Articles by Alistair Dermer (25 articles)

Sturt’s Desert Pea

During September we received 104mm of rain at Boolcoomatta Reserve - an area with an annual average of 220 mm. October we received no rain, and to date, less than 10mm in November. But we're up around 285mm for the year to date, and hope to receive more summer rains to help grass production. Daily temperatures are now fluctuating between mid to high 20s and low 40s, with strong winds… Read more »

Landscape change, hail across the land

Around 5pm last Thursday night we experienced an amazing storm that brought with it dramatic clouds, horizontal rain and large hail stones. Fortunately at the homestead area hailstones were only about the size of a large marble and perfect to drop into a gin and tonic.  This storm, however, was far more intense north of the homestead and in Broken Hill. In those… Read more »

Fox baiting at Boolcoomatta

The fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a brilliant animal, adaptable to so many climates, yet so destructive to our native fauna.  At Boolcoomatta Reserve Bush Heritage has been baiting foxes since 2009, with very good success. This graph of baits taken highlights the success during the initial intensive baiting program from 2009 to 2011.  Recently we completed another round of baiting, testing and recording bait take, at the same 200 bait… Read more »

Boolcoomatta woolshed

Cultural layers cross all the lands and Boolcoomatta is no different.  The massive stone woolshed at Boolcoomatta is coming up to 150 years old. With this in mind we've put out a call to skilled volunteers from the Broken Hill community to help us with ongoing maintenance of this magnificent building. During a recent working bee, the woolshed had a clean out as part of an assessment of… Read more »

Dragon vs cat

The Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is one of our favourite species here at Boolcoomatta. As you can see by the images, we are very fond of this ancient species, catch them to remove ticks, and hug and kiss them if the chance presents itself. With increased efforts on feral cat control, we're recovering all stomach samples. In one cat alone we found two dragons, along with an… Read more »

Natives flourishing in the flood out

On Boolcoomatta Reserve there's an area called the 'flood-out'. As the name suggests it's a low-lying area where water run-off gathers, which makes it fertile ground for weeds. Most years we slash management access tracks. These enable us to access what was once wall-to-wall box thorn and pepper trees. I'm not joking – it was once 3 metres tall and impenetrable, 2 inch long spikes… Read more »

Red back in my boot!

Seasons change and with them comes some subtle and some less so subtle changes. Life in the bush is a wonderful experience, however, daily there are challenges that the urban environment sees less of. A few days ago, after a series of warmer days, I went to put my boot on and noticed some fine web across the top. Upon further investigation I discovered a red back spider (most creatures… Read more »

Echidna activity

Echidnas – what incredible animals! Along with the Platypus they lay eggs... well, actually they lay a single egg that hatches after ten days.  Over the past few months we've seen lots of Echidna activity at Boolcoomatta, with the previous owners on a recent visit commenting that they'd never seen Echidna activity like it in the 22 years they owned the property. On a… Read more »

Soil conservation at Boolcoomatta

Soil conservation is one of the ongoing challenges we have on all our reserves, some more than others.  There's been much modification of the land over the past 200 years, with new animals roaming across the land, eating things and changing the soil structure and composition. This is the case at Boolcoomatta Reserve. Our land management program at Boolcoomatta is comprehensive and science based, with excellent flora and fauna… Read more »

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