The billy needed boiling early this afternoon and what had been planned as a simple overnight trip to scope out stretches of the Howqua, Jamieson and Goulburn very nearly became a weeklong escape from the Big Smoke. If the camp mattress had been stowed and the only tent did not have a hole, well it would have been easy to linger and celebrate this year's trout season, which began on September 6. The batteries in the radio were flat, too, which was another incentive to remain. No chance of catching any more post-election spite and bile from the ABC's apostles of the left.
The sun had that wonderful spring muscle to it, bright for a cloudless hour or two in a sky the colour of kittens' eyes. At the other end of the log that was a Bunyip's sylvan throne a blue-tongue came out to charge its batteries, the leading advocate in our little clearing of sustainable solar power. The bush, which never really goes to sleep, is shaking off the southern winter's lethargy. Further to the east about now, in the hills around the Snowy, Gippsland water dragons will be waking to pursue their brief couplings with an enthusiasm that shames Craig Thomson. Then again, water dragons are far more appealing species than corruptocrats. By October the dragon ladies will have dug their nests and be laying eggs, and come December, the kookas, snakes and other lizards will have gobbled most of their children. Even the trout will get their share of wiggly morsels.
And then along will come a Bunyip with rod and woolly bear, haul them to the bank and eat them all. But today, it was just a cup of tea, a dekko and a mental note that a big brown bugger has made his home in the slower water beside and below the rocks that squeeze the stream into a tumbling, tiny cataract. With a little luck the foxes will have overlooked the water rat family which were in residence last year.
There is a lot wrong with the bush -- invasive species are now occupiers, not intruders -- and with conservation policies orchestrated by Fitzroy greens and administered by Spring Street bureaucrats things will only get worse. But just for a bit today, in the sun and beneath trickle of wood smoke, you would not have considered being been anywhere else, not for all the tea in China.