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Our rainforest garden: Water under the bridge

A few months ago we built a bridge over our little creek-bed. The creek is ephemeral and only appears after heavy or persistent rain, but we needed a bridge so that we could wheel down the barrow-loads of concrete to make the end of the path on the other side.

It is a very solid bridge. Standing about 40cm above the bed of the creek and made of concrete it is supported on plinths at either end over a raft of steel posts with an additional internal reinforcing mesh of metal. It had to be strong to withstand possibility of branches falling on it from the camphor laurel tree above that we poisoned last year.

But no water flowed under it until the recent floods.

Water flowing in the creek has always been an exciting event for us. The creek used to flow most of the time, down to our boundary on the upstream side, and then went underground only to reappear on our other neighbour’s property on the downstream side.

I guess this was a reflection of the damage done through the bulldozing of our place some time before we bought it, to create the flat area at the bottom. Successive floods then removed the topsoil and filled the creek bed with sediment.

I had hoped that by planting trees and slowing down the run-off, I could restore the flow, but with three families now sharing the little spring that forms its source the water no longer reaches our upstream boundary, and it seems likely that it will remain a creek that only flows after rain.

So water flowing under the bridge for the first time, was surely worth a photo.

On the way down, with the wrong lens on the camera as luck would have it, I met a family of variegated fairy wrens, the little blue male sitting and preening a couple of metres in front of me for several minutes. We probably have more shots of wrens than any other birds, but their charm is endless and any opportunity to take photos is always irresistible.

On the other side of the bridge, we haven’t yet quite joined the bridge path to the other long section that we built last year, that spans the whole length of the bottom area of our 3 acre block.

Still more work to do.

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