time passed slowly
older family memories
never slip away
My wife Jill and her brother Murray now own this house which was originally built by their great great grandfather in the 1860’s. At this time one of the most productive gold mining areas in the world had developed in the area around the house and in surrounding valleys and was known as the Bendigo gold mine fields in Victoria Australia. The house was built by hand from mud bricks sourced from a nearby stream. Three generations of the family grew up here before it was finally leased for a while then left uninhabited until Jill’s family re-discovered it in the late 1960’s. Jill’s family spent hundreds of hours across many years repairing the mud brick walls and interior. We have enjoyed many picnics at the house and explored the flora of the surrounding area . A regional park adjoins the property and we wander out the back and through the remnants of the once bustling, prosperous gold fields observing nature and taking written records and photos..
Walking the track out the back of our house in Bendigo is one of our favourite places. There is a small remaining pocket of ground where native orchids still flourish from Winter across into early Spring. These beautiful tiny plants were much more abundant everywhere in this area of The Bendigo Regional Park. However 2 severe wild fire burn offs by the State Government authorities during the last decade has all but eliminated Orchids now except in our special place that lies just at the edge of the burnt areas. We have an impressive photographic record of native orchids from this entire area dating back to the 1970’s, including a couple of species that we have not seen for 30 years. Each year we return with hope and cameras. Both these photos are taken at the same spot on the track. Charlie was trusted off lead in her mature years however Maggie must wait a while before she wanders the track independently.
Maggie has visited the bush behind our house in the Bendigo regional Park twice now. We will not let her off the lead for some time as she becomes overwhelmed with the new scents , noises and visual distractions.
We have been up to Bendigo in Central Victoria looking for the early Spring blossoms and flowers. Wattle is the first significant sign of early Spring . Usually we find Orchids have begun flowering, however this year they seem to be much later. Maggie had her first experience at our house with large yard on the edge of Bendigo Regional Park. She had a lot of off lead fun in the yard but strictly on lead in the bush for a year or two.
Roaming around in the bush near Bendigo was one of Charlie’s happiest experiences. Having just missed a wallaby once she was always on the lookout however we were more careful before the lead came off. There were always many different scents both on the wind and the ground. Occasionally we would come across a prospector with a metal detector, people walking dogs or themselves and plenty of motor bike and 4X4 tyre marks.
One of our many native bees doing its thing on a Bendigo Wax Flower. One of the many joys of Spring.
This is my contribution to the 52 week PHOTO CHALLENGE, with ZIG ZAG this weeks word challenging a talented group of photographers from across the globe. Visit this challenge at https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/photo-challenge/ and find this weeks sharing on Wild Daffodil’s Home page.
On our last walk in the Bendigo Regional Park two weeks ago where Charlie loved to roam we began to discover the early signs of Spring, mainly the first native Orchids, other small indigenous plants in flower, Bendigo Wax Flower , Wattles blooming and increasing bird activity. These images show from top, a curious Dusky Wood Swallow, a small plant yet to be identified and a beautiful native orchid that we think is a Blue Caladenia. Both these flowers are about the size of the tip of your little finger. I was only carrying my 150-500 telephoto for birds so the flowers are captured macro style on 500 at a distance of about 2 metres, something I had not tried before.
This is my contribution to the 52 week PHOTO CHALLENGE, with RICH this weeks word challenging a talented group of photographers from across the globe. Visit this challenge at https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/photo-challenge/ and find this weeks sharing on Wild Daffodil’s Home page.
This bush track on the outskirts of Golden Square near Bendigo was a busy dirt street in a gold mining community during the 1860’s. These pictures were taken during Charlie’s last visit to Bendigo in September 2015. Charlie loved travelling to Bendigo, exploring the bush and protecting her house and yard there. In fact when we packed to come home Charlie would indicate she wanted to stay, (every time). None of us knew this day that it was to be her last visit.
Charlie enjoyed life and was looking for new adventures, sometimes very silly ones, every day. The first image shows her playing grab with a fisherman’s glove picked up on the beach. She would collect and bring home an array of items such as this glove and especially fluffy and other abandoned pram rejected toys . The second image has her learning petanque a game she adapted to quite easily but soon tired of and the third picture demonstrates the intensity of skink hunting at Bendigo, a pursuit that could occupy her for long periods of time. Skinks are small lizards about 3-4 centimetres long and .5 wide. I cannot remember her ever catching one but that did not detract from the pleasure of the game.
Charlie has battled a series of health issues across the last six months. There are glimpses of possible stability on good days when the temperature stays below 30 oC. This is a haiku for Charlie. As the image shows new challenges have to be overcome. Upon climbing these steps she promptly hurled herself off them, that was a couple of years ago. On a recent visit in September here to our house in Bendigo she did climb the stairs again, but gently walked down again. She loves visiting here and any followers of our blog will see other posts showing Charlie out in the bush behind this house.