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Home end

And we end this trip with a view from Kings Tableland at the home end of the track. Tomorrow you will find me over at Sweet Wafaring.  Please follow me over there as I don't expect to be posting in this journal again until the New Year.

Eighty Percent

Down below the lookout is this great and unexpected view of Lake Burragorang - Sydney's water supply now at a 80 percent full - how good is that.


Here it is in May 2009 - 58 percent full



And in March 2007 during the drought, a scary 34 percent.



Lake Burragorang from McMahon’s Lookout

What are they looking at?

Now for the other reason for this trip. There was another family we rescued a little further up the track.  Tiring of the bumps they had pulled over to sneak a peak and got themselves bogged in the sand so we towed them out.  What is this family looking at?  I will show you tomorrow.



The King

Hail to Waratah - King of the bush flowers.  Waratah - Telopea speciosissima 

Looking for the King 10 - The Queen

Flannel flower - Actinotus helianthi. We've found the Queen and her ladies in waiting doesn't she look just lovely. Tomorrow we have an audience with the King.

Looking for the King 9 - Guard

I think everyone it getting a little tired that the King is proving so elusive.  Here we have a guard standing tall - whew we have reached the gates of the palace! Grass Tree - Xanthorrhoea

Looking for the King 8 - Fireworks

Smoke bush, Coral Heath and Matchheads. The celebrations begin with fireworks.

Australian wildflowers are often not head turners, you have to stop and look at them in their tiny detail to really appreciate their beauty.

Looking for the King 7 - Blue Bloods

The blue bloods are gathering with their funny hats and some red blood for good measure -  yep we are getting closer.   Spade flowers - Hybanthus  monopetalus, Blue Dampiera, bloodwood (maybe)


I find the single petaled spade flowers quite intriguing in their oddness ... a bit like the fascination with Princess Beatrice's odd hat at the wedding.

Looking for the King 6 - The bishop

Mitre Flower - Mitrasacme polymorpa, Golden Glory Pea - Gompholobium, Common Fringe Myrtle - Calytrix tetragona . I see bishop, gold and diamonds ... surely the king is near. 
The mitre flowers are so named because the buds are the shape of a bishop's hat.   I was lucky enough to get a bud in the photo, these flowers are really tiny.


Looking for the King 5 - Drums and trumpets

Drumsticks - Isopogon and Common Heath - Epacris Impressa. There are drums and trumpets leading the parade
These two are old friends I am always happy to welcome. The symmetry of the drumsticks please me and the delicate beauty and resilience of the heath flowers delight me.



Looking for the King 4 - Flags

Purple Flag Iris - Patersonia.  The flags are flying to welcome the King. 
These particularly amuse me because I was really fascinated the first time I noticed them, only to discover they appear all over the mountains.   I must have been walking around with my eyes closed for 15 years.

Looking for the King 3 - Crowd

There is a crowd gathering for a spring parade, the King must be this way.  Unknown flower, Rice flower - Pimelea,  Smokebush (I think). 
The diversity of bush flowers never ceases to amaze me.  Each year I welcome the ones I have seen before as old friends and puzzle over the new ones, hoping to one day work out their name. 

Looking for the King 2 - Coronets

We will have to keep looking.  These little coronets are much too small for the King.  Pink Buttons - Kunzea capitata

 Nonetheless. there flowers are a particular favourite of mine. A pretty shrub but even lovlier close up.

Looking for the King 1 - Dressing up

Hairpin Banksia - Banksia Spinolus. Last time I took you out on this road was May 2009, in the autumn when these would have been in their youthful beauty.  Unlike the spring flowers they are fading. I like to think there is beauty in aging. Let's pin up our hair and dress up smart ... we are off the meet the king.

Kings Tableland Road

Here we go bump bumping our way along 20 kms of dirt road - Kings Tableland Road - the perfect place for us to be looking for the King of bush flowers.  Come let's go find him.

Graveyard

Near the ruin I showed you yesterday there is this graveyard.  I wonder what stories there are to tell from this rural property.

That's the end of this trip.  I'm going to take you on a new drive in the Blue Mountains starting tomorrow.

Ruin

Near the farmhouse there was this ruin, it looks quite special with the trees at their fresh spring best.

Farmhouse

I have noticed this farmhouse on other trips along this road.  It looks so picture perfect in this setting especially with the grass so lush and green.

Old house again

Here is the little house we saw on the drive up as it appears on the way down.

At the top

We are on our way back down now.  Here's the view from the top.

State forest

We are climbing up into the forest country now.

Theme day: Fences

Today is theme day so I am taking a short diversion from our current trip.
Over the years I've taken photos of dozens of fences because they are one of my recurring themes.  I decided to pick my favourite from each of my blogs.
Bluemountainsjournal: Web on fence post, Lawson (my home town)

Whistlersrest: Kookaburra on barbed wire fence (at our rural retreat)
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wildlife

We saw a couple of goannas crossing the road but I was a bit too slow get a photograph of them.  Then a bit later saw this echidna, again I just about missed the shot.  You can see a better one that I got recently over at Whistlers Rest.

Old house

Isn't this an cute little old house.  I wonder if anyone ever used that bath out there?

Tufts

The grass grows in tufts around here.

Rocks and trees

In this country there are pagoda rock formations and native cypress trees mixed among the usual eucalypts.

A mountain

It's pretty country and so green at the moment.  I don't know of the mountain in front is Nullo Mountain.

Road to Nullo Mountain

We decided to take a Sunday afternoon drive to Nullo Mountain.  The Nullo Mountain State Forest borders on Wollemi National Park which is part of the greater Blue Mountains National Park.

Lunch and home

And we reach the end of this series - we found a warm coffee shop for a bowl of soup before taking the ride back home.

Lithgow 4 of 4

That's the Lithgow Flash - Marjorie Jackson - winner of 4 Commonwealth Games gold medals, winner of 2 Olympic gold medals,  the first Australian women to be credited with a world record.

Lithgow 3 of 4

We've arrived. Let's go find some lunch.

Lithgow 2 of 4

That's the old blast furnace, a great spot for photography.  I posted a series on Sweet Wayfaring last year.

Lithgow 1 of 4

After the last of the tunnels we reach the outskirts of Lithgow, a small industrial city.  You can see its heritage in these worker type cottages.

Tunnels

The train goes through a series of ten tunnels on its descent.

Zig-Zag

That's part of the old zig-zag that was used to get trains up and down the mountain in the past.  They run steam trains for tourists on that line these days.