Over the last week I have discovered a few hidden local treasures. ‘Hidden’, because I didn’t realise they existed although people who have lived in the area longer than I have probably knew about them. And ‘treasures’ because they are public land (crown land) with interesting flora and fauna surrounded by cultivated farmland. ‘Local’ because they are within 20km of home. For those who don’t know what Crown Land is, it’s basically land help by the government in trust for the population and is available for the use of the population.
The first one I visited is called Wiesners Swamp, and is a 100 or so hectare tree and grassland reserve which I assume going by the name is also a seasonal swamp – it was not a swamp when I visited. The reserve is about 10km east from Walbundrie (New South Wales, Australia) and about 20km west from Culcairn on Ryders Road. I visited it on Sabbath afternoon and it was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny and pleasant Sabbath day. I wasn’t sure what sort of wildlife to expect. I saw a mob of kangaroos, with a rather large male watching out for his harem of females – he would have been as tall as me I reckon. At another point in the reserve I encountered a rather large duck, which must have had a nest nearby as it flew above me in a figure eight pattern making a lot of noise, I’m guessing so I would be distracted from finding’s it’s nest. Little did it know that I was no threat to it whatsoever and that I was only out for a pleasant afternoon stroll.
I also saw two trees ‘holding hands’, at least that’s what it looked like! I wondered how the two trees would have grown to be linked like they are.
The second reserve I visited is about 10km west from Culcairn on Kings Bridge Road, and is called Kings TSR. I wasn’t sure what ‘TSR’ meant, so I looked it up on the Net and found out that it means Travelling Stock Reserve. There are apparently around 6500 TSR in New South Wales, covering an area of 740,000 hectares – a pretty decent amount of space! Although not a very high percentage (about 1%) of the overall land mass of New South Wales.
These TSRs are used as temporary grazing for cattle during drought times, and also help preserve native vegetation and woodland. They also seem to be a haven for wildlife, and provide a network of corridors for the movement of wildlife. While at Kings TSR I saw two mobs of kangaroos, a number of different types of birds, and a rather large lizard (maybe a lace monitor or perenti).
I also saw something that I have seen quite often in the Australian bush, but I don’t think I have ever featured on this blog – a tree with a huge ‘wart’ or ‘tumor’ – I am not sure what else to call it!
I found out from the Net that there are a number of TSRs around where we live, so I am hoping to visit some of the others over time, if I can find them! The directions for some of them are a bit vague, maybe on purpose.