Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, February 08, 2010

Taking Counsel

The first canoe trip of the new school year came by today.  Usually we hear them coming long before they arrive on the outbound journey.  We give them no chance of spotting any living thing as they chatter and clatter away in their excitement.    The return journey is somewhat different though as late in the afternoon a gaggle of deathly silent, exhausted children drift downstream waiting for their agony to end.

Today, the river is full of rain washed silt, flowing swiftly with the tide and with a nasty crosswind, so the normal on-water instructions could not take place.  We listened attentively while "Sir" explained the finer points of boat handling and safety from the shore, noting that we were the only ones who actually were.   Then we watched as ten boats took off in every direction but the one in which they were intended, failing entirely to respond to the uncoordinated commands of their crew.

It's quite fun listening to the shouted information about the mangrove roots and the kites nesting just a few metres behind the trees and about how sensitive all this fragile environment is,  but I wonder how he will make himself heard in future years above the noise of the freeway and whether, standing on the concrete abutment, he'll tell them that once there were nesting kites and oyster catchers and flying foxes in this very spot.

I wonder if he knows just how seriously endangered this habitat is.

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