from lakeview lookout
This scene shows Lake Bellfield at the Northern end of Gariwerd. If you look carefully you will see a small settlement and caravan park on the creek below the wall of the dam. Three years ago we stayed in a house there and each morning I would walk with Charlie up to the dam and along the top of the wall. This is where Charlie saw her first deer and I was amazed her genetic imprint immediately knew what they were and what she was supposed to do with them. IT took all my strength to restrain her.
softens the landscape
Swinging around this scene looks down towards Halls Gap, where only a year ago Charlie enjoyed many short walks around the town and became slightly used to seeing Kangaroos up close. Legend has it 2 old blokes walk up from the town to this lookout and back down again every day. I did not see them but quite a few other walkers were struggling on fairly even surfaces.
safe for now
Deer are not native to Australia. Along with many other birds, animals and insects they were introduced by the British invaders mainly for nostalgia, hunting or to eradicate some other introduced species. The first deer were brought from India early in the C19th and released for hunting. Unfortunately they moved quickly into mountainous areas like the Alps in North East and East Victoria and NSW and at Gariwerd in Western Victoria and bred like rabbits. This is a real Monarch of the Glen scene ironical that it is in the Grampians, ( Gariwerd) as named by the early Scottish explorer Mitchell . Deer do quite a deal of damage to the foliage and topsoil in the mountains. However cattle and sheep have destroyed much more of the country since their introduction. Usually deer are timid and flee as they are not guaranteed longevity in national parks. I was amazed at the apparent tameness of this one only about 10 metres from us on a walking track. It was difficult to see him against the foliage, other people walked past us and did not see the deer. He was in the creek and enjoying a rub down against the tree. I think he is beautiful and do hope he is safe.
The Laughing Kookaburra is a large kingfisher. They are renowned for catching and eating snakes and other reptiles as well as other bird fledglings. They have a loud and slightly chilling call that sounds like a mad person cackling, hence the name. They are quite fearless of people , security coming from being near the top of the food chain. This bird was sitting beside a walking track in the national park I took early one morning. I suspect it was watching for breakfast.
seeking tasty ferns
A certain indicator of the drought was the small number of kangaroos around Halls Gap township at the northern end of Gariwerd national park. We were up here at the same time last year and there were mobs of kangaroos everywhere. On the property where we stayed there were over 100 roos. Walking Charlie was challenging then as her hunting instincts were aroused everywhere we went. This year I saw 6 roos at the same property. At Halls Gap the kangaroos have come into the town to eat watered grass and for drinking. This large male was beside a bush track and ignored me. People have to always be wary of large males especially in the mating season.
gazing at themselves
This creek was running after rain storms crossed Gariwerd last Wednesday and Thursday. The drought was not broken but the wildlife responded quickly.
lifted from the earth
This is my contribution to RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 88 Lift & Plan. See many more creative interpretations of these challenge words as haiku at https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-88-liftplan/
Last week I was able to walk in the these ancient mountains and will post more haiku/images in the next couple of days.
Gariwerd to the Djab warring and Jardwadjali people for thousands of years, named The Grampians by a C19th Scottish explorer, now a Victorian national park and again known as Gariwerd. This mountain range was formed around 500 million years ago in a tectonic collision and then re shaped in another about 400 million years later.
See my post from an earlier visit to Gariwerd at https://haikuhound.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/gariwerd/