Forestry

Living within a forest in a fire environment

I dedicate this blog to the memory of Lana Syme (1939-2021), who visited and stayed at her aunties place near Olinda in her youth. Lana loved the area and with husband Bill, settled in Olinda 35 years ago.

Nearly one hundred years ago, small sawmill settlements were located within tall productive forests in the central highlands.… Read more

The aristocratic satinay

Fraser Island is a beautiful place. It is the world’s largest sand island and vegetated dune system. I had the opportunity to work on Fraser Island in the mid-1980s and have had several recreational visits to the island over the years. I still pinch myself these many years later on how fortunate I was to spend two weeks bush-bashing through the satinay (Syncarpia hillii)-brush box (Lophostemon confertus) forests while doing regeneration surveys.… Read more

Memorable faunal encounters in the forest

Foresters who have spent most of the working career in the bush will have numerous stories about encounters with our native fauna. The most dramatic and scary usually involve snakes. Despite spending a lot of time walking in the bush, I still have a fear of snakes. If I see one early in the morning, I can be edgy for the rest of the day, particularly if it is a close encounter.… Read more

A strange name for a tree

While visiting Cardwell in North Queensland, we enjoyed the forest drive in Cardwell State forest. We stopped to look at Attlie Falls, and as I walked the short distance, my focus was towards the ground. I noticed bark on relatively large trees resembled a Pinus spp (an exotic pine tree). I had a brief but strange thought I was walking through a very mature pine forest until I looked up and realised I was looking at one of my favourite eucalypt trees.… Read more

Bladensburg – a cultural experience in the Outback

It is always good to get the opportunity to visit a historic site that represents the area you are visiting. In this case, I am talking not about an old building or monument in town but a sizeable pastoral station in the Outback.

Bladensburg was one of the original stations in the Winton district, grazing thousands of sheep and around one thousand cattle.… Read more

Some ramblings on rainforests and dry forests

During our trip around Queensland (Qld), we have visited several forests and walked their trails. Some have included rainforests. The main distinguishing features of these rainforests are high rainfall and fertile soils, such as basalt. Rainforests have a multi-layered canopy of up to 50 tree species, many of which exhibit buttressing.… Read more

The wonders of Wongabel forest

While staying at the Atherton Tablelands, we enjoyed a visit to Wongabel forest. It interested us so much because the forest had a history of timber harvesting and whilst now reserved, it is an excellent example of a remnant rainforest alongside commercial forestry programs and research plots. The walk is in excellent condition and very well maintained.… Read more

The ABC, an extinction debate, the replication crisis, peer review and questions over the quality of science produced today

Several years ago, I stopped listening and watching the news and current affairs on the ABC. I was sick of being consistently fed what I believe was biased and unbalanced reporting. We are told by ardent ABC supporters this is not how the ABC operates. But you only have to look at their main website to see they have a track record a mile long of upheld complaints about stories that were found to breach their standards for impartiality.… Read more

Fraser Island afire from stem to stern

Unconfirmed reports from seagoing fishing parties suggest that Fraser Island is again suffering considerably as a result of bushfires which some say are raging from the island’s “stem” to its “stern.” Maryborough Chronicle, Tuesday 5 February 1952

I have decided to bring this blog forward ahead of others I have already written for several reasons.… Read more

Woody weed invasion of the rangelands

As you travel north from Winton to Cloncurry along the Landsborough Highway, you see spectacular open Mitchell grass (Astrebla app) plains with their distinctive golden colour under the relentless sunshine. I had heard about these magnificent plains but had no idea how extensive and beautiful they really are.

 

Mitchell grass plains in north-west Queensland

After McKinlay, you start to see a change in the soil from the black-grey clays to the red mineralised earth soils.

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