Thursday, March 1, 2012

Water in right and wrong places

With the recent Mitchell floods still so vivid in my mind, my heart goes out to all those people in northern Victoria and New South Wales who are -- at this point in time -- suffering floods. There seems no end to abnormal rain events throughout Australia, which brings to mind climate change and our need to prepare ourselves for more severe storms and torrential rains. But it's not easy. It's extraordinarily difficult!

On the other hand, oceans and bays hold water that's in its correct place. Western Port Bay -- which laps the northern shores of Phillip Island -- holds a wealth of plant and animal life.

In 2003, about 30 paper nautilus shells washed up onto the sand after a very high tide. These delicate creamy white shells are the egg case of a female octopus. Last year we found just one, and it sits in pride of place on our dining room table. Other treasures include shells exquisite in their shape, size and colours, sea urchins, a shark's tooth, and a piece of driftwood weathered by salt, sun and sea.

But a nautilus shell is the ultimate treasure.

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