Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On, in, from, over Bellingen

A collection of essays on the town of Bellingen on the NSW north coast.

Bellingen is a small town on the Bellinger River on the North Coast of NSW. All the essays are either on Bellingen, or are set there or see the world from there, but I hope they are not as limited in their themes and ideas as they are in their geography.

There is a series of short essays on particular places and names familiar to people who know Bellingen, written by someone who is not all that taken by the notion of Spirit of Place. These essays form a setting for the other, longer essays in the book.

“The Bellingen Biennale” is about the 2012 Bellingen Art Prize and the predicament of art in a small town.

“Interesting Verbs” is about 'nature writing' in Australia, and was first given as a talk at the 2012 Readers and Writers Festival during a short walk on The Scotchman Ridge.

The Gleaner and Me” is about the pleasures and rewards of gleaning and foraging for food.

“A Kind of Crummy Rainforest” is the third of three essays on Bellingen Island. The subtitles of the first two, published a number of years ago, were The first time as tragedy and The second as farce. This one could be subtitled Three times proves it. All three of these essays are about the ecological restoration of a rainforest that is in the geographical centre of Bellingen, only a few hundred metres from the main street.

“Contrarian Ecology” is about novel ecosystem theory, which challenges the notion that we should be restoring native ecosystems and . It appeared in 2012 in the Newsletter of The Australian Association of Bush Regenerators.

“Heritage Weeds in Latteland” is about the politics of drinking coffee under camphor laurel trees. It came out in zine form in 2001and it is the only essay here that more than a handful of readers will already be familiar with it.

“Under the Rose Myrtle”, the longest essay, is a journal of a trip to nowhere and what happened there. Beyond that it will have to speak for itself.

Like Charles Lamb I wonder 'who will take these papers as they are meant; not understanding everything perversely in the absolute and literal sense, but giving fair construction as to an after-dinner conversation; allowing for rashness and necessary incompleteness of first thoughts?'

Monday, November 22, 2010

Xanthorrhoea macronema

Eastern spinebill feeds on the nectar of a flowering spike of a small grass tree

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nothing Better to Do                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Monday, April 20, 2009

Australian Stories Cartoon stories based on actual footage of events that probably happened in Australia. Download

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nature Culture is a book about the ecology of the Bellinger Valley, about restoration ecology and about the aesthetics of nature. It is a series of essays on Bellingen Island, The Bellinger Valley, Tallowwood and Wet Eucalypt Forest, restoration ecology, the aesthetics of nature in an age of ecosystem management, the images of nature and the contemporary culture of nature.

Nature Culture The nature of Nature Culture refers in particular to the eucalypt forests and rainforests of the Bellinger Valley on the east coast of Australia. Their evolution, their long fashioning at the hands of the Gumbaynggirr people, and their transformation at the hands of agriculture, industrial society, and now environmental management, supplies the ecological detail of Nature Culture.

The culture of the title refers to the modern culture of nature. The history of this culture is also a kind of natural history - a wild process of social evolution, at the mercy of surreptitious and unconscious pressures. Its results often defy our intentions and best interests, distorting both the image of nature and nature itself.
Bellingen, The Concept
Cartoons that pretty much explain Bellingen, NSW, Australia. Download.