Monday, November 21, 2016

Bloodroot Country

Sometimes I don't feel comfortable in this part of the country. Windy, hot days mostly. It is not my home ground: the high primary dunes behind the granite bosses, heath scrub sprinkled with azure scaevolas and pink pimelias. Here I keep waiting to experience 'deep nature' and it eludes me. There is always something to do, or worry at, or obsess over. The country is kept closeted with cathedrals of karri columns, and where there are no tracks, with impenetrable, luminous green karri hazel. It is extraordinarily beautiful but offers no easy congress, with its 1080 baits, blister bush and no clear view for a snake-free footstep.

On the Bloodroot track as the season changes, I see the tiger snakes and dugites, or their subtle serpentine imprints in the soft black sand. The fright sight thrills me to the soles of my feet.

After the bar broke, I walked along to the west along a vast sandy shore, an undersea country only the day before. Past the huts that no longer stood abandoned but crowded with four wheel drives and jetskis on trailers, red plastic drums of fuel lined up on the gravel. I ignored all this action and walked to the shore, looking out to The Cut, where the sand bar had held the inlet away from the sea until yesterday.

The yellow sand I walked upon rippled with water sculpture. Trees previously submerged a metre or so up their trunks now stood high and dry, their gnarled root systems exposed by the worrying wind waves during the winter months. I crossed a creek shining peacock blue with the oil of tea tree and climbed a rocky outcrop. A car coughed into life behind me.

On the other side of the rocks lay a huge golden beach that wasn't there yesterday, studded with short peeling paperbarks. An undersea Port Royal born in the night and revealed again to the sky.

There was a deep stillness, as though the inlet and her entire cohort had woken shocked and sobered by the events of the previous night. Even the birds were quiet. I stepped down the sides of the largest rock worn smooth by water, its higher seams filled with small abalone shells and sticks. I wanted to be on this beach, wondrous with its undersea ripples. There was that human part of me that wanted to be the first to pluck her unblemished cherry but also, I felt like a wild thing, or more, simply a thing at the beginning of something, enmeshed like amoeba in this system.

Behind me the four wheel drive chugged over the rocky outcrop, straight up one side and down the other. Four young men, heedless, elbows out of windows, can of beer in hand. I stared and they hardly acknowledged me but the driver nodded as the Nissan's fat tyres slouched into the golden sand. The driver revved the motor and moved into third gear, spraying sand away from the tyre tracks and then they roared onto the beginning of the new world, carving donuts around the weathered paperbark trees.