Sunday, April 1, 2012

A day in the country

This duck crossing on the main street 
of Marysville made me smile 

Luke and I ventured out of the big city to the little township of Marysville and the alpine resort of Lake Mountain yesterday. It was my first visit to both places, which means I get to cross something else off my list of 101 Things to do Before I'm 40 - i.e. to visit three places in Victoria I've never been before (the others were Castlemaine and Walhalla). Yay for exploring and crossing stuff off. 

After a quick bite in Marysville, we headed off on a 3.4km walk to Steavenson Falls, which is one of the highest waterfalls in Victoria with a drop of 122 metres. (I asked google which waterfall is the state's highest, but got several different answers. Or maybe there are several waterfalls of exactly the same height?)

It was a pleasant walk through bushland which is mostly recovering well after the devastating Black Saturday bushfires swept through the area in February 2009. But such was the ferocity of the flames that many trees were too badly burnt to recover.  There are tall, straight silvery-grey dead trees everywhere you look.

If you didn't know the area was destroyed by fire three years ago, the dead trees are one of the few tell tale signs. The faint smell of charred wood lingers in places too. It was hard not to think about what it would have been like on that horrific day three years ago as we walked along in the autumn sunshine.

Big charred hollow tree

After we got back to the car, we headed for Lake Mountain, which is the closest alpine resort to Melbourne. The Black Saturday fires also ravaged this area and the top of the mountain is covered in a forest of tree skeletons. 

It was very eerie walking through them, especially when the wind rattled the strands of bark hanging from their branches.  It was just the two of us, the wind, and the creaking and rattling of the trees. 

Although it made me sad to see so many dead trees, it was also a strangely beautiful sight, particularly against the backdrop of the grey clouds that moved in as we neared the summit. We could see rain falling in the distance.

We also saw this furry little fella inching along at quite a cracking pace for a caterpillar. 

Fungus growing on a tree in 
Marysville's Gallipoli Park

A leaf on the track to to Steavensons falls - 
strangely moist considering the warm conditions

And here's one of the aforementioned
 road-crossing ducks.

1 comment:

piggywhistles said...

A really interesting post.