time of wiritjiribin

Tugarah Gunya’marri  – Cold and windy (August)

“The lyrebirds’ calls ring out through the bushland as he builds his dancing mounds to attract his potential mates. It is the time of the flowering of the Marrai’uo (Acacia floribunda) which is a sign that the fish are running in the rivers. At the end of this time the Boo’kerrikin (Acacia decurrens) flower, which indicates the end of the cold, windy weather, and the beginning of the gentle spring rains.”
“Build shelters facing the rising sun, time to begin the journey to the highlands along the rivers, plenty of fish. Wiritjiribin, the Lyrebird builds his mounds when season ends. http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/indigenous/calendar2.htm#seasons

As soon as August arrived so did the winds. Strong, cold winds.

I get nervous in August. We have many Eucalypts in our area. Where they once stood amongst their elders, siblings, and offspring, they now stand alone and vulnerable in gardens, parks, and schoolyards. We also had over ten years of drought which weakened their resolve. My boys scoffed when I told them they couldn’t go to the park because it was too windy.

One day late in August, the winds were so strong they snapped massive Eucalypts in half.  I was so shocked by the damage I forgot to take photos. One tree with grey bark, over 20 metres tall, fell where the children in school were playing just a half hour before.  Now my boys believe me.

In the bush, there was no damage, just a bit more leaf litter on the ground. Perfect conditions for the lyrebirds. Their scratchings are more visible now than they were in the dead of winter.


The satin bowerbirds have been singing a merry tune. They haven’t waited for the capsicums to ripen before devouring them.


Outside the August wind is playing
swinging branches up and down,
grabbing on flowers that are still standing
with fingers which are desiring
and I wait upon birds to appear again
after their around-the-world journey
while knobs are on the branches of fruit trees,
ready to unfold in blossoms
in early spring
but the cold is making its presence known
with ripe lying spread out in the early morning
while the winter season
is still doing its icy thing.
Gert Strydom


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2 Comments on “time of wiritjiribin”

  1. InsideJourneys (@InsideJourneys) Says:

    Wow, that must have been some strong winds. Eucalyptus trees are pretty huge and their roots look like they go deep.


  2. greenmackenzie Says:

    We had the same winds here in Scotland….well I know it wasn’t the same wind, but it was fierce too. The power of the wind never ceases to amaze me 🙂


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