About Elspeth

I am interested in land management, native wildlife and plants. The views expressed are my own.

Finding a home for a possum

It is frustrating when you go to all the trouble of putting up nest boxes to have them go unused. Is it the position, the way the opening faces or the contents inside? On a recent check of the rainwater tank the strainer was full of a lot of leaf material that hadn’t just washed in. It looks like a possum was furnishing its new home. In the long term it isn’t a sustainable site especially when it rains.  We have moved an unused nest box onto the tank and added the leaf material and hope the possum tries out the new residence soon.


Small but interesting

While flowers are harder to find in the peak of summer there are still a few interesting insects, spiders and other things to photograph. As we come into autumn take some time out to see what is really out in the garden or local bushland.

A flower we don’t want

This pretty flower is a weed and one that we don’t want spreading. It is Epilobium hirsutum, Giant Willow-herb, and native to the Northern Hemisphere and grows to about 2m. There are native plants in this genus but they have much smaller flowers. It was noticed on a creekline in Buninyong. Looks like Ballarat Council needs to come out and get rid of it. They have been trying to control it for a few years but as you will see from the photos it produces a lot of small seeds.

Keep some twiggy bits

Do you overboard in the garden and tidy up too much? This small eucalypt looks a bit scraggly and could have the twigs removed but during the day there are numerous birds that love this branch as a perching point. They sit there to sing, see what is happening around them or look for insects.

Latest Victorian Land for Wildlife Newsletter

Land for Wildlife sign

The latest newsletter has arrived. If you are a member of the very popular Land for Wildlife program then this is for you. If you are not a member you are still welcome to take a peek. LFW_Newsletter_2017_01 There are over 5000 members in this program but since the newsletter went online many members have not signed up to receive it. If you would like to receive it via email then here is the link to register to be added to the subscription list.

Things that go crunch in the night

Our landcare group cameras are out again in an attempt to capture a glimpse of phascogales as they disperse over summer. The cameras will be out for several weeks so we decided to check that they were positioned correctly and working.

Looking at the photos shows that the camera was bumped and needed to be realigned so I am glad we didn’t leave it too long. In this round the cameras will only record between 8pm and 6am to save the batteries and they only need to work when the phascogales are likely to be out and about.

Guess who was first to check out the peanut butter aroma?

(Note that this monitoring is carried out with the relevant ethics approvals and permits)

a quick sniff

now hold it securely


now for another go

or perhaps a side on attack this time

the tail is an indication that this animal is not a phascogale but a brush-tailed possum