ANN 2012 Get-Together was held in Canberra in October
Some highlights of the week were: exploring with guides, the Native Bo-
tanic Gardens, which began with early morning bird watching, followed
by breakfast there.; a relaxing boat trip on Lake Burley Griffin; seeing the
sights of Canberra; the last of Floriade; a bus tour of the Embassies.
The Deep Space Communication centre at Tidbinbilla was inspiring as we viewed a Video of the tension of the recent Mars Landing and the latest photos of the planet.
A behind-the-scenes tour viewed the CSIRO National Wildlife collection. Bird species make up the biggest part of the collection and are kept in drawers in an atmospheric controlled room. As well, all recently collected species have
their DNA stored in a freezer.
We went on a number of bush walks, both around Canberra and to Na-
madji National Park. We saw 4 or 5 varieties of Orchids, including White
Caladenia and Donkey Orchids and Wax-lip Orchid. Occasionally Bulbine lilies and purple Indigofera shrubs were also seen.
On two evenings we were treated to interesting guest speakers at the CSIRO
theatre, including a fascinating talk with audio on Lyrebirds.
Mulligans Flat Woodland Reserve is an area of Yellow Box-Red Gum
Grassy Woodland adjoining the northern residential suburbs of Canberra.
A predator-proof fence encloses the 1500-hectare reserve. Gates are self-
closing, monitored with cameras and have remote telemetry to notify the
ranger if a gate has been left open. Tasmanian Bettongs have been released
into this protected area to aid in returning the area to a natural condition
after a long grazing history. The scratching of Bettongs loosen the soil and
help to recycle nutrients. Val Hocking was one person who saw a Bettong.
The National Arboretum is being established on 250 hectares of land on the western edge of Canberra. The area was a pine plantation until burnt in the 2003 bushfire. The vision is for 100 forests and 100 gardens. Planting began 2007 and was opened in 2013 to coincide with the centenary of Canberra. The forests will feature threatened and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world. Camden White Gum Eucalyptus benthamii has 10 naturally
occurring plants on the Camden River. Now a forest of several hundred have been planted and every second tree will be harvested to raise funds for the arboretum.
The Get-Together concluded with a dinner at a TAFE training restaurant which included a few participants speaking on “Why I became a Naturalist”. Naturalists were invited to ANN 2014 Get-Together which will be held in Hobart.