Today's Courier-Mail (Brisbane's daily newspaper) lightened its daily dose
of doom and gloom with an article by Philip Hammond about the success of a
volunteer project to rehabilitate 10 hectares of wasteland at the back of
the Greenslopes Private Hospital. (C-M July 27, p. 41)
Philip lists Chestnut-breasted Mannikins, Double-barred Finches, and
Red-backed and Variegated Fairy-wrens, as among the 60 plus species of birds
now using the area.
Once an illegal dumping ground for builders rubble and worse, after five
years work by volunteers with one Damien Madden as a guiding spirit, it's
well on the way to looking like a nature reserve. When Madden and Co.
started, 95% of the area was covered by exotic plants - 85 species of weeds
were identified. Now the native Eucalyptus tereticornis have re-seeded with
new trees well on their way up.
And one unique touch of genius: some of the larger exotic trees are being
treated by installing young native figs high in the trees, and as is their
habit, they will eventually strangle and kill their exotic hosts.
Now to add a frivolous note. You have been warned!
The article refers to E. tereticornis as Forest Red Gum, and thus is it
known in NSW and other southern states. But in Qld, the species is more
commonly called Blue Gum. Now at the end of WW II, there was a severe
shortage of houses and of timber to build them. So much so that sawmills
could sell their sawn timber "green off-saw". That is to say, without the
usual drying in stacks to allow the inevitable shrinkage to take place and
Furthermore, the shortage was such that there was a black market in sawn
timber. Thus it was, that in the "Bluey & Curley" comic strip, one says to
the other. "Ya know, Queensland's a funny place. They sell Red Gum as Blue
Gum when it's green on the black!" :-)
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