Framing the plains and packaging remnants

von Guerard Bushy Park

A friend once asked, ‘why do botanists have such terrible gardens?’

The question might have triggered a long discussion, had we not just left my house. I changed the subject instead. Years later, I think I’ve worked out a credible response. It’s partly about scale. The scales at which people see gardens and ecosystems.

Take grasslands for example. Continue reading

On restoration, old photos and provenance

Veteran White Cypress-pine (Callitris glaucophylla) at Terrick Terrick National Park.

Apologies for the delay in posting another blog, but I’ve been away in the field enjoying old-growth ironbark forests, long-unburnt box forests, grassland grazing exclosures, regrowth mallee and more. All of which have prompted lots of ideas for future posts.

In the interim, here are three ‘must read’ links from two fantastic vegetation bloggers, which you are sure to enjoy. All three posts highlight the importance of the way we think when we talk about ‘grasslands’, ‘restoration’, ‘conservation’ and ‘functionality’. Continue reading

It’s carnival time

In blog world, ‘carnival’ has a special meaning. A blog carnival is a regular blog that features links to blogs on a particular theme. Each ‘issue’ of the carnival is hosted by a different blogger. Blog carnivals are a great way to sample lots of writers. There’s a great description of nature blog carnivals at the Nature Blog Network.

Berry Go Round is a blog carnival ‘devoted to highlighting recent posts about any aspect of plant life from the blogosphere’. Each month, bloggers submit a story to the Berry Go Round web site, and a host blogger then links all of the submitted blogs into one post. Berry Go Round has hosted my blogs in the past, and this month it’s my turn to host the carnival. This month’s carnival is shorter than most, as only three bloggers submitted posts this time. Come on, all you plant, ecology and nature bloggers, submit a blog for next month’s carnival, at the Berry Go Round web site.

The first blog on the Berry Go Round list is one my regular readers will absolutely love. Make sure you read this, as all my efforts (in blogging and conservation) fade into insignificance by comparison. Continue reading

Lost cemetery found

Mitiamo Cemetery with Terrick Terrick National Park in the background.

Last week’s query from a prairie conservationist in Nebraska has been solved. Bendigo’s lost cemetery has been found – somewhere else! Not surprisingly, the discovery wasn’t made by a plant ecologist or naturalist, but by a more regular denizen of graveyards – a genealogist. Continue reading

Steve Packard was my Steve Jobs

Who was it?
Who first rocked your boat, flipped your lid, pushed your button, turned you on?

(Intellectually, of course).

Were you shaken by the medium (a sassy speaker) or the message (a call to arms)?
Either way, someone special influenced many of us, igniting our passions.

One of my pet fascinations – and professional preoccupations – is how ecosystems change over time. As I wrote in an earlier blog, I’m always puzzling over whether ‘the patterns that we see were created by natural forces…or by a hidden mosaic of past disturbances’. So what catalyzed this interest? Who rocked my boat?

Continue reading