BUILDINGS at ECU’s three campuses have again changed colour – from blue (wooyan) to pink (mirdamokiny) – signalling the arrival of Djilba season.
During the university’s 25th anniversary year the chancellery building at Joondalup, the library at Mount Lawley and entrance at South West Campus in Bunbury are lit up at night in the colour that represents each of the Nyoongar seasons.
The Nyoongar seasons explain the environmental changes we see annually in South West WA.
They can be shorter or longer and are indicated by changes in the flora and fauna around us, rather than by dates on a calendar.
Djilba, or the growing, season from August to September is a time to look for yellow and cream flowers starting to bloom en masse.
It is a transitional time of the year, with some very cold and clear days combining with warmer, rainy and windy days and the occasional sunny day.
Djilba is the beginning of the massive flowering explosion that happens in the South West.
It starts with yellow flowering plants, such as the acacias, and also includes creams and some vivid, striking blues.
Traditionally, the main food sources included many of the land-based grazing animals – these included the yongar (kangaroo), the waitj (emu) and the koomal (possum). As the days start to warm up, we start to see and hear the first of the newborns.
Their parents will be out and about providing them food, guiding them through foraging tasks and protecting their family units from much bigger animals and people.
The woodland birds will still be nest-bound, and the swooping protective behaviour of the koolbardi (magpie) starts to ramp up.
If watched closely you’ll also see this behaviour from the djididjidi (willy wagtails) and the chuck-a-luck (wattle birds).
As the season progresses and the temperatures continue to rise, we start to see the flower stalks of the balgas (grass trees) emerging in preparation for the coming Kambarang (October – November) season.