Pelican Lagoon is one of Kangaroo Island’s many treasures. It’s a Marine Park Sanctuary Zone that has its inlet from the ocean at American River.
On a windless sunny day, the mirror-like surface of the shallow lagoon, dotted with islets, is enough to make me gasp, even though I’ve seen it hundreds of times before.
Friends of Dudley Peninsula Parks and Eco-Action have a joint project to rid Pig Islet of African boxthorn and replant with the species that would have been there before westerners arrived (as far as we know, it’s not absolutely clear). If this smallest of the islets is revived, we’ll move on to some of the others. Yes, it’s a long term plan.
One of the Friends, Andy Collis, came up with this project and has soldiered on despite some misinformed opposition. We Friends are very happy to help him and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has given us permission to do the work.
Boxthorns are nasty brutes but they can be managed: cut the stems as close to the ground as possible, dab the cut straight away with strong glyphosate and they’ll give up the ghost. Sounds simple but getting through the thorns to the stems is the tricky bit. And we all have the scratches to prove it.
On one of the four working bees so far we had a chain saw to help, and that was a morale boost. We’ve had 21 people helping in one or more working bees, and also helping Andy with extra trips for camera trapping and watering.
Getting to the islets is also a challenge. Each time a little flotilla of kayaks and canoes sets out and makes it across the water in radically different times (some of us need to get a sense of direction).
Wwoofer Merel Nyhuis got the short end of the jobs stick.
This week, on the last of the working bees for 2017, we planted the shrubs, grasses and groundcovers Veronica grew up at the Natural Resources Kangaroo Island Plant Nursery (an island gem). The Friends groups has other projects to get on with for the rest of the year. Then we’ll be paddling back next year.
All photos by Quentin Chester.
Four spring flowers blooming October 2016 in the Macgillivray area of Kangaroo Island
Until now, I have held out a tiny, tiny hope that one day you would wake up, take a good look at yourself in the mirror, feel shame and decide to be a leader of people.
I clung on to that tiny, ever diminishing hope through climate inaction, through refugee abuse and incarceration on Manus and Nauru, through mouthing platitudes and doing nothing on same sex marriage, through parliamentary stuff-ups, through tax benefits for the rich, through slapping the banks with damp rag despite their rampaging greed demanding an inquiry, through depriving the least able in our community of even more of their pitiful ration of change, through allowing destruction of our precious biodiversity to continue, through support of ridiculous earth-destroying coal mines, through an endless list of fearful inaction.
Today that last tiny hope has gone.
That you cannot even find a handful of stern words, let alone an actual rebuke, for a narcissistic, bullying, racist child of an excuse for a president of the US, just puts you in the same category as him.
If you can’t find the humanity to be ashamed, then have mine. I am ashamed of you.
I’ve written a new blog for the Island to Inland project on Deb Sleeman. Now, there are posts on all of the 10 participating artists and their work for the exhibition on the Island to Inland site.
The Island to Inland exhibition opens in late June in Flinders University City Gallery in Adelaide and runs for 9 weeks through to the end of the SALA Festival on 31 August.
I’ve been working with wildlife artist Nicholas Burness Pike to produce his Penguins of the World poster as a high-quality print – and we’ve done it!
The 130 x 32 cm poster is now available through the Penneshaw Penguin Centre website, and we hope soon at centres across southern Australia. Prices start at $6 each for 100 posters wholesale; and retail price is $15 for one poster – all plus postage and handling (free on Kangaroo Island).
‘I am working with this idea of journeying, moving into the unknown, letting go and then the reinventing in that process.’
Audrey Harnett has come to value isolation. She knows that she can take it – she has put herself through that tough test – but she also knows that it’s her choice to be isolated or not.
Read more of my post on Audrey Harnett and her art for the Island to Inland project.