Climate change appears to be a reality. In our drying climate the danger of bushfires seems to have increased not only in number but also in severity. Yarloop was a little town devastated by bushfires in the Western Australian South West region a year ago.
Prescribed burning in the cooler winter months are conducted for the safety of people, the environment and animals. Burning reduces the amount of ground vegetation to decrease risk of bushfires that could cause greater damage later in the season. There is evidence that prescribed burning also helps to maintain biodiversity and assists with vegetation management. Fire may be important to the regeneration and rejuvenation of our bushland and forests.
I came across some prescribed burning in the Great Southern Karri Forests this winter and captured some images on my iPhone to create this little soundscape story of forest rejuvenation.
Another Winter and yet another retreat to the great Karri forests of the South of WA. On the way out of a forest walk we came across two kangaroos that led us to an unexpected and dazzling display of hundreds of gnomes.
The gnomes were displayed in many different settings…..
…..and represented various local communities, families and towns….
A showcase of gnomes!
Not necessarily a natural setting, but at least it is in a natural environment and hopefully attracts people to visit the forests!
The entrance to the Karri Lake Trail is off Wheatley Coast Road at the northern end of Quinninup.
The winter of 2016 was a decent season with constant rainfall across the region. They say that frogs are a good sign of a healthy environment (bio-indicators). Wherever I walked I could hear frogs!
On one particularly wet day I walked down to the entrance off Wheatley Coast Road where I could hear Bonking Frogs sounding like an orchestra of banjos in the rain!
The walk around Karri Lake is mostly very easy with beautiful and at times stunning views along the way.
Karri Lake is the water catchment area for the town and there is evidence of logging and clearing in parts of the lake.
Unfortunately there is bacteria in the lake and the water is not fit for consumption. Drinking water has to be be constantly trucked in to refill the town’s reservoir tank .
It seems strange houses are allowed to be built around and very close to the lake.
The closeness of the houses and the human manipulation of the landscape is why the walk doesn’t attract the full 500 Bio points * you would expect.
Never-the-less it is a very satisfying walk and well worth doing for the views,the fresh air and to listen to the birds, frogs and insects everywhere! This recording captures the sounds of the forest as I walk past a stream.
There is also one lesser known moderate to difficult walking trail called the Ridgebark Trail.
Winter is a great time to walk the Karri forests of the South; the snakes are all asleep and the forests are vibrant with intriguing tapestries of various creepers, fungi, mosses, ferns and lichens.
However to catch the wildflowers and wild orchids then Spring is ideal. The snakes might be awake but they are rarely a problem (they slide away and hide from human footsteps). It’s a good idea to wear appropriate sturdy shoes and long pants. Dress for the weather (rain can come up quickly and unexpectedly). Always carry water in the warmer months. Avoid walking the forests on stormy, windy or very hot days.