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life in the catchment catherine moore

Leaf mirrors flash in the sun with the clarity that comes after rain An eagle soars and dives Eastern peaks rise up between me and the ocean, orange at sunset when the mist melts down the sides Pure water Clean air I drink in the sounds of the bush At night under the waning moon there is frost underfoot and possums screech as a branch breaks With no moon, the sky is dark, Pierced by uncountable specks of light This place in my heart is in my care, as builders of the New Heritage come ever closer with their machines.

an unusual summer rainfall (ml), Sapling Yard Creek, Charleys Forest summer 2010-2011

December (ml)

January (ml)

February (ml)
























91.66 91.55 92.88






• 0° C. overnight at the beginning of Jan.& Feb. at C.F. • Jan. 30-Feb. 5 – seven consecutive days of max. over 30° in Braidwood (record is 10 days in Jan. 1988) • Perth – 22 consecutive days of temperatures over 30° • Brisbane - double annual long-term rainfall • Darwin - 14ml short of wettest summer ever • Sydney – driest summer for eight years

food stories This season has been a bumper one in the orchard, with (almost) enough plums, apples and pears for humans as well as birds. Despite their noxious weed classification, blackberries can be quite useful not only for food but also for holding soil on steep hills in this area, but they have spread noticeably this season. Paul's Feagan's Creek corn crop came to nothing due to heavy falls straight after planting.

Sky's garden Sky lives at Nettleton's Creek on some of the red volcanic soil that runs through to the coast. In the two years she's been there, she has developed a wonderful garden and this year had potatoes at Christmas – practically unheard of here, given that frosts can occur almost any month of the year! Summer garden

Winter garden


zucchinis, pumpkins and squash – all

shallots, onions, garlic

Mixed planting, permaculture style,

bumper crops but with the latter


of apples, mulberries, almonds,

affected by powdery mildew.


chestnuts, walnuts, figs,

mizuna, Asian mustard

pomegranates, oregano, sage,

bok choy, pak choy

roses, irises

daikon radish

Along the fences – chia, several

collard greens

varieties of grapes

Jerusalem artichokes

chick peas for food and green

globe artichokes


tomatoes – several heirloom varieties as well as a yellow hybrid from Currajuggle Creek near Mongarlowe. Various herbs, basil – three varieties. Celtuce – heirloom lettuce provided year-round picking, bolted mid-Feb. Blue Lake stringless beans grown from seed each each year. various potatoes, Jack O'Lantern pumpkins, Red Aztec maize, silver beet, kale.

rhubarb Outside the enclosure – comfrey

quinoa (failed) fenugreek

for compost,

Chook mix – millet, corn, sunflowers

maize and sunflowers for

grain amaranth


strawberries and asparagus, also meshed in to keep the birds away.

WARRI BRIDGE Shoalhaven River Monkittee Creek Mona Creek Mackellar Creek Tantulean Creek Mongarlowe River Feagan's Creek Bob's Creek Little Bob's Creek Nettleton's Creek Sapling Yard Creek Third Curradux Creek Middle Curradux Creek First Curradux Creek Wog Wog Creek Black Bob's Creek Corang River Corang Creek Corang River Ningee Nimble Creek Shoalhaven River OALLEN FORD

Palerang planning In February 2010 at the first extraordinary meeting of Palerang Council to consider the draft Local Environmental Plan (LEP), a majority of councillors voted to delete the following clauses and words:

(Aims) to protect and enhance watercourses, riparian zones, wetlands and water quality within Palerang; (Part 2, Permitted or Prohibited development, Ecologically sustainable development, local): Before granting consent to the development the consent authority must have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development as they relate to the proposed development; (Zone RU1 Primary production, Objectives of zone): to ensure that the development and management of the land has proper regard for the environmental constraints of the land and has a neutral or beneficial impact on environmental assets including waterways, riparian zones, wetlands and other surface and groundwater resources, soil fertility, remnant native vegetation and existing and potential fauna movement corridors; (RU2 Rural landscape) … proper regard for the environmental constraints of the land and existing and potential fauna movement corridors

Australian Hobby

Grey Butcherbird

Richard's Pipit

Australian King Parrot

Grey Currawong

Rufous Whistler

Australian Magpie

Grey Fantail

Satin Bowerbird

Australian Magpie-lark

Grey Shrike-thrush

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Australian Owlet-nightjar

Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo

Superb Fruit-Dove

Barking Owl

Jacky Winter


Barn Swallow

Laughing Kookaburra

Singing Bushlark

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Little Raven

Southern Boobook

Brown Treecreeper

Little Wattlebird

Spotted Quail-thrush

Common Bronzewing

Masked Lapwing

Striated Pardalote

Chestnut-breasted Whistler


Superb Fairy-wren

Crested Pigeon

New Holland Honeyeater

Tawny Frogmouth

Crimson Rosella


Wedge-tailed Eagle

Diamond Firetail

Noisy Friarbird

Welcome Swallow

Eastern Yellow Robin

Olive-backed Oriole

White-browed Scrub Wren

Eastern Rosella

Pacific Black Duck

White-eared Honeyeater

Eastern Spinebill

Pacific Wren

White-winged Chough

European Goldfinch

Painted Button-quail

White's Thrush

Flame Robin

Pied Currawong

Willy Wagtail


Red-browed Firetail

Yellow-rumped Thornbill

Gang-gang Cockatoo

Restless Flycatcher

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Caladenia carnea (Pink Fingers) Caladenia catenata (White Fingers) Caleana major (Flying Duck Orchid) Calochalus robertsonii (Bearded Orchid) Dipodium roseum (Rosy Hyacinth Orchid) Diuris abbreviata (Lemon Double Tail) Diuris beharii (Golden Cowslips) Diuris palustris (Little Donkey Orchid) Diuris orientis (Donkey Orchid) Microtis parviflora (Slender Onion Orchid) Microtis atrata (Yellow Onion Orchid) Pterostylis acumenata (Pointed Greenhood) Pterostylus nutans (Nodding Greenhood) Spiranthes australis (Austral Ladies' Tresses) Thelymitra ixioides (Spotted Sun Orchid)

Two Woodchipping Poems (I) Why can't we leave what's left of the forest as it is, with the Old trees Only doing what they've always done Doing it for themselves, and for all who depend on them for life? Chainsaws mean death to so much that Humans don't yet value, because In our quest for wealth, we are Prisoners of our own greed, Persecuting ourselves by forgetting that we are not Independent of Nature but inextricably tied, Growing with the forest that gives us nourishment. (II) When we have chopped and chipped the last of the Old trees, and turned them into disposable Objects to be used once and then Discarded, we can take the empty space that for so long was home to the plants and Creatures who depended on the diversity of the forest for their survival and Heap it up with Infinite Piles of rubbish, the Produce of our Increasing Negligence and Greed.

I am writing to bring to your readers' attention just how close we came at last week's Palerang Council meeting in Braidwood to set a precedent that could have denied long enshrined rural rights. In a last minute amendment to council papers, apparently sponsored by Cr. Moore, it was put forward that a development application be given a condition that would have made the owners of the block undertake never to draw water from the creek that crossed the property, even for domestic or livestock use. Such a flagrant overstep of authority and violation of fundamental principles of rural lifestyle equity can not be taken lightly, no matter how green one wants to claim their motivation. Thankfully, Cr. (W.R.), in his familiar unabashed way, rattled commonsense and L-A-W into the debate and defeated that ill-conceived attempt to confiscate land rights. The Council is not a legislative body, it is an administrative one. What Cr. Moore's amendment attempted to do was make law by stealth. L-A-W is created by the state and federal legislatures who have the economic resources to thoroughly consider the consequences of regulation upon all stakeholders and not just a posse of self proclaimed environmental saviours. Time after time, we've seen that quarter attempt to confiscate equity from one party to give it to someone else's cause, regardless of how biased or unjust that cause. If it's wrapped up in the fear of climate change or in a green flag, you're supposed to cower before it or you're a greedy pig. Well I'm sorry but the rural people I know in Palerang are far more environmentally hands-on and responsible than people who sip lattes and just TALK green. When we go to vote in September, I hope we remember to elect truly competent councillors who stand to bring optimism and balance to the community rather than fear and division.

It may be convenient for those campaigning to be elected or re-elected to Palerang Council to stir up hysteria about the rights of the individual being taken away, but let’s get the facts straight. At no time has it been suggested that existing rights to pump from waterways be removed. What staff tried to do in two recent DAs was recognise that the creation of several new blocks along Feagans Creek could have a marked impact on the quantity and quality of water flowing to downstream users and the Mongarlowe River. In recognition of that they recommended imposing a restriction on new blocks which would prevent any new owners (that is NEW owners, not existing ones) from extracting from the creek - supported in law and in the legal advice received. Such a restriction is common in other Council areas; in the adjoining Local Government Area of Yass Valley for example, there is a moratorium on all new bores and a new sub-division there is creating a community lot along the river with the express purpose of preventing water extraction. And a fact keenly avoided by those trumpeting injustice is that while the right to pump applies to an existing holding, it does not necessarily carry to the blocks created by a sub-division of that holding. But it was not to be, with both DAs passed without that condition, despite the information provided in the report and given on the night. This included some startling facts from the just released CSIRO report on climate change, which predicts that there will be 70 per cent more chance of drought in this region and 15 per cent reduced flow in the region’s waterways. I believe it is the duty of all councillors to look at the big picture and plan for the future sustainability of their communities, for the best interests of everyone. Sooner or later we are going to have to accept that if everyone who is lucky enough to live near a waterway must be able to extract water from it, we are going to have to restrict the number of blocks we create. The report to Council stated that “the condition is considered appropriate if Council is concerned about sustainable development and water use.” Clearly this Council, together with some of the aspiring councillors who have written on the subject to the local papers, are not.

Legend cover Corang River, Nerriga Road, digital photo, 2011 p. 3 Places in the Heart entry, Catherine Moore, published in Places in the heart: Australians writing about their favourite heritage places, Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra, Morning frost, eagle and the Budawangs, oil on canvas, 2011, 918 x 604 x 35mm p. 4 rainfall and temperature statistics Braidwood - Roger Hosking; rest of Australia – Bureau of Meteorology p. 5 Storm over Bungonia, oil on canvas, 2011, 203 x 153 x 40mm p. 7 Orchard apple, oil on canvas, 2011, 203 x 153 x 40mm p. 8 “home territory� river and creek crossings, between Shoalhaven River, Warri Bridge, Kings Highway and Shoalhaven River, Oallen Ford, via Little River, Charleys Forest and Nerriga Roads p. 9 Mongarlowe River and Corang River images, digital photos, 2011 p. 11 (dead tree doily), cut paper, gouache, various papers, 2011, diameter 180mm p. 12 birds seen at Charleys Forest over the last 25 years. The New Holland Honeyeater has appeared this year for the first time. p. 13 New Holland Honeyeater, gouache on Japanese silk paper, oil on paper, 2011, 92 x 130mm p. 14 Raindrops on river stones, Oallen Ford, digital photo, 2011 p. 15 Seven stones from Oallen Ford, watercolour pencil, wash and pencil on paper, 2011, 170 x 235mm p. 16 orchids seen at Charleys Forest over the last 25 years. This year was a bumper year for hyacinth orchids. p. 17 Dipodium roseum (Rosy Hyacinth Orchid), Little River Road, digital photo, 2011 p. 18 Monga Forest fern (Blechnum sp.), digital photo, 2011 p. 19 Glychenia Microphylla (Scrambling Coral Fern), Corang River, watercolour pencil, wash and pencil on paper, 2011, 170 x 235mm p. 20 Two woodchipping poems, second prize, The Forests 2000 Poetry Prize, judged by Judith Wright, later published in Monga intacta: A celebration of the Monga Forest and its protection, Braidwood, Robyn Steller, 2005 p. 21 Monga Forest giant, digital photo, 2011 p. 22 Wet summer bark colours, digital photos, 2011 p. 23 E. mannifera, home gully, pencil on paper, 2011, 250 x 325mm p. 24 Monga Forest fungus (Craterellus sp.?), digital photo, 2011 p. 25 Charleys Forest garden, butterfly and tiger lily, digital photo, 2011 p. 26 Bungonia limestone quarry, as seen from Bungonia National Park, digital photos, 2011 pp. 27 & 28 War of words, correspondence published in the Braidwood Times, 2008, between Catherine Moore and an opponent, who later announced his candidacy and was elected to Palerang Council at the 2008 council elections, p. 29 Shoalhaven River at Bungonia, as seen from Bungonia National Park, digital photos, 2011 p. 31 Mo(u)rning over the Budawangs, oil on canvas, gold timber frame, 2008, 840 x 380 x 38mm, 170 x 170 x 41mm

life in the catchment catherine moore

this is no.

of an edition of 25

printed by Stephen Best, Macquarie Editions, Braidwood, on Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Duo and Hahnemüller William Turner papers artwork, design and binding by Catherine Moore, artist and activist, elected to Palerang Council in 2004 and 2008 with production assistance from Fred Harden March 2011 This book has been produced for “Shoalhaven Visions”, the exhibition accompanying Two Fires Festival 2011. All artwork except for the paintings on pp. 3 & 31 are a result of my participation in the Two Fires field trips which formed the foundation of the exhibition, whose working draft theme is the health of the catchment. The exhibition and festival opening marks the 25th anniversary of my move to Charleys Forest, where I came with my tent to join the birds, grey kangaroos, red-necked and swamp wallabies, wombats, possums, echidnas, platypus, red-bellied black snakes, copperheads, tiger snakes, dragons, blue tongues and other lizards, the occasional goanna and all the other species of flora and fauna with whom I share the land.

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