A nip in the air
THERE was a time ‒ quite a few years ago now ‒ when you could set your calendar, if not your watch, by Easter rainfall in WA’s South West. More often than not holidaymakers would be sent scurrying for cover as season-breaking showers swept across the Wheatbelt.
These days our rainfall is a less reliable story. In Toodyay we are only too familiar with rain-gauge dips going back decades.
But then in February – out of the blue – monsoon-like downpours, a flooding Avon River and the wettest start to the year for more than 30 years. Avon Descenters could have set race records – in mid-summer.
We can only hope that a solid old-fashioned winter follows.
As it is, with many farms in the shire receiving summer falls of more than 250mm, the cropping season is already underway.
Autumn in the meantime has turned on an Indian summer, with warm days and stunning sunsets the backdrop to seasonal change.
To the Noongar people it’s the time of year known as Djeran, with a nip in the air morning and night and the wind coming from the south-west. In the bush you might spot the first show of native orchids, see Carnaby’s cockatoos returning from the coast and hear frogs seeking a mate with calls from freshly made burrows.
Many Toodyay residents will be relieved that the 2016-17 summer was not as fierce as it might have been and that, for the most part, the bushfire threat was kept at bay.
That, of course, has been due in no small measure to the vigilance and speedy responses of our volunteer fire brigades.
Their work is at the forefront of contributions by small armies of volunteers throughout our district, one that has always had plenty of stouthearted citizens ready to roll up their sleeves to help others.
Thanks firefighters, for another summer’s protection, and while we’re at it, thanks to all the others in Toodyay who give up time to volunteer for a cause, people prepared to have a go at anything that supports the district and brightens the lives of others.
It’s their spirit that helps keep the community safe, springs to our aid in times of emergency, eases loneliness among the elderly, guides our youth, keeps roadside verges and river banks clean and, oh yes, even sees this newspaper published.
A helping hand is a change for the better. In any season.