Tag Archives: nature

Australian landscapes: Mary White’s contribution towards our understanding of them.

The Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group blog is a collaborative effort. We’re happy to publish your contributions as part of this Landcare Network discussion. See the collaborate-contribute page for a range of topic suggestions or get in touch to discuss your idea.

The following is a new post from Mr. Colin Samundsett. Colin was raised on the Atherton Tablelands and became a surveyor by trade, but also cultivated an expertise in rainforest structure and species. A nursery man and tree planter by avocation, also a wood turner and expert with axe, adze and scarfing hoe. Here Colin introduces and reviews an important series of books produced over several years by Australian Paleobotanist and author Mary White.



 Australian landscapes:

Mary White’s contribution towards  our understanding of them.

By Colin Samundsett

Australia’s first wave of immigrants, their descendants and those supplementing them, wrestled with turbulent changes for 50 or 60 millennia. What the first European immigrants saw on their arrival was a between-rounds pause, the last, in an enduring bout with those changes. It was a time of remarkable adjustment between the landscape and the Europeans’ predecessors. But, the continent’s fundamental geology and geomorphology remained unchanged.

Scottish migrant Peter Dodds McCormick, Sydney resident for 23 years, believed he had enough knowledge of his new country to pen a song about it: his Advance Australia Fair’s first public delivery in 1878 declared “…For those who’ve come across the seas we’ve boundless plains to share…”. Well, we’re sharing it with 21 million more than he was then; and there’ll be another million in four years from now. But, do we really understand just what we are sharing?

We have learned much about this land since 1878, and Paleobotanist Mary White has synthetised it admirably. She provides a wealth of information on how it is, and how it came to be; all in very readable style with five books. Continue reading

Retarding Australia to an ecological nonsense

It will no doubt become a recurring theme of Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare to point out the limited perspectives informing destructive nativist activities in Australia (and elsewhere). These perspectives are dominated by such a narrow form of Ecology that they are effectively a reductionist science (anathema to a broader Ecological epistemology and understanding).

‘Natural Ecology’, as it’s widely practiced by professional and lay-ecologists in environmental groups and NRM bureaucracies, has become simply a “science” of naming, categorising, and compiling inventories, of species. So much so that these preoccupations often substitute for any real knowledge of how bio-physical systems actually function.

Continue reading

How, on Earth, do we not see the irony?

You need to realise that, these days, we live in the future. We’re so clever and everything.

Weeding is very high-tech now; it’s all done, not with mirrors, but with the internet. People can register the location of a weed and we can view it from a satellite, if we want to. See here, someone has found a Gleditsia (Honey Locust). It’s growing in uncultivated  scrub on the peri-urban fringe of our Nation’s Capital.

Warning! This organism is a NON-NATIVE! Its presence is an affront to decent, patriotic, nativist-Australians with a lot of time on their hands and not much else to worry about. Continue reading