Thursday, 8 April 2021

The Green Visitors to Locheil

 Easter 2021

On my arrival at Locheil, for a  reunion with my cousins, I was welcomed by Cousin Robert. Once the car was unpacked, he mentioned to me that there were other visitors to the farm and he hoped I didn't mind. 

He suggested I follow him and instead of wallking to the verandah, Robert opened the door to the bathroom / toilet.

I was thrilled to meet his guests. On this evening, 12 lovely green frogs were resting in various corners of both rooms. Alas, they are messy but "Locheil' is still very happy to have their presence. From about sunset until 10 pm they gradually make their way to the open window and go hunting for insects. I never actually saw them moving, but as you will see in the following images, I did find them resting in new locations, each time I went to check. On waking around 6 am each morning, they were back. Day three and four, there were only 9 and 8.

I loved how they snuggle up in the ceiling corner.

This gorgeous fellow was nearly knocked off his perch. I didn't see him as I shut the door, until the last minute. [3 pics]

This is the little fellow in the above image.

Fifteen species of Australian frogs are endangered, but thankfully not the green frog. Their numbers have been flourishing in suburbia since the February heavy falls. I haven't seen any at my home, so it was just beautiful to see them here at Locheil.

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Easter visit to Locheil

 Thursday 1 - 5 April

Greater Brisbane went into Covid Lockdown on Monday 29 March at 5 pm for 3 days. With Easter looming at the end of that week, everyone was stressed that their plans for the weekend would be ruined. There had been an untraced, community outbreak of Covid 19 and Queensland Health, deemed it necessary [rightly] to close the city down to contain its spread and find its source. 

[Please note, I am fully aware that so many of you are in constant lockdown still.]

Thankfully everyone complied, 30 000 tests were done and it was possible to cancel the Lockdown, 5 hours earlier than the set time.

Easter was on track again, although the weather Gods did seem to think we hadn't had enough rain, and produced a low that dumped some very heavy falls.

On the Wednesday, I had been due to travel south across the border to the family farm, [Locheil] at Afterlee near Kyogle, for a 'cousin' reunion. I was very grateful to be able depart soon after midday on Easter Thursday.

I left in sunshine. but as I travelled south, the Border Ranges were lost in dark, heavy clouds. An hour into my journey rain began to fall, gently at first but for the latter part of the journey quite heavily. I took my time and was able to enjoy the damp, misty scenery of the rainforest and farmland I was passing through.

On one side of the border, Running Creek was in full spate and Grady's Creek on the opposite was no less energetic. It was wonderful to be back in the countryside again.

Running Creek 

One of the misty views after crossing the border and making my way down to Grady's Creek Valley.

The Border Loop Lookout - the loop, completed in August 1930 finally joined Sydney and Brisbane by rail.

By the end of the loop's construction, the workers hated the Bellbirds call. 
[Make sure you turn up your sound.]

A favourite view on this journey. Yes, Locheil is only 10 mins away.


I have arrived!

My cousin made me feel very welcome!

The cousins - Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Kyogle.
 [Sadly our numbers were small because of Covid restrictions elswhere, and ill health.]

Around 5 pm, I took a leisurely walk up the hill.
The light was poor but I have to share the thrill of finding this family of magpies. There were 5, one on each post but I could only manage to snap four at a time. Their interactions and call were a delight to witness.

Eating breakfast on the verandah Saturday morning, we were excited to see the arrival of these 2 wallabies.

Later in the day.

Grace, belonging to another cousin,  is living out her life at Locheil. She doesn't like to interact with humans, but eventually she realised it was safe to go and have her breakfast. In replaying the video, I realise that once again the birdsong was special. Sound up!

After all the rain, Robert was keen to see what the Iron Pot Creek looked like in the Murray Scrub, our childhood, summer picnic destination.
We had never seen so much water running through here. Of course, our parents, farmers, would never had the time to just go see! I guess the roads and vehicles would also have been another consideratiton.

On our return, we took the four wheeler far higher than I had walked. After several weeks of welcome rain poor Rob was aghast at how much the vegetation had engulfed the trees and track. Such a reversal of the lands parched look.

At times, impossible to see the track.

Rainy views.

With further torrential rain forecat for Easter Monday, I made the decision to return home a day early. At one point, along Grady's Creek, I stopped to take a photo of  a 'distance sign post' for my cousin. The bird calls and view were such, that I couldn't resist taking this video as well.

We did have over 3 inches of rain during the next couple of days, but what a wonderful few days I had enjoyed fully down at the farm!

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