Sunday, 31 March 2013

Day Three - bird song and silence

Gaiters: morning, noon and night. (with Bidgee Widgee)

Today we walked through Kate Looker's property. It was incredibly beautiful. About 50 metres on each side of the creek is fenced off from livestock. Within this boundary the creek bubbled and flowed, enormous red gums dominated the landscape and lower to the ground we saw native raspberry, geranium, Bidgee Widgee, kangaroo grass and masses of poas to name a few. We saw a kingfisher, wagtails, rosellas, wrens, ducks and others that I couldn't name. We heard crows and magpies and lots of other birds we also couldn't identify.... I may become a twitcher yet.

Caroline and the girls

Caroline Henbest joined Lesley and me today. She is a musician, and is thinking about writing a piece of music for the creek. It was the perfect day for her to walk with us because the Hume highway was out of earshot (for the first time) and the land care work on Kate's farm provided a space that gave forth the most insect buzz, frog croaks, bird calls and song that we have heard so far.


Native Raspberry (Rubus parvifolius)

We think this was a horse skull - beautifully dyed by grass.

Heading for morning tea aboard a magnificent Red Gum


As we moved down the creek today a pair of native ducks rose in a flurry of wings and quacks and headed downstream. Four times the pair did this, and we imagined it was the same ducks each time. Of course we couldn't be sure, and if they were we were scaring them into their flight, nevertheless it seemed as though they were leading the way for us.

The contrast of creek quality on leaving Kate's was stark. The beautiful grand red gums still grew, but around them was cow activity, pats and hoof prints and the muddy edges to go with it. Land care is a huge undertaking, but the results it would seem, speak for themselves.

Finally we ended up at Lockerbie where Hannah, her sister Catherine and their friend Jess, took time out of their Easter Sunday to chat and welcome us here. Last night was great in the shearing shed (especially the sound of rain on the tin roof in the middle of the night). But tonight we have a shower and a heater to look forward to once our towels arrive along with our chicken curry!
PS. Even better than the curry was the delicious pear crumble Dave made today with pears from the Source. Thank you Chef and Helen and Gil!

Walking up to Hannah's

The landscape of Merri Park (Kate's) was so beautiful that we felt cheered by what is possible through friendly fences and hard work. Somehow the beauty of the creek within its twists and turns, the Red Gums, the reeds and all the other flourishing plants left me with a sense of melancholy. I'm not sure if this is a form of nostalgia; of viewing a landscape from another time, or if it is simply imagining viewing the landscape through the eyes of another artist, perhaps long dead... Hans Heysen or Tom Roberts; or is it just a feeling that the clock is ticking on Merri Park, and the freight terminal planned for further north will alter this riparian wonderland forever?


  1. Very fine bark, never mind the wasp.

  2. What a delightful day you describe and a fabulous gater collection of Bidgie Widgie. Kate's property is a useful reference site for restoration of other parts of the creek. This is because its been protected from stock access and weeds have been managed. Revegetation is not needed when regeneration of the landscape is supported like this. This property has been managed very well for a long time.
    Looks like a European Wasp to me. Too common these days. The gums are RED not Blue!

  3. Beautiful landscape and trees. Is the freight terminal going on the property you had to walk around?


Thanks for joining the walk via the blog!