Category Archives: Uncategorized

A passion for plants

Goodenia lanata, Trailing Goodenia

Most Ballarat Field Naturalist members will have been sent this link but some of you in our wider community may be interested in this fascinating story about one of our past members.

Patricia Murphy was a valued member of our group and contributed in  numerous of ways to our club as you will find out. Susan Kruss has written a beautiful and well researched article about Pat, which has been published in Muelleria. Here is a link to A passion for plants: The botanical contribution of collector P.J. Murphy.




Spider orchids in Enfield

Enfield Forest is a favourite haunch of Ballarat Field Nats and on a visit last week to the Berringa – Misery Creek Road, we found 9 orchids. Here are 2 photos taken by Bill.

Chiloglottis valida Bird Orchid

Caladenia parva Spider Orchid

Insect Plant Interactions

At our March meeting the topic was insect plant interactions. Here are some photos of different insects on an everlasting daisy. Each insect is getting something from the plant. Our 7 April meeting is something completely different and will be about the Falkland Islands. This year’s meeting topics and excursions list has recently been updated  – link


What is in a name?

Over the years there has been uncertainty in which name is correct for one of the sites we regularly visit. Do we go to Mt Beckwith or Mt Beckworth? At last night’s meeting a copy of a letter was presented that clarified the name to use. The letter written in 1988 was from Dr Jim Willis in response to Helen Burgess, one of our members.

in part it says …

My apologies for having kept you waiting nearly a month for a response to your letter of May 20th, re correa occurrence at Mt. Beckwith – I do think that ought to be accepted as the spelling, since Major Mitchell named the mount after his former military colleague, Col. Thomas Sydney Beckwith; goodness knows who subsequently mis-spelt the name “Beckworth”. Anyway, it’s a great pity that the musical aboriginal name of “Nananook” had not been retained…….

Reviewing the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Glossodia major Wax-lip Orchid

Glossodia major Wax-lip Orchid

The Victorian Government is reviewing the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, a key part of Victoria’s legislative framework for the protection and management of biodiversity.

The Act’s objectives aim to conserve all of Victoria’s native plants and animals. Continue reading

A Guide to Pollinators

Plague Soldier Beetle

Plague Soldier Beetle

You may be aware that last week there was citizen science event  where you could record the number of insects observed pollinating flowers, in a 20 minute period.

If you missed out then it is on again next April 2016. As part of the activity a great new brochure was produced  pollinators_guide_printa4 and the website is well worth checking out.

BEN News

The latest newsletter from the Ballarat Environment Network (BEN) is available. As field naturalists  most of us realise that BEN manage about 50 reserves that have great biodiversity values  and we have visited quite a few of them. BEN News

The call out is for more people to consider joining their group and to be on the committee and to attend working bees.  Note that the photo on page 2 of BEN News  is an introduced lily, Amaryllis belladonna not some new mega orchid. It is great to see an article written by Roger Thomas about Hardies Hill.

Launch of “Rediscovering the Country”

The film “Rediscovering the Country” was launched in Ballarat last Friday. Field Nats members will recognise a few of the participants. It is now available to view form this link.
Continue reading

Interested in powerful owls?

Here is an invitation from the Wombat Forestcare Group – Our next ‘You, Me & Biodiversity’ lecture promises to be very interesting.
When: Saturday 14th June, 1 – 3pm
Speaker: Dr Bronwyn Isaac on Powerful Owls: From the forests to the suburbs
Where: Trentham Neighbourhood Centre, High St, Trentham
Cost: Gold coin donation Continue reading

Cattle in the Alpine National Park

Media articles are appearing again about cattle being allowed into the Alpine National Park  to see if they can reduce the impact of fire. Ballarat have sent submissions in about this in the not so distant past. You may be interested to read the latest response from the Victorian National Parks Association – Setting-the-record-straight_Cattle-grazing-in-the-Alpine-National-Park

If you are interested in reading more then look at the submission by the Australian Academy of Science  GrazingImpactOnBushfireFuelTrail