Monday, July 18, 2011

Are Koalas the issue?

South Eastern forests have been subject to logging and their fair share of protesters over the last few weeks.
This is nothing new, due to the nice stands of spotted gum located in state forest areas down this way.

The protesters main thrust against this logging is that habitat for koala is being lost.
Forestry workers I talked to today stated that they had done extensive surveying of the area and have found none, though protesters state that these areas are, in the least, safe areas for migration during times of drought, fire or other environmental factors that would drive them from established, and universally recognised, areas of habitation.

Now, here's the real spanner in the works..both groups are missing the big picture. yep.
At another time the logging was on, in a slightly different area,
I was able to observe what actually happens in there.
Yes, someone removed some signs on a know, the ones that say things similar to :
" do not enter under pain of death".
I wish they hadn't. I don't like to be where I'm not supposed to be,
also I had real difficulty getting out in my 4X4.
So, what did I see that Im not supposed to?
Well, the track was churned up to over 300mm of fine dust, as was the surrounding "forest"
and, at points, was much worse than that.
No plant was to be seen at ground level and the few trees left were scarred by machinery,
weak and small and very well spaced apart.
Ok, so now we get to the main reason, in my mind, why this action should halt.
It has nothing to do with the senseless rape of the forest, or furry koalas going hungry...its about erosion.
Its about cubic tonnes of topsoil running into creeks that lead to lakes...many with protected areas of habitat.
Last time this logging went on we had large amounts of rain soon after,
and soon after that I went fishing in Wallaga Lake.
I didn't catch any fish...probably because of the extensive amount of fine particulate saturating the water that, strangely enough, was the same colour as the soil I'd seen on that unplanned drive through devastation some weeks earlier. I suppose the floating grass and plant debris was the clincher.
Here's the latest "Pain of death" sign.
Yep, When advised of course I'll stay out :)

And here is where its going on at the moment, upstream from Wallaga Lake.

This picture ,below, is a protected habitat and an upper arm of Wallaga Lake.
It is also downstream of current logging operations.
...and an ok place to be ( at the moment anyway).

Yes, since I have lived in this area Wallaga lake has silted up... quite a bit over the last 4 years .
Koalas or not, the big picture is much bigger than you knew.
The logging IS upstream of Wallaga Lake.

Much more is at risk.
If destruction of environment and protected habitats disturbs you, you can email the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Mr Tony Burke at:
If you live in another part of the world, I'm sure Mr Burke would still like to hear from you.
You never know, you might want to visit our still beautiful and diverse part of it one day.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A glimpse of a European summer

While in Germany this visit, I did not have much opportunity to get a lot of nature shots.
My lens was turned towards architecture and landscape this time.
You can see the results of that endeavour on my Facebook site.
(There is a link on the left hand side of this post)
I did glimpse a moment or two, such as these pictured below.

Firstly, a large land snail laying its eggs.
At just under 50mm across the shell, its eggs were just under pea sized objects.
 Then there was this strange critter.
I am yet to identify it, though I saw empty shells left behind once it had metamorphosed.
Into what, I'm yet to determine also.  

This was a little easier to ID.
It is, of course, a hedgehog.
Sadly I wasn't able to photograph a family, which makes a rather cute photo I'm told.
 I was able to capture this Hover Fly laying eggs though.

As well as these snails in the act of hermaphroditic reproduction

I was amazed at the number and range of small insects I had never encountered before.
So much so, I would like to thank Bridget and Ralph for he identification book they gave me.
Still looking for this one.

This is definitely an ant.

I was not aware that Hover Flies eat pollen, though they do.

Some things are constant though, such as the beetle attacks experienced over the summer months.
Just before dark, for about half an hour, masses of small beetles crowd the air.

They gather in ever growing clusters until the mass of the group is too much and they fall to the ground, only to resume this behaviour again.
Soon they are gone for the night, around the time bats come out and begin the hunt for them.
A most interesting spectacle indeed.