Today, they arrived

03/10/2015

There are things that appear in the creek that signal that turn of the season. The other day I watched as a team of men dragged a stolen motorbike out of the muddy pond by the TAFE. Stolen motorbikes and summer just go hand in hand, don’t they?

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I’m not kidding, it was a full-size genuine motorbike, not a little jobby like this one!

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They were still at it next day with their nets and various bits of tackle. How many stolen or dumped vehicle parts can they fit in that wee pond?

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Of course the real changes I’ve been looking for take place in the skies. I’ve been hearing koels and figbirds for a few weeks, but where oh where have the channel-billed cuckoos been? Today I finally heard the telltale squawk of a flock of angry myna birds as they mobbed some big and unwelcome guest, then I saw the familiar dipping, swooping flight pattern, and then the unmistakeable croaking rasp. They’re here!

Just in time to get the second clutch of eggs for birds like this white-faced heron, which I spotted down the night-soil lane. He was such a gangly teenager, covered in bum-fluff and dwarfing his poor mother.

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Report to come soon a site visit to the gasworks; just waiting for photo clearance from Jemena.


Anticipation

22/02/2015

Sometimes a post just won’t write itself, no matter how hard I try. This was one such post, which I must have started 10 days ago. It wouldn’t gel and no matter how hard I pushed and poked it refused to develop into any useful form. I’m settled enough in my writing skin to know to stop pushing when it gets like this; at some point, the thing that was blocking it will become apparent and I’ll resolve it, or a new solution will emerge. This time, it was the latter.

The theme of the post when I started was the (then) impending cyclone or two to our north. There was the possibility of storms, and king tides, which hardly seemed real as February has been one continuous Top End-style build up, with dark clouds brewing and brooding without ever being unleashed upon us. One such cloud hung over the naphtha tower without coming to anything. (I love the way the cloud looks like some unholy fume, like Isengard.)

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The tides have been incredibly low, allowing me to walk down the creek bed all the way to Maitland Road bridge and into Throsby Creek. This is by no means the lowest of those low tides; at one point the there was almost no water apart from the beck right down here.

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Tonight was different, and not just for the fact that there was water. This was fresh water, backed up from the TAFE weir. Why do?

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The force of the flood had once again stripped the beds of water hyacinth that build up in the old Styx that feeds from Gregson Park. Huge great islands of the stuff had banked up around litter boom causing the fresh water to pond behind it. The colours were so fresh and vivid that they cheered up an otherwise grim section of the creek.

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And in the middle, a Big Red Car.

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If you see a Wiggle, let them know where it is!