Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Return to the Murray Scrub

The first 9 years of my life were spent on a cream farm, in the farming community of Afterlee, on Cob O'corn Creek, in northern New South Wales.

In 1960, my parents moved to a milk farm at Mooloolah, on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland. One of my strong memories of living at Aftlerlee, was the summer picnic excursions with my family, aunts, uncles and cousins, to the Murray Scrub and its crystal clear running water. The journey now, still on dirt road, takes half an hour. It must have been double that and more, back at that time.

Iron Pot Creek is surrounded by tall, flooded gums and rainforest trees. Its pristine water flows over basalt rocks. We loved to sit in the 'bath tubs' created over time by erosion. So many wonderful memories.

This photo would have been taken in 1956. All the cousins with their dearly loved Grandfather.

In January 2016, I visited my cousin Robert at Afterlee. I asked if he would mind taking me out to the Murray Scrub to find the 'bath tubs'. Robert had spent his teaching career in Sydney and although he visited his parents often, there had been very few trips to The Scrub once he had left home. He was excited as I was, as we set off. 

Our search was not in vain. Our memories hadn't exaggerated the beauty of this spot. We lost no time in enjoying the 'bath tubs' again.

Our first view of where we had picnicked in our childhood.

A series of views as we walked upstream.

It was difficult to tear ourselves away, but we made the resolution that sooner, rather than later, we would invite our cousins for at least one more summer picnic here. 

Alas, it wasn't until March of this year, that we finally gathered at 'Locheil' to car pool for the journey out.  Rain was falling, but we weren't complaining, as it was much needed. We weren't at all sure that the creek would be running, because it had been dry for so long.

Our plan was amended. Morning tea here on the farm. Drive out to the Murray Scrub, explore and then return for lunch. A day of creating wonderful new memories was underway.

I had copied an enlargement of the 'Grandfather and cousins' photo above, for each family. Much discussion ensued re who was whom and our ages.

A locked gate had us scrambling over it, before make the 500 metre trek to the creek. We now have a key to the gate for the future.

A bit of bush bashing.

Arrival. Thankfully, heavy rains had fallen in the nearby hinterland.

Not as agile as we once were.

The cousins of the original photo.

An after lunch photo, taken back at Locheil, when Caroline was able to join us.

What a special day this had been. The plan is to meet again in January 2020, giving enough warning so all our extended family members are able to join us.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Venmans Bushland National Park

Tuesday 16 April

Where does all the time go! I'm dashing to get this post up as I am going to be without internet for a number of days. Time to relax in the country and listen to the birds.

This week the Gaiter Girls were fortunate enough to have a friend join us to help us improve our photography skills. We were to meet at 9am but it was decided that if we went early we could complete a 7 km circuit before her arrival.

This meant that I was eating breakfast outside and watching the sunrise at 6am. Another amazing start to the day.

The joy of the dawn continued with me throughout the day.

Below are the scenes from the circuit, that delayed our arrival for the 9am rendevous.
The last k and a half had to be jogged. This old body survived but only just. [A thrill in its self.]

We managed to be only 10 mins late and our friend was still organising her equipment, so thankfully, there was time for a coffee before we headed off, to slowly walk a 5 k circuit. Our cameras were at the ready to capture the birdlife, with a little more skill than usual, thanks to the help of our exceptional photographer and friend.

The Pro's capture - mine was a total blur. Yes, all 10 efforts.

I was quite excited by this capture of mine.

Our Pro however, shoots in raw and has all the editing apps to create her fabulous images.

To be able to capture the butterfly, I first had to actually find it in my zoomed out lens. That was quite an effort. Look what I discovered when I got home. Such a cute insect! 

Guess who's?

Finally ............

Yes, this isn't my image!

A very rewarding morning, out and about in our great outdoors. Sincere thanks to our photographic guide for the morning. I think we all came away with one new skill. For Rachel and her new camera, it was to remember to not let her cheek change the settings on her touch screen, when she was using the viewfinder. Much laughter ensued from this mistake. Our friend was also totally knowledgeable in recognising the birds and their calls. I was flat out spotting them.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Scooting not hiking - Manly

20th March

Brisbane introduced 'Lime Scooters' to its streets prior to Christmas.

"Electric scooter rentals from Lime. Lime-S is the fastest and easiest way to get where you're going. Download the Lime app and try Lime electric scooters today!"

They look a lot of fun, but have caused numerous problems regulating them.

When Leanne suggested The Hungry Hikers should try the 'scooters' at Manly, I was quite excited to give them a go. The thought was "what a relaxing way to see the Moreton Bay foreshore".

As always, a 'cuppa' initiated our day. I just love Jenny's serviettes.

Leanne had arranged that we meet Danny, of Scooterbike Adventures, under the fig trees at Manly.

Danny was very welcoming and encouraging. He launched into a safety speil that quickly had me realising, that these scooters weren't motorised! Horror of horrors initially, but now totally won over. 

Helmets had to be donned.

And adjusted.

Learning how to use the breaks.

How to get on and off.

Having passed our skills test, we were now free to 'scoot' for 1 1/2 hours.

Perfect Moreton Bay weather for scooting.

Some very fortunate school children were just completeing a sailing lesson. We were impressed with how orderly they were sailing back to harbour, until we realised they were on a tow line. Still, great to watch. Such colourful sails.

It was just a tad hot and also hard work. Rest stops to enjoy the view were quite necessary.

Scooting completed, time for refuelling and watching the birds.

A slo-mo video of me trying to use the correct 'scoot' action.

This fabulous day 'out and about' wasn't over. It was full moon eve, and the evening didn't disappoint.

Finally clear of cloud!

Well, I highly recommend 'scooting' as an amazing means of excercising and in my case, it would be excellent for increasing my bone density. One just has to remember that although it might have the feel of a bike, there is no seat to sit on, once you have stopped. Danny 'scoots' all over Brisbane. There are scooting clubs and world competitions. All new to me. What about you?

I would love to read your comment.