About sean@bogie

Life has value when you choose to be interested and active.

Strathbogie – Mt Wombat Cycling Return

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.

Nagambie Heritage Photo Gallery

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.

The Photograph

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/

Garden Range Pocket Flora & Fauna Reserve, Euroa

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.

Period Homes of Nagambie

In between lockdowns I got to do a thorough tour of Nagambie township in north central Victoria. I was struck by the diverse examples of housing stock from across the past 150 years. I always find domestic dwellings and their gardens interesting, so I naturally found myself busy with the camera.

Parting

 
 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

Silver linings
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.

https://dversepoets.com/2021/08/31/poetics-oral-poetry/

Mackrells – Spring Creek Loop, Strathbogie Cycling

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.

Conservation Kasa

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.

https://dversepoets.com/2021/08/17/poetics-exploring-the-realm-of-korean-literature-first-stop-seoul/#comment-307838

My StoryTowns podcast

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.

https://www.strathbogiestory.com/story-towns?fbclid=IwAR0nJc-l5xbk-kp8ZrJg48ImTnUodCMPOr3lHLVMNqbIFXwRpXmoDw3xP2A

Cancer House

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. 

https://dversepoets.com

Fatalism

 
 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
  
  
  
   

Hades begets Persephone

 
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.

Hills Road, Strathbogie Tableland

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.

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