It’s always a pleasure to visit Naree Reserve.
My husband, Andrew, and I were especially looking forward to a volunteer stint this year after a long covid break from volunteering and outback travelling.
That red dirt gets into your blood doesn’t it? And everywhere else!
At Naree this year however, the red dirt was a little harder to find. Instead, that red dirt was covered by grass, saltbush plains that were a tapestry of colour, lush green growth on shrubs and trees, claypans that were now brimming with water and, of course, wonderful birds!
The rain earlier this year had left its mark.
Coming in along the drive we were greeted by White-winged Fairy-wrens, Crimson Chats, Zebra Finches, quail, Budgies and chattering woodswallows all followed by another warm welcome from Greg Carroll, Reserve Manager and Andrew Silvers, Field Officer.
It was great to be back!
Greg and Andrew lost no time in raving about some extra help they'd found for us… Wanda!!
Fantastic! Another volunteer we thought.
They proudly introduced us to 'Wanda, the Wonder Wire Winder', a handmade relic from station days that they had found on the local junk heap and with a bit of effort, had got working again.
Now, I know that being presented with a wire winder wouldn’t excite everyone but knowing that we were in for a week or two of fence removal, we thought it was pretty good! Yes, Wanda was going to make wire winding a breeze!
Well, Wanda the Wonder Wire Winder worked wonderfully well!
Together, Wanda, Andrew and I, wound 17km of wire during the week taking down nearly 3 km of fencing.
We did fit in a few other jobs and also some birdwatching on the side which included seeing some freckled duck and a nesting Brolga.
We last visited Naree in 2019 and it was amazing to see the changes in the landscape and the corresponding birdlife with the rain. Wetlands, flora and birdlife were quite different this year.
Of course, we had a fabulous 2 weeks!
We left feeling refreshed, satisfied and appreciated.
What can be better than working in the sunshine under clear blue skies surrounded by a landscape vibrant with colour, new growth and life everywhere, spectacular sunsets, crisp mornings spent watching the sunrise and greeting each day, incredible starry nights, sound sleeps, great company and of course… red dirt and Wanda!