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  • rosscolliver

Not So Simple Spring

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Spring is the simple season. Spring says ‘Grow’. It says: breakout, push to the light that lengthens each day, bud and flower, go to the warmth. Don’t mind the reversals to cold weather, keep going. Grow! That frisky feeling, that’s Spring – make the most of it!

Our human times are not so simple. In this particular rotation around the sun, we have learned that what we thought was normal is set about with assumptions we had not noticed until they were up-ended by the shifting conditions of the pandemic. We are locked in, and the command is 'don’t go out'. Don’t stretch your fingers toward others.

The Blackwood in full flower

Meanwhile the plant world is doing its regular Spring thing, and I am amazed. The acacia dealbata is already on the wane, but here beside it is the Blackwoods, big buds of flower out in a yellow that I might say is restrained in hue, except that the whole of the plant is bursting, every branch, from top to bottom, an excitation of flowers. Nothing restrained about it. An unobtrusive tree of modest stature, the Blackwood sure knows how to flower.

It is the time of acacias. This morning, I went looking for a cluster of Ovens Valley wattle I had seen yesterday, a lovely tree in its own right, but a weed here because it out-competes the locals, and in particular, shades out the complex suite of grasses that is the cheif glory of Barrm Birrm. We had the contractors go through most of Barrm Birrm, poisoning or cutting the bad trees (trees not from here). They got quite a bit, but they missed the odd specimen here and there, and I'm trying to remember where they were.

I make my way along one of the lateral tracks that traverse Barrm Birrm, then up, here, just here, through this band of Prickly Moses, here they are, happy, making their way from the damp country above the cemetery, spreading steadily along the slope. Cascades of pale yellow, but …. my deep apologies living plant, you are not from here. You have been brought on by humans planting you in town. I must bid you adieu with the short sharp pruning saw that sits on my hip.

Ovens Valley Wattle

This all began a few months ago, when the committee of our Landcare group looked at our term deposit (yet again – will we roll it over?) and decided no, we will not roll it over, there were better things it could be doing than sitting in a bank. We got the contractors in, and in a sweep from the northern end, they made it almost to the cemetery. I’m mopping up the stragglers.

The contractors reached a line roughly up hill from the Gap Road/Royal Parade junction. From here south west, you head into exotic acacias in profusion - Sallow Wattle, Cootamundra and Ovens Valley Wattle - migrating into this grassland with its sparse tree cover that lets light to the grasses.

Sallow Wattle

With the big work done, my hope is that each not so simple Spring from here on, as these acacias bloom and they are easy to see, humans will walk gently through the bush, eyes curious to find the flare of green and gold the exotics give off, and do what has to be done and kill them.

While enjoying the immense privilege of being able to be of service.

Ross Colliver, Riddells Creek Landcare,

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