At the Centre

The way we live, learn and celebrate life in the Centre of Australia.

Thanks be for leaky taps

Apr 24, 2017 | Discuss

Thanks be for leaky taps

I whiled a way an hour or so in Titree recently, watching the antics of a small mob of Major Mitchells taking advantage of a leaky tap. What splendid birds! As the human Major Mitchell remarked (according to Wikipedia): “Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the Australian forest than this beautiful species whose pink-coloured wings and flowing crest might have embellished the air of a more voluptuous region.” I don’t know if Titree could be considered voluptuous, but ...Read more

The green, green grass of home: a time bomb?

Jan 25, 2017 | Discuss

The green, green grass of home: a time bomb?

Nicole Pietsch, Arid lands Environment Centre While the recent high rainfall in Central Australia is a blessing with flowing rivers and lush green landscapes, there’s another side to the rains that have serious consequences – the increase in weeds, pests and fires. Climate change predictions see a hotter, wetter Central Australia with more extreme weather events. The challenges of managing weeds, pests and fires will be an ongoing problem that will require significant strategies and resource...Read more

Buckets of rain

Jan 10, 2017 | Discuss

Buckets of rain

  If you happen to be sweating it out in Alice Springs at the moment, it may seem hard to believe there’s not a lot more rain around. In its long-range forecast the Bureau of Meteorology is punting on a merely average rainfall for Central Australia during the summer months. January, already distinguished by a torrential downpour a few days ago, is actually even less likely to hold water than February, according to their climate maps. If it’s true – even though it doesn’t feel all th...Read more

Weather or not

Jun 06, 2016 | Discuss

Weather or not

The concept of global warming has led to a massive increase in resources devoted to the study of climate … but I wonder how much closer we are to actually understanding it. Just as the study of the human body leads to an ever-growing awareness of its amazing complexity, could it be that the more we learn about the weather and the climate the less we know for sure? The esteemed British science journal Nature has just published an article on new research about why seawater in the Antarctic has s...Read more

The best things in life are weeds (sometimes)

Feb 01, 2016 | Discuss

The best things in life are weeds (sometimes)

I’ve been watching the spread of tar vine in our back yard, hoping we would get a visit from some of the amazing caterpillars that have been gracing buffel-cleared rural blocks like Nicole’s and Jonno’s. No luck so far. Yeperenyes frequent some nearby suburban blocks that back on to the hills around Lackman Terrace, but I guess they are just too smart to try crossing the road. Nevertheless, there has still been enough rain-fed abundance to excite a suburbanite like me: lizards, frogs, hund...Read more

Very important caterpillars get a helping hand

Jan 14, 2016 | Discuss

Very important caterpillars get a helping hand

With video and pics by Nicole Lee When you consider the extent and speed of its spread through the Centre, going into battle against buffel grass may seem like an extreme form of tilting at windmills. It’s hot, hard, backbreaking work that requires eternal vigilance. If you’re not incredibly careful, the more of it you pull out, the more you will spread the seed. Meanwhile, all around your particular warzone, the enemy continues to multiply, unchecked. And yet, as many determin...Read more

A tale of two networks

Nov 27, 2015 | Discuss

A tale of two networks

National Broadband Network SA & NT Corporate Affairs manager Jill Bottrall writes: The ancient sacred stories of the Arrernte Aboriginal people of Central Australia are about to be interwoven with the new digital highway with the construction of the national broadband network. The work began this week  following a complex two-year  anthropological consultation to design the installation of the network in and across Alice Springs – one of the most densely covered areas for sacred s...Read more

Small victories

Jul 12, 2015 | 2 Comments

Small victories

It’s true that from little things big things grow, but maybe it also needs to be said that with big things, little things often go under. A walk up the Todd River with friends the other day yielded an unexpected encounter with the small and beautiful that might not have been there had things gone differently. Friends and I wanted to look at how that section of the river was faring nearly 25 years after the bulldozers went in and almost changed it forever. Junction Waterhole was of course the s...Read more

Queen Bill

May 21, 2015 | Discuss

Queen Bill

    I googled “sacred kingfishers living in aquatic centres” and nothing came up. Could Alice Springs claim yet another world first? “Bill”, as she is known to some staff members, caused concern among lifeguards and regular pool users when she was first noticed, a few months ago. The bird was apparently trapped inside, perched day after day on the metal frames that straddle the ceiling of the Speed Street complex. Elaborate plans were made to guide the poor creature back to freedom,...Read more

The power of the rain: Alice Springs, January 2015

Jan 31, 2015 | Discuss

The power of the rain: Alice Springs, January 2015

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Frenzy of fruitfulness

Jan 29, 2015 | Discuss

Frenzy of fruitfulness

Foragers have good reason to take a walk  on these unusually cool mornings Alice is getting at the moment — and walkers have good reason to slow down and forage. Central Australian plants have taken on the rain’s imperative to be fruitful and multiply, and there are some great opportunities for wild harvesting around the town. Purslane is particularly rampant. This world-wide “weed” – served up in fashionable restaurants all around the globe – is loaded with vitamin C and A, and...Read more

The Todd in flow, 8/1/15

Jan 09, 2015 | Discuss

The Todd in flow, 8/1/15

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