Seasonal Almanac

Cold dew: Sparrows enter the water and turn into clams (3 of 5)

April 13th, 2009

Cold dew 8 of 15One of Redmond’s ambitions on this trip was to go sculling. Despite the forecast of showers and chance thunderstorm, we rose early and Margaret took us to Bayswater ANA rowing club where we used to be members. We both learnt to scull on this stretch of the Swan River.

Confidently, Redmond hopped into a long and thin pencil-like single scull, exclaiming, ‘You never forget! It’s like riding a bicycle!’ as he wobbly made his way around the rather choppy water. Margaret and I went in the new light double-scull and headed Northeast.

Rowing on the river is a uniquely pleasurable experience. The repetitive motion of the body and the mechanics of the boat work towards seamless integeration. When you are entranced in this rhythmic cycle, all sensations merge – you are, as they say, ‘in the zone’. As we glide along the river, I hear water trickling under the boat; I see remnants of Ascot Inn under development; I notice fishermen on the jetty dropping their lines in; I look up at the underside of the Tonkin Highway bridge; I feel the breeze against my back.

Like rivers in other cities, the Swan has to be protected from environmental degradation (of the human kind), the most serious of which is algal bloom. Erosion is also a major issue and there are new signs reminding motor boats to conform to the speed limit and minimize their wash which causes serious damage to the riparian zone. Along the Ashfield’s riverbank trees are falling into the river and Bassendean Council is undertaking some restoration work.

After a successful row, we headed into Northbridge to meet our friend, Sam. There we bear witness to the sight of the Perth’s development boom. Has Perth changed a lot since this lastest boom? See Konvolut K.

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