“Things have been happening out at Lake McIntyre since the last time I came in to give a talk. This month people visiting the Lake will notice several sections of the lawn has been dug up. We are now in the process of laying gas lines to the three BBQ’s.
The committee is excited about this because it is something we have been wanting for a number of years. At the moment we have small gas bottles at each of the BBQ’s and we have to check them on a weekly basis and some time several times a week. Now we will have a large gas cylinder in place and will put a stop to people wishing to steal a gas bottle. We thank the Wattle Range Council for the effort they have put into the project and allow it to go ahead.
Last week we were also able to cross something else off our wish list. A number of branches were pruned from the dead trees around the BBQ’s and driveway. These branches could have caused a bit of damage if they fell while the Lake was open to the public. None have come down and it was a safety issue more than anything, and it is mainly small wattles and the like that fall over in the wind. The trees had been dying over a number of years due to age. As trees don’t last forever. It was not as easy as it seems, because we had to leave enough of the tree’s branches and hollows in place for the wildlife.The other factor was trying to organise a bee man to remove the bees prior to the removal of the branches. If the bees were removed too soon before the branches were trimmed a new swarm could take up the hollow. The bees can get very excite with a chain saw near them.
People have been noticing the level of the Lake has been dropping. The lake is spring fed and if the water table drops so does the level. Rain has been in short supply and hopefully we will get some soon and then the level will rise. If the level is deep we get Hard Heads which are a duck species and when it drops they leave and we get the Pacific Black Duck, Coot and mainly Straw necked Ibis. At the moment we have had 2 pelicans paying us a visit they have been there for several weeks. We also had a visit from a Magpie Goose at the Lake.
Once a month with the help of the Millicent Field Nats a bird count is carried out at the Lake. They try to do the count at different times of the day because some birds will visit and return later in the day and may miss a count carried out in midmorning.
It is not only birds that we keep a record of as we also do butterflies, possums, wallabies, and even snakes. We recently had a chance to identify an ant. How this came about was a bit unusual. I use the word bit. It got into a volunteers trousers and in the process of trying to stop herself being bitten the ant was despatched where all dead ants go. It just so happens that my wife and I were going down to Adelaide and took the ant down to the museum for Archie McArthur to indentify. Arch is a local lad of 93 years young. Without taking it out of the container he was able to identify it. The result of which he has aked us to collect a number of ants from the Lake which will lead to a greater knowledge and information about what we have there.
Display cases. The committee has for some time been trying to update the display cases in the interpretive centre. It’s just one oif those jobs that the committee thinks is important but getting around to it is a different matter. There are a group of people up at the museum working for Maxs Employment who are learning different types of skills well, one of the young lads offered to do the cases when we came up with the proposal. He did a fantastic job and now we can update the information on a regular basis. He is now working on the other 2 display cases.
We have been hitting hard a terrible tree out at the Lake the last couple of month called Italian Buckthorn. This has infested large areas of the Lake and we have been making great inroads, with the help of quite a few volunteers, in eradicating it. There are large gaps on the Saleyards road and Rendelsham road where we have been working hard and we will then plant more native trees. People use this tree as hedges and it is over large areas of South Australia. People only have to go down a number of roads over Millicent North to know what I’m talking about.”
Source: Noel’s recent update on 5THE FM with Julianne
More from Noel next month on 5THE FM