Spring is the best time of the year! As a Gardener, that is. Its when everything grows. When grass needs mowing more than once a month and people begin to think about their gardens and plan what they want to do. I went away for a good proportion of Spring this year. Not the best time, but what can you do? Spring is also a good time for Weddings. :-)
As I've said countless times before, I used to work in a Native Nursery. This time of year, the nursery came alive, not only with the plants (no, not a triffids type of thing) but with frogs, reptiles, birds, fauna and insects. They have species who were good for the nursery and the pests too. The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) springs to mind first. Those horrendous creatures with the adorable face. I remember seeing, on many occasions - my bosses at the time running after small, half dead with the dreaded Caliciviris bunnies trying to kill or maim them and nine times out of ten looked more like Elmer Fudd than actually getting any where. Was amusing to watch though. The rabbits liked to eat the new growth on the plants. Or the juvenile plants. Another pest were mice. A new seed house was erected as the old one would house as many mice as the actual seeds. Another pest were rats. Thankfully, I only ever saw one. And that one was dead. It had drowned in one of the countless downpours we had had. Foxes were another pest. They were too quick and cunning to be caught. However, the boss did shoot a few every now and again. There were also pest birds and caterpillars, aphids and other such creatures which would eat the plants.
Onto the good species? The spider, which would frighten the boss but would be kept alive to rid the nursery of its insect pests. They have Wolf (Lycosidae) spiders, huntsman's (Selenops austraiensis), redbacks (Latrodectus hasselti) and whitetails(Lampona cylindrata). To name, but a few. The huntsmans and wolf were fine. They would skitter over one's hand whilst weeding or potting on. It was when the whitetails or redbacks would come close, which would freak me out.
Frogs were the other thing we used to see a lot of. That would be the thing I missed the most about working there. The Frogs....around the dam was the Eastern Banjo Frog, or Pobbledonk, which it was also known as (Limnodynastes dumerili) and the Green Tree Frog, shown in the photograph on the left hand side (Litoria caerulea). Fabulous creatures frogs are. If you have loads of micro-organisms and healthy water-ways, you should have them. The other great thing about the nursery I used to work at, is they used minimal chemicals, which was also a reason why there were so many frogs. And lots of birds including black cockatoos; regent honey eaters and willy wagtails. I miss that sound also. They have skinks and blue-tongue lizards also. I sound all nostalgic, don't I? Like I want to go back. As a worker? Not on your life. It did have its moments though. However, I've gotten used to work for myself. Doing contract work with other people twice a week is enough. :-)
Enjoy Spring People! I'm back to work now, so I'll be enjoying it!