Newsletter No. 57  October 1998

Dear Friends

The morning dawned wet and miserable following 11mm of overnight rain. However the weather for the day turned out to be perfect for our visitors from Murrumbidgee Field Nats. Somewhat delayed by the necessity to do their duty at the polling booth prior to leaving they arrived at 10.45.

No such luxury for our workers who started at 9.00am. Many hands made quick work of the feral patch and we were able to stroll up the gully to inspect a patch of  Daviesia ulicifolia, an uncommon plant in the park. Other peas in flower were Twisted Parrot Pea, Dillwynia phylicoides {formerly D. retorta}, Narrow-leafed Bittter-pea, { Daviesia leptophylla} some Chocolate Lilies, Matt Rush and tiny Pink Fingers were also noted.

Settling down at the demolition site in company with a male Red-capped Robin we enjoyed morning tea with entertainment as the Robin capitalised on the disturbed vegetation which exposed lots of tucker. Perhaps this was the same Robin which entertained us at the top of the gully during the last meeting.

We just made it to the Post Office in time to greet our visitors and members of the BAWS group and Albury /Wodonga Field Nats.

The morning walk took us up Tower Hill Rd, along Ironbark Track and down the hill to Lancashire Gap Rd. Interesting features of the walk were the transition from weedy grassland in the quarry area to the orchids, lilies, peas and native grasses of Tower Rd., followed  on the ridge by the stunted Blakely’s Red Gums with a dense understorey of Daphne Heath Brachyloma daphnoides. Along Ironbark Track the change in understorey was again obvious. Dense stands of Diggers Speedwell, Derwentia perfoliata, lots of Musky Caladenias C gracilis, Beard Orchids, Calochilus robertsonii, Matt Rush Lomandra multiflora and the first of the Hoary Sunrays, Helipterum albicans were flourishing on the rocky ground.

Birds were scarce and the Regent H/e failed us. One group had good views of Turquoise Parrots.

Following lunch as we walked to the  Skeleton Boundary Track loop an Echidna was spotted and it lost no time in digging itself into the mulch at at the base of an Ironbark. Dookie Daisies, Brachyscome gracilis, carpeted the rocky areas of the first part of the Skeleton Track. The plentiful spring rain was responsible for their abundance. Last year we could find only a few straggly plants. Daphne Heath was the dominant understorey shrub and after the warmth of the day it was fragrant. Reaching the granite area we diverged to bemoan the quarry and its scar on the park. As we grumbled about the mess Neil said “Look up and see the stars”. Acting on his suggestion the scene before us was a sea of shades of green, distant hills and a sparkling blue sky.

On the down hill run there were views of Mt. Pilot and huge moss covered granite boulders. A short section of the track, adjacent to farmland, ran through weedy understorey. Lower down the slope Sun Orchids, Caladenias and Guinea Flower were abundant. A small group of late Blunt Greenhoods, Pterostylis curta stood tall above the grasses. Several areas of seepage along the track were thick with Sundews glistening in the sunlight more beneficiaries of the wet spring.

The walk took a little longer than planned and afternoon tea was welcome. Friends hope that everyone had an enjoyable day. An invitation was extended to the group to visit us again, perhaps in June when the Ironbarks are

flowering and birds are abundant.

I would like to thank all members of Friends who helped to make this day a success.

On Yams, Microseris scapigera: It was noted that some flowers were single while others had several whorls of petals giving the appearance of being double. I can find nothing in literature that mentions this. Any comment?

On Toad Flax/Wild Linaria: The botanical name for this is Linaria pelisseriana.

Additions to the plant list: We continue to find species not listed. The Veined Helmet Orchid, Corybas dilatatus; Scarlet Sundew Drosera glanduligera; two other specimens will be sent to the herbarium for confirmation.

From the meeting:

1. Glen Johnson sent a detailed report on the infestation of Tambookie Grass at Springhurst.

2. Accounts were passed for payment.

3. The removal of the Magenta Quartz Mine from the Victorian Heritage Register was discussed. Reason for removal being that it fails to meet the criteria for inclusion. i.e it is in a poor state.

4. A decision was made to investigate the purchase of mugs featuring the Regent Honeyeater.

5. Name Change: The vote was unanimous in favour of changing our name to “Friends of Chiltern Box-Ironbark National Park” subject to funding for the change being provided by Parks Victoria.

Ranger’s report:Chiltern Box-Ironbark National Park

*  Signage, all new track names to be erected before end of 1998.{approx 80 new signs} about  half already


*  Magenta works. New perimeter fence around open cut and open stope.

*  New viewing platforms at Magenta site.

*  Magenta, new boundary fence to protect site from trail bikes etc.

*  Draft Management Plan with the Minister at present awaiting final approval. Hopefully no major hiccups.

*  Planning for Ironbark Festival well underway. Starts 17th October.

*  Smilax control program completed. Other environmental weed control program ongoing.

*  Fox Control Program around late October/early November.

Other conservation reserves.

*  Installation of cattle grids at major entry points to Murray River Reserves.

*  Road and track repairs before summer camping season.{hopefully!}

*  Fencing repairs and installation of gates and stiles at several conservation reserves.

*  Signposting at all main conservation reserves.

I would like to invite the Friends Group to assist with the final “tidy up” of the Magenta site when all the fencing work is completed i.e

spreading of mulch and branches in strategic locations to keep visitors on the walking track. Placing logs etc across the slopes to encourage some more regrowth of understorey plants.

There is also the possibility of resurfacing the other sections of the walking track around the past Battery areas.{Similar to the Rest Area Track}

I think that’s about it for the remainder of 98!

Thank you John, Friends will assist where appropriate.



Bring gloves, secateurs, lunch, repellant,energy and a friend. Afternoon walk.

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