Following much discussion and after several iterations our Spring Gathering did actually happen! We spent Saturday October 3rd at Roy and Lynne Pail’s property, “Krurr Rak Conservation Reserve”, near Clear Lake.
It was great to be able to get together in person again after the cancellation of our May meeting. Of course our Melbourne members were missed, but we hope to see you next May.
The day began with Roy sharing some of his vast knowledge about reptiles and giving us a close up look at a variety of frogs, skinks, geckos and lizards found on his property. For some the highlight of Roy’s presentation was getting close to a couple of his captive bred animals, namely a Tasmanian Tiger snake and a Stimson’s Python (or Large Blotched Python – native to north WA). (Others were a bit more wary!)
We spent several hours wandering through the bush, observing / photographing / learning about plants and all creatures great and small. Roy has a particular interest in animals and uses game cameras to find out what lives where.
We also heard something of the history of the 335acre property, which was used for grazing up until the early 2000s. Iestyn was involved in the direct seeding of 2 ha and planting of 30,000 speedlings (small cells) in 2003. He gave us insights into what he has learned by watching the property since then, including: bulokes regenerating from lignotubers, which had been grazed down for decades; species such as Callitris germinating up to 16 years after sewing; how much seed is needed for such a project etc.
A discussion about why we all do what we do, looking after our properties for conservation proved to be relevant for many. It was good to hear what motivates different people, as well as some of the frustrations we face.
For those who could stay, a night walk followed an enjoyable meal around the campfire. Thermal scopes proved useful at finding cold things – frogs, who knew rain was imminent!
Let’s hope that by spring 2021 it will be legal to camp on private property without having to be in the household bubble of the owners!
This page is to record conversations held within the group that would be useful for sharing information.