Walking on water 29.1.2011


The shared walkway/ bike path at ‘Red Bluff’ on Lake Macquarie was just lovely this morning.

(Who knew there was a place called Red Bluff? I’ve only lived here forever and hadn’t heard of it.) I’d read about a grand plan to have a bike track all the way around the lake and always admire the lakeside parks full of walkers and cyclists and dogs but was incredibly impressed with this path that looks like it floats above the water.

I saw it when I drove past last weekend taking the scenic route home to show les enfants the haunts of my youth – you know, the sorts of place where you cut your feet in the shallow water of the lake or burn yourself on the embers of the campfire or become exhausted and bored at the end of a picnic waiting to see if your parents will ever stop talking and take you home – the attractive setting always puts a gloss on those memories.

According to the signage the shared path is one of the infrastructure projects that helped save us from the global financial crisis – that doesn’t seem to rate a mention on Lake Macquarie City Council website, but it’s there on the path for users to see. Money well spent, I thought today.

I wonder whether there’ll be a floating path past all those absolute waterfront properties that never should have existed. Don’t hold your breath.

Water is so calming it’s ridiculous, but not so calming that thoughts of urban wildlife issues elsewhere didn’t pop into my head.

I saw a cormorant fishing and then drying its wings – and was sadly reminded of the cormorant culls in Britain, Canada and the US to protect fish from the birds – so people can catch them… (The British cull is up for a 5 year review.)

There were loads of white cockatoos trying to wake everyone up, perched on wires and in eucalypts – and was reminded of the licence granted to a Broadway (Sydney) business to cull them – Saving Our Trees had a post about this last year.

On a jollier note Lake Macquarie City Council has a great sustainability page with links to a  footprint calculator and the 10:10 challenge: ‘reducing our footprint by 10% in 2010’. Are we escalating to an 11:11 challenge? LMCC is upfront about the fact that to support the typical lifestyle of the average Lake Macquarie resident we would need 3.8 earths.

 There was a lovely story in the Herald this morning about flying foxes – and their carers who are trying to raise awareness about backyard netting on fruit trees and how dangerous it is for these animals. I loved this:

‘Clutching a bottle of milk and nursing a damaged wing, Colin looked lovingly into Anne Williams’ eyes, aware he was with a friend. Small enough to fit into the palm of her hand, the baby flying fox was delivered to Mrs Williams after his mother was killed by netting used to cover a backyard fruit tree.

‘”They always look you straight in the eye, [and] they are very intelligent and affectionate,” Mrs Williams said.’

There’s a flying fox party every night in the fig trees across Newcastle at the moment because the figs are ripe.

And here’s some good news: the Hexham swamp rehabilitation project run by the Hunter-Central rivers catchment authority has reintroduced tidal flows to Hexham swamp and salt water has been allowed back in.  Estuaries are apparently ‘nurseries’ for fish and crustaceans and there have been more prawns this year than for the last 40. I’ll have to look up why gates to stop tidal flow were built in the first place. If you know, leave a comment.




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No Responses to “Walking on water 29.1.2011”

  1. jaygresh Says:

    A very good post. Nice details about the wildlife.

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