All the latest news about bushcare in Hornsby Shire.
2022 Bushcare Photo Competition
2021 Bushcare Photo Competition
Mossy Rocks – Lyrebird Gully by Geoff Weller 2021
The Berowra Valley walking trails pass through some gorgeous bushland and this year gave the opportunity to spend more time discovering the area. Walking on the Benowie Track along Lyrebird Gully I was struck by how green this section of the watercourse was, contrasting with the hotter and drier sections higher along the track. With this image I wanted to capture the stunning green brightness of the moss-covered boulders and to convey a sense of how mystical and serene the moment felt.
Variegated Fairy-wren by Marie Kobler 2021
While I was standing still watching a thornbill family along the Cherrybrook fire trails l caught a dazzling flash out of the corner of my eye. This male variegated fairy-wren had flown down a few metres from me into the sunlight. I was able to slowly swivel around and capture his beauty before he looked up at me and escaped.
Little Wattlebird on Banksia serrata by Marie Kobler 2021
Little wattlebirds love banksias when they are in flower. They are very territorial, fiercely guarding their nectar from other honeyeaters. I've watched them chasing off smaller honeyeaters as well as much bigger birds such as rainbow lorikeets. I was pleased this photo showed both the little wattlebird and 'its' banksia serrata clearly.
Blue gum forest – Dog Pound Creek by Geoff Weller
The Dog Pound Creek Reserve walk passes through this magnificent stand of Sydney Blue Gums, which form part of the critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest. I wanted to capture the sense of majesty of these beautiful trees, towering above the ferny understory, with the wide lens angle accentuating the feeling of the trees reaching together for the light above.
The smile that only a mouthful of ants can bring by David Hooper 2021
Walking on the bush track behind our home, I heard a rustle in the brush and an echidna was fervently digging, looking for ants as he does. Then he dives under a pile of dead gum leaves in a hollow between rocks, disappearing from sight then emerging, covered in dirt with the biggest grin on his face - The smile that only a mouthful of ants can bring!
Leaf-tailed gecko by Mick Marr 2021
This leaf tailed gecko in our garden thinks it's camouflaged on this sandstone block when it's surrounded by rocks much the same colour as it is. We moved it on, so the birds wouldn't get it.
The new pond build it and they will come by Helen Smith 2021
In January 2021 the new pond was filled with water and the next day some plants were added. Only a couple of hours after the Lepironia rushes went in, a male Fiery Skimmer used them to perch over the new resource. This photo was taken a few days later as I landscaped the area around the pond, when we were both in the right place at the right time, and I had a camera to hand.
Black cockatoo by Mick Marr
Fantastic to see flocks of these majestic yellow-tailed black cockatoos drop into our garden regularly. They are noisy and a little harsh on the allocasuarinas, but we feel privileged to have their company especially during lockdown!
Milson's Passage by David Hooper 2021
Thousands of jellyfish were besieging our hired runabout in the channel on the northern side of Milson’s Passage in the Hawkesbury River, like a tidal procession of alien forces, pulsating around us. So, I spent the next hour trying to get a clean photo as they swum about, with the one I present being among the clearest ones.
Skipper Butterfly by Marie Kobler 2021
The birds and the bees love flowering gums and during Covid lockdowns I’ve had extra time to explore my garden and see the variety of wildlife that lives there. I’ve seen these Skippers in the Berowra Valley bushland so was thrilled to see them in my garden in suburban Cherrybrook.
A possum who refused to sleep by Yukhym Pyshnohraiev
I had noticed this possum during a lunch break, when walking around the neighbourhood. It was the first time I had seen a possum active during daylight. I returned home to grab a camera and rushed back. Luckily, the possum was still there and allowed me to photograph him. Living in Hornsby and being able to see native wildlife during daily walks greatly helped during these strange times.
Sacred kingfisher by Marie Kobler 2021
You can find sacred kingfishers by following their distinctive calls or their flash of blue through the trees. I heard this one calling and diverted off the fire trail to get closer. It seemed quite happy to bask in the early morning light for a minute or so before flying off, presumably in search of breakfast.
Gardening for habitat by Janelle Marr 2021
This little skink and his friends happily live near our front door and are often seen sunning themselves on the rocks. This day I wondered if he was having a quick drink, or just admiring his reflection in the water. He didn't seem to be bothered by our grandchildren's plastic spider overlooking!
Afternoon Tea by David Hooper
This one was quite by accident and why insect photography is so rewarding. A robber-fly on a plant stem is occasionally still enough to focus on for a superb macro shot. It was not until after I had taken the photo and enlarged it on Playback checking focus clarity, that I saw it was sucking the telescopic eye of its Afternoon Tea. Made my day!
Bridge Scout Creek by Don Davidson 2021
I was in search of a great pic for the annual Bushcare photo competition. Early one morning I was hiking through Lane Cove National Park from the scouts centre at Pennant Hills and found this makeshift bridge to cross the creek from a bush track.
Prasophyllum striatum – Streaked leak orchid by Jenny Heller 2021
Streaked leek orchid – Prasophyllum striatum, I can’t really explain why I’m drawn to the orchid family, it has become something of an obsession to photograph as many as I can find. It is delightful to find another species unexpectedly in a boggy culvert in early autumn, most people would walk straight past this tiny gem not noticing its subtle beauty. I am constantly amazed by the forms that our ground orchids take and how seemingly random their appearance can be.
Bossiaea scolopendria by Petra Holland 2021
Bossiaea scolopendria (plank plant) a fascinating plant with its unusual flat winged stems and pea flowers that line up along the “plank”.
Furry new shoot by Daniel Burkhardt 2021
The dappled backlight of the winter afternoon sun drew my attention to a self-seeded lemon-scented gum sapling. I was able to capture the furry stem and leaves of the new shoot, together with its purple colouring, just in time before the backlit wonder disappeared when shadows moved across.
2020 Bushcare Photo Competition Winners
Equal First © Petra Holland – Berowra Creek - Crosslands
Misty winter mornings are magical down at Crosslands and every morning you go down there the atmosphere is different. This morning had the perfect light and mist for a good photo.
Equal First © Helen Smith – Misty Morning
Taken on Beryl Fire Trail in Mt Colah in July 2020. The low light, soft colours and sparkling spider webs made it a magic scene. This image became my most relaxing computer background during this strange year.
Equal Third © Marie Kobler – Eastern Yellow Robin
This photograph always makes me smile because the Eastern Yellow Robin was in good light and looks so pleased with its spidery meal. Eastern yellow robins often perch on the side of tree trunks, about a metre off the ground, patiently waiting for their prey to appear. This robin on the firetrails at Cherrybrook seemed quite happy to show me its catch.
© Marie Kobler – Sacred Kingfisher
There are a few pairs of sacred kingfishers with territories along the Cherrybrook firetrails. In springtime I can hear them calling to each other, which alerts me to their whereabouts. Sometimes you just see a dash of blue as they zoom past. I climbed up off the track, over rocks and fallen tree branches to get this shot.
© David Hooper – Bushfires are no laughing matter
Fires like the Apocalypse threatened my Aussie backyard from August 2019 to February 2020...the East Coast on fire like never before. Backing onto Berowra Valley National Park, we waited on edge for the Gosper’s Mountain Fire to jump the Hawkesbury River and race up the gorges and gullies to threaten our home. The bushland behind our home had been bird, slither, insect heaven the year before. A lone kookaburra cried as he surveyed the scene.
© Helen Smith – Breakfast at Oxley Reserve
There is so much happening on this one young eucalypt leaf! Psyllid nymphs (aka lerps) are providing a sugary breakfast for a fly and a Polyrachis Yellow-tailed ant. One nymph, almost naked, is making a new protective shell, and a batch of psyllid eggs will go on to provide breakfast for the ants and flies of the future.
© Sue Patterson – Surface Tension Byles Creek
I’m always fascinated by tiny details in nature & it was the surface tension of this leaf that grabbed my attention for this photo. Especially the concentric circles around the leaves and twigs as they meet the water and the contrast between the leaf above and below the water surface. And then there’s the ethereal white plant material that floats above the surface, too light to break the surface at all.
© Anne Hadgraft – The gift of rain
After several days rain in July 2020 I was taking my usual walk through our Bushcare site at Burns Road South Beecroft. The vegetation is usually quite green on this walk and the flash of white from the fungi caught my attention. It looked so delicate I took a photo to show the rest of the team who work on the site.
© Ana Rubio – Coming out for air
Few plants can live in salty and fresh environments but to do this they need some special adaptations/features. Dig below the surface where mangrove live and you will find smelly black mud a sign of anoxic sediment (i.e.sediment that is depleted of oxygen) but plant roots need oxygen to thrive. Grey mangroves, like the ones you can find in the Hawkesbury, have solved this problem by developing snorkels. These lateral roots that grow upwards out of the sediment are called pneumatophores and they play a number of roles in the biology of mangroves allowing them to tolerate broad ranges of salinity, temperature and soil moisture. I am fascinated by the strategies that mangroves have developed in addition to the incredible important role they play in our waterways offering habitat for juvenile fish and prawns as well as establishing natural structures in the foreshore protecting from erosion.
© Dayani Powter – Diamond Slug
While slowly walking along the track, I noticed the tree before the slug, it took me by surprise - it was Big but camouflaged well at a glance.
© Verena Burkhardt – Hanging Swamp, Quarry Road Trail
A peaceful place where water features are forever changing, from tiny tadpoles to small frogs.
© Verne Mantova – Hawkesbury River Wisemans Ferry
I walk often along my road which is adjacent to the Hawkesbury River where this photo was taken in Wisemans Ferry. I also observe how the river and surrounds change through the seasons. I took this photo as the reflections on the water at the time were particularly beautiful. They also show the renewal of the bush post the November December bushfire 2019.
© Kathryn Hill – Heritage Steps June 2020
During the first lockdown I went for many early morning walks, during which I discovered the Heritage Steps quite by accident. I thought their historical significance made them a worthy topic for the Bushcare photo competition. In this photo I aimed to capture the subdued early morning light.
© Xian Zeng – Leucopogon amplexicaulis
It was during last Aug and my family had a bushwalking near Berowra Creek in Ku Ring Gai. I was amazed by these flowers during this trip as they are indicators of the coming Spring. It is also a similar color as peach blossom, which is easy to find in my hometown in spring.
© Julie Green – Mist in the Valley
The photo was taken on one of the many bushwalks (for exercise) our family enjoyed during the first COVID lockdown. A positive from COVID was there was time to enjoy the beauty of our bushland. The fog made for a mysterious feeling of what lay beneath in the valleys and ridges.
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