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Sportsman Creek Conservation Area will be hosting the inaugural Festival of Nature on Sunday- September 11th. Activities anticipated for the day include guided bush walks with ecologist Dr. Greg Clancy.  Art Exhibition by Nature Artist Graham Payne, beautiful cross-stitched Embroideries of natural subjects a Contemporary Rustic Furniture display by the author and Photographic Display of 200 species found on the conservation area. Sharon Lehman will be conducting  special bird walks for the kids along with a talk and display on the  local Cane Toad and Myna threat. This month of festival activities is being promoted by the Nature Conservation Council and the National Parks Association across new South Wales.

Bring along a rug and picnic lunch plus some sturdy boots for the walkers.

Guided walks range from easy 400 metre to medium fitness 2km.  

Red Lantana is a scrambling shrub which often forms dense thickets. Originally native to North and South America the weedy forms now infest over 4 million hectares of Australia and has a major impact on agriculture and the environment. Red flowered forms are toxic to cattle with an estimated 1,500 deaths attributed per year through liver insufficiency and kidney failure. Small thickets appear on the wildlife refuge which are hand removed.

Further reading;http:// www.northcoastweeds.org.au/site-files/docs/redlantana_rep.pdf


An introduced weed. Flowers white to mauve, erect annual herb to 1.5 metres. Leaves lanceolate to narrowly oblate. Found occasionally in wetter, disturbed areas on the wildlife refuge. At present not exhibiting problem status.

It is a relative of the cucumber and melon and is a native to Southern Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Considered a weed in Australia, it is only occasionally naturalized so isn’t considered a major pest. A trailing herb with stems to 3 metre. Yellow fruit, ellipsoid to ovoid  40-60mm long, densely covered with soft bristles. The non-bitter fruits are eaten raw or pickled. The bitter fruits are used as a (drastic) purgative. There are some commercial prospects for this plant however, as it is resistant to powdery mildew and shares several properties with cucumber. Found growing in several places near Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge.


I.D. courtesy of Dr. Greg Clancy.

A rare example of the Dare timber truss road bridge. Built in 1911 over Sportsman Creek. It has 2 particularly long  timber truss spans, each of  31.9 metres (105ft). There are 2 timber approach spans at one end and 1 at the other giving the bridge an overall length of 91.7 metres ( 301ft). The central bridge pier is a twin cylinder cast iron pier. American, Harvey Dare a leading engineer and designer was a prominent figure in early 20th. century N.S.W.  Historically significant  for N.S.W. people as a demonstration and gradual acceptance of American design ideas and exhibits technical design excellence, also listed on the Register of the National Estate.

Scroll image to enlarge.

A fine image and one of the first taken from deep space. The extent of the Antarctic influence is particularly clear. Scroll image to enlarge and magnify.

Image courtesy of  Wikipedia.

An exploration into...
By Jeff Keyes

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