Sunday, November 02, 2014

jacana reserve october/november 2014

Last Thursday the 30 October at about 5 o'clock (I'd have pictures only I didn't have my phone with me) I arrived at Jacana reserve with the dogs to see a 4WD going down the slope towards the creek, presumably having entered the reserve from either old Jacana or perhaps even from Johnstone St (which would have meant driving through the playground). I just saw it disappear over the edge of the hill; by the time I got to the edge, it was parked near the creek. There was a woman lying in the grass nearby, she had a small dog with her. At first I thought she was part of the 4WD group (i.e. they were driving down to the creek for a picnic or something) then I came to appreciate she wasn't, the 4WD people had merely driven down the hill and she was there already; if she'd been directly in their path, they might not even have known they'd run her over, let alone seen her in time to avoid her. But that's another story (or not - it didn't happen so I suppose it's not really a story at all). 

The people in the 4WD had got out with a crazy homemade three-wheeled contraption and one of them got on to ride it and they tied it to the back of their vehicle and drove up the hill. I had time to write down their registration number. I would have thought that, after nearly killing a person by driving around in a public park, they might have learnt a lesson about driving down steep hills, but in fact they returned about 20 minutes later (sans monster trike) and sped off towards the western ring road. 

I'm only in the Jacana Reserve about four - five hours out of every week, so god only knows what goes on there the rest of the time. There is a lot of mad dumping, like this broken boat which someone went a long way into the park to get rid of:

There is also, of course, the phenomenon of the motorbike riders. These are often children. They don't know it but they are part of a long tradition; when the park was investigated in the early 70s for its recreation potential a riding track for these kinds of vehicles was recommended, and built, and only demolished a few months ago. These days, these things are illegal, as I reminded muggins below when he queried my right to photograph him. This picture was taken today at 1:25 pm.

In the main, the Reserve is ridiculously under-utilised. There are probably only about 4-5 people in it at any given time, and it's a resource that almost anyone could find attractive or useful in some way.

By the way, today I saw two fox cubs on the central isthmus between the Moonee Ponds Creek and the wetlands. They were, I'm sorry to have to report, gorgeous. I was a bit ahead of Ferdy and Barry and the cubs were way gone by the time the dogs showed up. They could definitely smell them though. Below is Ferdy with his hackles up trying to figure out what's only very recently been going on...

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