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These set of silhouette can represent the footprint (and paw) of a bear, bird, cat, cheetah, deer, dog, duck, elephant, fox, frog, horse, human, impala, isolated, leopard, monkey, ostrich, pig, platypus, sheep, tiger, turtle, and wolf.
And of course, as i've said a few times before, nothing impresses me more than a compost loo.
Then there was a meeting in the park with a minister and a councillor announcing a state government contribution of $40,000 towards the development of a new Master Plan for our park. I met with the father, an elementary school teacher, at the location a day after the sighting. Despite growing naturally only in Queensland, huge old Bunya Pine trees can be found in parklands across the east coast Australia.
Twenty-five years ago, Jorge Tlaskal planted a couple of Bunya Pines in his garden at Bulga in the Hunter Valley.
In late summer Bunya Pine trees drop huge cones the size of a bowling ball a€“ and almost as heavy. To get at the nuts you need to pull the cone apart and peel the tough husk away from the seed. Jorge quickly and easily cuts the shells in half using a pair of garden loppers held in place using a vice.
I've read one mention of the cotyledon in the centre of the nut (pictured above) not being edible.
I like eating them simply stir-fried in olive oil with loads of garlic and a sprinkling of salt. I made delicious flat breads - influenced by how they were traditionally eaten by aboriginal people: ground and made into a paste which was roasted in hot coals to make a bread. The bunya nut is so versatile Ia€™m considering planting a few Bunya Pines - kind of like an extreme permaculture perennial food forest. I like the idea of my descendants 17 generations from now a€“ enjoying fruit from a tree I planted. Ia€™d like to take my connection with nature to the next level and learn a few bush survival skills.
Little Eco and I met with Wildcraft Australia guides Sam New and Nikki Brown to find out more about their courses. Nikki tells me their courses are "for anyone who has an interest in bush craft and wilderness survival skills.
Their family-friendly wildcraft kids camps treads more gently into wilderness survival with face painting, exploring, tree climbing and nature craft. Sam and Nikki also demonstrated how to light a fire without matches a€“ using the hand drill technique. Then they worked together, spinning a spindle on a baseboard, swapping every few moments to maintain friction. Wildcraft Australia are hosting a bush skills course for adults in Barrington Tops THIS WEEKEND (5th - 7th December). Surprisingly Scurvy Weed is not actually a weed but a native plant called Commelina cyanea. For the past few weeks Ia€™ve been walking through it, first wondering whether it is toxic to guinea pigs and chooks, and then, when it became really abundant, whether it is edible. It was eaten by early non-indigenous colonists to alleviate scurvy, and hence its common name.
It was delicious, although admittedly, its taste was hard to distinguish from any other green leafy vegetable in amongst the other frittata ingredients. Ia€™ll definitely be using this fresh, local and free vegetable as one alternative to leafy and salad greens from now on. To make a foraged greens frittata simply use your favourite frittata recipe and substitute a vegetable for your foraged greens.
If you are interested in learning more about foraging therea€™s a range of handy field guides including Useful Weeds at our Doorstep by Huntera€™s own foraging expert Pat Collins and The Weed Foragera€™s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland. Pat Collins from the Total Health and Education Centre in Muswellbrook also runs workshops on how to forage and use weeds across the Hunter region and further afield.

On our recent kayak trip, I was excited to spot loads of the bush tucker plant Tetragonia tetragonioides, commonly known as Warrigal Greens, Native Spinach, or New Zealand Spinach.
Of course I had to jump out and pick some, and for lunch later that day we had Native Spinach Frittata. This one didna€™t look as good as my previous attempt, because our a€?no-spend challengea€™ has me being stingy with eggs (eggs, cheese and onions are considered gold in this household at the moment). Ita€™s easy to recognise and hard to confuse with anything, so youa€™re unlikely to accidentally eat the wrong thing. When foraging for native plants, please don't pick more than you need (in contrast to weeds, you can go ahead and pick as many of them as you like). It's illegal to pick native plants without a permit in many instances, so be aware that you are probably doing something illegal, depending upon where you are foraging. Wandering through a local park a few days ago I spotted a mass of Purlsane (Portulaca oleracea) growing amongst the flowers. This cosmopolitan edible plant occurs across Australia (and numerous other countries) and is also cultivated for its tasty and nutritious leaves. Purslane loves disturbed areas, so you are most likely to see it in your local park, along road verges, in footpath cracks, or even, if you are lucky, popping up in your garden.
They can be cooked as a vegetable (like spinach), added to salads raw, pickled, or can be pounded into a mush and eaten raw (doesna€™t sound very tempting). I headed back to the park this morning and collected a huge bag of Purslane so that I can harvest some seed. I'd just read that the tiny black seeds, being high in both protein and fat, are one of the most important bush foods of inland Australia, and decided it would be fun to try making our own seedcakes. One plant you might confuse it with if you arena€™t careful is Petty Spurge (Euphorbia peplus).
It started with the Koorogang Island Open Day, which included an obligatory face painting.. Like the Worimi people, I used to pull off the flowers, and suck out the sweet nectar. As we got up the trail by where I saw movement one of my sons noticed some foot prints, that were larger than normal and right next to some deer tracks.
Monteith has had a life-long interest in Bigfoot and has an extensive background in outdoor land and ocean survival as well as mountaineering. Ia€™ve been enjoying an abundance of bunya nuts and have been surprised by how delicious and versatile this bush tucker is.
Ia€™ve been enjoying an abundance of bunya nuts and have been surprised by how delicious and versatile they are. Thousands of Australian Aboriginal people would gather in the mountains of south-east Queensland during bumper bunya nut seasons.
The tradition was revitalised in 2007 and the Sunshine Coast Bunya Dreaming festival is now an annual event. Ita€™s best to do this as soon as you can as the husk becomes harder to remove as it dries. You can gently crack the shell with a hammer or rock and roast in the oven or on coals until the shell splits in two. Most sources claim the entire nut is edible - which makes sense as there is no mention of the Australian aboriginal removing the cotyledon during preparation. To make these mini flat breads I processed raw nuts to a fine paste, added a little yoghurt, and fried small patties of the mix in a cast iron pan. So I was pleased to discover Wildcraft Australia a€“ a Hunter based wilderness survival school. We help participants develop bush confidence, a stronger connection to nature and help break down any fears". Their Wild 101 introductory bush skills weekend jumps in the deep end of wilderness survival and includes barefoot blindfolded bushwalking.
Nikki showed us how to eat March Flies - a survival skill that wea€™ll hopefully never need to depend on.

There will be fire starting, foraging, barefoot blindfolded bushwalking, shelter building, and the lucky winners of a a€?shelter lottoa€? get to sleep in a bark and stick tepee. Ita€™s particularly fond of moist and disturbed soil so you may even see it pop up in your back yard. I really like Warrigal Greens (Tetragonia tetraganoides) in frittata and will one day try Stinging Nettle frittata.
Ita€™s found scattered throughout Australia and New Zealand and has become naturalised in many parts of the world. Simply use it as you would spinach, except you need to blanch it first in water to remove oxalates. Mainly it's been small purchases like a few onions and a beer each when out last friday night. Apparently, Aboriginal people a€?pulled up the plants, throwing them in heaps, which after a few days they turn over and an abundant supply of seed is found to have fallen outa€™. Ita€™s a small succulent herb with small yellow flowers (5 petals and up to 6 mm wide), thick and flat leaves, and smooth green stems that turn red as they age. I'm keen to try Lilly Pilly berries (Koorabakh or Acmena smithii) soaked in honey as a marinade for Kangaroo meat.
Dad and I excitingly opened the bee hive to see how they are settling in, and the smoke attracted one of our neighbors. She has tran-sailed the Atlantic, backpacked in remote places throughout the world and has climbed three of the seven summits. Ia€™ve eaten bunya nuts every day for more than a week and thanks to a stash in the fridge will continue feasting for a few more weeks. Tribes came together from afar to feast on the nutritious nuts, exchange stories, trade, socialise, and resolve issues. Apparently walking barefoot and blindfolded will teach me to slow down and awaken all my senses. But we also broke it big-time by purchasing some gravel and pavers for a job we've planned for years and finally found a window of time to implement. The seed was processed by grinding it on a flat rock with a hand-held stone and the resulting flour was made into a damper or seedcakes. It typically grows prostrate or sprawling along the ground, although it can grow taller (up to 20 - 30cm) when protected by surrounding vegetation (like when in a flower bed). This milky sap is toxic so be careful not to confuse the two plants as they will often grow in the same location. She studied International Relations at Florida International University, and is a Financial Consultant. Aboriginal people would store them in dilly bags placed in running water and would also ferment or sprout them by burying them in holes covered in mud or dirt (a nice overview of Australian aboriginal storage and uses can be found here). She insisted I stop so that she could pick native hibiscus flowers to add to that nighta€™s salad. Also avoid areas that are actively managed (e.g a well maintained park) as the plants may have been sprayed with a herbicide or pesticide. To familiarise yourself, check out the description, illustration and photographs here or here. She has participated in many private expeditions as well as the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 BFRO North Florida Expeditions and the 2013 BFRO UP Michigan & Alabama Expedition. These Lomandra longifolia (Karawun or Spiny-headed Mat Rush) fruit were apparently roasted by the Worimi people and used as a snack food or ground to make a bread. To top it all off - I then had an absolutely crap bumbling radio interview about the above mentioned funding for our park. He stopped the truck when he got to the approximate place he thought he had seen it, and that is when the son asked if he had seen the red-colored bigfoot too.

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