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Book reviews

Mosses of dry forests in South Eastern Australia  Cassia Read and Bernard Slattery North Warrandyte Osborne Peninsula Landcare  A HANDY pocket-sized book originally intended as a field guide for the mosses of the Castlemaine area, but it is much more than that.  It contains a wealth of information about a little known area of the plant kingdom.  A comprehensive alphabetical list of the mosses is enhanced… Read more »

Flowers of Falls Creek

Madeline Brenker and Karen McGregor  Warm weather and clear skies in January provided an excellent opportunity to explore and photograph some of Victoria’s spectacular alpine flora and fauna. Wildflower meadows filled with golden-yellow daisies and pink triggerplants were a sight to behold. Here is a selection of images from a weekend of gentle hikes. Read more »

Breathe easy

Low-allergy gardening with indigenous plants. Dr Philip Taylor has researched and published several papers on allergenic pollens. He offers us this thought-provoking argument for greater use of indigenous plants in our garden HAYFEVER symptoms include a runny nose and itchy eyes, and this is one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions, affecting 18% of the population in Melbourne. Allergic asthma affects 10% of the population, and is experienced as wheezing, coughing… Read more »

President’s letter

Do sugar flowers belong on the cover of Indigenotes?  I THINK SO. Committee member Karen McGregor’s creations illustrate how the flora and fauna around us inspires humanity’s artistic response and how our art, in turn, deepens our engagement with nature.  During a trip to Turkey and Europe in 2008 I was entranced by depictions of flora through many layers of history. Flora and fauna flourished… Read more »


In the mid-1980s a young couple, Ros and Andrew Bradey were desperate to buy a farm anywhere in SE Australia. They bought 300 hectares at Ullswater in the South-west Wimmera region of Victoria and called it Nilgiri. They bought it because it was cheap. They had very few dollars and were probably low on cents too!  HAVING bought a farm, and sheep, and a few tools their previously unimpressive… Read more »

Victorian Bushland Management Network

A BUSHLAND manager is someone who manages land for biodiversity.  This work predominantly involves removal and/or reduction of threats to biodiversity (pest plant and animals, inappropriate disturbance regimes) and enhancement of biodiversity values (planting, direct seeding, habitat enrichment).  As a profession, bushland managers work on land which is usually reserved for biodiversity. They work both in the public and private sector on both private and public land.… Read more »

Dining with Bush Stone-curlews

Nocturnal, ground-dwelling and beautifully camouflaged, Bush Stone- Curlews stand completely still when threatened. They are famously difficult to see. Sadly this gives no protection against habitat loss and introduced predators that hunt by following a scent trail, and the birds now face local extinction in central Victoria. Karen McGregor reports on a program to bring curlews home to a safe and suitable environment. The March IFFA excursion was held in… Read more »

In the propagation shed

Spring brings with it warmer weather, longer days and a vast array of wildflowers, so it’s no surprise that it is many people’s favourite season. It is at this time of year that many ecosystems come to life with colours and scents, drawing in the many species of pollinators required to produce this year’s batch of seed. Naomie Sunner leads the way from bushland… Read more »

Presidents letter

IFFA has been very active this year but organisational problems have interrupted some things, including Indigenotes. Sorry you’ve had to wait since March for this issue. Big thanks to Amanda Dodd for taking on the job of emergency editor, on top of her many other roles in IFFA.  The committee has got over the recent hurdles and is powering ahead. However, to maintain the pace, we need… Read more »

Marsupial masterpieces – Turning weeds into wildflowers

The biggest limiting factor in grassland restoration is the availability of seed. The second is the lack of community engagement and understanding in grassland ecosystems. The Marsupial Masterpieces project running at the Iramoo Wildflower Grassland Reserve in St Albans is trying to solve both of these problems by bringing ephemeral art into the fold.  Since 2007, the Friends of Iramoo led by Rick van Keulen have been experimenting using corrugated… Read more »

IFFA speed planning

At the IFFA Annual General Meeting in November 2015 we discussed ideas for IFFA’ s future in an informal ‘speed planning’ session. Plenty of good suggestions were made for follow-up by the Committee How can IFFA best make an impact (advocate) on conservation issues?  Methods  Build membership  Social media (Spend $ on enhanced features)  Indigenotes  Forums  Meet with government (all levels)  Website … Read more »

Autumn in the propagating shed

Naomie Sunner sketches a new season in the nursery. AUTUMN is my favourite time of year. A walk in local bushland reveals fresh growth on shrubs withered by summer, green shoots emerging from summer-dormant lilies, and seedlings germinating in the freshly hydrated soils. And, as most of my favourite wildflowers can be grown in autumn, it is also my favourite propagation season.  While Australia is well known for its… Read more »

Salty goodness

A salt lick used by kangaroos. Is this the first recorded observation in Victoria? Do other macropods make use of the site? Should provision of salt blocks be a factor in conservation planning? Tanya Loos explores unfamiliar paths.  I AM A BIT of a stay-at-home naturalist, padding up and down the same worn bush tracks in about a 30km radius of Daylesford, Victoria, with a lovely bush area called… Read more »

The secret world of non-vascular plants

Mosses are critical for the entire ecosystem, reports Karen McGregor  HAVE you ever wondered what goes on beneath your feet while walking in a rainforest? Or considered how miniature plants such as mosses impact your life? Then the IFFA Moss, Liverwort and Lichen excursion was for you! On a lovely early spring day in September, 25 people joined Mary Gibson on a walk and talk in the Rainforest Gallery, just… Read more »

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