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Blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) seedlings ready for planting.

Before Yarnauwi, we never really appreciated winter. Now, through the long dry season, we find ourselves yearning for a chill edge to the wind, the moisture in the grass, and skies of dark clouds. We’ve tried to plan our year to mimic the lives of so many of the organisms that occupy our landscape: in the hot, dry times, we go into maintenance mode, watching and waiting for the first rains before we spring into action again. With the greening of the landscape, it’s all on: tree-planting has begun, shed sites are levelled, the grass grows. In winter, the kangaroos converge in clans numbering hundreds, displaced from the pasture, they lounge among the seedlings in the reveg areas while we look on nervously.


Joel and Annika work on a rock dam to arrest erosion on a boundary before the rains hit.


And then the rains hit.

It’s a good time to assess the success or otherwise of some of our management too: with the moisture, pasture begins regrowing, and we can quickly identify which areas have maintained good grass cover, and which are becoming colonised by soursobs, salvation jane or wild mustard. So too, with actual moisture, we can begin to monitor and tweak the erosion control structures we constructed in the summer in gully floors or on emergent headcuts. They’ve held, and so far there’s been no additional movement in treated areas. Some are already showing their effectiveness in catching sediment and slowing water flow. With moisture, everything comes alive.


Annika packs the ute on the new shed site.


Stone pines (Pinus pinea), planted on contour.


Kangaroos duel for the right to eat newly planted seedlings.