grass, possibly one of the Cenchrus sp.? (many of them formerly Pennisetum sp.). If anyone knows what it is, please let us know. I didn't have my new 'Grasses of the NSW tablelands' book with me.

Grevillea juniperina subsp. fortis Prickly Grevillea, a local beauty and important for some small woodland birds.

Callistemon sieberi River Bottlebrush heavily covered in flowers, Barney's Gully.

"Tanya's Casuarinas", Casuarina cunninghamiana planted in an unusual way in the 2nd-from-top leaky weir, and obviously growing very well!

Lots of water in the Murrumbidgee River. Flowering tea-trees in foreground.

It's ugly but effective: Lauren checking some of our erosion control work on the northern arm of Barney's Gully. Overflow from the dam above has had a severe impact on this gully.

Thysanotus tuberosus, the very beautiful Common Fringe Lily is apparently uncommon though widespread, and dies back to its rootstock after flowering.

Another view of the Murrumbidgee River.

This appeared to be roughly where the fire started. Flowering Burgan in foreground.

This upper part of this rocky area was a beautiful little microclimate, with Digger's Speedwell, Clematis and Australian Anchor Plant seen there at various times. Hope they survive.

This is the slope we planted and watered several times this year.

Only burnt sticks remain from our plantings.

Murrumbidgee River looking back towards Point Hut Crossing with the crossing visible near the centre of the photo. The water was about 1 metre below the crossing.

High flow. You can just make out a kayak across the river.