If you are interested in history and a bush walk, then a trip to Jubilee Heritage Area, Browns Road, Scarsdale is the place to go. There is a sign-posted walk with interpretive plaques which describe the building remnants and other features. The area is managed by Parks Victoria.
Hidden on the edge of the forest on Victoria Road Scarsdale, is Victoria Dam. There are some wonderful wildflowers at the moment. The reflections in the water are also pretty impressive. Bird orchids are beginning to flower and you may spot a few if you take a walk around the back of the dam through the bush. There is no marked path.
Recently we visited the Berringa Reservoir. The committee of management built a bird hide there many years ago and have completed some revegetation. There is plenty of habitat for small birds and the hakeas and wattles were in flower. Innovative use of a plastic drum makes a nesting box. If you are in the area, the recreation reserve across the road has bbq facilities and a picnic area.
Mariner’s Track is one of many walks to do in the Brisbane Ranges National Park. It is off South Steiglitz Road past the Bert Boardman Reserve. You need a certain level of care as the surface has loose stones, but it is worth getting to Sutherland Creek West Branch at the bottom of the slope. This is as far as we went but maps indicated you could walk along the creek back towards Steiglitz.
There were some grass trees in flower and cockatoos screeched and circled overhead. A flock of choughs didn’t like being disturbed as they wanted the place to themselves. Who could blame them? All that is left of the Mariner’s Mine site is rubble and some bits of brickwork. The track leads down to the creek and a grassy valley.
One of the most important aspects of cemetery management is rabbit control. Apart from eating the vegetation and making the ground uneven, rabbits have a big impact on undermining cemetery structures and making them unstable. There is a lot of information around on how to control rabbits and depending on the area, it involves more than running a control program now and again.
As part of regular maintenance such as mowing, managers also need to look to signs of rabbit activity and act early. Sometimes for small areas, fencing may be an answer, but it needs to include standard rabbit netting, completely exclude rabbits and to include the gates and be maintained.
Some people find cemeteries depressing places but they really are a place to remember, celebrate and honour those who have died. Neglected, dying bunches of flowers add a depressing note and as part of regular maintenance, any dead tributes should be removed from graves after a reasonable period of time.
In recent years there has been a real shift to the use of artificial flowers as ongoing tributes. They are many and varied in appearance and they remain colourful for many years.