Saturday, 8 June 2013

Amongst Soaring Trees

Click on photos to increase size.

The 3 hikers in the car travelling across the city of Brisbane, just after peak hour, all new 'the best route' to our starting point! I was the driver today and still not wanting to acknowledge that my once perfect sense of direction is now less than reliable, I continued to follow my chosen route. The result was that we found ourselves nearing Samford and not The Gap - the suburb at the southern end of the D'aguilar Range and Brisbane Forest Park.  The trails in this park are not long, so we had planned to progress along the range, walking as many as we could before having to return home. 

The best thing about our small group is that we are highly flexible in all situations, so we quickly agreed that we had really wanted to start at the northern end of the D'Aguilar. It was not long before our vehicle was travelling the steep, scenic, winding, Mt Glorious road, delivering us to the peaceful picnic grounds of Maiala Park. The sky was crystal blue, the sun was shimmering on the leaves of the trees and the birds were singing. It was a unanimous vote to enjoy coffee in this wonderful open space before heading off on the trail.

 Bunya tree

 Young Ghost gums

 Yellow Robin

From the moment we entered the rainforest we were saddened by the extent of storm damage from earlier this year. From their size, so many of the fallen trees would have been extremely old.


As we continued our walk, nature constantly reassured us that she has a plan and that time heals.

We were in constant awe of the soaring heights of so many of the trees, as we lifted our eyes skywards.  

Their heights impacted on us no matter which way we turned.

                                     Sydney Blue Gum    

We had to remind ourselves to focus downwards, as the odd root or two were eager to trip us, and the forest floor was displaying its own beauty.

The Maiala Forest walk is noted for its number of Strangler Figs, Buttressed Trees and  Sydney Blue Gums which once dominated this area.

 Strangler Fig

 Young Buttressed Tree

After enjoying our lunch in the warm sunshine of the picnic area, we debated should we rush off and not to be caught in crawling peak hour traffic, or, should we explore the short walk near by, which was mentioned to us by another group of walkers. Thankfully our hearts ruled our heads, otherwise we would have missed the 'burning tree'!
Our morning walk had been an undulating path on the eastern side of the range. As we set off now, a map showed that this walk would follow the cliff escarpment facing west. It was not well trafficked, narrow and dark, which made the discovery of the 'burning tree' at 2pm, all the more spectacular. We had enjoyed shafts of light pushing their way through the forest canopy all day but this truly caught our breathe!

We turned around and retraced our footsteps at the only lookout of the day. A view south west of the D'Aguilar Range from 638 metres elevation. For my North American friends, our highest peak in SE Queensland is Mt Barney at 1359m.
We only walked 7.38 k's with 259m's elevation, but distance isn't our main goal of 'walking Tuesday'. Fresh air, nature's beauty and friendship tops the list. So glad I made a wrong turn this morning!

 Happiness is ....... 
                            catching raindrops.

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  1. Good thing your plan was altered this day! What you got to see was so pretty especially that burning tree. I wondered if you had arrived at a different time would that tree look different or does it look like that all day?

  2. You enjoyed the walk, accompanied by your friends AND CAMERA. I enjoyed looking at your photos. Is there a slow burning fire in the tree?

  3. Beautiful , Helen. Truly beautiful.

  4. As we walked passed it on our return journey about 20 mins later, we almost missed it. We were so fortunate that the shaft of light entered as we passed. Given the amount of canopy where we were, I doubt the light would have penetrated for any great length of time.

  5. This is a nice reminder of a lovely day Helen. Thanks for being our tour guide. I think the tree had stopped 'burning' by the time we passed it again. Is that right or did I just walk straight past it on the way back?

  6. Sorry Margot. In my reply, my mind was saying, we nearly missed the tree on the return, because it was no longer lit up.

  7. Well, look at you all bloggy-blogging. :) It's about time! That sunbeam in the tree is amazing! You know, my Uncle the City Dweller told me my oldest cousin lived up on Mount Glorious but I never went to visit. I don't think I realized that she lived in such an amazing place!

    1. G'day Leslie! A shame you missed this area, but all the trails are short in comparison to what you are used to. I might also add that in the time you were here, you didn't leave much trail untouched. The sunbeam was magical. I wonder how many other people have been fortunate enough to be in that spot at just the moment the ray penetrates.

  8. I love reading blogs and seeing photos from a totally different part of the world. Your trees are so different from the forests here in Oregon. Love the burning tree - so cool!

  9. Thanks Linda. Your comment is why I love following your blog so much. Our forests and trails all seem so very similar to me in comparison to the marvellous places you hike. I must admit however, that the camera has made me more aware of the beauty that at times is hidden, unless we slow down and look all around us.

  10. I loved the pics. It's amazing how the ordinary can turn into extraordinary! Loved the bunya tree and the burning tree. I must say you are getting me to appreciate my surroundings just a little more every day. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Thank you Asha. I hope you can get out and about during the holidays!