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Weekend Wanderings – Revisiting Banyule

My grant application has been in for a couple of weeks, and this last Thursday I joined the Warringal Conservation Society. Then this morning I was trying to work out what to put in the post today and thinking about all the photos of Banyule that I have taken since the beginning of the year, especially as I have Social Snappers excursion there this afternoon. So today, I thought I would go through those photos and make a selection and show them again.  I hope you don’t mind.

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There is lots of evidence or remains in this area which says it used to be farming land.  Everyone who lives around here knows that, but it has been interesting, especially since my involvement with the WCS, how much of it was farmland until the 1970’s.  I know that the house I live in was once in the middle of a paddock, and paintings by some of the Heidelberg School show that.  I think it is interesting that it was once bushland, converted to farmland, and now is all set to be bushland again, well if the developers don’t get their way.

LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0503

One of the biggest threats to this area is the North East Freeway.  In Australia it seems that roads and freeways are more important than anything else, and “we must have as many as we can.  It is important that there are roads everywhere because the only way people can travel is by car.  Public Transport, bite your tongue”.  Well, that is how our government seems to be.  Caring for the environment and what we have always seems to be secondary, or thirdary, I don’t know, a long way down on the list.  Part of the reason for starting to document Banyule Flats and some of the surrounding parkland was, hopefully, to draw more attention to what we are trying to conserve here.

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Really, in a nut shell, this is the main part of it.  This beautiful wetlands that is accessible to anyone who wants to visit it.  Anyone who cares about the environment and want to find some peaceful place in a city that is becoming very fast.

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Shall we put some perspective on this.  Melbourne is a big city, not necessarily in population, but in land mass.  Everyone wants their quarter acre, so Melbourne has spread out, and spread out a lot.  It is becoming one of the largest cities in the world due to the size of it, or geographically.  It spans 100km from East to West, I suspect more North to South, but not sure.  Still that gives you an idea.  So one of things that makes Banyule Flats so unique is that from the city centre we are only around 15kms from it. Which means there is this amazing parkland, with lots of wildlife, only a 30 minute drive from the city, there is public transport and a train to Heidelberg will get you here in about the same time.

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This is parkland, but it isn’t manicured parkland.  There are parks everywhere in the city, but this one is more special because it is about the land returning to its original state and being bushland again.  It is a place where you can go walking, and you might see kangaroos, at night you will see wombats.  There is an abundance of birdlife in and around the swamp. It is a place that is like an oasis in the middle of suburbia.  I don’t know how many times people come to visit me for the first time and they can’t believe where we are, it is like we live in the country, though we don’t.

My grant application is about producing something that will help people understand how beautiful this area is, hopefully, if I get it, I will produce a book on the area, something that will include the history and what the area is significant.  Development isn’t always the answer, and sometimes it is great to just let things be, for now and in the future.

I have a gallery with some of my favourite photos taken since February. They show the different seasons, different times of the day, and just how beautiful it is.  I hope you all agree that conservation is good and think about what you can help conserve in your local area.  I’m looking forward to taking more photos there this afternoon with my Social Snappers group, explore some areas I haven’t been to for awhile.

50 Comments
  1. Stunning wetland photos – can see them as stunning oil paintings, too…

    September 7, 2014
    • Thank you, I am sure they have been painted a lot, there is an active artists community here too I believe.

      September 7, 2014
  2. Embracing a Wounded Soul #

    Stunning photos. Totally agree. Coming from Hawaii conservation is always a struggle.

    September 7, 2014
    • It is so sad that haven’t the natural environment around us isn’t appreciated. Thank you.

      September 7, 2014
  3. The dry riverbed looks eerily like our own rivers. It has been a very dry summer.

    September 7, 2014
    • That is the swamp that is dry Marilyn, though, same sort of thing, I think it dries out nearly every summer, it is very dry here usually over summer, then when the rains start again, it fills very quickly. I will have to keep an eye on it over the summer. Thank you.

      September 7, 2014
  4. It’s so great you are doing this! I hope it all works out because you are so right in that sometimes not every square inch of space needs to be occupied by concrete. Hopefully in the future it will still be here, an unspoiled area amongst civilization to appreciate for years to come. The photos are incredible and you’ve got to realize how amazing it is for me to see kangaroos like that. Incredible!

    September 7, 2014
    • Thank you Laura, it is great to be involved in something and if something positive can come out of it, even better. I agree, it doesn’t have to be. I had one person who is a developer telling me how they could develop the land and it would still be nice, how could it be any nicer than it already is. Seriously, what is wrong with land that is just left. We see kangaroos all the time here, they have really increased in numbers lately, not sure what will happen. I want to see wombats now, but I would have to go out there at night to see those.

      September 7, 2014
  5. Great post and thoughts Leanne.
    Have a wonderful afternoon ‘Snapping’ 🙂

    September 7, 2014
    • Thank you Robyn, the weather is gorgeous, so it should be a good afternoon. 😀

      September 7, 2014
      • Thats great! Have fun 🙂 theres even a bit of blue here right now! So rare. Enjoy!

        September 7, 2014
      • That’s great Robyn, we’ve been getting lots of great weather, so I’m sure it is heading your way too. 😀

        September 7, 2014
      • That would be so nice 🙂

        September 7, 2014
      • crap weather for us the rest of the week, 😦

        September 7, 2014
      • Still grey here… Hope you enjoy it anyway 🙂

        September 7, 2014
      • Thanks Robyn, will see, haha, if it is just overcast, with very little rain, should be fine. 🙂

        September 8, 2014
  6. How far is this from Melb _ drive time approx ?? Gorgeous area and stunning shots 🙂

    September 7, 2014
    • From where you said you lived Christine, it is about a 30 minute drive, or just over, this is where I live, basically, so if you want a tour let me know. 😀

      September 7, 2014
  7. Beautiful shots! Makes me want to come and visit.
    I hope you get the grant!

    September 7, 2014
    • Thank you Heather, maybe you should. 😉
      Thanks, I hope so too.

      September 7, 2014
  8. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    Talk about diverse ecosystems… you’ve got everything Down Under. 🙂 Beautiful images.

    September 7, 2014
    • It is quite diverse Jackie, really amazing, it is great for photography in that respect, and really, I don’t have to travel very far from my home to try lots of things. Thank you.

      September 7, 2014
  9. I like the grain bins!

    September 7, 2014
    • They are quite a landmark around here, thanks.

      September 7, 2014
  10. Just beautiful. Good luck on your grant. It seems that the last few weeks I’ve been unable to get these Joni Mitchell lyrics out of my head (Big Yellow Taxi):

    They took all the trees
    And put them in a tree museum
    Then they charged the people
    A dollar and a half just to see ’em
    Don’t it always seem to go,
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot

    September 7, 2014
    • Thanks Linda, I am not sure when I find out. I haven’t heard them before, but it is so true, and so apt.

      September 7, 2014
  11. Beautiful pictures are always worth revisiting. It’s not like being there in person, but a visit there isn’t feasible for me. So please keep taking lovely photos of your home area. I wish you success in all of your endeavors.

    September 7, 2014
    • Thanks Norm, that is one thing that is great about the internet, how you can visit places virtually. I will, there is so much to photograph around here. Thank you so much.

      September 7, 2014
  12. Beautiful area-I hope you are successful with your grant, book and conservation efforts!

    September 7, 2014
    • I really do too Karen, thank you.

      September 7, 2014
  13. So keeping my fingers crossed for you to get that grant, Leanne. I had a pen pal from New South Wales when I was in 7th grade–eons ago, so it is wonderful to see your beautiful photos.

    September 7, 2014
    • thank you, I really hope I get it as well. That is fantastic, I hope you like what you see.

      September 7, 2014
  14. Hey Leanne .. Best of luck with the grant. Banyule wetlands and park are just beautiful. I can vouch for that! It’s great that you are so dedicated .. Wonderful pics as always 🙂

    September 7, 2014
    • Thank you Julie, and yes, some of these photos I took with you when we went around it. Dedicated or obsessed, haha, I do really want to help to protect the area. 🙂

      September 7, 2014
  15. Great work Leanne. I especially like the winter morning shots with the mist over the water. Dreamy… All the best for the submission and hopefully the book! Chris

    September 7, 2014
    • They were great shots, it was an interesting morning that one. Thank you Chris.

      September 7, 2014
  16. so beautiful places and photographs dear Leanne Cole, Thank you, love, nia

    September 7, 2014
  17. Wonderful set, Leanne.

    September 7, 2014
  18. So great!
    best wishes from
    http://devilreturnsprada.wordpress.com/

    September 7, 2014
  19. Really beautiful photographs, and interesting and touching post altogether. Good luck with the grant, I am sure you would use it really well. The place looks special as it is, it certainly doesn’t need developers making it “nice”. Eeeek….

    September 8, 2014
    • Thank you Cara, I don’t know when I find out about it, but I really want to do this, it should be a great opportunity. I think it is very special, and it is great if I can make other people feel the same way. I know what you mean, how a developer can think anything they did would improve it, sometimes, it is best to just leave it alone.

      September 8, 2014
  20. Beautiful photos as always. It amazes me that this area is so close to the city centre.

    September 8, 2014
    • Thank you Suz, I know, so close, yet far enough away that we don’t get all that congestion. 😀

      September 8, 2014
  21. LB #

    So glad that you are so into conservation, Leeann. and your photos bring awareness of the beauty and the need for protection

    September 8, 2014
    • Thank you LB, I think it is nice too, it is something that I love doing.

      September 8, 2014
  22. Leanne, these are beautiful. I had no idea this area existed so close to Melbourne. Good luck with your grant — I think your idea is fantastic! Cheers — Steph

    September 11, 2014
    • Thanks Steph, it is amazing, and yes so close. I really hope the grant goes through, would be wonderful to have a project to work on.

      September 11, 2014

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