Falling birds

 
 All those birds
 falling from the sky
 Some birds live 
 More birds die
 So consider
 Why oh why?
 We poison
 food chains
 and nature deny
 We pave 
 We divert
 We scrape the sky
 We take 
 too much
 don’t comply
 heat the planet
 watch it dry
 Then only
 crocodile tears
 do we cry
 As our legacy
 becomes
 the worlds biggest
 lie
 That we care
 action says
 we deny 

Strathbogie Cycling: Avenel – Mangalore Aerodrome Loop

This can be a fast, flat road ride or a comfy cruise. The cropping and grazing plains surrounding Avenel are backdropped by the Strathbogie Tablelands. The township itself is worth taking your time to investigate for its many historic features and amenities. There is an excellent Avenel Heritage Walk (see link below).

Hub & Spoke Cycling Route

Route Name: 
Avenel: Mangalore Aerodrome Loop

Mode: 
Road cycling (or any other mode)

Start / Finish locations: 
Avenel Railway Station

Difficulty: 
Easy

Distance:
23km

Elevation:
136 – 155mm

Topography:
Flat

Surfaces: 
Bitumen (smooth)
Description & Features:
A loop out west past Mangalore aerodrome then back through this historic town
ship
•	River Red Gum agricultural plains country for cropping, grazing and horse studs. 
•	The route skirts Kestrel Helicopter Emergency Services and Mangalore Aerodrome.
•	Runs parallel to Goulburn Valley Freeway for a short distance.
•	Transits the historic Avenel Township.

Riding conditions: 
The terrain is flat and exposed.

Options:
Clockwise or anti clockwise

Amenities (Avenel)
Car parking
BBQ
Fuel
Shops
Seating
Parkland
Playground
Picnic tables 
Public toilets
Potable water
Accommodation
Historic features
Sports Reserves
Swimming Pool
Railway station

Cautions:
Snakes may be active
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart 
Be equipped for self-reliant riding 

Anticlockwise Cues:
	Start Avenel-Nagambie Rd at Avenel Railway Station
	Left Doherty St
	Left Aerodrome Rd
	Straight Hughes St
	Left Old Hume Hwy (Henry St)
	Left Livingstone St
	Left Watson St
	Right Shelton St
	Left Jubilee Crescent
	Right Queen St
	Left Avenel-Nagambie Rd
	Avenel Railway Station

Strathbogie cycling #strathbogiecycling
Strathbogie photography #strathbogiephotography

VictoriaWalks Avenel Heritage Walk: https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4516

What I said to the other animal on my journey to the end of the world

 
I think you might eat me
I‘m scared that you will
If I run you beat me
No light on the hill
In the hope of appeasement
Still desperate to run
I appeal for lenience
For my trashing your home
So I’ll say I’m sorry
That we humans are dumb
I’ll say we forgot
Where we’ve been and come from
You don’t need to eat me
Because we’ll eat ourselves
Let me go quietly
From the home where you dwell
Humans all will be leaving
It’s our destiny
There will be no grieving
And your world will be free

Goulburn Broken Cycling: Graytown – Mt Black Quarry Loop

Bump & Grind Cycling Route

Route Name: 
Graytown – Mt Black Quarry Loop
Heathcote – Graytown National Park
Start: Graytown Prisoner of War Camp Heathcote – Graytown Rd., Graytown 3608

Mode: 
Gravel, Mountain Bike, Hybrid, eBike

Start / Finish locations: 
Graytown Historic Prisoner of War Camp

Map:
-36.815797, 144.949878

Difficulty: 
Intermediate

Distance:
17km

Elevation:
Between 168 and 232m

Topography:
Gravelly, undulating hills, with some short steepish climbs

Surfaces: 
Loose gravel, dirt, clay with patches of dust in summer and mud in winter, some short rough rocky sections. Ruts and erosion in places.

Description and Features:
The dirt tracks and roads through Heathcote – Graytown National Park Box Ironbark Forest are dirt and in regular use. Very dry and hot in summer and can be very cold in winter. Riding conditions vary with the seasons and over time. 

This ride passes significant historic sites and lookouts you may choose to explore along the way including: Graytown POW Camp, Cemetery and diggings, Mt Black, Mt Black Quarry and Melville’s Lookout. See the walking track links below. 

Riding conditions: 
Dirt tracks shared with occasional vehicles and motorbikes.

Alternatives:
1.	Start anywhere either direction.
2.	You can choose to reduce or increase the distance. There are several dirt roads or tracks for various alternative routes. 
3.	Return via Surface Hill Rd and Graytown Cemetery Rd to avoid the 1.8km of Heathcote – Nagambie Rd bitumen.

Clockwise Cues: 
Start Graytown Historic POW Camp 
East on the dirt track below and parallel with Heathcote – Nagambie Rd
Left Graytown Cemetery Rd
Left Surface Hill Rd
Right Ballieston Rd
Roght Mt Black Quarry Rd
Right Tin Hut Track
Right Heathcote – Nagambie Rd back to start.

Amenities:
Car parking
Historic features
Road and track signage
Alternative routes
Flora and fauna habitat

Cautions:
Open water
Mine shafts
Steep climbs
Soft shoulders
Rocks may fall
Limbs may fall
Embankments
Uneven ground
No potable water
Slippery surfaces
Subject to flooding
Road surfaces vary
Snakes may be active
Beware of vehicle traffic
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Be mindful to keep within the Reserve
Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart 
Be equipped for self-reliant riding 

Restrictions
No dogs
No firearms
No hunting
No camping
Take rubbish with you
No rubbish dumping
No firewood collection
Do not remove soil or rock
No theft of forest produce
Historic relics are protected
Native flora and fauna are protected
Do not remove timber from standing trees
No fires in the open
Closed on days of total fire ban
No 4WD or bike use of walking tracks
Drivers/motorbike riders must: use formed roads only, be licensed, be registered

Heathcote - Graytown National Park camping at Dargile (Heathcote-Graytown National Park) Camping & Picnic Ground, Plantation Track, Mt Camel 3523

Goulburn Broken Cycling #goulburnbrokencycling

For some excellent walks along this cycling route check out the links below .....

VictoriaWalks Mt Black walk: https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4573
VictoriaWalks Melville's Lookout Walk: https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4513
VictoriaWalks POW Camp, Gold Diggings and Cemetery Walk, Graytown:https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4572

Strathbogie Cycling: Euroa – Arboretum Loop

Hub & Spoke / Bump & Grind Cycling Route

Route Name
Euroa – Arboretum Loop

Mode: 
Gravel Grinder, mountain bike, hybrid, eBike

Start / Finish locations: 
Euroa Railway Station Railway St., Euroa 3666
•	Straight off the train, start at the station
•	Arriving by car, park in Railway St. to start

Map:
GPS -36.749156, 145.568173

Difficulty: 
Easy – intermediate (not for road bikes)

Distance and time:
17km plus a couple extra if you include the Arboretum. 1 – 2hrs.

Elevation:
163 – 202m 
Topography:
Flat with one small rise.

Surfaces: 
•	Good condition bitumen, with a nice wide shoulder on the Euroa – Main Rd return section
•	Good condition gravel.
•	Airstrip and Earnshaw Roads are two wheel dirt tracks which may be rutted. They have some dust drifts in summer, muddy in the wet.

Description and Features:
A ride from the sedate, urban areas of rural Euroa Township into the surrounding plains country. Flat expanses of cropping and grazing lands, with Strathbogie Tablelands as a backdrop. Wooded roadside vegetation. Many fine rural properties. A sad looking local airstrip. Large scale free range chicken farms.

Take a break at the excellent locally indigenous Arboretum. There are a few Km extra of intertwining bushland tracks to enjoy. Other amenities include shelter, picnic facilities, public art, wetlands, a bird hide, a small lake and the site supplied nursery is well worth your perusal.

Riding conditions: 
Minimal gradients. Very little traffic. Exposed to the elements.

Options:
It is about 3.5km (7km return) to the Euroa Arboretum via the Euroa – Main Rd.
Anti or clockwise

Anticlockwise Cues:
From the Euroa Railway Station
Right Scott St
Left Elliot St
Right De Boos St
Straight Branjee Rd
Right Cowells Lane
Left Wood Rd
Left Airstrip Rd
Straight Earnshaw Rd
Left Angle Rd
Opposite Euroa Arboretum entry
Straight Euroa – Main Rd
Left Birkett St
Right Handbury St
Right Elliot St
Right Scott St
Left Euroa Railway Station

Amenities (across Euroa & Arboretum)
Car parking
BBQ
Fuel
Shops
Seating
Parkland
Playground
Picnic tables 
Public toilets
Potable water
Accommodation
Historic features
Sports Reserves
Swimming Pool
Railway station
Road name signs
Alternative routes
Flora and fauna habitat

Cautions:
Soft shoulders
Limbs may fall
Embankments
Uneven ground
No potable water outside town
Slippery surfaces
Subject to flooding
Road surfaces vary
Snakes may be active
Beware of vehicle traffic
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart 
Be equipped for self-reliant riding 

Restrictions:
Take rubbish with you
Historic relics are protected
Native flora and fauna are protected
No fires in the open
Use formed roads only

Strathbogie cycling #strathbogiecycling

http://euroaarboretum.com.au

Pressing the accelerator

 
  
 Flying into Melbourne 
 On a private jet
 Bouncing off ideas
 With the business jet set
  
 Closing every deal
 No matter what it takes
 Ethical or shonky
 As long as the world quakes
  
 Driven by ambition
 Minister or CEO
 Really only two choices 
 About which way to go
  
 Pressing the accelerator 
 When I should have touched the brake
 How fast am I going to go
 How much more can I take
  
 Slamming down the spirits
 Soaking up the wine
 Things are a little beery
 But everything will work out fine
  
 Climbing the hardest rock face
 Dodging the greatest fall
 Pushing to the limit
 And giving it my all
  
 Burning the midnight oil
 Up until all hours
 Burning both ends of candles
 To see how much time devours
  
 Shooting a little heroin
 For all the joy it brings
 Snorting a little cocaine
 It’s coke that makes me zing
  
 Then I lost my partner
 I leaned on her I admit
 Then I lost my friends
 Who won’t see me in a fit
  
 Wondering why I need her
 Wondering why I need it
 Wondering who l am
 Any why I’m called a shit
  
 A few dodgy deals later
 I’m sure that I’ll be rich
 But a punch up with a waiter
 Left me in a legal stitch
  
 I crashed the car last Wednesday
 Into six or so I’m told
 Realised I couldn’t pay
 Forgot insurance in the cold 
  
 Sick with hepatitis
 Broke from drugs and booze
 Living the high life baby
 Sure can make you lose
  
 Eating throwing up
 Hearing voices in my head
 Where are my friends and family
 I might be better off dead
  
 Claiming every benefit 
 Sponging every favour
 Grabbing every freebie
 Before my resolve wavers
  
 Sitting on this pavement
 Holding up my sign
 I didn’t plan to be here
 It just came in time
  
  
   

The reality / truth paradox

The only reality is in one place, at one time,
as a fleeting perception of what a truth may be.
That is to say, no reality at all.
Reality is a thought of a truth in the here and now,
only ever understood by one mind in one instant,
only internalised by one heart for less than one heartbeat.
Then lost forever, to ever evolving interrogation, explanation and dissertation.

External attempts at understanding another’s reality and truths are just that, attempts.
Interpretations of another’s reality are creative, transient similitudes at best.
Knowing of another’s truths can only be attempted by association.
Association by its very nature denies the accuracy reality and truth demand.

History is a barely valid interpretation of past reality and its truths.
Yesterday is reappraisal of reality, mere perception of memorable truths.
The future has no reality where truth is elusive and aloof.
Tomorrow is simply anticipation based upon expectation come proof.
Proof is a contextual misnomer ignoring the reality question, what is truth?

Strathbogie poetry
#strathbogiepoetry

A response to this week’s d’verse challenge regarding the Hemingway quote, “There is nothing else but now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there tomorrow.” - For whom the bell tolls (1940). https://dversepoets.com/2021/06/22/dverse-poetics-one-true-sentence/

These first two lines of the quote cited immediately drew me back to a repeated personal exploration of what I call “The Reality / Truth Paradox”. If the word “certainly“ had been “certainty” it would have been a perfect fit.

I think this is a discussion Hemingway would have willingly engaged in with me if we had met. I would start with the question, “Do you apply fundamental realities and truths to your characters at the time of their creation?”

Strathbogie Cycling: Euroa – Geodetic Loop

Hub & Spoke / Bump & Grind Cycling Route

Route Name / Address: 
Euroa – Geodetic Loop

Mode: 
Gravel grinder, MTB, Hybrid, eBike

Start / Finish locations: 
Euroa Railway Station Railway St., Euroa 3666

Map:
GPS -36.749156, 145.568173

Difficulty: 
Easy – intermediate. 

Distance:
34km. 2 hours.

Elevation:
159 – 184m

Topography:
Flat

Surfaces: 
Good condition bitumen
Good condition gravel
Reynolds Rd is a two wheel dirt track that may be rutted. Dust and gravelly drifts in summer, muddy in winter 
Flooding is common when there has been a bit of rain.

Description and Features:
A nice and flat, often gravel, loop for taking in the surrounding countryside. This is a broad grazing and cropping plains landscape with the Tablelands as backdrop. Pleasant roadside vegetation with some grand paddock trees. The occasional small stream crossing. You may spot some wildlife like the Goanna above.

Riding conditions: 
Not much traffic. Exposed to the elements.

Options:
Pranjip Rd is an bitumen alternative to the rough bit of Reynolds and Wood Rd.
Anti or clockwise

Anticlockwise Cues:
Start Euroa Railway Station
Right Scott St
Left Elliot St
Left Handbury St
Straight Drysdale Rd
Left Creightons Siding Rd
Right Nelsons Rd
Right Geodetic Rd
Right Angle Rd
Left Reynolds Rd
Right Wood Rd
Right Cowells Lane	
Left Siems Rd
Straight (almost) Rowe St
Right  Elliot St
Left Scott St
Left Euroa Railway Station

Amenities (Euroa):
Car parking
BBQ
Fuel
Shops
Seating
Parkland
Playground
Picnic tables 
Public toilets
Potable water
Accommodation
Historic features
Sports Reserves
Swimming Pool
Railway station
Road signs
Alternative routes
Flora and fauna habitat

Cautions:
Soft shoulders
Limbs may fall
Embankments
Uneven ground
No potable water
Slippery surfaces
Subject to flooding
Road surfaces vary
Snakes may be active
Beware of vehicle traffic
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart 
Be equipped for self-reliant riding 

Restrictions:
Take rubbish with you
Native flora and fauna are protected
Riders must: use formed roads only

Strathbogie cycling #strathbogiecycling

Lake Nagambie Waterfront walk

The most recent walk I have added to VictoriaWalks

https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/5073

strathbogie walks #strathbogiewalks

strathbogie photography #strathbogiephotography

Broughtons / Gregsons Roads, Strathbogie Tableland.

Another pretty Tableland walk with plenty of winter ambience. It was cold and wet with a constant misting rain. There was a low and heavy cloud cover. Everything around us was beautifully sodden. A perfect day for a winter walk on the Tableland. We did a 6km return from Harrys Creek Road. Next time we will come up from the Fern Hill Road end to further close the gap in our ongoing quest to walk all the roads of Strathbogie Tableland.

strathbogie walks #strathbogiewalks strathbogie photography #strathbogiephotography

The Risk

I cheat, I lie
I backtrack, deny
I obfuscate and complicate
anything to hide the truth

Misinformation 
I cowardly
spread forwardly as ordinary
as conspiracy to larceny
as policy to conspiracy
I function in complicity 
in social media anonymity
Where I apply to truth misuse

The risk to me individually
that I can see
is virtually
small enough to be risk free
to spread hurt mischievously
to revel in power disproportionately

Vengeful at my oversight
my insignificance 
my empty nights
my blighted existence, my trampled rights
my lack of insight
into doing what’s right

I have devolved 
to taking what’s mine
no responsibility, my time to shine.
Basking in screen light I refine
my hatred of others 
for having what isn’t mine

No obligation to the social contract
I make my way with abuse and hack
I twist words and views - take that back!
Take that back!
Attack, attack, attack, attack!

Deep, deep, deep down, do I know this is wrong?
This never ending destructive ultra-self-interested song
this perpetual wallow in despair 
this unrequited desire to belong 
begetting this relentless desire to bring everyone else down
to my level
My oppressed throng.

Do I dare the admission?
Will I take the risk?

Aargh!
The shame of it
The pain of it
The wrenching, gutting bane of it
The creep, the dragging chain of it
The cowering, snivelling, 
ever repeating refrain of it
I am disdain, the disdain of it.
Will I take the risk?

The d'verse prompt for this week came from Tricia, a challenge to explore risk. Join us at 
https://dversepoets.com/2021/06/08/poetics-take-a-risk/

strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry

Sunshower

 
Today I saw the sun come out
From behind a veil of rain
But still the drops
Fell all about
As rain fell just the same

The sunlight formed
Into golden shafts
Vapour lit illumination
The earth shattered the falling drops
I watched with fascination


Strathbogie poetry
#strathbogiepoetry

VictoriaWalks “Things we like”: Sean Mathews

This was a very cool thing to find in my in box. VicWalks does wonderful work promoting getting out and about on foot. If you don’t already, try it, you’ll love it!

http://victoriawalks.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/r/6164C1495E191D282540EF23F30FEDED/B52459D6D349943CC643AC2DB430C735

Every day is an orange day

there are many shades of orange
there are many shapes of orange
there are many types of orange 
there are many flavours of orange
every day is an orange day

the routine is largely the same
my wife, who is always up before me
puts out the half blood pressure tablet
and magnesium for the terrible cramps
maybe she worries I won't remember
and she will suffer once again 
for my negligence

it is the half tablet I cling to 
that half tablet as a perverse 
talisman of health
ho ho only half I guffaw and say
plenty of life in the old dog yet
I hope but don't pray

I grind to mill groats
while the kettle goes on
for 80 degrees of green tea
to be taken from a thin light
porcelain cup
well, mug really
beautifully decorated 
delightful indigenous flora
always a pleasure to see
to raise to my lips
ah the little things .....

there is skim milk 
to get from the fridge
and sultanas come from 
the cupboard under the bench
to add to the oated groats
oats sultanas and water 
to add to the microwave
120 seconds then stir
120 seconds once again

while oats and tea rearrange 
molecular speed and structure 
on my behalf
I transfer everything else 
from kitchen to table
I set up for reading
news, photography, email, poetry
whatever takes my fancy 
on a given day

I look out the windows
across garden and creek 
across craggy old swamp gums 
and wattles
to hillside pasture
and hilltop sky
to sunshine or rain or fog or frost
occasionally to snow
and I say to myself, "Ah, there it is".

then I walk 
back to the fridge
transfer an orange 
from the bottom drawer
to face cutting board and knife

every day is an orange day
but not all orange days are the same

valencias available in the warmer months
can be quite unreliable
anything from sweet and juicy 
to horribly dry and pithy
I top and tail
slice smoothly into quarters or sixths 
depending on what I can get my mouth around
evaluating the internal quality of the fruit 
giving rise to the first 
pleasure or disappointment of the coming day

the navels of the cooler months
are more consistent
at their best oozing sticky zesty tart 
juice across the cutting board
following skilful bladed removal 
of the sometimes uncannily human like navel bulk
usually in promise of a very good breakfast finale

I look forward to my orange start to every day
Full of all the goodness 
orange juice alone will always leave behind
full of the possibility of each new day
some days have their disappointments
to be relegated to the compost bin
some days have their nuisances 
with more seeds and pith 
to deal with than is preferable
most start sweet and juicy
and stay sweet and juicy
all day long 


strathbogie poetry
#strathbogiepoetry

Today’s d’verse poetic prompt came from Kim. She introduced us / me to Imtiaz Dharker’s poem “How to cut a pomegranate”.I loved it! See the link below. The challenge was to think of a fruit, how it looks before and after it has been cut open, and how it tastes. Think about where and how it grows, and what it makes you think of. You may choose to write a poem in the style of Imtiaz Dharker, or you can explore the fruit in another way and in any form you wish. Whichever you choose, your poem should appeal to the senses.

https://dversepoets.com/2021/06/01/poetics-how-to-cut-a-pomegranate/

https://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/how-to-cut-a-pomegranate/

Fledglings of fear

The dawning was a slow one
we were fledglings of fear
victims of illness,
Children of Lir

Number 1 was long strong.
Her job to protect.
Strong for a long while,
until proven imperfect.

Number 2 was a mess,
times hard as hard
for that little girl,
our fractured shard.

Number 3 was me.
Death to the fiddle!
Hate for love.
None in the middle.

Number 4 was Baby,
always our most precious.
Watching and suffering,
the indiscriminate malice.

Mother was mad
as mad could be.
Inside we knew,
outside, 
none could see.

House to school
school to house
all running scared
each quiet as a mouse.

Freezing bath water,
heads held down.
Gasping for breath.
No sound,
lest you drown.

Smothered in cereal, 
honey as glue,
naked on the floor
kicked black and blue.
 
We lost our only friend.
Older sister on the verge.
Took flight literally.
Our life and death dirge.

To young to know.
To young to do.
I first noticed the down
while cowering, we few.

Necks stealthily extended,
to get a better view
of punishment to come,
forewarned by cue.

Heads tucked under wings,
to avoid each other’s pain.
Our wings were getting stronger
unobserved by our bane.

Three remaining cygnets
together finding voice
seeking strength together,
a transformative choice.

Reddened eyes were normal,
the feathers came next.
Black, as our experience
lengthened our graceful necks.

Then came time to speak
with red bloodied beaks
making plaintive warning sounds
ugly ducklings began to sneak.

Eventually, we broke out of bounds,
braved an outside world,
the hurt, the rage, the hopelessness,
to unravel and unfurl

And when we told our story,
of years of abuse and neglect,
no one knew a thing
out of privacy respect.

Together we remain fragile.
Together we remain strong.
Together we mourn our sister.
Grief upon hope upon wrong upon wrong.


For Sinead O’Connor.


Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry