Sydney Bushland

Personal memory by Kate Walton

1966Sydney NSW, Australia

I grew up on the northern outskirts of Sydney. My mum and dad built a kit home on a bush block at the end of un unsealed road. The bush was my backyard. Dad & I would take treks through the bush to the river and Brown's Water Hole. We would not see another person all day. I learnt to share my home with snakes, blue tongues, water monitors and frogs. I would wake to the dawn chorus of kookaburras and cockatoos, or the sweet carolling of the currawongs. I remember mum and dad packing up the car as a bushfire raged toward us one sweltering summer. Nothing between us and the flames but bush. I remember the ferocious thunderstorms and southerly busters that tossed the branches of the scribbly gums and the delicious smell of the bush after summer rain. The house is still there, but instead of being surrounded by bush, it is surrounded by suburbia. Thankfully, some of the scribbly gums have survived. Most of the bush has not.