Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Communal Hug

Last weekend we re-visited the once beautiful country hamlet of Marysville, devastated by bushfire on 7th February last year.  Visit my previous post here and the one where we were about to evacuate, here.

Several groups, including the Australian Trout Foundation, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Flora & Fauna Scientific Division, representatives from the Murray Darling Basin Commission, Marysville Youth Incorporated and trout anglers had developed a joint project to re-vegetate the area around the fish barrier that had been severely damaged in the fire.

"The Victorian Government acted in the aftermath of the fires to protect the remaining Barred Galaxias by funding the capture of hundreds of fish at 8 sites and moving them to DSE's Arthur Rylah Institute research aquarium at Heidelberg.  We know there are still some Barred Galaxias in Leary's Creek but we need this type of re-vegetation work to occur to help it recover sufficiently to support the return of the fish we removed more than a year ago," said Fish Ecologist, Fern Hames.

Above is one of the fish barriers that have been put in place to protect the tiny native fish, Barred Galaxias (Galaxias fuscus).  It has been proven that they are prey to numerous species including redfin, trout, etc.

Steavenson River Barred Galaxias
On average they're about 7-9cm
but can grow to 15cm

300 trees were planted around Leary's Creek 
next to Gallipoli Park by about 30 volunteers

Removing burnt branches
from Gallipoli Lake

A rewarding sausage sizzle followed

After lunch, DMJ gave a young lad
a flyfishing lesson and he caught
his first fish on a fly.  The little trout
was released and DMJ presented the
fly to the boy to keep.

Marysville is slowly being rebuilt but it will be so unlike the heritage town it once was.

This little chap 
had a wonderful time
off the lead!


Susan said...

Alaine, it's wonderful that you and your husband are doing your part in this gargantuan effort. It looks like progress is being made.

The Gallipoli Lake photo is starkly beautiful. Isn't it interesting that the name of my town is also Marysville (Ohio) and I grew up in southern Ohio near a town called Gallipolis.

Taj looks like he's having a marvelous time helping out!

steven said...

alaine - it's a side of the story that we don't get to know about across the ocean. thanks for sharing the revival, refresh and return of the fish, the creeek and of course marysville. steven

alaine@éclectique said...

Susan...I remember you telling me that last year! And it's also amazing that you have a Gallipoli, or near enough, close by! We had a lovely morning there; I'm so glad I went.

alaine@éclectique said...

Susan...I meant to say...that photo of the lake; if you look at the mountain behind, you can see right through the trees on the peak, every tree on the mountains surrounding were black sticks.

Wanda said...

It's terribly sad when the old buildings of historical nature and trees are destroyed or damaged by fire or other disasters. Coming together to revive and rebuild is like a communal hug!

I see your 'Little Chap' was refreshing himself with water at the lake!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

It does look like regrowth is occurring with the green along the banks of the lake/stream. I'm glad rebuilding is happening and hopefully this will one day be a lovely town again. Was is ever determined what caused the fire; was it arson?

Vagabonde said...

Your picture of Gallipoli lake is pretty. It hurts to see the trees black and burnt but it is good that the community is helping nature to grow back.

Sam Liu said...

Such a poignantly sad story, Alaine, but how truly wonderful that, together, you are rebuilding this beautiful landscape. I wish you all the best for the work ahead, my thoughts are with you :)

alaine@éclectique said...

Steven...I'm glad I went; every hand helps.

alaine@éclectique said...

Wanda...there were some wonderful, old guest-houses destroyed, really old-world. My parents spent their honeymoon there in 1939. Very sad to see them reduced to rubble.

alaine@éclectique said...

Lizzy...there is a lot of regrowth and some of the trees have fresh shoots; you know how they grow, right up the trunk. Eucalypts are so resilient.

They still think it was arson. They had a suspect but all has gone quiet on it; perhaps they're still working on it.

alaine@éclectique said...'s amazing how, with such an inferno, little pockets are untouched.

alaine@éclectique said...

Sam...It will take quite some time but one day it will be just a bad memory for those who experienced it. The last bad fire to go through was in 1939, long before I came along but it was vivid in my Mother's mind.

willow said...

Lovely restoration. That little chap is really smiling!

alaine@éclectique said...

Willow...he's my little joker!

Derrick said...

Hi Alaine,

Although I'm sure she appreciates the hand, Mother Nature always bounces back, unlike the man made aspects of a place, which can never be quite the same. But that a lot of people are joining in is great. And I'm sure the young lad will have appreciated your husband's help and encouragement.

Teri said...

We have a Marysville here too, just about 45 min. away. Things are starting to heat up around here and every year the threat of fire is always in the back of our minds. If only there was a way to assure that it wouldn't happen but it's never one of those things that one can predict. Nice to see everything coming back to life. Fire has a way of cleansing and rejuvenating the land. Our of the ashes...

alaine@éclectique said...

Teri...our Marysville is about 45 min too!! The fires came all the way to about 6km from us. That's another way of looking at it; when I was there I thought everything looked so fresh and I think that when people build, they will be more aware of what they plant around their houses. The old Marysville was a jungle of trees, bushes, ferns; a lot of which were touching the houses. It was very beautiful but a fire hazard.

Anonymous said...

We in the UK heard with horror about the devastating fires and the destruction of this town. It is heart-warming to read your post about the gradual replanting and rebuilding. What a wonderful community effort.

alaine@éclectique said...

dancingbeastie...our project was small in the swathe of human kindness shown to this town and the remaining residents. Many will never recover.

Thank you for visiting, DB.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I am so glad to see all the replanting and building.. gives Hope... strong people