Follow-up rain

When you’re in the city it’s easy to forget the travails of life inland, and by “inland” I only mean somewhere as close by as Cessnock or Kurri. The start of this year has been dry around town, but a few kilometres west it’s been very dry. Our friends in the Watagans were >this< far away from having to cart water for only the second time in a couple of decades. When the rain did come to the coast it was a slow, soaking rain with little run-off.


The litter and mulch and goo floated gently and responsibly down to the litter boom and sat there like a lid on the water, ready to be scooped out. I saw herons walking along it, it was so densely packed.

On the radio, farmers talked about the need for a decent follow-up rain. This is the farmers’ mantra, but I don’t think anyone expected quite such a deluge when it did come. The Styx filled and my wife described it as “a banker”, though for some reason I only consider it to be a genuine banker if the water’s up to the top of the concrete. The stuff by the boom hadn’t yet boon scooped out but, after the rain had stopped, the creek was clean as a whistle. All the bad stuff had gone away, or at least gone away as far as the Carrington mangroves.


I’ve so come to expect the creek to be wreathed in its garland of litter that the scoured concrete beds felt barren and lifeless. How topsy-turvy is that?


The grasses and reeds and sedges that occupy the cracks in the concrete beds were utterly flattened by the flood but, within hours, they began unfurling themselves and casting off the decorative petals that had become lodged amongst their tips.


In the days that followed, and this may be coincidence, I saw a couple of Works guys in the creek looking at the some of the big holes that have appeared in the creekbed, exposing the ancient reo mesh. Every time I see things like this have to revise my understanding of how quickly Nature could reclaim the creek, or even the city. It wouldn’t be a couple of hundred years; more like one person’s lifetime, or less.


One item that hadn’t been washed away was this … thing. I thought at first it was a mouldy old orange. Luckily I didn’t kick it as it’s solid steel! Is it a cannonball? A shot putt? What?


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