Seasonal calendar

If you’re walking along the Merri Creek this time of year, you’ll notice what Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people observe as the season of Waring. Waring is one of six seasons on the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung seasonal calendar and is the longest of the seasons, occurring over four months.

Like other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people have seasonal markers based on changes in the landscape and skyscape rather than the Western calendar. Museum Victoria describes this local seasonal calendar as “marked by the movement of the stars in the night sky and changes in the weather, coinciding with the life cycles of plants and animals”. There are many interpretations of seasons available for Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Country.

 

For Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, Waring was the time when wombats could be seen foraging. Early in Waring, the rain moth can appear after rain, emerging after living underground for years as a grub eating tree’s roots. The rain moth is one of Australia’s largest moths, with a wingspan that covers an adult hand. Like the Golden Sun Moth, it has an extraordinarily short lifespan (24 hours) and is born without mouth parts.

Fungi is also seen by the creek during Waring. Midway through the season, days are at their shortest and nights at their longest. In the later part of Waring, the mornings are sometimes misty, and the animals that live here are often experiencing the creek at its coldest and wettest.

Seasonal calendar thanks to the Creekulum program and Moreland Primary School.

 This Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung calendar was developed with material from Museum Victoria during 2019 within a collaborative project called Merri Merri Creekulum at Merri-bek Primary School (previously Moreland Primary School). The calendar was produced with members of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and specialists, including our Special Engagements Program Coordinator Angela Foley, in a year-long whole-of-school project in collaboration with Merri Creek Management Committee.