Thursday, November 12, 2009

Swamp Wendouree

Since working up here in Ballarat a few days a week, I have been walking around the lake in the morning, before work. It's 6kms, and when I get up there, I usually pass all the kids going to school, or keen beans running from rowing to homeroom, or worse - on Wednesday, I think Loreto were doing Lap of the Lake! Shudder!

Here, the highlight of moving back to regional Vic is displayed to me every half km. People say good morning as you pass them on the way around! Or at least smile and nod! Back in Melbourne, I do the same kind of walk around Optus Oval in Carlton, and people barely make room for you on the path, let alone say hi!

At the time I walk, the sun is new and dusky, but high enough to make it's presence known. The light is usually awesome, so pretty, and in the few sections where there is actually water, it glistens off the once glorious lake.

There are about 3 sections with actual water, deep enough to trigger memories of the lake. The rest is really a return to the original swamp land. This morning about half of the lake looked like the rice paddies of Asia, with the reeds poking out of the shallow water.

This has been a chance for Ballarat to clean up the lake, deepen and improve the rowing lanes, once used for the Melbourne Olympics, and complete works to the bedding around much of the shore.

It is hard to imagine Lake Wendouree returning to it's glory days, full of water, afloat with boats and rowing teams and the paddle streamer! And given this week's heat, and the predicted long hot Summer, climate change is alive and visual here in Ballarat, and will be for at least the next 6 months.

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