Never seen this before ... Rhubarb bolete ... Boletellus obscureconnineus!
All the rain we didn't get in late winter and early spring has been delivered to our door over Christmas and New Year. Frankly, it’s mystifying. When was it last like this? I haven’t been in Riddell long enough to know (what's 13 years?), but it feels strange to still be waiting for the lash of summer heat in what is supposed to be an El Nino year.
I’m not complaining. I love the damp and the green, the strange fungi appearing, and most of all, the sound of the creek running. But I can't help wondering when the heat and threat of bushfire will begin.
Sandy Creek, early January
A lot of environmental work is repetitive. Weeds or new plantings or monitoring of wildlife need persistent attention. We show up to do the things we have taken on, knowing that it’s not the immediate result that matters, but the year-by-year effort.
But the start of the year is a time to reaffirm those commitments and know how our individual efforts fit with what others are doing. I invited a few of my fellow greenies to dinner. We sat on the verandah at the end of a hot day, and listened to what we will each be chasing down this year.
Maree is pressing on with the drainage basins in Rangeview Estate, helping them become the havens for wildlife they could be, given a half chance and better targeted Council mowing. Heather has the Enviro Expo to organise, 16 March (put it in your diary), and what a great event that is shaping up to be. Vince will be supporting the Cool Changes work in Riddell, as we shift our personal and town habits to fit the low carbon future we want to create.
I’ll keep on organising our monthly walks in Barrm Birrm, and I’ll keep looking around for $7m to buy back Barrm Birrm. Our vision for this bush on the edge of Riddell is that it become a publicly-owned native parkland, where people can come alone or with friends, to walk and enjoy the presence of a natural place that has been here for many, many years.
I’m lending a hand too to making the case for development that fits the character of the town, and to wise use of our water resources around the Macedon Range. Most of all, I’m cultivating in myself a practice of care for the place I live. We can each do our bit, and it all adds up.
Sitting out there on the verandah, it felt good to be with people who also care about this place, who are listening to what the place itself is asking of them, and acting on what they hear.
You can follow what we’re doing here, and we look forward to seeing you in 2024.
Ross Colliver, Riddells Creek Landcare
The view from the verandah