There’s an old river course with beginning and end, now the river runs straight without this river bend, where the water is still and the reeds do grow strong. New life has taken over in a billabong. The mat rush is spreading replacing the sedge, and old fallen gum trees lean in from the edge creating a haven in the shelter below for smelt or gudgeon, and the common minnow. There’s a ring on the water, so danger is nigh, and life is now over for one caddis fly. Dragonflies hover on their predator flight, so mosquito and midges best keep out of sight. There is many a song around a billabong to break up the still with an assembly throng from birds of the forest, and wading birds too, so the billabong offer is there to pursue for blue heron and egret, coot and the teal, and for the banded rail that the bulrush conceal. In the billabong shadowed by gum and ti-tree, bellbirds are tinkling; wattlebirds disagree. An oft-diving grebe keeps on searching for food for the striped downy chicks of its latest brood, and a hunting kingfisher waits keen for its prey from a twig of a gum tree it frequents all day. There is many a scent around a billabong, filling the air with the perfume quite strong, from black wattle and mint bush, or mistletoe cascading from gum trees where only they grow. Painted lady butterfly flit upon flowers, and blue banded bees keep on working for hours on lilies and orchids, heath, sweet appleberry and clusters of flowers on a native cherry. Ribbon weed, nardoo spread out in the shallow, with buttercup, duckweed; an introduced mallow, struggling for survival near the water line, aiding coral pea that does lightly entwine. The banks of a billabong are dangerous too with predator snakes not so often in view, but they are aware, that the growling grass frog will climb from the water onto an old log. But tigers and copperhead, red-bellied black often lay in the sun on an overgrown track, where the wombat or wallaby travel along to graze on native grasses near the billabong. So life still carries on around the billabong where water looks stagnant, a bond is still strong, with a river now rushing it’s way to the sea, past the billabong living, where the course used to be.