Kooyang – late summer – season of eels
Late January to late March
Kooyang is depicted by eels, galaxia, baby animals, mistletoe as well as eeling and fishing.
The lifestyle for the Gariwerd communities during kooyang:
Eel trapping is common during this season, a favourite food of the Gariwerd people.
Stone huts could be seen on Salt Creek for the eel harvest.
Herbal medicines are available:
- Old man weed for cold and chest complaints
- Tannins from gums and wattles for stomach complaints and burns
The stars were used for navigation with star formations having creation stories.
For the woodland areas of the Gariwerd, kooyang brings the following:
- Some plants continuing to flower including mistletoes, messmates and the long leafed box.
The flowers of river red gums attract honeyeaters.
- Mammals emerge during kooyang.
Boxing kangaroos can be seen during this time.
- Red wattle birds flocking and fantails scurry down bush gullies.
Young birds are emerging during this season.
- Tree frogs can be heard squeaking.
- Snakes are seen basking in the sun.
- Many insects can be seen in larval form or beginning to hatch:
- labyrinth butterflies hatch
longhorn beetles emerge from wattle trunks
gum emperor moths emerge
spitfire grubs of sawfly wasp eat new leaves on seedling gums
stick insects eat treetop leaves
featherhorn beetles emerge
Butterflies are frequent:
imperial white butterflies can be seen
symmons skipper butterflies are common
brown tailed moth butterfly found on mistletoe
Flies are pesty during kooyang and robber flies often cruise along bush tracks.
For the wetlands areas of Gariwerd, kooyang means the following:
- Ribbon weed and swamp lily flowering.
- Second brood of swamp hens are running.
- Galaxias (small native trout) move downstream to estuaries to spawn.
Kooyang is the peak time for eel.
- Water boatmen migrate from drying ponds.
- Elodea waterweed stems break and migrate.
- Many aquatic insects emerge as adults, attracting swallows and martins.
The Gariwerd Homelands | Bureau of Meteorology Temperature and Rainfall Graphs for this region
Permission to use the
Gariwerd seasonal calendar
is granted by the Elders/Directors of Gariwerd, which includes the Gunditjmara, Winda Mara (Kerrup Jamara), Goolum Goolum, Kirrae Whurrong and Framlingham peoples. A link to the Brambuk website is included, www.brambuk.com.au.