02 February 2010

I have just taken a walk around our rainsoaked paddock, down to the pleasingly full dam at the bottom of our property. One week ago I could almost see the muddy bottom on three-quarters of this dam. And that white float you can see in the photo below – which holds up the intake valve, the point at which our pump at the top of the hill sucks water up from the dam for irrigation purposes – that was almost sitting on the bottom of a nearly empty dam until the recent rains. Now, after 90 mm of rain in two days, the dam has just about filled – thanks to Panomara Creek which flows into this southern end of the dam, and a steep earth bank on the western side (opposite, in this photo) which directs all the rainwater run-off from an acre or so of land there down into the dam. The great mystery is: where did all those water lilies come from? They were not evident when the dam was nearly empty. But now, just a few days later, there they are! Not flowering yet, but they will be very soon.

I saw several turtle heads bobbing up and down on the water's surface, too – each of these a good dinner plate in size – so I hope I won't find any more shells of dead turtles such as the two we found on the shoreline a few weeks ago. And a great big lizard – probably a monitor – dropped down into the water from an overhanging branch just as I approached. At this northern end of the dam, the outflow creek off to the right (see photo below), which was dry for many months, is again flowing downhill in a northerly direction, into the Lake Macdonald catchment area.

This area down at the bottom of our 1.3 acres of land has always been a magical place for me. There you can find our most impressive trees –great big gums that were no doubt here before local farmers turned this area into a vegetable farm of some sort (we're not sure exactly what was farmed here, but the dam is a relic of that long-ago period). It makes living here a matter of great good luck, as we have never yet run out of water in even the driest of winters (our dry season).

There's a wealth of wildlife, too: blue kingfishers skimming over the water's surface, black cockatoos whenever it's about to rain, families of wild duck and moorhens, freshwater crayfish who come far up into the paddock to burrow down into the clay soil, those monitor lizards, dozens of the large turtles, and also now and then: snakes of various sorts making their way down to the water through the lush paddock grass.

It would be so sensible to leave it all and move to a nice little unit somewhere. But oh how I would miss it. So I'll labour on for a while, fighting the elements in various ways (collapsed rainwater gutters, septic problems, rotten fascia boards,  all sorts of garden problems). It still seems worth it.

PS: Happy to report in March 2010 that gutters, septic blockage and fascia boards have all been fixed - thanks to numerous tradesmen and especially wonderful Nev (who also built the new balustrade and pergola). It takes so little to make me a happy woman these days!

1 comment:

Annabel Candy said...

It sounds gorgeous. I hope you manage to stay there as long as you want. Who wants to do the sensible thing?! Watch out for those snakes though:)

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I started this blog in 2009 when I became a full-time caregiver. My husband had been diagnosed a few years earlier with primary progressive aphasia. Over the next four years until his death in 2013, we went on a journey of discovery about this rare condition. My blog is about what I learned, how we both coped and how the journey deepened our love and appreciation of each other. Allen’s journey is over, but mine goes on.