On the Block
The first step to rehabilitating land, conserving eco-systems and helping plants and creatures flourish on your property is to learn as much about these things as possible.
One way of doing this is to make lists - its a great way of getting out there and interacting with the natural world as well as honing your research skills. When we were growing up, a task like this would have involved a lot of time at the local library; today, the internet provides us with an invaluable tool to better understand the natural world. Of course, we would still encourage everyone to use and support your local library whenever possible.
There are many online resources that can help you identify the bugs on your block. Any we've used to describe individual species are credited as appropriate. On the whole though, Michael Braby's 'The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia' and Graham Brown's CD 'Northern Territory Insects' have been invaluable to this project.
There are many online resources that can help you identify the plants on your block and any we've used to describe individual species are similarly credited as appropriate. Saying that, we have mostly used John Brock's book 'Native Plants of Northern Australia' and the Top End Native Plant Society's excellent 'flower colour galleries' to identify native plants on our property. For weed identification we've drawn heavily from Nicholas Smith's excellent 'Weeds of the Wet/Dry Tropics of Australia'.
There are countless Australian bird field guides available in hard copy these days as well as apps and various other means of identifying birds online. There are also some good local guides, including Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow's 'Birds of Australia's Top End' which includes information about where to find different species as well as some Aboriginal stories and insights. We have generally referred to our trusty Simpson & Day 'Field Guide to the Birds of Australia'.
We'd also like to thank various individuals such as Dr. Don Franklin, Michael Braby, Graham Brown and many others who have taken the time to respond to our enquiries.
We hope our lists help you identify and learn more about the nature around you.