Call that a drain?


That’s a drain!

It’s not just any drain, it’s the Moonee Ponds creek in Melbourne, with the City Link running over the top. I’m not sure what the big red things are: art installation or plastic bag catchers. This great pic was sent in by expat Novocastrian and former drain rambler Ken, who was back in his old stomping ground recently and took his lad down the drains near Waratah Park. It’s excellent that our drainy heritage is being passed on to the next generation.

The creek’s been quietly lately: no students taking short cuts to the TAFE, no quad bikers, no dog walkers (apart from me and Jambo). The clean-up squad’s been and gone; I missed Dave and the boys but the mountain of plastic that had built up has been taken away.

Which is very timely, as the Australian Marine Conservation Society is running an anti-plastics campaign at the moment. Called “Like diamonds: plastics are forever”, it reminds us that “every piece of plastic we have ever used is still on the planet today”. You can donate to their campaign here.

I don’t think this eel died from ingesting plastic, unless he ate a ruler. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an eel so straight.

This blue-tongue was laid out pretty straight too. Not sure if he lost his tail in a fight with a dog or if it was snapped off after he drowned.


I mentioned recently that the coal tar in the old gasworks had been on the move since the warm weather kicked in. Here’s a nice example. This liquid ooze popped forth from the ground when I was walking round there the other day.

I felt like Jed Clampett, though I wasn’t as pleased to see this “Texas tea” as he was!

Old man river


One of the state’s coolest, wettest summers has drawn to a close and autumn has taken over. Everything’s in the last flush of growing and ripening: this choko vine on Boreas Road will soon have taken over the entire bus stop.

It took until the very end of February but we did eventually have a few hot days. I wouldn’t call them stinkers but they were dank enough to need a fan in the bedroom one night. But by the time the Knights were hosting the Broncos the change had already started pushing through. As I walked along the creek towards Broadmeadow at dusk a cool gust came at me downstream, pushing with it a squall of dried-out leaves. They looked like rats or mice in the half light and the noise of them rolling against the concrete sounded like thousands of tiny clawed feet. Creepy.

The slasher’s been through the gasworks again. I normally like the long grass but at this time of year I’m also aware of, as my late father-in-law would have described them, the old Joe Blakes. Closed in shoes and long pants for me, whatever the weather!

On the plus side the slasher makes things visible that were hidden before. But there’s always a minus side: this blue-tongue was starting to pong by Saturday afternoon.

Beyond the pong stage was this dead bird I found on the roof when doing a gutter check. It had one green and one white plastic band but they weren’t proper birding bands, which are metal and numbered. The photo’s been popped off to the Hunter Bird Observers Club to see if they can identify it for me.

And so back to the creek. The flush has cleaned it out again; there was just this lonely soccer ball bobbing around by the Chaucer Street drain. But I know that, even as I’m writing this, it’ll be filling up again. Like the seasons, that river just keeps on rolling along.

Hmm. Is that a song?