In a recent post, not long after having got back from a holiday in England, I wrote something along the lines of “not much has changed down the creek while I was away”. That seemed true until I looked at this photo* that I’d taken of an egret probing amongst the incoming tide.
God, it looks filthy. Have I become so inured to the creek’s dirtiness that I couldn’t even see how bad it’s become? Did I think that that looked “all right”?
It was obviously time to recalibrate and get my settings readjusted, so a couple of weekends ago I headed up to Ash Island and the Kooragang Wetlands.
What a beautiful place this. What a testament to the vision, commitment and hard work of a bunch of great people, people who saved this tract of land, restored it and created a corner of paradise from “a bit of swamp”. Just look at all these baby mangroves poking up. Or maybe they’re not baby mangroves, they’re the uppity root things, they’re the … oh, stop now.
Then, from the glorious islands of the Hunter River, I went upstream to Dungog the following weekend for a couple of days at the beautiful Wangat Lodge. We’ve been going here on the first weekend in August with a group of families for some years, and it’s the perfect place to recharge the batteries and remind yourself what “pristine” actually means.
This is Jerusalem Creek, a tributary of the Chichester River. The photos barely do it justice as it was utterly gorgeous.
So now I can get down the drain again and see it as it really is: filthy, disgusting, polluted, stinky, trashed and … and … the place I love to go every day. Go figure!
* I nearly wrote “developed this photo”. Like, when was the last time I went to the chemist to pick up a roll of snaps?!