I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Water Levels

It's becoming a familiar feature of this project that I'm now seeing familiar things differently: like observing the way bluestones are laid in streets and buildings. Today's post is about my beloved Merri Creek, the tributary of the Yarra River that practically runs past my front door. There are a number of bluestone features along this Creek, and in the first days of this blog in January, I wrote about the river downstream from my house.

Today we're going upstream, towards another bluestone quarry. Along the way there's a dear little arched bridge that crosses the creek and takes you into a rather liminal zone. You're not really very far from houses, a playground, a high school, and yet there is a little wetlands reserve where you can go and hear frogs. You can walk along an unpaved track that is muddy in winter and baked hard in summer. There are little hidden tracks between the creek and the paths. So, frankly, you can hide there. A wonderful and small suburban secret.

But to the bridge. It's slippery when wet so wire has been nailed across it... The water levels in the Creek rise and fall a lot, because the storm water from the streets runs directly into the stream.

Some days the water level is very high, and the creek floods and becomes impassable at certain points. Other days the water levels are low and you can see these courses of bluestones running along at various points -- presumably these were made when the creek was being used as a bluestone quarry.

So these are secret bluestones, I think: observable only when the water is low, and when you are thinking about bluestone and seeing it everywhere.

1 comment:

meli said...

I'm really enjoying these posts, Stephanie. I'm a little envious of you living in a place you know so well and have such deep connection to - sometimes I feel like such a foreigner here. I have vowed to get to know the place better, which is easier now my Norwegian is good enough to read the hiking guide books. Today I walked for the first time along a similar hidden track very close to my house - without reading about it I would never have spotted the tiny entrance to the path, even though I have walked past it on the way to town hundreds of times. There was even a waterfall!

Most buildings in Norway are wooden but there are Bronze Age rock carvings and stone circles not far away, too.