Selling the Treehouse

After three great years here in my ‘Treehouse’ beside the paperbarks, I have to downsize, spacewise and financially. The extra rooms here and the several car spaces are wasted on me.

I fell in love with here at once, so close to nature as it is, with such great views of the bush, the river and the mountain and with so many lovely bushwalks nearby.

As I have already borrowed to buy a smaller place elsewhere, I am very anxious to sell here as soon as possible. Please take a look and pass on the agent’s link to anyone who may be interested. Click on the photo to see the full listing.

Thanks!

Natural pinks

The glory of a very pink sunset and its reflections in the Camden Haven River were a treat. The deep blue additions seemed like punctuation marks.

Although some of that blue cohort seemed more like questing creatures, hurrying forward against that stunning still backdrop bank of pink.

As the colour faded, their southern rush was echoed by a higher golden compatriot, aiming to leap over the blue bars.

Fanciful?  Yes, but such an ephemeral show invited fancies.  Better than facts at present…

At home the cascades of several varieties of Schlumbergera cacti were showing a fine range of pinks in their abundant flowers, from pearly pales to cyclamen deeps.

I would usually say I don’t actually like pink much, but I applaud these.

Farewell to Wayfarer

At low tide, the rescued boat is unable to float, sitting askew on the mudflats.

It is early morning and the sky and its gentle colours and reflections take all the attention for the moment. But up close, this slanted and stranded boat offers its name as ‘Wayfarer’.  I wonder where it had journeyed as a wayfarer, and if it would again.

Its exposed underside tells me it had sat on the muddy bottom of the river for some time.

Its deck is as colourful as the sky, worthy of contributing to the reflections before the mudflats halt them.

Not that my solo heron minds the low tide; all the better for finding breakfast. 

I then learnt that Wayfarer is to be dragged ashore and broken up; she is not salvageable, having sat for about five years on the bottom. Her masts had already been taken down.

She will definitely no longer go a-wayfaring…

River residents

My recent walk to the river boat ramp offered the surprise of a new resident: a resurrected boat, muddied and somewhat askew, plainly pulled up from a watery depth greater than it was built to inhabit.

From the mangrove edges the more usual resident ducks were heading out through the reflections and ripples, and creating their own silver trails.

As they passed the salvaged boat I thought how much better adapted they were to this   river, to water. It was crippled, useless to do aught but stay afloat: they belonged.

There were actually four of these handsome ducks; I loved the way their reflections paddled with them, double hooked.

I had expected the other inhabitants here to be solo, as was usual. My pelican was indeed the only one on the oyster stacks, but I later realised it had a companion– a shag?

Not sure why I always see solo creatures so often — mirroring me? — but here was my solo seagull, and yes, standing on one leg…

The sole watchful heron picked its delicate way through the exposed mangrove flats as it sought its tucker. And while I have seen more than one seagull or pelican elsewhere, I have not seen multiple herons.

I have taken many photos of Dooragan reflected in the river at all times of day, but to see it reflected in watery mud was new.

As I am moving from here soon, I am relishing all glimpses of the many moods of the river and the mountain…

Sandscapes

A walk along a deserted beach where I will not swim is yet full of delights and surprises.

Here I imagine there was a full mermaid sand sculpture before the tide washed her torso and head away.

But fanciful figures aside, the tide had left many different patterns, like these mountains of the moon.

Unusually, today there were areas where fine shellgrit had been deposited, here highlighted and disrupted by a splayed kelp plant.

And how was this rippling, ruffling pattern produced?

Despite the grittier top layer, the tiny and tinier creatures who live below still made their presence obvious by the balls of sand of varying sizes.

Ephemeral patterns and pleasures for the early riser…

Double-ended drama

I have never been able to choose between sunsets and sunrises as regards beauty and spectacle; they are so different, and each one of them is different from another.

Autumn is a great season for sunsets, as this rather fierce example shows when I look to the south-west, where the sky seems to be on fire.

But face north and that same sunset takes on more delicate hues.

Face straight ahead to Dooragan and gold lights the sky.

And burnishes the gently rippling river.

But on the same day the sun had made its entrance with great promise, if less dramatically.

It soon painted the sky and the sand with a glowing peach gold, while the land was struggling to share some of that light.

Such beauty at both ends of one day!

A free show, if we only look.

Wild weather

With strong winds sending small branches raining down at home, I could hear the surf thundering in the distance and knew it would be a spectacle.

But I hadn’t expected the amount of sea foam that awaited me at the Tuckeroo end of Dunbogan Beach.

The creamy froth had coated the rocks and sand, transforming the usual colour and texture.

The beach itself had been transformed, the high seas cutting into the banks and forging a new rushing stream.

The stream rippled along with each wave, with the yellowish foam edging it like a fancy frill.

Flecks and lines of foam were stranded on the sand, some caught and banked by what the tide had left behind, some blown willy-nilly to roll and dance over the sand.

As soon as I entered the dense bush of Kattang to walk back to the Tuckeroo car park, the surf fell silent, and stillness replaced the wild winds.

But if the sea was all white and cream today, in this weather even the Camden Haven River sported whitecaps and waves.

Always worth venturing out in such weather to see what Nature is up to.

Wattles and wonders

I thought I was looking at gum tree leaves, but in fact it is a wattle — Acacia implexa.

No flowers or seed pods to give me a clue, but what’s in a name with such beautiful leaves?

This decorative and dangly foliage also belongs to a wattle — Acacia vestita.

The weird and wonderful triangular leaves on this wattle caught my eye: Acacia cultriformis. New to me.

Not a wattle, but a standout in its solitude as it erupted amongst crackly lichen, is this small shrub of Western Urn Heath, Melichinus erubescens.

On the ridge top, somehow growing tall and strong amongst rocks, this tree trunk, strikingly silver and grey, presented a single elephantine foot and proud wrinkles as it branched. I am told by my knowledgeable hosts that it is a Scribbly Gum, Eucalyptus rossi.

And if a tree does not choose to have a grey or brown trunk, it can opt for green, with a little help from friendly lichen.

For here the realm of green above all belongs to the mosses and lichens, especially after a good rainy period.

They make a fabulous contrast with the bones of this country — the rocks.

Beyond green

Camping simply and self-sufficiently for a week on a friend’s conservation property was partly healing and partly depressing, as it reiterated to me that this is the way I’d rather live.

Thousands of trees have been raised from seeds and planted here, but just near me was this self-sown grove of young Red Box, which were actually forming almost a mist of blue-green.

Amongst the blue was a surprising amount of delicate pink leaves.

Nearby were stunning trees, Coomber Stringybark, with their pendulous branches of blue leaves. This species is only found in this area west of Rylstone.

There is a lot of mistletoe here, of several species. Try as it might, mistletoe never quite manages to exactly imitate its host tree’s leaves. Apart from the colour, the shape is pretty close on this Stringybark.

This one is less successful in its mimicry.

And if the Red Box chooses pink as the perfect colour opposite to vary their leaf colours, the Angophora Floribunda chooses yellow.

So why are children taught to only colour leaves green?

Due praise

I have a weakness for the beauty of spider webs, especially with early morning dew or mist effects, like this perfect arrangement of diamonds and its central pearl.

Sometimes the web is almost non-existent, as here, but the dewdrops clinging to the stem of this vine were themselves a linear marvel.

And sometimes it is all about the web, preferably backlit, where the complex construction that has taken place overnight is shown to full advantage, to receive due praise from me.

Big Hill sunrise

The short Big Hill walk is the only one here, so I head past the beach to climb that and hopefully see out to the sunrise, of which I can see delicate flushes already.

It is still half dark on the walk, and the trees arching over the track make it even dimmer. I had needed a torch when I set out.

The sea winds have shaped the cliffside forest into slanting sideways for  survival.

But then I emerge on to a side of the Hill where the sunrise can be seen through the dark trees.

There is low cloud limiting the sun’s visible rise, but it makes a beautiful bright contrasting glow with the grey sea and the dark cliff.

Before this loop walk leaves the sea to head down through the rainforest, I marvel at the rugged nature of the shore here. Steep and forbidding.

I come out the other end of the loop at the bottom of the Big Hill into brighter daylight, to find a lone Pandanus tree (Pandanus tectorius) propped on its stick legs, its unripe ‘breadfruit’ looking somehow inappropriately tropical.

Paperbarks and pandanus…

Swans and supper-singing birds…

Melaleuca moments

At Melaleuca Campground, apart from its waterbirds, Limeburners Creek itself holds beauty in its reflections and varying channels and flows.

Not surprisingly, the Melaleucas or paperbarks were the main trees, often being embraced by what I assume were a variety of Strangler Fig.  Embraced — or throttled?

Other trees were closely held by vines, some almost as thick as the tree itself.

One tree species profusely flowering at the time was Alphitonia excelsa, Red Ash or Soap Tree.

Near the base of one was this eye-catching brightly fruiting plant, which I am told is a native mistletoe, Amylotheca dictyophleba.

Not a plant, but of an unusual colour for me, was this large Lace Monitor.  I know their colours vary, but I have never seen such yellow bands before. There were many of the familiar black and cream and spotted goannas or monitors at the camp, often four at a time lazing or waddling along the creekside or over the grass. 

They didn’t bother me, although I kept the side door of the van shut when they were about, since they climb; a panicked goanna inside the van would be no joke…

They seemed to have set times to take their turn; they would all disappear and small birds would arrive, the dainty little wrens hopping about so swiftly they seemed like leaves being blown over the grass.

Never a time without some wildlife to watch or notice; what a treat!