At last the cooler weather and garden maintenance well up to scratch, we ventured back into the border of the emerging rain-forest and the lantana line. Hard physical labour and after 2 hours of slashing we retreated to less energy tasks of pulling sapling lantana, all very satisfying.
While working this morning I recalled Don Watson in his fascinating book…”THE BUSH” when he tells of a Gippsland pioneer named Holmes who said no work required more endurance than ‘swinging a five pound in weight, axe from daylight to dusk, scrubbing down in drizzle, rain or heat”. They called it scrub in those days, even when the top tier of the forest reached 100 metres. Our work is less taxing and as far as working from dawn to dusk, well I manage 4 hours at my best and that is slashing, pulling and layering the much thinner lantana.
But I do agree when the same Mr Holmes spoke of the exhilaration: every day spent in opening up the bush”. I feel a similar exhilaration when I look over at our efforts and see the emerging rain-forest from an area slashed a year or two before.