Our recent Upper Dawson Branch gathering on Duke’s Plain brought together a friendly group of members from around Taroom and Theodore for our first outing of the year.
1 March 2021
Author: Melanie Simmons, Wildlife Queensland Upper Dawson Branch
Our Wildlife Queensland Upper Dawson Branch gathering on Duke’s Plain brought together a friendly group of members from around Taroom and Theodore for our first outing of the year. Tucked in under the northern edge of the sandstone belt of gorges and ranges, Duke’s Plain has long been a declared nature refuge. Bought by Origin Energy as an offset to their fossil fuel (gas) industries, it is now managed conservatively incorporating a cattle enterprise in conjunction with prescribed vegetation management. Henry Hinds explained with passion his way of sustainably measuring, managing and retaining soil health and caring for the land that he and his wife caretake, fielding and answering many questions from our keen gathering.
By late morning we were wending our way upstream along Cattle Creek, beneath towering jagged sandstone peaks and through ironbark and eucalypt open forest, to finally arrive at a large spring-fed waterhole. Sunlight enhanced the rich orange colours on rocky outcrops and cliff ledges overhanging small caves. Ferns and small sedges fringed the water’s edge where spiders and their intricate webs laced together grasses and saplings. Even the meat ants were quick to find any small discarded morsel from a sandwich or salad – all part of the web of life. In the welcome shade on a levelled terrace above the water, we enjoyed our lunch and had our meeting.
We are grateful to the Duke’s Plain family and thank them for opening up to us and allowing us to enjoy another day together in Nature’s embrace.
Our next gathering will be the annual campout 21-24 May in the headwaters of the Mary Valley behind Kenilworth. Details to follow in the coming weeks.
For more recent Upper Dawson Branch updates and information, visit our web page.