Now and then

I’ve long been fascinated by landscape changes through time. Fellow environment blogger, Ian Lunt from Charles Sturt University, has taken this to new heights with a fascinating series of blogs on how Australian landscapes, with a focus on native vegetation, have changed over time.

Ian is currently running a competition on this theme, where people have submitted wonderful images from around the country, according to one of four categories:

  1. Paired historical and recent photos that show long-term changes
  2. Recent photo pairs that illustrate changes over 1 to 5 years
  3. Photo pairs that document tree planting and revegetation works
  4. Time lapse videos that show changes over days and weeks

I’d encourage readers to:

  1. Visit Ian’s site – its absolute ‘must see’ … simply click on the image below.
  2. Vote for your favourite images … there is a prize!


Back to Newstead for a moment – this reminded me of some history of our Rainbow Bee-eaters on Cemetery Road. The late Alan “Curly” Hartup was a passionate and knowledgeable naturalist and photographer in the Newstead district over many years. If memory serves me correctly, “Curly” was known to have observed these birds nesting in the same spot at least back into the 1960s, possibly earlier. The spot is clearly visible (at about 5.30) in the following pair of images, the first an aerial photograph from 1947, the second more recent from Google Earth. It’s a wonderful thing to think that Rainbowbirds have migrated back to breed here over such a long time span.


Aerial view of Green Gully, 16th July 1947.


The same view from Google Earth (accessed 8th January 2015).

Rainbow Bee-eater arriving at the nest, Cemetery Road Newstead, 4th January 2015.

Rainbow Bee-eater arriving at the nest, Cemetery Road Newstead, 4th January 2015.

I’m off to vote!

6 responses to “Now and then

  1. What an interesting subject time lapse over various time scales. The birds continuing returns a great juxtapositioning context

  2. Where did you get the 1947 aerial view from, Geoff? Are these images generally available for the whole local area?

  3. Aerial views always leave me grieving. It’s interesting to see how little the extent and pattern of agricultural deforestation has changed over 68 years. I’m guessing that period has seen neither a rapacious clearer nor a tinkering-at-the-margins landcarist-farmer exert ownership over that patch of Earth.

    • Hi Russell, thankfully there are some good patterns emerging as well. Much of central Victoria is seeing a significant natural regeneration event which is reversing the decline witnessed from gold mining and agriculture during the 1800s and first part of the 20th century. I’ll write another blog on this at some stage.
      All the best, geoff

  4. Thanks Geoff! The Tang Tang swamp movie on Ian Lunt’s site was just exquisite – so captivating!

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