Theatre in the back-yard.

Spectacular to watch, elegant and brutal at the same time.


Two males. The thinner one of the two drove off the larger one after a three hour battle. They crash each other to the ground with a thud as they hiss.

Worth listening to or reading….

Glyphosate in our creeks are contributing to our local fauna decline.

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Byron Environment Centre herbicide free day.

The Byron Environment Centre is holding it’s bi-monthly chemical-free bush regen and boardwalk maintenance this Tuesday 30th September from 9am – 2pm at the Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary (next to the toilet block of the Byron Market site). We will either be on the boardwalk replacing some decking or on the NW side weeding and placing mesh around some native plantings . Come even for an hour or two – all help very welcome. Drinks supplied. Please cover up in case of mosquitoes and bring sunscreen, hat and gloves and wear sturdy footwear.

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A quiet and enjoyable week-end with spring bringing the birds, snakes and a koala to the gardens.
The wood-stove carpet snake has been joined by another. They spend the morning together and then move back into the discarded stove. Other carpet snakes are nearby so it is mating season which could mean some spectacular displays between the competing males.

Monsanto may have just met its match: Beekeepers.

Monsanto has been lobbying the Mexican government to approve genetically engineered crops and bee-killing pesticides in the Yucatan, one of the biggest honey producing regions in the world.

With honeybees already dying in massive numbers due to the overuse of pesticides, this could be the final nail in the coffin for Mexico’s bees.

But the beekeepers are fighting back and just scored a major legal victory over Monsanto and its bee-killing pesticides. Now we need to build on their victory, and take this inspiring fight against Monsanto global.

Monsanto’s annual shareholder meeting is the perfect opportunity to demand it stops pushing its bee-killing pesticides.

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Consideration of Poisoning of Coral Trees at Wilsons and Coopers Creek

There is information (see below) that nitrogen fixing trees such as the Coral tree naturally appear in great numbers in wet areas, particularly wetlands, so their appearance alongside creeks is a natural occurrence. People wishing to poison them need to be asked why they are resisting the regeneration obviously being carried out by the coral trees in that the trees volunteer to add more nitrogen to the soil than if the coral trees were not there? They also need to be asked whether they are aware that parrots in particular feed from its flowers? Coral trees, like camphors and wattles are pioneers. They improve soil and shade levels for climax communities. These pioneers can all be expected to go into recession when they are shaded out by the climax communities.
Our chemical-free method of bush regeneration is to leave the coral trees alone and see them as a benefit. Native trees are planted among them to take advantage of their nitrogen. Branches can be lopped strategically from the coral trees to allow in light if that is preferred. Lopped branches are stacked in pyramid fashion so they are not in contact with soil to prevent the branches re-sprouting.

If poisoning of the trees takes place without replacing them with other nitrogen fixing trees, their removal is obviously land degradation practice. The culture we live in has a pathological resistance to returning organic matter to soil (see appended article, Biodiversity conservation and soil organic matter), and the removal of trees that volunteer to fix nitrogen can be seen as the continuation of the culture’s resistance to provisioning soil. Replacing them is not just a case of one tree planted for every tree removed, it is a case of planting the amount of biomass removed. It is far easier, and in accord with the regeneration that the coral trees offer, to just plant natives among them.
The following may be of interest in regard to coral trees

“A German chemist, Fritz Haber, won the Nobel Prize in 1918 for discovering a method by which nitrogen could be obtained from the atmosphere, of which it forms about four-fifths. His discovery enabled Germany to fight World War 1 in spite of being cut off from the only previously known supplies of commercial nitrogen fertilizer, chiefly guano deposits. Ever since then, men have been able to get all the nitrogen they need from the air.

“Jungles knew all about it, and legumes too, millions of years before there were men. On soils deficient in nutritive elements, the tropical rain forest grows a great number of leguminous plants; they can be, and often are, the very biggest of jungle trees, such as the huge tropical acacias. It has been recorded that in two British Guiana jungle areas, which were either swampy and waterlogged or even more badly leached than usual, more than half of all the trees were of this type. In three other areas nearby, neither as badly leached nor as marshy, the proportion of leguminous trees ranged only from 14 to 33 percent.” [Ivan Sanderson's Book of Great Jungles Julian Messner, New York, 1965, pp. 104, 105.]

We occupy a sub-tropical region rather than tropical. Nevertheless, this region because of land-clearing suffers major loss of nutrients through leaching. Coral trees, as leguminous trees in this region are also not engaged in growing above canopy height unlike what leguminous trees appear to do in the tropics. In sub-tropical areas we can expect the coral trees as sun-lover to die out as the native canopy closes. Even if they do not, is that a major problem with a strong native canopy? If it is a problem purely on the basis that coral trees are not native, then I would suggest it is a prejudice toward the plant world not unlike that ascribed to ethnic cleansing of humans.

Furthermore, Monsanto does not disappear from protest. It has less impact the more it is not subscribed to.


Geoff Dawe,

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Come along for a herbicide free experience.

It is a great feeling to remove the Bitou from the front dunes uncovering treasures like Knotted Club Rush (Ficinia nodosa), a sedge that grows naturally in Australian dune environments. So this coming Saturday, the 27th of September, Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare will be in at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve, lopping Bitou Bush on the front dunes, from 9 am till 1:30 pm. Meet at the fire track gate at the end of South Beach Road near the surf club. If you come later, walk along the dog walking track to the beach, head South for 50 m and you will spot us. We are on to the last leg of primary work. Looking great. Thanks to all our volunteers. New volunteers are welcome. We have 15 pairs of loppers, so if you have some spare time and want to learn how to restore the dunes using our chemical-free strategy please come and join us.

Please wear boots, a long-sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, a picnic and beach gear. More information please phone 0478272300 or email or go to

Coral tree providing nectar for the honey eater.
Photo taken 20th September 2014 by Rodney Weidland.

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Coral nectar a feast for Honey eaters.

Glyphosate (round-up) has been found by researchers close to the Great Barrier Reef in seawater. This is a surprising finding to many as Glyphosate has been marketed as a biodegradable product by its makers.
This study demonstrated Glyphosate is moderately persistent in marine water under low light conditions and is highly persistent in the dark. The authors conclude in this study that little degradation would be expected during flood plumes in the tropics, which would then deliver dissolved and sediment-bound glyphosate far from shore.
Jo Immig. For further up to date information see

So it is hard to understand the local land-care mis-guided use of this product on coral trees lining the creeks edge, water that eventually reaches the ocean. Instead, employ and train young people in the chemical free approach to land-care. In this CLIMATE change action week it is time to react positively for the whole environment and its delicate balance for all life we live amongst.

Thank-you Rodney and Elizabeth for your visit and to Rodney for the photos of the birds feasting from the coral tree.

And human kind is fouling it’s nest.

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Rodney Weidland photo.


Visiting here yesterday, Elizabeth Ihuede and Rodney Weidland. Rodney, a well known photographer of birds and wildlife along with the beautiful food photography featured in Belinda Jeffery’s collection of recipe books.

See Elizabeth’s Blog at

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