Christmas time is a time to count your blessings. Here Beth Hales, daughter of Reserve Managers Paul and Leanne Hales, age 12, shares her gratitude and Christmas greetings from Yourka Reserve in far north Queensland.
“One of my favourite things to do at Yourka is to grab my camera and walk down to the billabongs to see what animals might be about. As I push down through the long, kangaroo grass, the Eastern Greys glance up from their lazy lounging around the waterhole. Wrens and Rainbow Bee-eaters flit in every direction and there’s usually a loud rustle as a Lace Monitor heads towards the nearest tree to climb up out of my way.
I feel very fortunate to grow up in such a beautiful place, surrounded by amazing animals and also amazing people. Over the years I’ve got to meet all sorts of interesting and inspiring characters from Bob Brown to many of our dedicated volunteers and supporters, scientists, students and of course, lots of staff who have become like extended family. Macey, Seeley and I get to be involved in lots of reserve activities including ecological monitoring and hosting visitors (which we love!) We’ve also been able to visit other reserves including Fan Palm, Reedy Creek, Goonderoo and of course, the wildflower wonderland of Eurardy Reserve in WA (where I was born).
Just last week, Macey, Seeley and I got to visit Edgbaston Reserve with Mum and Dad. We met Pippa Kern, the ecologist there and she showed us the work that is being done to protect the rare fish that inhabit the artesian springs which dot the landscape like grassy craters. Tiny plants and other insects were also abundant around the springs and really fun to investigate but my favourite part of the reserve was the “jump up” or escarpment. From up there you could see right across the wide, brown land. It was very different to the rugged forests at home in far north Queensland.
The night that we camped on Edgbaston, there was a fierce storm. For hours our tent was buffeted by high winds and the spectacular lightning show finally erupted with a heavy downpour just after 3am. That morning we woke to find the property transformed from parched to a patchwork of puddles. The red kangaroos sprayed mud as they hopped, wet and bedraggled, across our view from the old shearing shed. A couple of dingoes even trotted past camp, while frogs birrrered loudly with delight at the recent rain.
Visiting Edgy was a wonderful experience. Thanks for showing us around Pippa and thank you to everyone who helps to protect these special places for our generation and many more to come.
From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and hope that your New Year is filled with as many bush blessings as ours.