According to Dorothea Mackellar in her famous poem My Country, Australia is a land of ‘droughts and flooding rains’. While drought is a constant threat, the flooding rain can cause spectacular changes to the landscape, especially in Central Australia.
In our area, very heavy rain sometimes brings surprising changes to the creeks in the valley. Although the flood is remarkable, it is quite short-lived.
Things you can do in lockdown No.4
The rules of lockdown are very simple. You can only go out to shop for food essentials, visit any medical service, to go to work only if you couldn’t work from home or for exercise.
Fortunately, we enjoy walking and a local favourite is the flood plain and wetlands of the Dandenong Creek.
Melbourne Water manages the waterways here, including the retarding wall and the Tirhatuan Wetlands.
The wetlands lake supports several species of waterbirds, including black ducks, wood ducks, moorhens, coots and swamphens. We have also seen egrets, herons, cormorants and swans.
The retarding wall controls the flow of water during flooding events. These events occur only rarely, perhaps once or twice a year after very heavy rain.
Then great changes happen in the valley. The usually placid creeks spread beyond their banks and water backs up behind the retarding wall. After really heavy rain, the flood waters spill over and pour into the area below. You can see what this looks like in the video below.
Once the rain stops so does the flow. For a short time the ducks enjoy the ephemeral lakes. But these are soon gone, the creeks recede and all returns to normal.
What better way to enjoy our walk then to note the changes in our local environment. And, of course, to make another video. See another Lockdown video Cornish Pasty – made by our Lockdown Cook.
You can find out more about black ducks, wood ducks and other native ducks at Discover Ducks.