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Showing posts from February, 2010

Native trees

Native forest, Gardens of Stone National Park

The pine forest I showed in my last post is not native forest, but this is. It fascinates me, that even though the forests are eucalypts they are so different depending on the variety of eucalypt, take for example the forests here, here and here. They are nothing like this one. But what bugs me is I don't know the names of the different varieties of eucalypts even though I did try quite hard to do so back when I first started this blog some years ago.
Words to walk with:
Native Trees by W.S. Merwin
"Neither my father nor my mother knew
the names of the trees
where I was born
what is that
I asked and my
father and mother did not
hear they did not look where I pointed
surfaces of furniture held
the attention of their fingers
and across the room they could watch
walls they had forgotten
where there were no questions
no voices and no shade

Were there trees
where they were children
where I had not been
I asked
were there trees in those places
where my fathe…

Pine Forest

Newnes State Forest

We are on our way to the Glow Worm Tunnel in the Gardens of Stone National Park, which is part of the the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Words to walk with:
Woods by Noelle Oxenhandler
"I wish to grow dumber,
to slip deep into woods that grow blinder
with each step I take,
until the fingers let go of their numbers
and the hands are finally ignorant as paws.
Unable to count the petals,
I will not know who loves me,
who loves me not.
Nothing to remember,
nothing to forgive,
I will stumble into the juice of the berry, the shag of bark,
I will be dense and happy as fur."


Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls

We have come to the end of this walk.

Words to Walk With:
From Patterns by Judith Wright
"Be my old silence. Be
the place and past and pattern that I know.
Be a loved verse re-read
Before I pick my duties up and go."


By Jamison Creek, Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls
Words to walk with:
From Dark Gift by Judith Wright
"Open, green hand, and give
the dark gift you hold.

Oh wild mysterious gold!
Oh act of passionate love!

Lichen, Moss, Fungus

Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls

Words to walk with:
From Lichen, Moss, Fungus by Judith Wright
"bracket, star, cup, parasol,
gilled, pored, spored, membraned,
white, chestnut, violet, red ...
there spreads an embroidery, ancient
source of the forests."

Falls country

Jamison Creek, Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls

Words to Walk with:
From Falls Country by Judith Wright
I had an Aunt and Uncle
bought up on the Eastern Fall.
They spoke the tongue of the falls-country
sidelong, reluctant as leaves.
Trees were their thoughts;
peppermint-gum, black-salley,
white tea-tree hung over creeks.

Let love not fall from me

On Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls

Words to walk with:
From Prayer by Judith Wright
"Let love not fall from me though I must grow old
To see the words fade on the fading page,
to fell the skin numbing in fold on fold,
the mind and the heart forgetting their holy rage --

oh no, let me run, to the winds agues blow
my cinders red again -- let me tilt and drain
the last drop of my life before I go,
Let the earth's choirs and messengers not sing in vain."

Beside the creek

Jamison Creek, Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls

Words to walk with:
From Beside the Creek by Judith Wright.
Under the wavering water shine the stones,
rounded in ruby-colours and clouded white.
Once I walked barefoot into that cool
never-ceasing flow. I gathered once
pebbles and ripples, the skimming rounds of light,
and took them home.


Jamison Creek, Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls

Words to walk with:
From Wishes by Judith Wright
"What would I wish to be?
I wish to be wise.
From the swamps of fear and greed
free me and let me rise."

The forest path

Above: Tea trees, Darwin's Walk, Wentworth Falls
Below: Tea Tree flower

I am taking you on a Sunday stroll down the first part of Darwin's Walk. Charles Darwin visited Australia in 1836 during his Voyage of the Beagle and walked this track.

We are going to trace Darwin's steps with the words of Judith Wright an Australian poet to accompany us.

Words to Walk With:
From The Forest Path by Judith Wright
"When the path we followed began to tend downwards --
how it came about we hardly now remember --
we followed still, but we did not expect this,
the loss of self ..."

Duck's weather

Wentworth Falls Lake, late morning yesterday

Before we start on our next walk which was on a pleasantly warm sunny day I thought I should make mention of the current weather. It's raining, raining, raining. We've had grey days on and off ever since Christmas but for the past three days it's been pelting down. Up the mountain is completely enveloped in cloud.

February-March are our wettest months but every five or six years it really turns on the tap like now.

Words to walk with:
From Song for The Rainy Season by Elizabeth Bishop
"Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,
beneath the magnetic rock,
rain-, rainbow-ridden,
where blood-black
bromelias, lichens,
owls, and the lint
of the waterfalls cling,
familiar, unbidden.

In a dim age
of water
the brook sings loud
from a rib cage
of giant fern; vapor
climbs up the thick growth
effortlessly, turns back,
holding them both,
house and rock,
in a private cloud."


Farm, Megalong Valley

We leave the valley today.

Words to walk with:
By Emily Dickenson
The grass so little has to do,–
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain,

And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along,
And hold the sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything;

And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine,–
A duchess were too common
For such a noticing.

And even when it dies, to pass
In odors so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.

And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,–
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were the hay.

Wild as our hearts remain

Farm, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
The Last Continent by Les Murray
Where my great-grandfather's dray
Stopped, is a tractor field;
Roads for a thousand miles are sealed
The wild is burnt and fenced away.

Beasts who saw the day of men
Are hunted out, disowned, and killed;
Star cities that we learn to build
Rise on the inner mirage-plain.

Wild as our hearts remain
Earth is no more the wild.
Deeps of the ancient forest day

Are stilled to art, and memory.
High venture sings a rising tune.
The earth gives way to the world.

Bring your own wood

Camping area, Megalong Valley
Be a good citizen and don't go scavenging for sticks to light your campfire, the forest needs them to stay healthy.
Today Wood is the theme for City Daily Photographers. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Words to walk with:
Sleeping in the Forest by Mary Oliver
"I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better."