On a trip to the farm recently we had a full on day of harbour removal. I know that that sounds like some large-scale sea-scaping, not something that you would readily associate with an inland area like Strathbogie!
Harbour removal is clearing of rough or overgrown areas in paddocks that can be used as safe havens for undesirable creatures, such as rabbits and foxes. Some of this involved the removal of rough rocky outcrops, which are useful for erosion control, and the collection of fallen timber. We collected as much of the wood we could for fire wood, the rest which was heavily burnt or rotten was collected together and burnt. It nice to see some reward for a hard days work, and there aren’t many better rewards that a nice big bonfire.
Before anyone complains this isn’t a case of wanton destruction of native trees and habitats. Many areas of the farm that are unsuitable for grazing, being too rough and inaccessible by humans, have been fenced-off and and returned to natural bush or replanted with native trees. All in all a net gain for Australian flora and fauna. In the replanted areas there has a been a noticeable increase in the number of birds, and no doubt other wildlife as well.
It really is amazing how pretty weeds can be; but then any plant growing where it is not wanted is by definition a weed.
Cape Weed (Arctotheca calendula) originally from Cape Province in South Africa is an attractive, hardy groundcover with yellow daisy-like flowers. The only problem is that it is too effective as a groundcover when it escapes from the garden starving the grass of light in spring and early summer. Once the full heat of summer has burnt the Cape Weed off, all that is left is bare earth. There is one thing though this weed is valued by some graziers for the nutritional value that it offers stock (Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority [^]).
Another pretty pasture weed is Onion Grass (Romulea rosea [^]), however this appears to have no redeeming features other than it’s looks.
Finally an innocuous example of farm flora – lichen on the trunk of an ash tree.
The other day we ended up at the Yarch Hotel for tea – not a bad meal. Mrs CannibalRabbit had to go to the Yarck Adult Riding Club AGM there. Yarck is one of those places that seems to have nothing about it on the internet, it’s one of those places that most people pass through without even thinking about it. Yarck is on the road to the snow at Mt Buller, and Lake Eildon (Bonnie Doon). For us it’s on the way to the farm up at Strathbogie. It was nice to be able to get some photo’s on our brief stay, rather than just breezing through.
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