These trees are in the Gariwerd National park in Western Victoria in Australia. This is an ancient mountain range formed millions of years ago through geological upheaval. The forests are also ancient and regenerate after regular fires usually caused by lightning but occasionally by humans. For thousands of years, we are not sure how many, but possibly 30-40,000 at least, Indigenous Australians lived within these ranges and respected the flora and fauna. There are many thousands of years old rock art galleries sharing the culture of the Indigenous people throughout Gariwerd. Rock art sites are still occasionally discovered by current scientists that indicates the wild nature of some sections of this area . The haiku in this Haibun is a response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #273 Forest&Whisper go to https://ronovanwrites.com/2019/09/30/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-273-forestwhisper/#comments and see lots of other haiku responses to this challenge from Ronovan.
Recently we visited the Grampians / Gariwerd National Park North West of Melbourne for the annual first weekend in October Spring native wildflowers exhibitions. At Pomonal the local members of the Society for Growing Australian Native Plants display flowering specimens cut from local bush gardens. These plants represent the Spring flowering plants of Southern Australia. At Halls Gap the Friends of Grampians/Gariwerd National Park display the range of flowering plants found across the park. Rangers collect specimens in the days before this weekend from the park and the friends prepare the display.
We have now regularly visited these displays across the last 12 years and always look forward to the concentrated displays of colour and the aroma of nectar. Because Maggie was with us we could not get out into the tracks of the park looking for flowering plants in their natural environments.
These 3 images are from open gardens at the Pomonal display.
The Sulphur crested Cockatoos at Brambuk Indigenous Centre near Halls Gap in Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park insist on sharing food on the outside terrace with visitors. Anyone who ignores their advances is quickly abused and intimidated, the trick is to drip feed them crumbs while you enjoy the food and ambience of the setting. This particular Cockie walked around the table and had to be pushed away while I ate my cake. Upon cleaning up the crumbs he picked up the spoon with his beak and threw it upon the decking screeching something unpleasant in Cockie speak. I thought this was an ideal photo sequence with an added haiku after seeing Ronovan’s Post, Word of the week Imprecation at https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/word-of-the-week-imprecation/
When we recently visited Gariwerd/Grampians National Park most of our planned walking days looked like this. The atmosphere was so different and the ancient connections of the original Indigenous people became more of a presence on these days. One looks for the old people to wander out of the mist and continue along on their pathways as they did right here for thousands and thousands of years until the British arrived in the 1830’s.
Jill and I visited the Grampians/Gariwerd region recently, particularly Pomonal and Halls Gap to see the special displays, visit open gardens and look in the wild for specimens to photo. Here is a small selection of current flowering native plants we saw in the first two but not in the National Park. The weather did not co-operate for the latter part of the plan. The colours, variety and perfumes are amazing.