A visit to ImLal with my sister Jane on a cold and blustery day. The koala seemed quite unconcerned. Spear grass and banksias in splendid condition after all the spring and early summer rain.
Annual spraying of gorse on the mullock heap top. Hakea decurrens still going strong (middle). Last of the black wattle going in (bottom). Not much gorse left to spray in ImLal South.
Gorse on ImLal South is under control. It's harder on the steep slopes of the mullock heap where we're trying a combo of digging, chainsaw cutting and spot spraying.
Only seven of the original plot of 52 sequoias has survived the onslaught of the bouncing roos on the ImLal North site. They don't seem to like the swampy conditions much either. The sequoia pictured is as old as the young Nate on the left – 10yo and way behind Nate in the growth stakes.
Phil on the right shows his patented ring of steel guard for keeping the roos at bay – for now.
On the west side of ImLal South the ground is so holey, it's difficult to find a clear path in some places.
Gary was out measuring tree plots and came across the culprit attempting to hide – as suspected, an echidna.
There’s still 28 of the locally endangered Hakea decurrens flourishing on the top of the mullock heap at ImLal. Everything else is taking a beating from the roos, wind and poor mullock heap soil (or lack of). They seem to have been flowering for ages.
The rain came pouring down as I topped the mullock heap. Drenched, I must admit to descending gloomily to Footrot Flats, a soggy site south of the dam, where I thought our planting had totally failed. Not so – after record spring and summer rains and the warmth that comes with climate change, the hybrid eucs and Turkey oaks were rising from the dead. Many were becoming entangled in their plastic sleeves, so I removed the worst cases. Will now have to check whether or not they're more vulnerable to bouncing roos and ravaging wallabies.
Thinning of swamp gum along the west boundary of ImLal South has successfully prevented them overwhelming the shrub layer. Five months after thinning, the cassinia, hop plants and tree violets are thriving. Within this minimal intervention area, the plan is to alternate thickets of swamp gum with clumps of shrubs.
Gib Wettenhall is interested in how we carry out large scale landscape restoration that involves the people who live in those landscapes. That, he believes, would build truly resilient landscapes.