July 2018

In July this year we made the first of many returns to Melody’s wetlands. Over the following months we would discover the strange tidal habits of this watery, peat-ish forest, edged by mangroves, spaced by unexpected soft green lawns, long grass regrowth, and the burnt and dry remains of the - mostly - casuarinas that did not regrow after the fires over one year ago. Beyond the clearing, which you reach through considerable ducking and weaving into the forest, are the larger eucalypts, paperbarks and palms. The water seeps into the ground but the tide is not always obvious. During the residency, two months later, we noted that over a whole week, we had not seen the water fill the shallow basin even once. This made no sense. Then overnight, it rained, and the next day, it was full! Everything had changed. Barren peaty pits were now shallow pools, deeper hollows became vats and pools. t turns out, the water only becomes evident after rain and on a king tide. Even then, you can walk to the mangroves opposite, fifty metres or so away, and never have the water reach above your calves! Melody adventures continue over the next few months.