The hottest time of year has arrived, the Noongar season Bunuru, the season of adolescence, typically falls over February to March. It is characterised by hot dry weather, with little to no rain, and a cool wind in the afternoons.
Traditionally, this was the time of year the Noongar people would head towards the coast, rivers or estuaries and their diet would change to consist predominately of freshwater foods and seafood, mainly fish, crab and mussels. Tailer and mullet would become much easier to catch, as they would inhabit the shallower waters, marron and gilgies are also collected from the wetlands. Alongside the seafood, there was also wattle, banksia and a variety of roots on the menu.
Bunuru is also the time of white flowers, with stunning flowering gums including Jarrah, Marri and Tuart. Where you find Marri you will also find many nectar feeding birds, insects and mammals.
You will also see huge cones emerging from the centre of the stunning female djiriji (zamia palm), which contains a cotton like substance called kundyl, which would be used by the Noongar people as fire tinder or as an absorbent fibre for hygienic purposes.. As the dry weather continues the bayu (seeds) on the cones will transform from green to a bright red, which attracts animals (especially the emu) to come and eat their toxic exteriors. The Noongar women would also start collecting them, to begin the lengthy processing before eating. The djiriji would sometimes be used by the Noongar people to form a pancake style meal, through pulping the nuts and cooking this by the fire. Although, they would also use the toxicity, for fishing.
This hot stint will only last until Djeran arrives, bringing in the cooler (April) weather.
The Aboriginal six-season calendar varies for different groups throughout the state and across Australia. It acts as an extremely important guide, outlining what nature is doing at every stage of the year, and how to live safely, sustainably, and respectfully in relation to the land, plant and animal cycles and the preservation of environmental ecosystems.