Wallabies at dawn

As our rainforest regeneration has extended, the wildlife have found us. I woke at 4am this morning and the wallabies were already grazing near the house. Down the Hill, in the new forest area planted in the name of the endangered Pink Underwing Moth, is now like walking into a nature park: giant kookaburras sitting in patches of sun, wallabies pausing in mid-graze; an elegant grey-green carpet python resting in long folds, patterned like liquid rain. At last we seem to be getting somewhere…

Jill Morris, forest farmer

Jill Morris, forest farmer

Wallaby pic coming!


Is this a large male wallaby – or a kangaroo?

Stars at Book Farm

On Monday 11 November (we did think of the soldiers…), 27 great stars of the weeding world where I used to lead the Year Sevens on adventures. Lately since Tornado Oswald it has become a very dangerous adventure. The results were amazing. Thanks to the lantana-battlers, the picky weeders, the privet-pullers and the Man with Scythes, we can now reach the creek that way and start opening up the old White Trail again!


Twenty-seven volunteers at Book Farm, November 2013

Wombat books & weeds

I have found two beautiful hardback copies of The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars.

The problem is: their pages are all stuck together. They must have been wet – or they may be rebels from the binders which found their way into the boxes of proper books.

They are going out to do weed duty at a time when the Cobblers Pegs are loving the heat with a little rain to help them grow.

That’s about 60 centimetres by 40 centimetres worth of unweedy ground ready for replanting!

wombat hardcovers do duty as weed killers

Wombat hardcovers do duty as weed killers


Books in the Rainforest at Book Farm

This dry season has been a challenge – but we have gone on planting at the Book Farm on all sorts of fronts – always working on the principle of clearing – and then planting! The pic below shows one of the helpful Barung team working on restoration beside the Red Trail that leads visitors into the original pristine rainforest.
The words of an environmentalist I admire ring in my head while I am working on restoring rainforest to my 50 acres on the Obi Obi Creek: ‘Mother Nature doesn’t like bare ground’.
Maleny is a lively town of ecological activists. Lately we have been petitioning our Council not to allow a polo field within seven metres of the Obi Obi on one of the town stretches. Plus stables..
The Voluntary Conservation Agreement I have signed with the Council does not allow any such activity in the riparian zone at my place. Unbelievable that they could be considering granting approval because of loud voices in the community who see the creek water (drinking water for the Sunshine Coast) as expendable.  The children who used to come walking in my rainforest on the Obi Obi Creek here at the Book Farm understood the term ‘riparian zone’. Some recent arrivals in this community don’t seem to get it.
We are about to start yet another planting of 300 trees – as soon as it rains!
I’ve prepared the ground by carpeting it with cardboard – every box I can get my hands on is collapsed and used to stop a few weeds from seeing the sun. Some of the big 8-up pages from my books are printed on paper 150 grams thick. They are spare pages, which missed out on being bound into Australian Bats and Australian Owls, Platypus Deep or Koala Number One.
So they are doing weed-asphyxiatng duty. And very pretty they look too, adorning the hillsides or wrapped around baby trees in the absence of proper weed mats.
I wonder if the kookaburras I see down in the planting area have noticed Heather Gall’s illustrations of Big Eyes the kookaburra star of Kookaburra School? I wonder if the giant Red-Bellied Black Snake who lives in that paddock has ever slithered across the page starring the Carpet Python from the same story? Or if the dark emerald-green-patterned python I have seen down there has admired itself in Heather’s paintings?