Native Flora & Fauna

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By Dodieh posted 15-12-2021 14:17


Today is a writing day. It is early in the morning and though I should be hard at work working on some bookwork (the GST beckons!), my mind is drawn outside by the sound of magpies heralding the morning, and crows in the distance chatting as they scour the landscape for a breakfast. 

I decide instead to write my first piece for Landcarer, and as I open the first file of pics saved to this hard drive, I realise that nearly every photograph in every folder is of a plant, or a horse, or a cow, or a sheep, or a tree, or a flower, or the beach...sometimes there are people, but usually they are accompanied by one or another of those things. Some images are of people with a tree planting machine, some of them looking at pastures, or playing with a horse, or walking on the beach...

The simple act of reviewing one file of pics saved by my old iPhone reveals the extent of our connection with nature, whether it is nature of the variety that belongs here, like the vegetation that managed to survive decades of farming, or the waves that tickle the shoreline of our nearest beach, or the omnipotent sky that is a constant, or of the introduced kind, like our gentle stock horses, or the shiny black cows and shiny nosed Merinos. All are living entities that are the framework for our life.

Our lives are dominated by the routines imposed on us by the needs of the plants and animals around us, with a few exceptions where people are able to be put to the fore. As I ponder on this I find myself comforted by this notion. Depsite the fact that the world outside of our gate is frantic, and full of the Covid-19 exacerbated complications that hang over our daily lives, within the gates, we are able to focus on the fundamentals. Food, water, shelter...and our sanity is saved by walks in the revegetated creek lines, or through the slowly spreading perennial pastures, and under the trees planted to soothe a scarred landscape. 

As I brush my hands through the silvery grey foliage of a saltbush that towers over my head, and watch as a brightly jewelled orchid spider scuttles along its recently created web, I ponder on the importance of the Landcare movement in our personal lives.

The fences that protect our now beautiful creeks, once white salted and pungent reminders of a different times; the melaleucas that brighten our lives with their purple and pale yellow blossoms, and the pastures that blanket once sickened paddocks, I am eternally grateful to a movement that has allowed us to help our land recover. As we watch our small farm revive itself, with a bit of help where it is needed, our own souls have been nurtured.

And when we get the time to make the 20 minute trek to our local beach, and gaze out over the Southern Ocean, I feel like we are the luckiest people in the world.

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