When people talk about the extremes of weather in Australia climate change is used as the explanation. I often wonder if people have forgotten how much our weather change dramatically.
I am not saying climate change is not happening but Australia has a history of weather extremes. We should also consider the knowledge of the original people of Australia, the Aborigines.
The D’harawal people are the original people of my region. D'harawal Climate and Natural Resources by Frances Bodkin (a D’harawal elder) helps us to understand the knowledge and understanding the Aborignal people had of the country and how to manage it and protect it. A knowledge we white people could well take heed of today especially as so much is being done to destroy the land.
The book begins with The Times of Day from pre-dawn to the Silence of the Night. It describes both the activities of the people of the land and the animals at each time.
The next section outlines The Annual Cycle or season. Not four like our year but six based on events that occur in the environment. The events can be plant flowerings and fruitlings or specific animal behaviour. They are described as: Cool, getting warmer; Warm and wet; Hot and dry; Wet becoming cooler; Cold, frosty, short days; Cold and windy
Then there is The Mudong Cycle, an 11-12 year period of change. It begins with the appearance of the Southern Aurora in the sky over D’harawal land and the phases are described as: Hot and dry; Getting cooler and wetter; Cold and wet; Warm and wet; Hot and wet; Cooler and drier; Cold and dry; Getting warmer and drier
If you look at these descriptions it helps to understand the extremes of climate we experience. Add to this minor cycles they recognise our climate is as complicated as it extreme.
The book also features beautiful illustrations by Lorrain Robertson depicting the essence of Australia; its flora and fauna.