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Articles: nature

Birds of a Feather

| At home, garden, nature

By Jonathon Howard Some people confuse currawongs with magpies. Both birds are common to our gardens. Both birds are similar in size and are black and white in colour, however, there are significant differences. A keen ‘birdo’ will tell you the black and white colour extends to the top half of a magpie, while a …

Superb Fairy-wren – a truly superb bird

| garden, nature

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability One of the great delights of the natural world is to be able to observe wildlife in their natural state.  We are fortunate to be able to do so in this region, even in our gardens and parks. One of our most striking birds …

The secrets behind scientific names

| nature

By Jonathon Howard Scientists don’t all wear white lab coats and have thick glasses like Professor Frink on the Simpsons. We have personalities, honour and respect our colleagues, and have a sense of humour like everyone else. If you don’t believe me – let’s look at how scientists name different plants and animals. Scientific names have …

Keep your eyes peeled for the Crested Shrike-tit

| nature

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability With its distinctive Mohawk style crest, black-and-white striped face, and bright-yellow front, the Crested Shrike-tit should be easy to see. Yet, when feeding in the canopy of trees, they are often difficult to find — it is only the sound of them tearing off …

Getting a prickly pest under control

| community, nature

By Mick Webster, Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park Many visitors to the western end of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park will see scattered clumps of Prickly Pear, an introduced cactus that was a real nuisance many years ago. This is largely controlled now by a species of cochineal beetle, which eats the leaves (technically called …

A love letter to my rain gauge

| climate change, garden, nature

By Jonathon Howard We’ve been seeing a lot of each other recently and we need to think about taking the next step. I know, my visits have been sporadic, but I want you know you are always on your mind. As I mow the lawn I see you there by the fence post. I know …

What do we know about living in this landscape?

| climate change, nature

By Alan Hewett “They had not lived long enough.” Judge Leonard Stretton made this famous statement in his royal commission report after the 1939 bushfires. He was not referring to the age of those who died but indicated their lack of knowledge about the environment they lived in. The question can still be asked, do …

Wildlife’s survival depends on us

| garden, nature

By Kirsten Coates My internet yoga teacher conducts her lessons with her dog Benji by her side. I have tried this too but my three-legged dog Lexi just thinks this is time to play and, needless to say, I end up banishing her to another room. Although she is a calming presence in my life, …

Bringing thrifty back

| At home, money matters, nature, waste

By Melissa Kane I’m bringing thrifty back, which might sound quite presumptuous, but I’ve been using the time during COVID and on the back of Plastic Free July to pause, reflect and examine what going plastic free means for me. Everyone is on their own plastic free journey and I respect that your house means …

Don’t forget the little guys this spring

| At home, garden, nature

By Jonathan Howard

In spring most of us turn our attention to the garden and plants. Some of us might look to plant natives with nectar-producing flowers to attract honeyeaters and wrens in the garden.

This spring, I encourage you to do something different – why not install some insect hotels …