June 2024

 A 13mm rain event on the last day of May boosted the total to 22.5mm, an unusually dry entry to winter that has stressed our seedlings and witnessed tree deaths. A large Pine has died in the section between Coffey Street and Portland Road and will be removed, beware of falling limbs elsewhere also. Replacement of culverts has begun in the section between Wannon North to the Glenelg Highway with the first three of the seven done.

 With 31mm this April a tinge of green can be seen, heralding the end of autumn and the beginning of winter; with dewy and frosty mornings often followed by calm sunny days. An ideal time of year to enjoy exercising along our beautiful reserve, please be careful crossing the Glenelg Highway; we hope to have upgraded these places by next Xmas. For news about when :- https://www.redgumtrack.net.au/Newsletter.htm

 With just 1.1mm this March it remains quite dry; although a thunderstorm delivered 4.4mm on the 1st of April we missed the heavier falls to the North and East. So, the threat of fire continues along with associated cautions until we have more and substantial rains. Lightning strikes can ignite tinder dry grasses, please report observations promptly.

 With just 1 mm this February the region is tinder dry so please be very careful. Don't park your cars on grassed areas as hot exhausts and catalytic converters may ignite it; always be alert to possible fire threats, especially on windy days.
The Committee of Management is now producing a Newsletter :- https://www.redgumtrack.net.au/Newsletter.htm; so, for notifications of upcoming events, proposed works and succesful applications be sure to read about them.

 Thunderstorms have helped to deliver 58.5mm this January; if caught in one please be aware of possible flash flooding and exercise caution at the two boardwalks (McKinnon & Sandy Creeks), patience, it will soon subside.

 With the Bureau of Meteorology curiously declaring an El Niño pattern and a wetter than average summer the December rainfall tally of 87mm continues to intrigue; it has been rapidly enjoyed by our numerous plantings yet demanded much mowing while affecting the track condition little. Fortunately the CoM (Committee of Management) have recently acquired a Gravely Ride-on Zero-turn mower with volunteers maintaining significant lengths of track, thankyou. We are happy to announce that after many applications and years the Sandy Creek crossing has been installed with an easily accessible Boardwalk, there will be signage later (suggestions welcomed).

 The November rainfall total of 51mm is misleading as it became alarmingly dry for most of the month, with a four day event in 4th week which the parched earth has rapidly absorbed; lending a tinge of green to the landscape.
Yet Summer has officially arrived and the Fire Danger Period (FDP) meaning no open fires please. We wish you Season's Greetings with a welcome invitation to safely enjoy our Reserve over the holidays.

  October rainfall : 49.5mm means vigorous growth and constant mowing (thankyou to volunteers as the Committee's mower is currently being repaired). Please be aware that a few dry and warm days will rapidly increase fire hazard in the spring growth. More barriers have been erected at dangerously broken bridges in the interest of safety. The removal of the large Pine trees near the Monash Bridge in Wannon had temporarily blocked passage.
  * Please Note

  With a very dry September of just 25mm and the Bureau of Meteorology officially declaring El Niño we remind you of the need for sun protection and ample drinking water. Please remain vigilant for snakes and sensibly aware of fire danger.

 Although August's rainfall was just a very low 29.6mm the track remains impassable through the cutting immediately North of Wannon due to blocked spoon drains and the halt on ground work awaiting the determination of Arsenic levels sampling analysis. There are some damp patches elsewhere but generally the track is in firm condition. As we emerge into spring, activity along the Reserve increases with maintenence and planting Working Bees by the Committee of Management and Friends groups; which entails the weed spraying of plant sites ~10+ days before planting and guarding

 With a drastically different (to June's 146mm) July rainfall of just 49mm which could signal a volatile switch in weather pattern to El Nino; yet the track remains quite wet in sections with the cutting directly North of Wannon (~500 metres) impassable to cyclists.

 With 146.5mm of rainfall in June there are some quite sodden sections with some inundation, sunny breaks will reward those hardy souls who brave the cold. Feel free to forward any observations, questions or suggestions about activity along the Reserve via eMail :-   enquiry@redgumtrack.net.au  

As Winter is upon us please be aware of two recent concerns:

  • This Reserve is a Conservation & Recreation Reserve (not a firewood coup), the removal of firewood is regarded as theft and penalties apply.
  • A reminder that dogs must be kept on a leash for reasons outlined in the Animals on the Reserve Policy, failure to comply may see the Council Ranger summoned..
  Autumn (March 43mm, April 72mm, May 57mm) the constant job of mowing and keeping the track clear continues. The proposed development in the Coleraine Station grounds can be viewed here : https://www.sthgrampians.vic.gov.au/files/Public_Documents/ColeraineCaravanPark.pdf
  There were regular maintenance incidents during Summer (December 34mm, January 16mm , February 54mm) with the clearing of large fallen limbs, often due just to the weight of sap in the heat and then wind or a slight breeze.
  Reflecting on the season before : Due to the phenomenally wet August (116mm), then the soaking spring rains of September (94mm), October (120mm), November (105mm) of our third consecutive La Nina it was saturated, very soft and heavy in sections with some inundation, particularly North of Wannon from the Highway and through to the Koroit Decline. The surface in those sections has deteriorated; we are applying for a grant to grade and top dress those with the ideal of the entire track being surfaced with a finer gravel.
** Along with the rains has come quite substantial growth of vegetation which we are slashing and mowing; yet please be aware of the associated dangers of snakes and fire potential.