Victoria

Harbingers of Spring

Della: ‘So while we have been madly busy with lambing over the last couple of weeks, spring has been making inroads on the garden as well as the paddocks. The almond blossom is well and truly out, so I stole a quick turn around the closest beds after checking on the lambs tonight. So much …

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Trapped by Flood Waters

‘I got away up the bush for a few days recently. Lots of rain came in. The rivers were in flood, went up over 2 metres and home was on the wrong side. Also discovered that the seam sealer tape on ultrasil dry bags deteriorates – my sleeping bag and all my gear was saturated wading …

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Magic Places: Traralgon Railway Reserve

Della: ‘Milo wanted to show me one of his favourite places today: the Traralgon Railway Reserve, where he loves to feed the ducks. The ducks and pseudo-ducks were very happy to see us!’ So many magical places hiding just around the corner! PS: Isn’t it great to have a grandson with the same love of …

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Pack Raft Saves The Day

Della and I had a foreshortened trip on the Wonnangatta River upstream of the Moroka confluence when she developed a bad chest infection on the second night out which turned out to be pneumonia. Fortunately I had brought along the Alpacka ‘Fiord Explorer’ raft, their ‘moose boat’ as they termed it (now the ‘Mule’), so …

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Several Winter’s Fires

I have been busy building a new wood shed and stocking it with rather more than my favourite poet Edward Thomas’ ‘recommended’ ‘Fifty Faggots’. I can get the wood to this one no matter how wet the paddocks are, and simply throw it straight off the tray and into the shed. It has plenty of …

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Our Valley of Plenty

Della: ‘This morning’s light frost and valley fog has left us with a glorious winter day. Climbing our hill just now to get the sheep down for their pre-lambing injections I was struck anew by our wonderful home vista. I don’t climb up to see this every day, but perhaps I should: It has certainly …

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The Other Kingdom

This autumn we were in Scotland when our fields were alive with field mushrooms, alas. Mushroom time is one of my favourites. I always collect heaps of them, fry them up with lots of butter, onions and bacon then smother golden toast or pasta with them. I guess my waistline isn’t  missing them. This evening …

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Rich Beyond Telling

Most evenings if we go for a walk at the back of Yinnar a huge flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoos comes in to roost after spending the day dispersed sowing destruction on innumerable hapless plants all about (as is their wont). I guess there has to be at least a thousand of them. Their raucous …

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Deer O’Clock

Three years ago we started to see the odd deer print on our evening walks. Then one day a fallow stag kindly donated me this nice antler. Back in February when  I was telling you about losing Tiny and the progress we were making with her ‘replacement’ Honey, I posted this snap to illustrate how …

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The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #2:

To continue. Where is the deer? So, let’s say you have mastered walking quietly, that you can reason out where a deer has walked, and that you can see through the bush, so that if a deer is there it will be visible to you. Still and all, you need to also be looking in …

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Everyone Loves a Good Fire

Certainly Della and the two dogs, Spot and Honey do. It’s been such a dry autumn that burning off has been postponed into early winter to prevent the risk of fire. This pile used to be a large cypress that needed to come down in my daughter’s front yard in Traralgon. Nearly 60 metres in …

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Hello Possums

As Dame Edna would say…Just installed some security cameras. This one shows our front gate. Pretty much as soon as it got dark our wild critters got very busy: one fox, two ring tails, two brush tails, two rabbits. Within two hours! Who know what will turn up as time goes on. So Brer Fox hasn’t …

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Frogmouth

Della: ‘A lovely welcome at our front gate tonight after a counter meal at the local. Poor photo quality due to only having my phone to hand. Tawny Frogmouth? If so, I have heard it on the edge of my sleep for years too numerous to mention, but have never suffered from insomnia, so wandering …

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Waratah Bay

You can walk practically the entire Gippsland Coast from Phillip Island to NSW. After you have walked along Venus Bay Beach, (there is a path inland) past the Arch Rocks and rounded Cape Liptrap, if you have managed to make your way down to Maitland Beach, you will soon come to Bear Gully (or you …

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Liptrap

(Cover Photo: Water Sprite). Cape Liptrap at the Western end of Venus Bay beach in South Gippsland is a scenic extravaganza as you walk the Victorian coastline perhaps beginning at Phillip Island and ending in Eden NSW, a journey which will no doubt take you several delightful weeks. Where else in the world could you …

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Brer Fox

I have such a love/hate relationship with this guy. We have farmed sheep here and on other farms nearby for nigh on thirty years now, (and far longer elsewhere). When we first moved here Col Francis, a (now late) friend I used to go deer hunting with came around and managed to spotlight 34 foxes …

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The Five Mile

One of Gippsland’s ‘hidden gems’. This sand track lets you access Venus Bay Beach about 8 km out from Tarwin Lower on the Walkerville Rd. You have to be really looking out for it, or you will miss it. At the beginning there is a gate (locked in winter I imagine) when the track would …

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How Green Was My River

Packrafting the Thomson River Gippsland Day #2: After a delightful night’s sleep on My Neoair (Womens) mat on the soft warm sand snuggled in my little poncho tent, I awoke to a morning you only dream of. Look at the quality of the light behind me! A camera can only capture a faint taste of …

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Only the Moon and Me

Packrafting the Thomson River, Gippsland #1: This is probably the best weekend trip in Victoria. It may be mid-winter now but soon you should be planning your wonderful spring/summer trips – and this should be one of them! You start this just downstream of the historic Brunton’s Bridge where the road of the same name …

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Fifty Faggots:

I love this poem (much as I hate the war that stole the poet from us – and that he foresaw his own death in it!) I so agree with the sentiment. It is the small acts of conservation count most. We have an archway I constructed 20+ years ago harbours many fine birds who …

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