By Rod Giblett
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Additional info for Black Swan Lake: Life of a Wetland
I am situated on the end of the boardwalk officially opened a couple of days ago. How spoilt it makes us! How easy it is now to get out beyond the reeds, above the mud and see the open waters and the birds. It is a phallic intrusion into its brown womb and pubic algae. But it enables me and others to see into and know to some extent this half-known other life of these birds who people this earth with us humans. The boardwalk was a community project built by unemployed youth in 1994. The materials alone cost more than $20,000.
A gentle breeze is blowing from the north-east across the lake towards me, rippling the water in the depression in front of me. A waterbird dives away to the south adding further rippling sounds. The sun reflects off the water creating mottled patches of light and shade moving up the trunks of those paperbarks surrounded by water. Two shovellers paddle across in front of me. The spotting scope shows them to have a heavy bill disproportionate in size, it seems, to their bodies. But what aesthetic criteria would dictate a certain elegant or appropriate proportion?
This is no swamp tree monster to ensnare, entrap and devour but a home away from home. The lake was calm when I arrived and I saw Australasian and hoary-headed grebes, a hard-head duck and black swans galore. The wind springs up like a bruise across the surface just out from the reeds and now the whole lake is rippling. To me there seems to be no difference in the breeze from when I arrived, but the lake is a telltale surface which shows the slightest sign of movement in the air. The breeze is from the south-east so the ripples are coming in towards me.