December 07, 2010

The South Swamp


Where Beachmere embraces the Caboolture River  the land falls away into a wetland which is dominated by a succession of  lagoons.


These lakes are filled by rain water and high high tides so that their salt water content is often much less than the sea that laps  the other side of the sand hills.

In the urban area one lake has been engineered into becoming a perennial pond but further south the wetness takes a primeval character -- especially after mangroves  in the water  have died off because of the drop in water salinity and their dead trunks stick out of the water like gallows.


It is this ecological instability that makes the 'South Swamp' so interesting. It is one big marshland -- a true 'mere' in Beachmere that, to me, looks impenetrable unless you want to wade deep in mud.

Frogs love it of course, as do water birds -- even one feral Peacock whose  call at night only adds to the place's primordial exoticness.  

In fact it is a busy place where  many  events come together -- the river flows to the sea, the tides rise and fall, the lagoons fill and pour out, the sand accumulates and is washed away, seagrass is deposited on the shoreline.... It may be constrained and encroached upon  by residential development on its periphery but the South Swamp seems to have a life of its own.

The irony is that aside from the road that cuts through the area to the public boat ramp on the river, the one access point is through the Off Leash Dog area and for all intents and purposes the swamp is Fido's domain.

Since it  used to serve as the township garbage tip,  compared to rubbish dumping,  walking the dog is a benign activity...

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