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2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll National Park Gate and Signs    On a very pleasant May day, eleven of us walked from the end of Knoll Road in North Tamborine down to the National Park Gates on Tamborine Mountain Road. A couple of us first ferried cars down to the finish point on Tamborine Mountain Road so we did not have to return up the hill. This was a little more difficult than our last walk with the track heading downhill but generally a clear walking path on the old road which has been well weathered with areas covered by weed and loose stones. Some of us needed a walking stick. It took us about 3 hours to cover about 1.6km of track becasue as usual there were many species identification stops. All the way we had bird song around us.

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2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll _97Written by Mike Russell

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Dump EntranceThis walk commenced at the green waste dump at the end of Knoll Rd.  We looked at the revegetation area on Dept Main Roads land which is managed by TM Landcare.  It was originally planted by Jim Bolton and helpers and has been managed since by members.  Adjacent to this area is a parcel of forested land purchased by Jim Bolton and given to the National Park. 

 

 

2015-05-30_NW_TNP-TheKnoll Knoll Rd Landcare SIteThe regeneration area was examined.  

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll  Solanum seaforthianum FlowerMadeira Vine is still common and needs immediate control.  Solanum seaforthianum was photographed in flower. 

 

 

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Polyscias murrayi - Pencil CedarAlso photographed was a tall Pencil Cedar (Polyscias murrayi).  Glochidion sumatrensis was also seen.

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Walking past DumpWe walked round the waste dump and started down the old road which is the original access road up to Tamborine Mountain.  The tall open forest consists of Tallow – wood (Eucalyptus microcorys), Sydney Blue Gum (E. saligna]]), Grey Gum (E. biturbinata) and Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera ) growing on basalt.

 

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Archer axillaris (Macroptyloma axillare)We know that Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) bred by CSIRO in Brisbane in the 1960s from South American parents, Glycine (Neonotonia javanica) from Africa and Archer Axillaris (Macrotyloma axillare) from Africa were aerially broadcast onto the northern slopes of TM in the early 1970s to improve the native pastures for cattle grazing.  There is no doubt that roadside colonies of these legumes could easily have arrived from seed transported on vehicles. 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Velcroe Weed That Silverleaf Desmodium now often called velcro weed (Desmodium  uncinatum) from Central and South America arrived this way is almost inevitable.  It would also have arrived on people’s clothing.  Hard seed may also have arrived in the dung of grazing animals such as cattle, horses and wallabies and other seed eaters such as birds and bandicoots.

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Kangaroo grass & Spotted GumThe native pasture was mainly Kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra).  The invasion by these pasture legumes suppressed it for three reasons: 

  1. They fixed nitrogen and raised the nitrogen status of the soil above that in which Kangaroo grass had evolved.
  2. They suppressed natural fires on which Kangaroo grass is dependent.
  3. They were grazed more frequently and at a heavier rate than Kangaroo grass is adapted. The ground storey part of the ecosystem changed.  Native grasses started to be replaced by nitrogen loving weeds both grasses and non-grass herbs (forbs).  

Then the cattle were removed (although only temporarily) when the area became part of Tamborine National Park (The Knoll section).  Without adequate grazing the legumes became rampant, climbing trees and further changing the environment.

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Weed covered old Knoll Rd2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Coastal & Blue Morning Glory Weed VineThis was the weedy mess which confronted us.  Some of the more prominent weeds, apart from the introduced legumes, were:   Cobblers’ Pegs (Bidens pilosa), Palm grass (Setaria palmifolia), Morning Glory (Ipomea indica), Annual Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and Crofton weed (Ageratina adenophora).

 

 

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Top of Spotted Gum2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Trunk of Spotted Gum2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Looking through forest with little understoryAs we descended the road surface changed from slabs of eroding basalt to sandstone rocks.  The vegetation changed to open forest with Spotted Gums (Corymbia citriodora var, variegata), Many-fruited Bloodwoods (C. polycarpa), Pink Bloodwoods (C. intermedia), Rough-barked Apple (Angophora floribunda), Small-fruited Grey Gums with orange underbark (Eucalyptus propinqua), Grey Ironbark (E. siderophloia), and Narrow-leaved Ironbark (E. crebra).  There were a few wattles, Rose Oak (Allocasuarina torulosa), Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsa), occasional Batswing Coral trees (Erythrina verspetilio), a pretty Wedge Pea in yellow flower and a patch of Dogwood (Jacksonia scoparia).  

 

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll More Knagaroo Grass2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Enteropogon acicularis - Windmill grassDown the road the Kangaroo grass became dominant and there were other native grasses and forbs – Hedgehog grasses (Echinopogon spp.), Wild Sorghum (Sarga leiocladum), Windmill grass (Enteropogon acicularis), Barbed Wire grass (Cymbopogon refractus) and Rattle Pods (Crotalaria spp.) and Plectranthus parviflorus

 

 

 

2015-05-30 NW TNP-TheKnoll Black Spear GrassOf concern was the increasing amount of Black Spear grass (Heteropogon contortus ) beside the track in the lower part.  This grass has sharp seeds each with a long awn which twists with moisture and pushes the seed head through fur and wool into the hide.  Its spread through coastal areas north of here made sheep farming impossible. 

 

 

 

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Copies of the excellent & definitive “ The Mistletoes of Subtropical Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria” by local authors John Moss & Ross Kendall now on sale at $27.50 from Mike Russell (5545 3601).

Book - Flora and Fauna of Tamborine Mountain

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TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN FLORA & FAUNA by Russell, Leiper, White, Francis, Hauser, McDonald & Sims is now on sale at local outlets for $15.  

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Why does attentiveness to nature matter? In a very fundamental sense, we are what we pay attention to. Paying heed to beauty, grace, and everyday miracles promotes a sense of possibility and coherence that runs deeper and truer than the often illusory commercial, social "realities" advanced by mainstream contemporary culture. ... Our attention is precious, and what we choose to focus it on has enormous consequences. What we choose to look at, and to listen to--these choices change the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out, we become the bad television programs that we watch. A society that expends its energies tracking the latest doings of the celebrity couple is fundamentally distinct from one that watches for the first arriving spring migrant birds, or takes a weekend to check out insects in a mountain stream, or looks inside flowers to admire the marvelous ingenuities involved in pollination. The former tends to drag culture down to its lowest commonalities; the latter can lift us up in a sense of unity with all life. The Way of Natural History, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Trinity University Press (Texas)