Territory Stories

Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club newsletter



Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club newsletter

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ASFNC newsletter


Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club


Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club newsletter; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club newsletter




Alice Springs


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Biology; Natural history; Alice Springs (N.T.); Periodicals

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Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club

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Alice Springs


Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club newsletter


Newsletter, November 2016

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Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club.



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Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club November 2016 5 It was the hottest day so far this season and stops were less frequent although a profusely flowering Duboisia hopwoodii (Pituri Bush) was enough to apply the brakes. Although this plant occurs throughout central Australia in spinifex sandplains and sandhills, it is not common. A very interesting shrub in that it is highly toxic and used by Aboriginal people to poison emus and other game. For further information see Bushfires & Bushtucker by Peter Latz. (picture right) I was taken with how the little used, two-wheeled red sandy track had flowers on both sides and down the centre. We continued on our way to the Stuart Highway, said our goodbyes and thank yous to Sheridan and headed for home tired but happy or should I say ecstatic in Michaels case. For the record, participants were: Barb & Jim Gilfedder, Bob Read, Anne Pye, MeggKelham, Pam Keil, Michael Laflamme, Sheridan Martin and yours truly. Sheridan was keen to share with us some of the aspects of Rangers duties on Owen Springs Reserve, which included fire management, weed management and care of heritage and cultural sites. It seemed a lot of work considering how few staff there are and how big the area is. Whilst having smoko in a creek bed near Haunted Tree Bore, Sheridan gave us an insight into their weed management program. Quite a daunting task and as we were about to leave we noticed a patch of the nasty Cenchrus echinatus (Mossman River Grass). As we helped Sheridan grub it out and place in a plastic bag, we found that the burrs will stick to almost anything they come in contact with. Unintentionally, Megg found that her shawl was particularly useful in gathering up escaped burrs from the sand! Sheridan also talked about the old homestead ruins. We didnt visit it this time, perhaps being too stunned by all the wonderful flowers, but Sheridan talked about the history of Owen Springs when it was a station and had photos of the old ruin in its prime. (picture left taken in 1939) She explained the necessity for its thick coat of white preservative and said without it, the whole place would have become just a pile of rubble very quickly. I wish I had taken notes of more of what Sheridan said but I am hopeful that she will be able to come and speak at one of our meetings next year.