A new year and look back on 2023

Wow! It is a whole 6 months since we have posted an Araucaria update here! There has been a whole heap happening and as we move into a new exciting year we will recap some highlights from the past 6 months.

Hard to believe that only months ago we were gearing up for a bad fire season. After two incredibly wet years there was so much fire preparation required. Lots of paddock slashing and weed control, particularly at the top of the hill near our neighbours Jill and Ian. Then, within weeks, we went again from incredibly dry to lush and green and verdent – and it has (thankfully) stayed that way ever since. So now everything is growing ferociously and – you guessed it – we are madly paddock slashing and doing weed control.

July and August saw us doing a huge maintenance round on the Conservation Volunteers Australia plantings. The trees in the first planting are huge now. Almost all tree guards are off and the majority of trees are well over our head height. The second planting is 18 months behind but growing at a fast rate.

Lots of maintenance work has been happening on the Bangalow Koalas planting. Rosco’s team have done their rounds regularly and also followed up with a replanting of another 500 trees in some of the “misses”. With initial help from the Githabul Rangers we have been working our way through taking off the guards and stakes from the advanced trees. Comparing photos from 6 months ago the growth in the past few months has been staggering.

Funding has finally come through for the conservation zones and Dan started work in late December on weed control in some of the harder more overgrown BCT zones near the creek and up the hill. He put in two photopoints so it will be great to compare the regen in these areas in 3 years time. We have also been doing lots of weed control in other BCT zones which are a bit easier for oldies like us!

Closer to home Don and Renata worked on a bathroom build which took the best part of 2 months – but true to form within a couple of days of finishing we had a froggy visitor.

We are also excited to welcome two foster dogs into our home. Meet Sugar (Jack Russell) and Harry (German Shepherd). They are such gorgeous oldish dogs, very gentle and in need of sanctuary while their human is sick. And don’t worry – they have been told in no uncertain terms that they aren’t allowed to scare any wildlife.

And of course we have had many other wildlife visitors. Here are two of our favorite photos. One of our ex-joey pademelons who we see regularly – now a “GymBro” – just look at those pecs! And a sweet little microbat that was living in the shadecloth on our deck.

Yet another big news item was the launch of “If We Care We Can” in print format. But we will share that news in a separate post.