A call to arms – Autumn planting reprise

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of climate change blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful rising ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest Resource RICAns.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even planted
And sheathed their mattocks for lack of more seedlings from Francis:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in Aireys, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Resource RICA, and Saint Thorold!’
Sunday June 2nd.  Resource RICA Autumn planting reprisal.  127 seedlings.  Many hands.  Light work.  10:30 the mattocks start swinging.  4:00 we stand above the empty polystyrene boxes and empty seedling pots and raise a glass to all that is good.
Call, email Sid with queries.  0422 169 406, slarwill@aapt.net.au

Round up of the May weekend

Our Spring Planting weekend was a quiet affair. The seedlings nurtured by Francis Cincotta were/are extraordinary – never seen such healthy plants ready to get their feet in the ground. 162 of them.  It was a small but dedicated team of volunteers who came to do a bit of walking, talking, and planting: Puck and Monty, Dean and Callum, Viki, Rob, Sid and Malachi – and three dogs.  All were kept under complete voice control.  Except the dogs who ran about and had a ball.

The rain that preceded our weekend by a few days was timely.  Jack hammers were not needed after all.  The dam, which only a week ago was a sorry silty puddle, is now a good 3/4 full.  The relocated tank, standing aloof from it’s friend the shed, now has 1/4 full and water on tap. The gullies showed signs of the rigours of a peak flow of course – but the little dams we are building all have back-fills of silt showing that they are slowing down the run-off in big rain events.

We planted a humble 35 plants.  Twenty to face the harsh conditions on the hilltop, and fifteen to supplement the Spring plantings on the eastern ridge.
There is very good news in terms of success rates of our spring plantings.  Despite drought conditions our plantings up on the hill top from Spring had a 50% success rate.  The plantings of ironbarks on the eastern Ridgeline had a 70% success rate.
That’s very encouraging.  I believe this is a direct result of taking a little more time with each plant going in – our policy of planting fewer plants well to get the same return in terms of recruited shrubs and trees.  Good deep holes, with a swale to catch run off, a strong as poss guard, and a good watering.  Brilliant.
We’ll organise an Autumn planting reprise to get some more in the ground very soon.  A Sunday day trip later in May beckons.  Stay tuned.

Sid Larwill

Tank Moving Day

He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Tank Moving Day.
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Tank Moving Day.
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words—
Sid the King, Harvey and O’Conner,
And Brave Larwill Junior of Forest Creek 
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And International Tank Moving Day shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in Castlemaine, or Melbourne now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Tank Moving Day.

Sid Larwill