Saturday, 20 December 2014

Thrombolites @ Lake Clifton

Q: What do you call stones that are alive?
A: Thrombolites!

The Lake Clifton Thrombolites are rock-like formations built by living micro-organisms. When these microbes photosynthesize, they precipitate calcium carbonate (limestone), which creates the dome shaped thrombolites. How cool is that?

These were the thrombolites that we set out to see
However, the water level was a tad too high
Unfortunately, the thrombolites were totally submerged. The best time to visit them is during late summer and autumn, as the water level will be lower.

And very very windy too. Look at my hair!
Well at least we still get a spectacular view
Me & the Aboriginal story of Lake Clifton

The Aboriginal story for the waterways and Lake Clifton
“In the Nyitting (beginning) the Aboriginal people who lived in this region had no fresh water and all the land was dry and hard. They needed the fresh water to set up their mia mias (camps) so they could live in harmony with the boodja (land). 
The Elders went down to the sea and they prayed to their creator for the water to come fresh. Their creator came out of the wardarn (ocean) in the form of a snake and she was the Waugal. She pushed through the sand and dunes, along her path creating the inlet at Mandja. 
Waugal slithered back and forth and carved out a hollow which formed the Djilda (Peel-Harvey Estuary) and here she laid her eggs. She curled her body around her eggs and protected them. In time, some of the eggs hatched and young began to appear. Then they scattered carving out the major bilya (rivers); Yoordinggaap (Harvey); Bilya Maadjit (Murray); and Waangamaap (Serpentine). 
The little ones, they were fat and they kept going east, up the hills, forming rivers and swamps. They came to be tired and starved as they didn't stop to ear. The grooves they cut became thinner as they were further from their birth place. When their end came they died and went underground, forming subterranean springs on their way back to their heaven, the wardarn (acean). Left behind them were water supplies, fresh and plentiful and water was restored to the land once more. 
But the Waugal, she went in search of her young, whew net underground and came up at Noorook Yalgorap (Lake Clifton) and Lake Preston. She kept going, looking for them, all the way Leschenault Estuary and Australind. She never found her babies, instead she burrowed down in the Djilda and where her mouth was, a spring of fresh water comes and it is a place where fish gather and Nyungars can catch them and Waugal, she is still there waiting for her young to return.” 
Totally unrelated joey sleigh from down under!

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