What is so secret about Mt Wombat? You would think every local knows about it, most have driven up to the summit to take in the magnificent views and returned home again. Well, maybe the question should be rephrased. How many have really seen Mt Wombat? The views are only part of the story. When driving you miss so much. You have to either cycle or walk for the full forest, granite and wildlife experience. If you are used to time on a bike, a mountain bike or hybrid will do the job. The 16km return from Strathbogie Township is a great way to pass a rewarding half day of exploration. Granted it is a steady incline and the final approach may require some walking your bike. You will not be disappointed and it is all downhill on the way back.Otherwise, ebikes are perfect for this route. You will still get your workout, granted with more comfort. That final steep approach will be taken in your stride. Stopping along the way to soak up the forest experience will be hard to resist. If cycling isn’t an option or you want an even slower immersion in the landscape, walking is the way to go. Park at the intersection of Mt Wombat Rd and Mt Wombat Lookout Rd for a lovely 5.5km summit return. It is truly as pretty as can be.See what secrets you can discover in Mt Wombat Forest.No matter which method of transporting yourself you choose, make sure you are appropriately equipped for self reliant cycling or walking. Carry food, water, First Aid, nav aids and be SunSmart.
It appears an online Nagambie Heritage Trail is not going to be achievable at present. As an alternative I give you a Nagambie Heritage Photo Gallery. Viewed in conjunction with the previous gallery of period housing, I think it provides a good perspective on the streetscapes. If you are ever in town and want to engage with a Heritage Trail, I can recommend visiting the Nagambie Historical Society in High Street and obtaining a hard copy.
when weary travelling an image of you I look at when I rest your portrait kept in a locket of gold warm between my breasts I see the small photograph and am reminded of what I’ve left with longing I wish to be home again my head upon your chest
For today’s d’verse prompt from Sanaa I chose the derivative Option 2. To think of a word. I thought of “image.” To use a derivative to create a poem. The derivative I chose was “photograph”. https://dversepoets.com/2021/09/07/poetics-dungeons-and-derivatives/
3km loop. Difficult terrain. Take food, water, first aid. Be SunSmart and equipped for self reliant hiking.
Opposite the gate to Waterhouse Reservoir is a small, outcrop seeking dirt track of a few hundred metres. There is plenty of room for parking at its beginning. Walking up is the best way to engage with the site. Despite the early stretch of track being partially littered with dumped rubbish and trees vandalised by illegal firewood cutters, walking is the best mode to discover the promise of this Reserve. Once you get to the rocky crown things change. The promise of natural world beauty and great views is kept.
Beyond the crown the track gives way to rocky open woodland. Follow the fence-line on your right to keep within the boundary of the Reserve. It will return you to the Euroa-Strathbogie Rd at the base of the hill. Take forays to the interior whenever you see something interesting to explore.
Once you get back to the road you have 3 options to return to your beginning point. 1. Return the way you came. 2. Clamber up the rocky slope on the eastern side of the road. 3. Walk up the road itself on the outside of the safety barrier.
Neglected Reserves can be subject to abuse. This little known Reserve is one of those. Infrequently visited by those with good intent, it has fallen victim to abuse by the unobserved. Rubbish dumpers, illegal tree fellers and firewood collectors, more recently those intent on damaging vegetation for dirt biking. On top of this, there is also a Prickly Pear infestation. What can be done?
One answer is to alert environmentally respectful observers and walkers to the natural world beauty of this place. Encourage visitation that promotes conservation, advocacy and discourages the minority who think these places exist only for them to covertly exploit and damage.
Slate grey winter skies Background fat silver lined clouds Rain filled and sun lit Slate grey winter skies Background deep sadness of loss Rain filled and homesick Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
I know I won’t be missing you Because you live in my heart too It’s not about having your body here In my mind you’re everywhere You also reside in a time and space A place of love of ethereal grace That supersedes corporeal and now That’s my commitment and our vow We've shared our lives together as one With room to grow, make our own fun As I watch you go and that time closes I can’t think of what the future poses Yes it hurts, it’s unbearably sad But it’s also a marker of the joy we had Of the pleasure in each other’s company Of everything that will stay with me No matter what becomes of us as an earthly pair Always in my heart you'll be everywhere So rest my darling have a peaceful night Tomorrow we’ll see what comes of light Though parting is near even in plain sight We’ll be together forever come what might
Call it a day when you’ve lost hope There’s new hope tomorrow Again you will cope Call it a day when you are ill perceived When the messages you send Are not well received Call it a day when there’s no one around To help carry your burden To wherever you’re bound Call it a day when your heart is breaking Face losing love Accept the heart aching Call it a day so you don’t perish When those that you care for Have spurned what you cherish Call it a day when you’re emotionally driven Decisions aren’t well informed When emotionally riven Call it a day when you have earned your rest So that come next time You are again at your best Call it a day when you can no longer learn When memory is exhausted And your brain is burned Call it a day when your output is down Not accomplishing much Just one more frown Call it a day when you are feeling angry To avoid big mistakes When harassed and harried Call it a day when you have had enough Call it a day when you are faking tough Call it a day when everything feels rough Call it a day because there are silver linings There’s always tomorrow The sun never stops rising
This week’s d’verse prompt from Ingrid was to compose a poem in the tradition of oral poetry, without putting pen to paper. I found this quite difficult. We were also asked to try adopting a motif and present with regular metre.
I didn’t elect to tell a story as such, more to pass on a wellbeing message consistent with the purpose of handing down oral lessons to future generations.
Good for MTB, hybrid or ebike, this is a 14km loop starting from Strathbogie Township. Head out of town along Euroa – Strathbogie Rd, turn right into Mackrells Rd (dirt), right again into Creek Junction Rd, right again into Spring Creek Rd. The roadsides are heavily treed. The vistas are of the rolling hills and pasture atop the Tableland. It is very pleasant cycling.
Many places I have called home as around the world I roamed. But none so full of joy for me as the Tableland Strathbogie. With mountain forest all around, wetlands, creeks, rills and swamps abound. Native animals can thrive here, Wombat, Platypus we hold dear. Vicforest loggers habitat deprive. We fear wildlife won't survive Koala are less seen today. Bandicoots all but gone away. Greater Gliders still here endure, but our forest is not secure. Conserve and re-wild what is left. Or lose all this to future theft.
This week’s d’verse prompt came from Sannaa. Write a poem using the Korean poetic form Kasa.
If you would like to hear my podcast about local tracks and trails go to the “Shire Tracks and Trails” page / link at the end of the list. It is last, but also the longest. Be prepared for around 8 minutes.
When the cancer came to our house It entered through the back door It snuck around the kitchen Down the stairs and straight into Our parent’s bedroom No one saw it arrive No one knew it was even near No one knew to shed a tear When the cancer came to our house We were blithely oblivious Our father worked away day to day Our mother taught, thought and sought Children came first and learnt without hurt Life was as good as suburban life could When the cancer came to our house The doctor said it wasn’t A young mother said it wouldn’t A young father said it couldn’t And the children had no notion of it at all When the cancer came to our house Our mother’s pain was hard to understand Fatigue and irritability unexpected and unplanned The right way to help couldn’t be defined We’d often not know quite where to stand As she rushed to the toilet or growled as she scanned And we still didn’t know the cancer was at hand When the cancer came to our house An unborn child, sister to siblings Was more important than knowing the findings Was important to the future of life with the wildlings Her death bereft being caught in such bindings When the cancer came to our house It was discovered way to late To deliver our mother from her miserable fate Of dying without respite Of fading from the light Of unbearable pain and strife Of the shameful waste of her precious life For this d'Verse prompt asking us to use "the house" as a subject for our poem, I apologise for breaking the rules. This is not imaginary, but I felt it had to be my response.
When you die and there’s nothing left of you Not a shape Not a thought Not even a negative space How will it be to be so completely deleted? You simply aren’t anymore It doesn't matter not a bit I’ve seen it over and over Dying A body replete Even when critically ill enlivened by ….. something Then a husk deplete Empty Empty of everything Rendering that person regardless of eminence of no consequence What is it to be nothing Universally less than no consequence How can it be that a consciousness Completely Absolutely Resolutely Instantly degrades to nothingness? Nil Null Void The fact of existence confuses us Even more so conscious life tends to make us think we are important When our rational selves are fully aware that the sheer scale of existence reduces us to insignificance This is our lived contradiction Our denial for survival When it doesn’t really make any sense at all Existence will end There was nothing before There will be nothing after There is no purpose to living in between but we do Clutching at a senseless hope for meaning or even something better after It should be enough just to be here for the ride
Winter grass lies flat Colour leached, dull and squat On the cold wet plains Winter's hair lies flat Old follicles grey sparse lost From my cold wet pate Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
She awoke with a raw sense of dread
A cold sweat soaked the sheets of her bed
The sounds that night were not nighttime’s she knew
A hint of smoke contradicted the dew
Shadows danced on the bedroom wall
Where dancing shadows should not be at all
The normal still off white of the paint
Was lively with movement and firelight feint
She fumbled with billowing robe and nightclothes
Tying her robe up tight as she rose
Into a world of self doubt and fright
She stumbled out into the cold of the night
She touched the back of the door to sense any heat Realised she’d no shoes put on her feet Sidestepped and slipped into a pair of sandals As her hand reached out for the frightful handle
When she dared to look through the gap in the door Using light flickering lively onto the floor From her half awake hazy sleep deprived daze She wondered if the place was already ablaze
Further she pushed open the portal
Considered precious life and all that was mortal
Within her tiny flat B number 144
She wondered if she could take the fear anymore
And she listened alert for other clues
Thought about the price of paying her dues
She heard the crackle and pop of combusting wood
Her only thought now to get out if she could
She peered out into a reddish early morning gloom
To an apparently deserted yet eerie lounge room
But there at the side a large shape sat in a chair
Exuding an oppressive weight of despair
The wood fire aglow had strangely been lit It certainly was not her who lit it A monstrous head turned to look into her face An inhuman form by nature disgraced
He had discreetly followed her around town for weeks In peripheral vision never seen when he seeks Creating acute nervousness from endless teases A cat playing with a mouse its tormenting pleases
She knew instantly her time had come
It was not to be as life had begun
No comfort from her mother’s caress
No strength to be found on father’s chest
Hades stood to meet her towering ominously above Leering and smug antithesis of love She resigned herself to the monster’s arms Wishing after horror would come blessed dead calm
In this d’verse challenge https://dversepoets.com/2021/08/03/poetics-persephone/ Sarah asked us to take inspiration from the myth of the abduction of Persephone by Hades. I saw ancient (and not so ancient) patriarchal rituals and modern parallels as I read Sarah’s summation of the story.
Walking anytime is great. Walking during lockdown is even better! As we continue our quest to walk all the roads, tracks and trails of the Tableland, we continue to enjoy the pleasures and surprises of the task. Hills Road made for another pleasant local walk.
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
A pleasing 5km return walk along a rural dirt road to an unexpected roadside tower and back.
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
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
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