Nature's Place

Hidden Treasure

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To find the nature I haven’t been to before I often just look at the map for the green places. That’s what I have been doing since moving to the Redlands in SE Brisbane. When I find a place worth exploring I usually do it in stages, the obvious paths first, then off the beaten. Every place has its character, an inarticulate quality that is really a matter of perception and I have to be still enough inside to discern it.

Point Halloran is not far from where I live now in Victoria Point. It is a mangrove swamp of a headland jutting out into Moreton Bay. On only one side there are houses and the other is given to nature. The nature side has been made accessible with boardwalks across the wet and with made paths. These walkways and paths cut through a waterway, swamp and forest that border some impassable terrain. People don’t go there and that is its quality, here on the edge of Brisbane is pristine nature.

Few people use these tracks. If you don’t live here you would probably never know about this place. I had to go looking for it to find it. And having found it one thing leads to the other. The walk referred to above is short and easy, and along the way are a few spots that tend to define its character. One is where the boardwalk crosses a metre above a weir for about 30 metres, and is bordered on both sides from a metre or so away by tall plants. On one side is a small runoff lake where birds and flowers grow and on the left is where nature takes full control as the water spreads out into the fields of tall brush, grass and mud where only wild creatures roam. The Dragonflies love it, delighting in their mastery of the air as they perform the Dragon Dance, what Dragons do. There are blues and reds, yellows and greens, and they are wonderful to watch as they play and hunt in the afternoon sun, down this busy canyon through nature.

Another place along the track is where a few large bush rocks have been scattered across an old entrance. The water pools shallow here, crystal clear, and the hot bright Australian sun beats down on the beautifully golden coloured stone where the magnificent sparkling Dragons perch. An easy, restful place, where you have to wait for something to happen. And happen it does, in this place of clarity. Whoever ‘designed’ this place had an affinity for the simple beauty of nature, it has been returned to an expression resembling its original state, and with ease of access.

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Having been to this place a few times, enough to get to know it and see the telltale signs of another entry to the huge reserve, I went exploring again.

At the very edge of this civilisation there is a walkway that roughly hugs the contours of the Eprapah creek. It’s a tidal creek and the water is muddy as a mangrove swamp would have it. While exploring along the banks I heard a bubbling on a bend where water enters it, a lovely sound to me, water bubbling over stones that never move. The sound of birds that belong here echoed in the afternoon shadows, and I saw a blue kingfisher dive from its perch and dart into the trees on the other side of the water. Nature is at home here, there is peace here, to be acknowledged.

There were some striking cardinal red berries on a bush and at another place the Dragonflies were many. I was standing on the bank at a bend in the creek where there is a clearing of the normal growth. The bank was twenty foot high and looked down on the opposite bank, which was the beginning of the swamp, about seventy feet away. I was on the eastern side late in the afternoon and the young dragons were feasting on the small flying creatures that only come out in the coolness of the day. There were as many Dragons as I have seen in one place, going this way and that, taking their food on the wing.  Lace wings glistening in the sunlight against the darkness of the opposite banks shadow. A dance of life in the open air above the water in the light of the closing sun, with a certain urgency. Well fed is more likely to survive the night prowlers, and start the day in readiness.

Nature does what is needed as it is needed, now, instinctively. A redness here, a dying there, a flowing of water, flashing of colour, sunshine, a cooling breeze.  And flight, amazing flight. Nature is, there is no was in it, and no future. That’s the peace of it, peace of mind. That’s the sense of it.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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2 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on 09/02/2009 at 10:50 am

    Thanks Ted. – just to distinguish the sense of it.

  2. Ted C. MacRae said, on 09/02/2009 at 3:02 am

    Almost poetry – very nice writing.
    regards–ted


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