Take a walk on the wild side …

As our autumn starts to reveal its true splendour, we should take some time to walk and wander around the neighbourhood. It’s not often that we can walk in solitude. Invariably our walk is pleasantly interrupted by a quick chat or catch up with a neighbour or two. You see we live on an unsealed dirt road. This road meanders for a couple of kilometres around a State Forest before it joins the bitumen.

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At approximately 700ft above sea level our little road is not particularly beautiful and can be described as quite rugged, however, it is the plant life at this time of year that makes it interesting. When we walked on this particular day, the last remnants of summer revealed themselves to us.

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Just a few blackberries left on this bush.

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Autumnal hues appearing.

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Walking out into the brisk day, we always see something new. It never ceases to amaze us even after ten years on the mountain. This peaceful statue gazes over tranquility itself!

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both, Robert Frost’s famous poem highlights the single choices that we make in life. The road metaphor is a common one. For us, our little, dirt road on the periphery of a grand forest, is the one which leads us home. I’m sure many of our visitors query our choices in living here – a bush land setting does come with its disadvantages especially in the summer months. Winter fogs and impenetrable sunlight often leave us flat but its when we take the time to venture out and set foot on the road that it reveals many otherwise unseen treasures. Like Frost’s poem, we are happy we took the one less travelled. most of the time, anyway!

Yesterday, we met a dear old soul who has lived up here for ninety years – he has seen it all and continues to appreciate the splendid change of season!

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I also think it takes some internal fortitude to survive the winter on a mountain. There’s the issue of heating to be taken very seriously – we haven’t lit our inside fire yet – ANZAC Day is our start date! Then there’s the burn off of summer debris – we have yet to light our Bon fire to rid us of summer detritus. Before long our wood fire will be going day and night to keep us warm. Indeed our “road” and our choices have their ups and downs – pardon the pun!

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20130422-194313.jpgLet’s hope there are not too many detours or road closures to negotiate as we enter that wonderful season of winter with all its silvery magic and dewy delights!

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Is the approaching winter season one you relish or one you would gladly relinquish?

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I hope your road at the moment is a smooth one, with few bumps and not too much of a wild ride! Enjoy the wonders of your season!

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Mango Trees and Monkees

It is always with mixed feelings that I return to my hometown in the sub-tropics. Queensland is a vast and varied State. The length of its coastline is nearly 7000 km and it is a place of great contrasts. From the densely populated South East corner to the Outback and the Tropical North, it can be both beautiful and treacherous. Growing up in the decade which spanned the end of 1960’s and start of the 1970’s was like this too – filled with exciting new music coupled with the treachery of so many lives sacrificed to a war in another tropical place. For me, the twelve year old, it was indeed time spent swinging from the mango tree listening to The Monkees (pardon the pun) – not for any deep and meaningful reason but simply to be swept up in the mass hysteria that new wave American music was to produce.

Now, forty years later the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel “My Little Town” resonate with me when I come back here. I really did grow up “believing God kept his eye on us all” or was it simply “daydream believing”. The mango tree is gone and so too is Davey Jones but the heat, humidity, bougainvilleas, frangipanis and the little house on the hilly road are still going strong.

20121122-220017.jpg Imagine walking up this hill to school! It’s not called Red Hill for nothing. Check out the handrail!

20121124-171204.jpg My week here has been very pleasant indeed catching up with family and friends and experiencing some cathartic moments – which will be best kept for another time and place. But you know what – there really is “no place like home”. For me that place is now – a mountain home – I can feel a John Denver song coming on! I hope you will forgive me the clichés.

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20121124-171756.jpg An unexpected heliconia.

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Today’s front yard view comes to you from deep suburbia. See you back home.

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