Sunday, 11 June 2006

Rugged Bush Adventure

I'm not sick any more, so today we went to Kinglake and walked around in the bush on Mt Sugarloaf. It is not very far from Melbourne, but you have to drive through some fairly creepy towns to get there. For instance, there were some stretches where if Dorian had crashed the car I would have had to run past six or seven houses before arriving at one where knocking on the door and asking to use the phone could be done without the reassurance of a fully loaded crossbow in the backpack. Apologies to anyone reading this who lives in a one-roomed shack built of corrugated iron or who has a Eureka flag curtaining their front window. I don't possess a mobile phone, so I have to consider these things.

National Parks often give the impression that they don't want you to have any fun, eg

and for some reason they think that just because it is the bush and therefore uncivilised there is no need to ever clean the toilets ever.

I think this is just down to slackarsedness and not down to preserving a pristine and Nature-smelling environment, and what is more, the concept of wild and pristine Nature is a figment of the European imagination and shouldn't be trusted. There is a time and place for unchecked wildness and it is definitely not inside a cement toilet block.

It was quite cold and rainy on the mountain but I found that as we walked along I got perfectly warm. It is probably safer in the forest to be cold however as then anybody hunting you with the aid of some kind of heatseeking rifle with a laser sight will have a harder time picking you out from the surrounding trees and bushes.

I saw a waterfall with not much water falling off it. It is called Masons Falls. (Apparently no apostrophe of either kind.) How did it acquire this interesting name? There are numerous possibilities.

A bit later I saw a kookaburra.

June is perhaps not the best season for wildflower viewing but I came across many of these flowers in a particularly nasty shade of pink. In fact it is very like the pink of which BB housemate Katie spoke when she said "Jamie hates pink yair he hates that whole barbie doll look." So I took a picture to remind myself of Katie and how she has many things in common with wildflowers.

Although I looked carefully for animals, and saw much evidence on the path of their digestive processes, I mainly saw mushrooms. Pink really does seem to be the new brownish-beige, up there in the hills.

For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the billions and billions of orange mushrooms. You will just have to imagine them yourself.

This monster had broken off at ground level, probably a wombat smashed into it while running desperately towards the walking track so it could relieve its bowels right in the middle of it. Fairly surrounded as we were by wombat and wallaby landmines, I walked along wishing very hard that we could actually see some of those creatures - preferably one of each species, locked in mortal combat on the edge of a steep precipice. Just then we did see a wallaby bouncing around in the bracken. Well, Dorian spotted it. I glimpsed it. It was right here.

It really was!

Soon after we reached the end of the trail and sat down to have our sandwiches and coffee. There were the usual scab birds hanging around the picnic tables. They think that because they are lurid bright colours, we care. Katie

This one seems to have recognised and resopnded to some piratey streak in my companion.

Then we saw a lyrebird scratching for grubs in the leaf litter.

That was enough fun for one day.

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Tim said...

Isn't it pretty rare to see lyrebirds in the wild? Not that they appear to be particularly interesting anyway.

Lucy Tartan said...

the camping ground is on a path called 'lyrebird track.' I wouldn't say the camping ground was all that wild. And yes, it was a boring lyrebird.

tigtog said...

Once when I was a kid I actually saw one dancing on its mound. That was pretty cool. And I like hearing them do their impersonations when wandering about. But when scratching about for grubs? - just a big brown chicken.

What was it with Europeans and sugarloafs anyway? Didn't they carry a thesaurus when tramping about naming mountains?

Just Like A Woman said...

What a pity for poor Basil missing out on such an idyllic outing. So many scratching poles, so much to sniff. He would have kept those Katie birds in check and had that boring lyre-bird dancing a merry old jig I'm sure.
Why can't we share nature with our feline & canine pals-on-leads?? So discriminatory, damn European burocracy!

Just Like A Woman said...

Bureaucracy even!

Lucy Tartan said...

We walked along one of the park boundaries and it backs on to fairly ordinary suburban residences. Saw (and heard) plenty of dogs, and no doubt cats live there too.

Ampersand Duck said...

How's Dorian's pirate talk? Did he rise to the occasion?

Brownie said...

That 'nasty pink' flower is Heath and is the State Flower Of Victoria. It is on the rego sticker on the windscreen of your car.

I have taken my Eureka flag down from the window to avoid frightening hikers.
Glad you have recovered from the llurgy.

elsewhere said...

I'm sorry, but this is just laughable coming from an area where there may not be any signs of civilisation for a good 200 km or so.

Marrickvillia said...

That pic of Dorian reminds me so much of one time when we were kids & we went to Sovereign Hill... a huge & vicious emu came running over and took our boiled lollies right out of the paper bag... and Dorian's face had the exact same expression!

Lucy Tartan said...

Brownie: I knew Heath looked familiar from somewhere!

Elsewhere: you make me ashamed of puny Victorian wilderness. May as well just burn the lot and be done with it.

Marrickvillia: now I know why Dorian is afraid of emus and of boiled lollies.

Kate said...

Actually one of the reasons we don't go bushwalking is because we feel guilty whenever we go anywhere and do physical things like hiking without the dog, and we're too scared to go bushwalking outside of a national park, hence no bushwalking. Which seems very lame now I've written it down, but it makes perfect sense. In my head.

Zoe said...

Miss Tartan, have you seen

Zoe said...

my link?

I swear it was here a minute ago.