Written by Frances Bodkin, illustrated by Lorraine Robertson
This book was recommended to me by Jake Cassar, one of my mentors and is a beautifully written and illustrated book explaining cultural practices and the cycles of the land. From times of the day, to annual seasons, to the Mudong, a 12 year cycle of the land.Based on observations over thousands of generations.
“The awakening, as the first rays of the sun-lighten the horizon and the mists blanket the earth, the kookaburra calls to all within earshot to announce the new day. It is the freshest part of the day,a new beginning, the time to gather dew before the sun’s rays evaporate it from the medicine plants.”
The yearly calendar does not rely upon dates in months and weeks, or even an understanding of the solstices, but on the key events that occur in the environment. These events involve specific plant flowerings and fruiting’s, and noticeable quirks in animal behavior that occur only at certain times of the year. it is the result of many thousands of years of living within, observing and understanding the land.
When the flowering stem of the Kia’mia (Doryanthes excelsa) or Gymea Lily reaches the top of the leaves and the spear-pointed buds turn pink, it is time to make the trip to the coast, because it is a sure sign that the whales will shortly be arriving on their journey north. However when the flower comes into bloom, it is an indicator that the whales will be returning to the southern waters and it is again time to travel to the coast.
I found this book fascinating. After doing so many bird language and tracking courses I’m finding I’m no longer a bushcrafter. I started this journey to learn bushcraft skills however I now see my self more as a budding naturalist.