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.
Mount Fuji seen from across Lake Hakone. At the top of that wooded mountain in the middle foreground one looks down across a valley to the city of Gotemba nestled at the base of Fuji and then your eyes are drawn upwards to the majesty of that Japanese icon. More images of that view at sunset will come.
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.
As we followed the fox prints across Norman Beach at Wilson’s Promontory National Park Jill spotted this dead and partly decomposed Yellow Bellied Sea Snake. The fox had clearly decided not to snack on it and soon the body would have been taken out by the tide. WE have never seen one of these snakes. They generally drift on the warmer South Pacific currents and live, feed and die on the water right across the Pacific Ocean. They rarely reach the colder Southern coast of the mainland or Tasmania. There had been some storms in the Tasman Sea in April and probably this poor little snake was churned around and dragged down into colder waters leading to its death.
As we were walking along the Norman Bay beach near Tidal River in the National park we stopped to observe and photograph some feathers embedded in the sand as shown in “Life Cycle” two posts ago. Through the lens we noticed faint footprints. First I thought dog, but no dogs are allowed in National parks unless they are feral or working and the former are in danger. Then we realised fox and they are even more in danger. I have a soft spot for foxes even though they are significant predators of native fauna. They are smart survivors and have such a gift for play but they are wanton killers as well.
Anyway these prints became stronger as we followed them along the beach until they disappeared . Was the fox coming from Tidal River after a scrounge for campers food or was it going down there and returned a different way? We will never know however there is one guarantee, it will be hunted by the rangers. Good luck fox.
The geography of Wilson’s Promontory National Park is as fascinating as the flora and fauna. Rocks of all shapes and sizes can be found through the Southern and Tidal River sections of the park. Tidal River is where we stayed in the luxury of a cabin where Wombat splayed around outside rather than barging in through the side of a tent. We walked the boardwalk alongside Tidal River near the mouth and photographed these rocks in morning, afternoon and evening light. Many years ago I would lead groups of my junior school students down here on weekend hikes. One of my former students came back here as a Fine Arts graduate to rearrange groups of rocks he had seen years earlier into conceptual works of landscape art.
Sometimes nature leaves works of art waiting to capture your imagination. As we walked along Norman Beach at Wilson’s promontory National park this collection in the sand made us stop and wonder . At the time we thought there may be a haiku in the scene so I took some photos.
Birds in their natural environment are always exciting to watch and listen to. This Eastern Yellow Robin is a relatively common bird however it is not widespread across Victoria mainly found in forests and scrub down the east coast. We had never seen one so imagine our amazement to be joined on a walk by this curious little Robin who stayed close to us for a few minutes.. The next day two more made our acquaintance close to the cabin we stayed in.
We have just returned from a holiday away at Wilson’s Promontory National Park, known affectionally as THE PROM. http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/wilsons-promontory-national-park This is the most Southerly point on the Australian mainland and one of the most visited national parks in the country. It had been nearly 20 years since we last visited here, in those days carrying everything in packs and hiking on tracks for hours to camp sites kilometres from cars etc was our forte. This time at that pampered stage of life we stayed in a fully serviced cabin with all luxuries except TV, wifi and that kind of stuff hence no posts, visits comments from me for over a week. Every day we walked, rested, watched wildlife, took photos, remembered, read, knitted and then rested some more. The peace and quiet was a therapy. We both wrote some haiku. The Wombat lived with its baby under our cabin so we were able to watch them closely, as in walk around them if they were on the paths. The Kookaburra was quietly sitting outside our window revving up for a laugh at the Wombats. There were few people around and many of them like us were out using our senses.
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/