Spring cleaning


The last days of August gave us a blue moon.

And then it was September: officially spring. It’s as though a switch has been flicked and everyone’s got the same idea at the same time. The council subbies came out to pressure clean the creek banks.

It’s so thoughtful of them to make new blank canvases for the taggers and graffiti boys and girls. One interesting side-effect is that these old markings in the wet concrete became visible again. I wonder if Jenni W still Ls FK.

The grass in the gasworks is looking pretty brown and dead and if it weren’t for the fact that it’s right next door to the ELGAS depot I’d suggest a burn-off. Obviously this has gone through their minds too as they’ve put a firebreak around the perimeter fence.

Then the other day I noticed a truck-mounted drilling rig in the gasworks. I’m not sure that this counts as spring cleaning as such but it made me think that perhaps Jemena is reassessing the site. Have land values gone up enough for them to consider remediation?

I doubt it. But it does look like they’re paying more attention to the place, even if it is only to sink a few test holes and confirm just how much polluted the water table has become.

Got talking to some of the guys (hydrologists?) and pointed out the leaching of the black, viscous goo into the creek next door. It was gratifying to see that the next day they got down there and took a few samples.

What will come of all this activity I don’t know. Life, and the creek, tends to roll on regardless. Every now and then the train to or from Newcastle pauses for no perceptible reason on the Styx Creek bridge, and the people look down at me and I look up at them.

Or I get stuck at the Clyde Street lights while a coal train lumbers past a mind-numbingly slow speed.

And I find stuff.

And it’s September, and soon I shall hear the mournful keen of the season’s first koel, and after that the squawk of the channel-billed cuckoos. Happy springtime, everybody!