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

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