A season of great fecundity. Everywhere the creek’s filled new things: little rabbits, little blue-tongue lizards, little ducklings, little lizards, little snakes, little insects. But because Nature is brutal, unsentimental and Old Testament in its outlook there’s death on a huge scale. Every walk turns up new dead things: squabs fallen from nests or dropped by predators, the carcasses of rabbits torn by foxes, the scraps of pigeons taken mid-flight by hawks. This morning I came across ten little ducklings by the TAFE. Awww.
Last week there was another clutch of ten ducklings. Within two days it was seven ducklings, then five. If they fledge they might have chance, or they might end up like this little chappy. Quack quack.
In the creek are tens of thousands of fig berries that have fallen from the trees in Richardson Park. Their colour reminds me of the powder paints we used to have a school. One of these powders was called “magenta”, which seemed incredibly exotic at the time (the name and the colour), as did the wax crayon in the colouring box that was “turquoise”. They made me think of oases and Turkish delight and being carried around in a sedan chair flicking away flies with a switch made from a zebra’s tail.
If we all disappeared Nature would quickly cover our feeble human traces. There are some parts of the concrete banking that are almost hollow; all the dirt’s been washed away behind them and they look as though they could collapse at any moment. Here on Chatham Road bridge a fig has taken root, probably it got there in the droppings of a figbird. Leave it for a few decades and it’s roots would break those stanchions apart like balsa.
Though even if we did all disappear tomorrow our footprint would stay for a long time. I’ve gotten used to the horrible, creamy, emulsified goo that seeps from the well caps in the creek. I assume that it’s something to do with the petrol depot. But this week, on the old gasworks (southern) side of the creek a bituminous, tarry slurry started oozing out and into the water. (On the left is the “normal” filth, on the right is the new, even worse filth.)
It’s not good for ducklings or baby blue-tongues or little rabbits, and I’m pretty sure it’s not good for us either.