…the beautiful valleys now before us, entirely sheltered by the high hills, are clothed with undergrowth of a rich green colour, many of the glades through which winds the creek being exceedingly wild and picturesque…
Work is currently being undertaken to protect and improve the condition of local streams. The following items provide a glimpse into the past along some of our waterways.
A feature of the valleys of the Arthurs, Running and Deep Creeks in the early years of settlement was the profusion of ferns along the sheltered banks of the streams and in moist gullies. Pierre (Pirrie) Brennan who selected land along the Running Creek to the north of Charles Draper called his property ‘Fernvale’.
A visitor to the ‘Charnwood’ orchards, writing in the Weekly Times of 8 February 1872, reported that on reaching Arthurs Creek, ‘The beautiful valleys now before us, entirely sheltered by the high hills, are clothed with undergrowth of a rich green colour, many of the glades through which winds the creek being exceedingly wild and picturesque. The more sheltered nooks are thickly overgrown with ferns in splendid variety, including several beautiful Lycopediums, also ferns Adiantum formosum, A. hispidulum, A. assimile, and others; Pteris umbrosa, Lomaria Patersoni, and L. lanceolata being particularly beautiful. These and a number of parasitic species of plants are here in rich profusion, completely covering the roots and stems of trees, the beauty of the vegetation being sufficient to make a horticulturist, much more a botanist, smile with delight and be glad.’ The plant groups referred to include club-moss (lycopodiums), maidenhair-fern (adiantum), brake (pteris) and water-fern (lomaria or blechnum).
A Local Izaak Walton
Izaak Walton wrote of the pleasures of fishing in open country in The Compleat Angler published in England in 1653. The following article was published under the heading ‘Strathewen’ in The Advertiser (Late Evelyn Observer) at Hurstbridge on Friday, May 21, 1926.
‘Mr. John Murdie, an enthusiastic angler, has been anxious to stock the local creeks with fish. He had arranged with the secretary of the Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society to supply him with some 400 brown trout yearling fish, which arrived here in good condition on Wednesday last. It is to be hoped that the initiative displayed by Mr. Murdie in his venture will be met with the success such a public-spirited action deserves.’
The Murdie brothers (John and George) had a property on Peter’s Creek, a tributary of the Arthurs Creek, near Bowden’s Spur. Their first attempt to plant an orchard was thwarted by the wallabies. They eventually established a small orchard after erecting a netting fence to keep the wallabies out.
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