Sunday, 30 November 2008

The carnival is over


Something new tomorrow.

Words to walk with:
From The Carnival is Over sung by The Seekers in 1965
"Say goodbye my own true lover
As we sing a lovers song
How it breaks my heart to leave you
Now the carnival is gone
High above the dawn is waiting
And my tears are falling rain
For the carnival is over
We may never meet again"

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Are the times changing?


There are times around here when I think we forget the 1970s are over.

Words to walk with:
From The Times They Are A-Changin' by Bob Dylan
"If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Bric a brac


Bric a brac. Is that a polite word for junk? There is lots of it at the market.

Words to walk with:
Definition of Bric a brac in Wikipedea
"The term bric-à-brac (origin French) was first used in the Victorian era.
It referred then to collections of curios such as elaborately decorated teacups and small vases, feathers, wax flowers under glass domes, eggshells, statuettes, painted miniatures or photographs, and so on ... Bric-à-brac nowadays refers to a selection of items of low value, often sold in street markets.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Clowning about


The clown peeping over the picture frame, reminds me of the whimsical foo cartoons we used to draw as kids -- a bald headed man looking over a wall.

Words to walk with:
Acrobats by Robert Graves
Poised impossibly on the high tightrope of love
in spite of all,
They still preserve their dizzying balance
And smile this way or that,
As though uncertain on which side to fall.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Arts and craft


Arts and crafts people and gardeners abound, with a special emphasis on recycling and organic.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Spirituality


With a magnificent pristine natural environment embracing our city it's not surprising to find a deep spiritual response in the community. There are a plethora of approaches from Christian centres to retreats and practitioners of a broad range of alternative religions and therapies. Here's a small sample from the public notices in this week's Blue Mountains Gazette -- Reiki, Crystal light bed healing, Bowen therapy, reflexology, clairvoyant, hypnotherapy, ka huna energy healing, spiritual readings, tai chi, dream analysis.

Words to walk with:
My period had come for Prayer by Emily Dickinson
My period had come for Prayer—
No other Art—would do—
My Tactics missed a rudiment—
Creator—Was it you?

God grows above—so those who pray
Horizons—must ascend—
And so I stepped upon the North
To see this Curious Friend—

His House was not—no sign had He—
By Chimney—nor by Door
Could I infer his Residence—
Vast Prairies of Air

Unbroken by a Settler—
Were all that I could see—
Infinitude—Had'st Thou no Face
That I might look on Thee?

The Silence condescended—
Creation stopped—for Me—
But awed beyond my errand—
I worshipped—did not "pray"—

Monday, 24 November 2008

Lavender


It's hard to believe we are just one week away from Summer. This weekend it has been very cold with some sort of freak wind blowing its way up from the Antarctic. I've just taken a look at the Weather Bureau website -- our normal November temperature is a balmy 20 C (68 F). Yesterday it was below 5 C (41 F) with snow falling in the upper mountains. So I am sitting here with a log fire burning.

Fortunately, last weekend was bright and sunny for the Love Lawson Festival market day. I took my camera along to give you a taste of our local colour.

Words to walk with:
From the children's nursery rhyme Lavender's Blue
"Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,
Lavender's green.
When you are King, dilly dilly,
I shall be Queen.

Who told you so, dilly dilly,
Who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly,
That told me so."

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The end of the road


The bush track winds down the slope and comes to a surprise dead end at open farmland. And this is the end of this trek, I'll start on something new tomorrow.

Words to walk with:
The Road and the End by Carl Sandburg
"I shall foot it
Down the roadway in the dusk,
Where shapes of hunger wander
And the fugitives of pain go by.
I shall foot it
In the silence of the morning,
See the night slur into dawn,
Hear the slow great winds arise
Where tall trees flank the way
And shoulder toward the sky.

The broken boulders by the road
Shall not commemorate my ruin.
Regret shall be the gravel under foot.
I shall watch for
Slim birds swift of wing
That go where wind and ranks of thunder
Drive the wild processionals of rain.

The dust of the traveled road
Shall touch my hands and face."

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ferny place


Along the road we came across this ferny place. I used to tell my little nieces that when they walked through a ferny dell they became fairies until midday. We had wonderful fairy times together. Why the noon rule? To give their aunty a rest!

I loved fairies as a little girl who learnt the words below in my elocution lessons. This short piece seemed soooo long when I was seven.

Words to walk with:
From Peter and Wendy by J.M Barrie
"A moment after the fairy’s entrance the window was blown open by the breathing of the little stars, and Peter dropped in. He had carried Tinker Bell part of the way, and his hand was still messy with the fairy dust.
“Tinker Bell,” he called softly, after making sure that the children were asleep, “Tink, where are you?” She was in a jug for the moment, and liking it extremely; she had never been in a jug before.
“Oh, do come out of that jug, and tell me, do you know where they put my shadow?”
The loveliest tinkle as of golden bells answered him. It is the fairy language. "


Friday, 21 November 2008

Silence


Kanimbla Valley road branches off the to the West from Shipley's plateau. It is a pretty drive with lovely trees and tall rocks in the quiet of the bush.

Words to walk with:
Silence by Thomas Hood
"There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave—under the deep, deep sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hush’d—no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox or wild hyæna calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan—
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.



Thursday, 20 November 2008

Look down


Looking down from Hargreaves Lookout towards the South there is a walk that goes out to the end of the ridge. I was feeling a little too tired to clamber among the rocks (and too tired to find a poem tonight).

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The East


And this shows something of the view to the east from Hargreaves lookout.

Words to walk with:
From The Ballad of East and West by Rudyard Kipling
"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho' they come from the ends of the earth!"

Its a long poem -- click on the link above to read the full story.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The West



Hargreaves lookout is a the end of Shipley's Plateau road. To the west is a view of the farmland beyond the mountains. To the east is the view over Megalong Valley to the cliffs of the mountains. This is the view to the west.


Monday, 17 November 2008

Wild flowers



Being spring, I have written a lot about wild flowers recently. I think this and yesterday's image put them in perspective. They are not in great swathes or an abundant show but more like a spinkle of little flowers on the sandy soil. In this picture you can see white smoke bush, pink kunzea and blue dampiera, each one beautiful in their detail (click on the links to see them close up).

Words to walk with:
From Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fret not


The next run of photos were taken on a Sunday drive along Shipley Plateau out from Blackheath. The shots aren't too good but with limited time to get out and about I have to go with what I get.

It is tiresome and tiring driving 100kms (60 miles) each way to work each day but I am trying not to fret and instead enjoy the hours of peaceful contemplation it gives to me.

Words to walk (and drive) with:
Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room by William Wordsworth
"Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison, unto which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found."

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Rolls Royce


Old cars often travel in fleets over the mountains. We caught this one up a Mount Victoria the other week when we were stopping by at the Bay Tree Tea Rooms for lunch.

Words to walk with:
From Sprawl by Les Murray
"Sprawl is the quality
of the man who cut down his Rolls-Royce
into a farm utility truck, and sprawl
is what the company lacked when it made repeated efforts
to buy the vehicle back and repair its image.

Sprawl is doing your farm work by aeroplane, roughly,
or driving a hitchhiker that extra hundred miles home.
It is the rococo of being your own still centre.
It is never lighting cigars with ten dollar notes:
that's idiot ostentation and murder of starving people.
Nor can it be bought with the ash of million dollar deeds."

Friday, 14 November 2008

Waratahs for sale


At this time of year I always keep my eye out for waratahs flowering in the bush. But for something different this year here is a photo of waratah blooms for sale at the Blackheath festival recently.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Feed the heart


And at the top these new old man banksias growing up for their summer display.

Words to Walk with:
From Who Walketh Wonder Shod by Dame Mary Gilmore
"Feed the mind and feed the heart,
Fill thy life and wonder!
Wonder binds, and, though all part,
Naught there is can sunder.
Wonder is the word of God
Spoken in the soul,
He who walketh wonder shod
Walketh not in dole."

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Feed the mind


Up the stairs, after a bit of huffing and puffing I was back at the top on the sandy track where I found these pink kunzea flowers. Aren't they lovely.

Words to walk with:
From Who Walketh Wonder Shod by Dame Mary Gilmore
"Feed the mind, feed the mind,
Feed the mind with wonder!
Feel the marvel of the wind,
Th' astonishment of thunder;
Find enigma in the grass,
Splendours in the dew,
Till all things shall, as in a glass,
Show the glory through."

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Rememberance


And the trees are way up there, back up the stairs. Sigh.

Today is Remembrance Day. I have a photo showing three of my great uncles in their uniforms going off to World War 1. They were tall country boys fresh from the tall forested mountains of Victoria heading off to the fields of Egypt and France. We can now search the World War 1 archives on the web, I found details of their postings, their wounds and their mother's anxious enquiries about their welfare. One did not return.

Words to walk with:
Glory of Women by Siegfried Sasoon
You love us when we're heroes, home on leave,
Or wounded in a mentionable place.
You worship decorations; you believe
That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace.
You make us shells. You listen with delight,
By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed.
You can't believe that British troops 'retire'
When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run,
Trampling the terrible corpses - blind with blood.
O German mother dreaming by the fire,
While you are knitting socks to send your son
His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The whole view


Here is the full length view of Cataract Falls -- hardly a cataract. I think we are often better off with a limited view, even though it annoys us.

Words to walk with:
From The Future by Les Murray
"There is nothing about it. Much science fiction is set there
but it is not about it. Prophecy is not about it.
It sways no yarrow stalks. And crystal is a mirror.
Even the man we nailed on a tree for a lookout
said little about it; he told us evil would come.
We see by convention, a small living distance into it
but even that's a projection. And all our projections
fail to curve where it curves."

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Contemplating


It is so good to have the weekends to revive for the week to follow.

Words to Walk With:
Work and Contemplation by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole;
She thinketh of her song, upon the whole,
Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel
Is full, and artfully her fingers feel
With quick adjustment, provident control,
The lines-too subtly twisted to unroll -
Out to a perfect thread. I hence appeal
To the dear Christian Church-that we may do
Our Father's business in these temples mirk,
Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong;
While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue
Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work
The better for the sweetness of our song.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Cataract Falls


And here's the waterfall.

Words to Walk With:
From The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey
"The Cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging
As if a war waging
Its caverns and rocks among:
Rising and leaping,
Sinking and creeping,
Swelling and sweeping,
Showering and springing,
Flying and flinging,
Writhing and ringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting,
Around and around
With endless rebound!"

Friday, 7 November 2008

Damp, ferny, mossy


Down the steps it's a different world -- damp, ferny and mossy with the sound of babbling water. The waterfall is just around this corner.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Next steps


After the smooth sandy path comes the steps. Down, down, down to the cool green place of falling waters below. Most of the steps are pretty rough and ready so I pick my way down them carefully, though I am amazed to sometimes see men jogging these tracks.

Words to Walk With:
The Serinity Prayer attributed to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr has been adopted by Alchoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs but a good one for us all.
"God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference."

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Sandy track


Most walking tracks in the mountains start with a relatively easy stroll through the open forest. Here it is sandy so plants have to work harder to thrive in the impoverished soil. But what an amazing display this struggle against advertisity delivers. In addition to the list I provided last week, I saw hardenbergia, grevillias, mitrasacme, tea tree, dampiera, lambertia and is this is by no means all.

Words to Walk With:
Romans 5:4 from the Holy Bible New International Version
"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Anticipation


I decided to go back to the Lawson waterfall walk again this weekend, choosing to start at the other end of the track. Not far down the path there is a glimpse of what is to come, a peek at Cateract Falls.

Words to Walk with:
From Anticipation by Emily Bronte
"A thoughtful spirit taught me, soon,
That we must long till life be done;
That every phase of earthly joy
Must always fade, and always cloy:

This I foresaw - and would not chase
The fleeting treacheries;
But, with firm foot and tranquil face,
Held backward from that tempting race,
Gazed o'er the sands the waves efface,
To the enduring seas - ;
There cast my anchor of desire
Deep in unknown eternity;
Nor ever let my spirit tire,
With looking for what is to be!"

Monday, 3 November 2008

Journal keeping

One the highway at Falconbridge there is an unusual pond at the side of the road. Unusual in that it doesn't seem to be water storage for the old steam trains and is filled with water lilies which flower at this time of year. I've often meant to stop and take a photo and did so this weekend.

It is impossible to think of Waterlilies and the Blue Mountains without thinking of Kate Llewellyn's Blue Mountains Journal titled The Waterlily. This journal, which I read soon after arriving here, delighted me as it captures life here so well and many years later inspired me to create this photo journal.

Words to Walk with:
From The Waterlily by Kate Llewellyn.
"When I came to live in the mountains I was determined to be happy. Sparrows were pecking the pale green and white shoots of the tree outside the kitchen as I made the first cup of tea for the day. I looked at them, watching them pull up their feathers and decided to write a journal."

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Marked by


Back near the top I saw this post, once part of the track signage. It is marked by fire, an ever present threat during the heat of summer. Marked by decay, maintenance of over 200 tracks is a challenge. Marked by time, the Lawson track was begun in the 1870s.

Writing this got me thinking about what marks life.

Words to walk with:
It is not growing like a tree by Ben Jonson
"It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night—
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

The finch and the tree


Because I had sat thinking so long at Adelina Falls I didn't finish the waterfall circuit. Instead I retraced my steps. At the viewing point about half way up you can't see much of the falls because the trees have grown too high but I used it as a good spot to take a breather -- to listen to the falling water and the calls of the birds. To my delight I saw a small bird with a red beak -- a finch which I haven't seen for ages. As usual, too slow with my camera so I took this shot of the fresh new red gum tips instead.

Words to walk with:
The tree by Anne Finch (1661-1720)
"Fair tree! for thy delightful shade
'Tis just that some return be made;
Sure some return is due from me
To thy cool shadows, and to thee.
When thou to birds dost shelter give,
Thou music dost from them receive;
If travellers beneath thee stay
Till storms have worn themselves away,
That time in praising thee they spend
And thy protecting pow'r commend.
The shepherd here, from scorching freed,
Tunes to thy dancing leaves his reed;
Whilst his lov'd nymph, in thanks, bestows
Her flow'ry chaplets on thy boughs.
Shall I then only silent be,
And no return be made by me?
No; let this wish upon thee wait,
And still to flourish be thy fate.
To future ages may'st thou stand
Untouch'd by the rash workman's hand,
Till that large stock of sap is spent,
Which gives thy summer's ornament;
Till the fierce winds, that vainly strive
To shock thy greatness whilst alive,
Shall on thy lifeless hour attend,
Prevent the axe, and grace thy end;
Their scatter'd strength together call
And to the clouds proclaim thy fall;
Who then their ev'ning dews may spare
When thou no longer art their care,
But shalt, like ancient heroes, burn,
And some bright hearth be made thy urn."