A while ago, I showed you some pictures, taken by The Man on one of his business trips to the Wild West. At that time, the drought was biting deep.
Same place, several weeks later…this view was last week. By Tuesday,the level (man-made and providing water for the local coal-mining operation) will probably have receded further. The trees in the water are melaleucas, able to withstand periods of wet feet.
And I heard an interesting talk on radio last walk by a river ecologist on the importance of maintaining natural systems, despite some (somewhat misguided) green howls for change. There are people who talk about building dams to “save” the water from the Channel Country. In short, this “wide, brown land” has evolved over millions of years to adapt to and even thrive on seasonal fluctuations and to meddle with a system which has worked well for so long, particularly in light of the damage we humans did in places like the Nile and the Yangtze, is probably right up there with the folly of nuclear war.
In a season of extreme rainfall, places like Lake Eyre and its river feeders support vast numbers and species of water birds. Of course, as the water level drops many die, but left to Nature these rotting corpses provide nutrients to other life forms. The strongest of those species which bred before the levels dropped will, with luck, survive to breed when the climate wheel of fortune next settles in the area.
And now…I must get on with some artwork.
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