Other people’s words about … urbanisation
Here, town finished, and countryside began. You crossed over, from pavements and shops, towards copses and streams, and meadows full of grazing cows. The streets and the fields seemed to push at each other, the city trying to sprawl further out and the fields resisting. The planners and architects and merchants would obviously win. What force had buttercups and earthworms and cabbages against the need of human beings for dwelling places, against developers’ chances to make money? Alive as a strange creature in an aquarium, the city stretched out its tentacles, grew and swelled, gobbling the pastures and hedgerows that lay in its path. Fields were bought, and new rows of houses built, and then the process repeated.
from ‘The Walworth Beauty‘
by Michèle Roberts
I first started visiting and spending time in Aldinga Beach almost twenty years ago, when it was still — just, almost — a country town. Ever since then, the city has been creeping up on it. Sometimes I think the encroaching suburbs are like an oil spill, seeping down the slopes of the hills from the north, all the way into the Scrub. And so, though the rural world at Aldinga Beach is very different from the nineteenth-century English one Michèle Roberts describes in the passage above, still her words seem apposite.
But the Scrub is still alive and I still make time to go there on days off, and whenever I’m wandering there, I feel hope. I took the pictures in today’s post one morning in late July. Though the sky was grey and the temperature was chilly, the first breath of spring had wafted over the Scrub, as I hope you’ll see below.
In flower that morning were flame heath bushes …
… and …
… grass trees.
I saw the first shy showing …
… of guinea flowers:
There were green shoots everywhere …
… after the recent rains.
And there were other plants budding, too. Like this:
In the southwest corner of the Scrub, where the land slopes down towards the coast, the kangaroos were snoozing …
… although they weren’t best pleased when I disturbed them:
Further on, I caught a flash of gold from the corner of my eye. It was a golden whistler darting about the branches of a tree beside the sandy path.
Whistlers don’t sing at this time of the year, but their plumage is as glorious as ever (though unfortunately faintly blurred in my photos):
So, yes, the tentacles of the city are reaching out in South Australia.
But still, the last remnants of the pre-urbanised world like Aldinga Scrub live on.