Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kanangra - the view from the top

Moi on the plateau

the sky speaking
through a muffler of clouds
something about rain

I’ve just come back from another ‘book’ trip  -

to Kanangra with Dave Noble. Our timing was good - just before the thunderstorms took hold of the Sydney region. 

a photo stop
the flies gather round Dave
for a possible bite

 Here are some of his (extraordinary) and my (ordinary) photographs.

the coal seam cave
 So many things to see! Caves! orchids! flowers! waterfalls! water pooling in rock hollows! native bees! stone! distant valleys and mountains! 

striated rock orchid - Dockrillia striolata

the falcon shifts his stance

soars away

Peregrine falcon

And to hear - many different birds! lyrebird, bowerbird, whipbird, white-throated treecreeper, currawong, flies, always the flies. 

Stypandra glauca

All the flutterbies were out. There was a beautiful green-striped one - green for "Go!". This one, on the pea flowers,  was less fluttery.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cox's river

who is more frightened
the brown snake
or me

Ten years ago I walked down Cox’s river with ecologist Clive Heywood Barker and I wrote about it for my book “Into the Blue”. Last week I did the walk again as a leader for  the Conservation Society Saturday walkers. It was a hot day and I planned to get to the junction with Little river. The walk touched on the nineteenth-century history of contact between the original Gundungurra inhabitants and the new settlers. We stopped at the O'Reillys’ shack at Cullenbenbong. What is left is the kitchen, which was built separately in case there was a fire. This was a common practise for settlers.

Bernard O’Reilly’s reminiscence of his childhood in “Cullenbenbong”  included memories of the Lynches, indigenous people who had to surf the massive changes brought about by white settlement. Next we drove to the traditional campground on the Cox's river, where their family (Lynches) bought a selection in the 1880’s. Our walk started here. 

After crossing the river, we walked downstream. We came across quite a few other walkers, and a father and son fishing. The Dad was frustrated by the number of European carp swarming the river (Warwick had seen them at the crossing). No trout, he said. 

By contrast there were quite a few snakes. They've come out of torpor and are a bit sluggish, so we were on the lookout for non-sticks that might resent being trodden on. 

We didn't quite make it to Little river junction. It was a hot day, so ambling along, first in the shade of Casuarina cunninghamiana (river oak) trees, and then along the granite banks, was perfectly fine. On the way back Harold and I took a swim in a large pool - deliciously cool, and in places there was sand underfoot for a massage. 

Thanks to Bob and Harold for some of the photos.