Even in the dark I can tell when the river has started to flood. I love to hear the normal soft rushing sound at night, a little like distant traffic. This is more. It’s a freeway roar that means big standing waves crashing against the rocks. Big water on the move is magnificent.
Whole islands disappear, leaving just a set of scrambling waves, rushing to get past. Continue reading
A few old trees make all the difference when you’re doing a bird survey. The bare, newly planted paddocks on Carkella and Adnamira were limited to a few species, mainly parrots (galahs,red-rumps, rosellas) and a small family of magpies.
Red-rumped parrot photo by Leo from iNaturalist.org
Photo by Nathan Ruser from iNaturalist.org
We don’t often see Eastern Long Necked Turtles (Chelodina longicollis), as they spend most of their time in the water. The Murrumbidgee River is rarely clear enough to see to the bottom where they hang out. We do sometimes see them hiking overland after rain. When you pick them up they not only hide as best they can inside their shell, they can give off a thin, stinky liquid that presumably is meant to make you go away and leave them alone.
It works on me.
The Murrumbidgee River is a significant part of our landscape here. But it’s only in the summer that we really get to play with it.
Charles and his cousins Will and Alex had intended to go out in our old Canadian canoe. I was doubtful it would hold three large young men. However, it filled up with water for a different reason. It turned out I’d forgotten they’d put a hole in it last summer and not fixed it. Last time that happened I spent hours cursing, trying to find a shady, cool place to do the repair in 34 degree (Celsius) heat, covering myself in gloopy runaway resin and trying to decipher the instructions which were written for “dudes” fixing “dings” on the “rails” of their surfboards.
Luckily this time the Leonards came to our rescue with the loan of three kayaks. Continue reading
There are lots of issues clamoring for attention in our world – war, hunger, climate change, disaster, death and despair. I find reading the newspaper a dangerous activity likely to explode a blood pressure cuff across the room.
‘Nearly two years ago I got the opportunity move back to the family farm and work on making it more resilient, to help it survive the next few decades. That means living in a beautiful old house belonging to my mother, with a view over the Murrumbidgee and the surrounding hills. It means fixing up that house and the others on the farm. It means repairing or putting up new fences to protect plants and it means working out what the landscape should look like for the long term.