Turkey Rhubarb hunting

It was a warm summer’s day as we headed down to our work area at Long Reef point, with John, Stella, Gen and Claire stopping at two locations just north off the track into our work area where there was a patch of non-native pigs face, one spot where it was growing over our natives and the track fence. Julie continued to work up the top on Bitou and she had two plants to get in the ground in her area which is steep and thus there is some time needed to create terraces when planting. Merrilyn weeded on the top slope whilst Brad weeded and planted the remaining five plants on the western side near the gully. Des scouted the site for asparagus fern.

The rest of us, Lawson, Maddie, Elaine and Lisa started work on the turkey rhubarb (Acetosa sagittate) on the flat ground. It wasn’t long until John, Stella, Gen and Claire joined us in the hunt for turkey rhubarb bulbs. Then Alex and Josh turned up and they elected to go to the second area of our turkey rhubarb infestation in the middle of a patch of the Westringia fruticosa – which is not an easy area to work in with the branches and roots.  With so many on the first site working on the Acetosa sagittate I went up the slope (pulling out Bitou seedlings on the way) to assist Merrilyn with weeding and a little bit of the non-native pigs face where it was growing over our plantings. The long heavy stems of this creeper are not good for these small plants.

Maria arrived just before morning tea so there was quite a group of us there chatting as can be seen in the morning tea photo of the group. Lisa gave another update on the meeting with Council who are looking to form a volunteer group ‘Friends of Long Reef’, as a couple of our members are very interested. Lisa then gave a list of different areas and jobs that could be undertaken on site, thinking that people could be bored with the hunt for Acetosa sagittate bulbs – but no… most wanted to go on the hunt for more bulbs!

Our traditional morning tea

Elaine went up the slope to continue weeding where Merrilyn and I had been before morning tea, whilst I went across the gully to weed, as I knew it needed help. Brad and Merrilyn worked on cutting back Bitou and as time went by, John and Maddie joined us, and worked on bitou west of the gully – Lawson above and west of the gully, and then Gen and Stella joined Brad and Merrilyn. Des appeared cutting back bitou from the northern dunes that were growing over our Themeda.

On the way back, Lisa walked with Merrilyn, Brad and Lawson – and found a huge asparagus fern. Being tired and out of water, Brad and Lawson just cut off any branches with berries – a job for Des to tackle next time! Lisa sat under a Leptospermum laevigatum, watching the boys, as Lisa was not feeling the best, as Lisa had already depleted her supply Merrilyn kindly gave Lisa the rest of her water – thanks Merrilyn! Low and behold, not long after that Merrilyn found a snail shell on one of the grass tracks just below the whale sculpture – Brad now has this to determine if this is a trump snail or a Maroubra snail – we are waiting with baited breathe for the verdict.

The group arrived back in the car park very much in drips and drabs (head count was done!) with most wanting to head off as fast as possible for a very well-deserved swim instead of joining Lisa, Des and Maria for coffee.