Sunday, November 29, 2009

HBF- caring for our coast

Community Spirit Day with Cottesloe Coastcare and HBF's very own Team
Going Green to Care!

Summer can be harsh on our native dune vegetation so we decided to head back to Cottesloe and check on the seedlings we planted and fertilised last Spring! Many shrubs and bushes were going strong, however sadly natural selection had taken the weak... harsh life on the sand dunes we were told by Robyn who helps runs the show and regularly volunteers much of her own time caring for Cottesloe's Coastline!

The day started at 9 o-clock sharp, under Robyn's watchful eye, and joined by Yvonne, Keith, Laurel and Sue we went about watering the plants... by bucket, one by one.. a top up meant to get them to May!!! A couple of hours later, after lugging countless buckets back and forth we were spent,days at the desk really hadn't prepared us!! But we weren't beat, a morning tea of Monte Carlo's, Coffee, Tea, and Brad's cordial and we were back!

Then came the weeding (no ones favourite), the quick tutorial on what was a 'weed' and what was a 'non-weed' seemed to leave us all bit confused! But never mind, we decided it didn't matter, we could spot three weeds so we went about up-rooting oats, onion weeds and these little rolly polly things. In the end Ryan and Toni cleaned up the unsightly oats along the path! Brad and Cail collected seeds to safeguard the 'bio-diversity' of the Cottesloe plant species! Brett machined his way through hillsides of onion weeds and Simon checked up on the fertiliser tree he planted on our last visit!

It was a great day filled with sunshine, friendly laughs and a good dose of Community Spirit! After all everyone at HBF cares and saving the world doesn't need to be all weeds and watering but healthy people do need a healthy planet!!
Business Analyst - Viability
HBF Health Limited

Thanks Cail, Bradley, Simon, Toni, Brett and Ryan - what a great team! We Cottesloe Coastcarers love having enthusiastic groups work with us, many thanks. I must, however, explain the "fertiliser tree" mentioned above. Simon says he is "no gardener" but his team have never let him forget that he carefully planted a fertiliser tablet once - he thought it was a big and impressive seed. And while I am telling stories here - the HBF team gave Brad a hard time for his frequent drinks breaks and Ryan for being scared of a stick (he thought it was a snake).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beautiful blue and white

A few days ago when I was walking along the beachfront, I yet again, enjoyed the beauty of the November blue and white floral show provided on our Cottesloe foreshore.

The blue flowers are from the very common foreshore plant - thick leaved fan flower or Scaevola crassifolia and the white flowers (here with pink petals and bunches of white stamens) are from chenille honeymyrtle or Melaleuca huegelii. In 1837, the botanist, Baron von Heugel collected specimens of chenille honeymyrtle on Rottnest Island and at Fremantle.

Scaevolas or fan-flowers have a corolla split into a five lobed fan, arranged like five fingers. Scaevola means left-handed and the plant is named after a Roman hero.More information about the name comes from F.A. Sharr's 'Western Australian Plant Names and Their Meanings' - here it states that scaevola is a Roman surname (from scaevus or left-handed), originating from C.Mucius Scaevola (570BC) who attempted to assassinate Porsena, an enemy of Rome. He was captured and threatened with torture, then he burned off his own right hand to show his bravery.

I took the photos at Dutch Inn Groyne. Cottesloe Coastcare volunteers planted these beautiful local provenance plants in 2001/2.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good synergies between CCA & Synergy

Synergy is a sponsor of Landcare Australia. Cottesloe Coastcare has been very fortunate to have our Mudurup Rocks project chosen to receive Synergy/ Landcare funding.CCA volunteers have been busy collecting seed and hand weeding the site to prepare the area for planting thousands of local provenance seedlings during the autumn and winter 2010. On Friday 13th November Synergy staff and CCA volunteers worked together in an afternoon of hand weeding. We removed many bags of dune onion weed, sea spinach and rose pelargonium seedlings. We cut the roots with knives and small trowels, to create the minimum of soil disturbance at the site. After a good afternoon's work the Synergy crew gathered at the Cottesloe civic Centre and enjoyed a well earned picnic.

Posted by Picasa
Many thanks to Candice Grisbrook, Synergy's Corporate Affairs Advisor and to all the weeding team. You can hear Candice chatting about the project - here, in a short video clip.

To read two earlier blogs about the Synergy/Landcare/town of Cottesloe/CCA project : Click here and Click here

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Clean the Beach Community Project

Friday 13th November was the second Waves Surfware and Coastcare 'Clean the Beach Community Project'. Students from 4 schools participated Hamilton SHS, Mt Lawley SHS, North Lake Senior Campus and North Lake -English as Second Language students. I was lucky enough to go beach cleaning with a great team from Hamilton Senior High. Everyone did such a great job but I have to particularly congratulate Taylor and Callum. No rubbish was to horrid for Taylor to collect and no rubbish was in too difficult a spot for Callum to collect - it had to be cleaned up! Thanks too for the notes below sent to me by Val House. ( click on photos to enlarge)

Clean the Beach Community Project
Hamilton Senior High

Kerri Leonard and Lisa Moreschi had an enthusiastic group of Year 10 students at Leighton Beach to work with Coastcare to remove rubbish from a section of the beach and dunes. The event sponsored by Waves Surfwear, included training sessions on the fragility of the coast from Kate Sputore ( North Metro Coastcare Officer) and beach safety by two volunteers from Surf Lifesaving WA. The Surf Life Saving Club provided lunch for the students and Waves demonstrated their appreciation with a variety of products for each participant. Students recorded 5 hours of Community Service in their log book and can be congratulated on their positive attitudes to voluntary work.

Students (not in order): Aaron Muccarone, Jeremy Stewart, Samantha McLauchlan, Shane Walkley, Madison Maxwell, Isabel Reyes, ( pink balloon!),
Elizabeth Bird, Callum Farmer, Jayde Harshaw,Taylor Maselli. Teachers: Lisa Moreschi, Kerri Leonard andVal House
Posted by Picasa

See 2 inter-glacial periods - right here!

Recently the Naturalist's Club had a presentation followed by a coastal walk, conducted by Vic Semeniuk. For the walk the group met at Cottesloe's Mudurup Rocks. Vic took us through a quarter of a million years of fascinating geology! Many thanks to Vic and the Nat's Club for a fascinating morning. See Mike Gregson's notes below, thanks Mike!
(As we were heading home Leeuwin sailed past in all her splendour.)



Dr Vic Semeniuk is a specialist in coastal formations. He gave us a fascinating talk on Perth’s beaches, dunes and rocky shores, describing a great cyclic pattern of sedimentation and landform development that occurred during the Pleistocene ice ages and interglacial periods, and which is still occurring today. He followed it up the next day with an excursion at Cottesloe’s Mudurup Rocks, where the geological processes he described are illustrated in the sand and rocks we were standing on.

Vic began by describing the way the waves wash sand up onto the beach, forming laminations. Sand grains, differing in size and density, are sorted by the variable energy of the waves. And because wavelength varies, so the beach changes hourly. This leads to a complex pattern of layering. As the tide recedes, bubble sand can be observed, caused by the waves interacting with tides. On the Saturday, Vic demonstrated the bubble sand that waves had created only a few seconds beforehand, and the layering of different particle sizes that had also recently been built by the waves. Layering patterns are not only the result of waves and tides, but also wind, storms and the slope of the beach.

Waves form ripples on the near-shore sea-bed. These ripples vary in size, depending on wave orbital velocity and water depth. They range from tiny ripples to the mega-ripples that we experience as sand bars that we wade over on the way out to the surf. Vic’s diagram of wave orbitals showed us how ripple size varies with depth.

During storms, flotsam is dumped in a chaotic and non-layered manner high on the beach. At Cottesloe we saw seaweed, cuttlefish-bones and Rams-horn Shells that had been stranded at the high-water mark in a recent storm.

Another feature of sandy shores is that sea breezes move fine and medium sand out of the beach to form dunes. As more sand is added to the beach, an “upward-shoaling sequence” occurs, and all the features described here – the ripples, the layering, the bubble sand, the chaotic deposition and the dunes – move seawards in order.

During the Pleistocene glacial periods, the sea receded to the edge of the continental shelf. With the sea withdrawn, all the features of the sandy shores that had been created in the interglacial periods became indurated by calcite cementation to form limestone. Vic showed us fossilised mega-ripples in the limestone cliffs at Mudurup. Above that we were shown fossilised bubble sand and fine layering. Above that again we saw a fossilised chaotic layer containing cuttlefish-bones, and near the top of the cliff, the layering pattern typical of dunes, also fossilised. There, preserved over tens of thousands of years, were the results of processes we could see occurring right now in front of us.

In the interglacial period after the ice age, the sea may return to the old shoreline. If it meets limestone there, it cuts a rocky shore, forming platforms, notches, benches and cliffs. Animals and plants live on these platforms and cliffs, causing erosion, and forming potholes which widen out and eventually fill with sediment.

Vic then took us in our imagination to the last interglacial period, tens of thousands years ago. The features of the eroded rocky shore from that time, such as sediment-filled potholes on a wave-cut platform, are preserved in the rocks that have subsequently been overlayed by a sandy shoreline that has itself been fossilised! And so at Cottesloe we can see (with some prompting by a scientist with an experienced eye) the record of processes occurring in two successive interglacial periods, one above the other. The upper sequence is a record of sandy-shore processes and the lower one is a record of processes acting on a rocky shore.

This topic beautifully illustrates the concept of uniformitarianism – that the present is a key to the past. The processes occurring today on our local shores can help us interpret the geological record to discover the history of the earth. Our thanks to Vic for shining a light back in time to show us the great climatic cycles that formed our present coastline, and for demonstrating how those processes are still occurring at this very minute.
Mike Gregson
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IGA micro-bat box 2

See the previous post - 'IGA micro-bat box 1' to read the first part of this story!
We took some time to find a perfect site for the bat-boxes. The box needs to receive plenty of sun. Also bats need to have a clear flight path when they leave in the evening to feed. Joe told us that one micro-bat can eat 1000 mosquitoes a day! They feed around fresh water and have been observed catching insects around street lights.

There was lots of weedy teatree around the gum tree so the teatree was removed and Coastcare volunteers planted cockies tongues, basket bush and local wattles in it's place, which we hope, in time will provide habitat for insects for the local birds and bats.

As Joe climed up the tree to about 8 metres the children called out encouragement to him to "hold on tight Joe", and "be careful Joe, don't fall". He safely and expertly attached the two boxes and now we keenly await the arrival of some residents. Thanks again to IGA for funding the bat boxes and to Roslyn at Seaview kindergarten for her enthusiastic support of the project.
To read two earlier blogs about IGA's donation to CCA:
Posted by Picasa

IGA micro-bat box 1

The children from Seaview kindy and their teacher Roslyn, joined a couple of us from Cottesloe Coastcare for the bat boxes raising ceremony yesterday. Drew Randall, from IGA Cottesloe (Eric Street shopping centre) was also there to witness Joe Tonga setting up the boxes. During the 12 months that IGA Cottesloe and IGA Mosman Park have had their no-single use plastic bag policy, CCA has received the donations that customers put in a tin, when they require paper bags. Some of this money has been used to build and erect the bat boxes.

Joe explained to us all that micro-bats ( which are only as big as a house mouse - with wings!) are losing their habitat. CCA is very keen to restore our local environment where at all possible so we are delighted at the prospect of providing a home to some micro-bats. Joe has an excellent website with lots on information on bird boxes and bat boxes :

We were all amazed to learn that around 90 bats can live in one box! Joe said that they clustered together tightly to keep warm. He told us that the temperature needs to get up to about 45 degrees centigrade inside the box at breeding time.
Posted by Picasa

One little boy is a real nature lover and wore his (plastic) chameleon, to kindy, strapped on his arm.
Click here to

Click here to read the next blog entry to see the boxes going up!