by Paul Alessi
African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula)
This weed from Southern Africa was thought to have been brought
to Australia by accident before 1900 and later deliberately imported
as a pasture grass. It is now a declared prohibited plant in most districts and is
common almost everywhere I care to look, most of us know what
Serrated Tussock looks like but hardly anyone I speak to can pick this one,
it DOES resemble our GOOD native Poa Tussock so please take the
time get familiar with African Lovegrass before it becomes a huge problem here
in Windellama, also you don't want to waste time and money spraying out your native Poa.
African Lovegrass is in seed at the moment (Autumn) and the native Poa is not,
native Poa tussock mostly seeds in December/January, African Lovegrass can set seed
at any time in response to rain.
It is becoming the dominant species in many areas of Sydney and Canberra and
no one seems to be doing anything to control it.
If you want to know what African Lovegrass looks like it's the most common
tussocky grass at the Oallen Ford camping area and likewise the paddock next to the drive
thru at McDonalds North Goulburn has been totally taken over by it.
If you have internet
access have a look at these photos in colour at www.wild.windellama.com
as the colour of the plant alone will help you identify African Lovegrass
I finally saw my frist Platypusses (or is that Platypie) in the wild the other day,
they were in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve about 40km south west of Canberra,
an area absolutely devastated by the Canberra fires a few years ago. It was great
to see so much wildlife there although the landscape is still very much in the early
stages of recovery.
Most of us would probably know the basic facts about Platypus so I won't bore you with
that (this time) but I am interested in any that you might have seen either
recently or in past times, I've been told that they are often spotted in the Shoalhaven River
around Oallen Ford and that's good to know but it's the creeks in Windellama that I'm
mainly interested in, i.e. Nerrimunga, Nadgigomar, Windellama and Budjong Creeks.
The only reports of Platypus in the Nerrimunga Creek that I have heard are from about
about 20 years ago and last year I found what looks to be a Platypus burrow
about one metre above the current stream height but it was deserted and most likely very old
as Platypus like to make their burrows just above water level. Maybe Platypus are still
there in our creeks and maybe you have seen one, please contact me if you have.
Copyright Paul Alessi 2007
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