April to June is Bana’murrai’yung time

May 7, 2017

Words by Stef

To many of us living in Sydney, the hot days we had earlier this year might seem a distant memory. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some sunny warm days now? Some of us, instead, are still remembering those brave worms in our pot plants which perished in the heat on our balconies.

The weather has definitively changed. For those who are complaining about the copious rains, we have some “news”. In the millenary knowledge of the local Aboriginal people, it’s Bana’murrai’yung time, that is “wet becoming cooler”, from April to June. These months have always been characterized by wet and cool conditions.

In the D’harawal calendar, this is the time of Marrai’gang (the quoll). When these lands were covered by its original vegetation, it was easy to hear the cries of the Marrai’gang. The quoll was seeking his mate, and the calls could be heard all around in the forests and woodlands.

This season is also marked by the ripening of the lilly pillys on the trees. Interestingly, observation of these bush tucker foods indicated other preparations had to be made.

Indeed, when the lilly pillys start to fall, it is time to mend the old warm cloaks from last cold season, or to make new ones, and begin the yearly trek to the coastal areas.

Source: http://www.bom.gov.au/iwk/dharawal/marraigang.shtml Indigenous Weather Knowledge

Lilly pilly: local bush tucker

Lilly pilly is a hardy native plant now common as a hedge and shade plant. In April, the bush produces a bright purple coloured berry, called a Riberry, that can be eaten.  The texture is crisp, the flavour fresh and tart, and if you cook with it (may we suggest this lilly pilly apply crisp) just remember to remove the seed in the centre.


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