The Spring Equinox in September marks our local Kulin indigenous season, ‘Poorneet’ – Tadpole Season. Growling Grass Frogs mate and lay their eggs in foamy rafts along reedy banks, and they hatch into darting tadpoles. I know we have Growling Grass Frogs here at our place – never seen them, but we hear them at night.

Wimmera River, Credit: Wimmera CMA

Though further west of here, and slightly different in the seasons, when I was a child in Horsham in Western Victoria, my dad would point out the tadpoles along the banks of our local watering holes and creeks off the Wimmera River, “Look – under the water, platypus will be mating right about now”. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but he was passing on truly local understanding of time from when he was a child. We are not indigenous. My dad was born in Warracknabeal but his mum’s parents lived in Dimboola where he spent a lot of time as a child during the war years. It was likely there that he learned to read some signs of the seasons in this way, from local Wotjobaluk folks. Now and again, he would remark about nature and the stars like this. Every year at the change of seasons, I can’t help but look around, feel the true season changing and think about my Dad. I am sure this is how I found my appreciation of paying close attention to seasons and nature when we grow food.

The signs of Poorneet

These days, we live just south of Ballarat. Here we feel the temperature rise, as the daylight hours equal the night, and the earth warms. Pied Currawongs fill the air with their pretty warbling song, sometimes joining Magpies in evening calling concerts; Joeys leave the pouch for adventures in the sun.

(Pied Currawong at Lake Wendouree, Credit: Ed Dunens, other images from Ballarat Courier)

The rains will increase, as will the winds around here over this next little while. Local flooding, if it is going to happen, is most likely in this Sep/Oct period in our central Victoria region. Windy conditions are common now too, so securing garden items at night is a good idea. The seeds you have planted over winter will pop out, but so do all the weeds. A period of strong growth starts now, so keep on top of grass growth at your place, especially around fruit trees. Particularly citrus aren’t fond of the competition.

Our modest frog pond.
Our back stormwater soak, as Spring begins

Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿