Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.49 (autumn) Meldrum Park, Ballina

10 May, 2018

It is not easy to organise a ‘tidal flat’ ginko, as we have to find a low tide at mid-morning, on a Thursday (our chosen day) in the middle month of the season, not in school holidays. We have been waiting eighteen months for these conditions to coincide, but after two wet ginko, this date, for a number of months, had also been predicted as ‘raining’.
Continue reading “Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.49 (autumn) Meldrum Park, Ballina”

Cloudcatcher: Ginko No.48 (summer) Lennox Head

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Cloudcatcher summer ginko is generally held the first week after school goes back. This year it also happened to be the first day of the ‘cool change’ and it rained. A hurried ring-around altered the meeting place from Lake Ainsworth to a picnic shelter in the town, with a short walk to the beach. The surf had been predicted as ‘hazardous’, and indeed looked really wild, with an offshore wind holding up the curves of the numerous white-topped milky-grey waves. However, through the drizzle we discerned half a dozen boardriders taking up the challenge, and rewarded with some glorious rides. A row of seagulls lined the fence, facing into the strong breeze to hold their feathers back, swallows flew up and down the steps to the beach, and a pelican chose the highest pole to keep an eye on it all.

Seven of us around the table read from the recent issue of Windfall, specifically the five haiku by Cloudcatchers included in it. We tried the new method of reading haiku as reported in HaikuOz by Jan Dodd (suggested by her American visitor Sheila Sondik): L1, then L1 & L2, then L1 & L2 & L3. However there was a consensus of opinion that this interfered with the placement of the keriji, and the two-part nature of a traditional haiku presentation, so we decided not to implement this procedure in the future. Continue reading “Cloudcatcher: Ginko No.48 (summer) Lennox Head”

Cloudcatchers Ginko No.47 (Spring)

Report by Quendryth Young

At last the drought has broken and we are overjoyed, but quietly disappointed that it rained on our ginko. Ten of us gathered at the site of the old Bangalow Weir, which was constructed across Byron Creek in 1924 to create a swimming pool for local residents. Carnivals were held over many years, and even attracted Olympic champions (such as Andrew [Boy] Charlton and Arne Borg, the Swedish swimmer).

Cloudcatchers first held a ginko here in summer 2007, again in spring 2008, spring in 2009, autumn in 2011 and winter in 2016. We watched the weir deteriorate, but restoration work in 2016 and local involvement in replanting has saved this iconic feature. A fishway was constructed to facilitate the movement of Australian bass swimming upstream, and includes habitat for platypus. A sign by the creek reads:

‘Jahna ngali garimaleh jogun’ or ‘Let’s stand together look after country’. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No.47 (Spring)”

Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 46 (Winter)

Thursday 13 July 2017

The Cloudcatchers’ winter ginko was held on Thursday 13 July 2017 in the rainforest remnant at Victoria Park, just outside Alstonville, on the Far North Coast of NSW. It turned out to be a day of sunshine, though a bit chilly, and there were nine of us to delight in it. Our topic of the day was: ‘Let’s consider assonance’ – which we did with various examples and some discussion. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 46 (Winter)”

Cloudcatchers Haiku Sequence in the Wake of Cyclone Debbie

During the April ginko held by the Cloudcatcher group, it was suggested by our patron, John Bird, that we each submit haiku images regarding the local flood situation experienced in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, as our response to the disaster.  Some of these have been crafted into a sequence, edited by Nathalie Buckland.

You can read the sequence by clicking on the link below.

Debbie Sequence

Quendryth Young

Cloudcatchers Ginko No.45 (autumn)

Brunswick River NSW           Thursday 6 April 2017

Amid the anguish of the flooding caused by Cyclone Debbie, the Cloudcatchers group on the Far North Coast of New South Wales held its autumn ginko on Thursday 6 April. Some of the members had suffered damage to home and property, some were cut off for days by flood waters, experienced power blackouts, and some were still involved with the arduous and heartbreaking job of cleaning up.

The visit to this venue had been planned for over eighteen months. We were anxious to repeat an experience shared in 2011 of exploring the mangrove tidal flats of the Brunswick River, 40 km north of Ballina. For this we needed a low tide at the right time of day, on the right day of the week, in the right month of the season. Eventually the date was established, but after weeks of heavy winds, rain and flooding, the gathering was in doubt. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No.45 (autumn)”

Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 44 (summer)

Skate Park, Ballina NSW    Thursday 2 February 2016 

After recent ginko at a coastal lake, an inland creek, and a pocket of rainforest, a return to the ocean seemed appropriate for the Cloudcatchers’ summer ginko. A summer gathering it was indeed, with a temperature of 37ºC in the shade.

The heat featured in many first drafts, but a gentle sea breeze did soften the intensity of our discomfort. The venue was the Skate Park in Ballina, where North Creek empties into the Richmond River, in sight of the river mouth. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 44 (summer)”

Cloudcatchers Ginko No.43 (spring)

Thursday Plantation, Ballina NSW

Thursday 13 October 2016

In spite of the ginko being held in the middle month of spring, there was a cool wind at the tea tree plantation. Nine poets, two of them experiencing a ginko for the first time, gathered at this venue on the outskirts of Ballina. Here an ancient rainforest remnant has become a site for sculptural installations, creating an intriguing composite of natural and man-made objects: the strangler figs so old, so huge; the vines so long, so high; and the art works at times incongruous among them. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No.43 (spring)”