Isn't this beautiful?
This is the beach at Lennox Head, looking towards the headland after which the town is named. Last week I stayed with a friend who lives about a 5 minute walk from this beach. Living in the midst of the city as I do, my visits to Lennox Head jolt me to an awareness of the vulnerability of so much of our landscape.
In May there was a very large storm that washed away large portions of the beach. There is concern to restore the vegetation that protects the beach from further damage and a need to restore pathways and access to the beach. The paths have been relaid with visually appealing tiles made from recycled materials. It's in places such as this that you are acutely aware of how much damage can be done by slight rises in the sea level - not only to the beach and heath and lake but to the built environment as well. We've built right to the edge of viable land (and sometimes beyond). It's very easy to imagine that the effects of global warming will be disastrous for such places.
Just across the road from the beach is Lake Ainsworth - a freshwater lake edged with ti-trees that give the edges of the lake a silky maroon colour. The lake seems to be constantly endangered. Years and years of fertilisers and stormwater drainage have made it vulnerable to blue-green algae, and its proximity to the ocean means that inundation by rising levels of seawater is a constant concern.
I didn't mean for this to be such a tale of gloom. When you're there you're just overwhelmed by its beauty. But I did come away with renewed admiration for those local people (including my friend) who fight various local battles to preserve aspects of the environment, and renewed awareness that all of us need to act to moderate the climate change that endangers such beautiful places.