Sunday, 16 March 2014

Come with Us for a Stroll up to Our Village

We're joining Elisa of Elisa Loves for another nature walk...

It's a warm and partly cloudy Sunday afternoon. Gemma-Rose and I are going to stroll up to our village. Would you like to come along? 

I have my camera around my neck. There's some money in my pocket. (We're going to buy ice cream from the village store.) We've slapped a little sunscreen onto our faces. We're ready. Let's go!

Out the door, turn left and head up the road. There are no footpaths where we live. But there aren't many cars either. It's quite safe to walk down the middle of the road.

We're watching out for some interesting nature to photograph, and soon I spot these cotoneaster berries. It won't be long before the birds will be grateful for these. Autumn has arrived. The cooler weather is on its way. Not that you can tell today. It's still rather warm.

Look, there's a sign of autumn! The liquidamber tree leaves are changing colour. Can you see the seed pods? Most of the trees here are natives. They don't drop their leaves in winter. Autumn colours can only be found in the gardens where people have planted deciduous trees. But if you drive into town in a few weeks' time, you will see some spectacular displays of autumn leaves. This area is famous for them.

The other day when we were running along the bush tracks at the other end of our road, I noticed some of the gum trees are in flower. But the trees are so tall, it is almost impossible to get a good look at the creamy/white flowers. But look! here's some flowers lying on the ground. The cockatoos have thrown them down. Gemma-Rose decides to gather them up: the start of a flower posy.

A few more steps along the road and we discover a bottlebush tree.

On the roadsides throughout the village (and all the way to town), there always seem to be flowers blooming, different ones according to the season. Not all of them are native flowers. I imagine some of them have spread from neighbouring gardens. Probably some are regarded as weeds. But we still think they're pretty.

We are now at the end of our road. We take a detour left so we can take a photo of the fire danger rating sign that's situated at the entry to the village. We automatically glance at this board every time we leave or return home.

Gemma-Rose has collected a pretty posy of flowers.

It's now time to head into the village. Gemma-Rose turns and smiles before climbing up the rocky dirt pathway towards the road.

We cross the road and walk under the trees, along a foot-worn dirt path. We hop over tree roots and come out into the sun, as we pick our way over the disused railway line.

We decide to walk up the tracks before going to the shop. Years ago, our village used to have a train station. But trains no longer pass through here. All that's left are the tracks which are overgrown with vegetation.

"Take a walk down the track," I say to Gemma-Rose, "so I can take a photo." So she heads south, picking her way over the sleepers.

When she returns, we look along the track towards the north and there in the distance we see two white horses. They belong to a woman who lives in the village. Every day she finds a good patch of grass for her horses, tethers them and leaves them to graze. Today the horses are grazing by the railway track.

The horses are near the old station platform.

Gemma-Rose takes a rest on a rock which borders the car park and a nature area, containing picnic tables..

On the far side of the car park is the Rural Fire Service headquarters, the most important building in the village. Look at the sign: 'A Place of Last Resort'. Those words send shivers down my spine!

Across from the fire station is the post office. This photo is for my overseas friends. If you have received letters from our family, they were probably posted in this box!

We buy a box of ice blocks from the village store, a Sunday afternoon treat for the family. Then we head back up the path, and under the trees. We're on our way home.

Across the road and up our street. We live at the very end, just before the bush.

One last photo of the roof of our house nestling in among the gum trees.

Gemma-Rose and I kick off our shoes. "We're home!" we shout. "Anyone like an ice block?" Everyone comes running. Of course they want ice cream!

Please join Elisa for a water nature walk. You will enjoy her accompanying poem!


  1. Loved going on your walk with you - thanks. I so love the Aussie bush. There are no other places in the world like it. Can almost hear the birds and smell the trees. Homesick now ...

    1. Lisa,

      Thank you for strolling along with us. We feel very blessed living here. The bush is indeed beautiful and unique. I am guessing the countryside in NZ is very different. You don't have typical bush where you are? Can you hear those kookaburras? I hope you can come home for a visit soon!

  2. You're so blessed to live in such beautiful and spacious surroundings! I couldn't help but notice Gemma-Rose's expertly braided hair (something I've never been able to master) and gorgeous dress.

    1. Kelly,

      We are very blessed. It is very quiet here. I can let the girls walk up to the village and know they'll be safe. It's only a few minutes walk which is very convenient.

      Braided hair looks more complicated than it is! If I lived close to you, I'm sure I could teach you how to do it in only minutes. Gemma-Rose wore that dress to Mass this morning. It was just cool enough for a cotton dress with long sleeves. She didn't change her clothes except for her shoes. She exchanged her pretty ones for comfortable volleys!

  3. I also noticed Gemma Rose's pretty hair and dress. Your photos are beautiful, Sue. You must be so pleased with your new skills. You've given me the nudge I need to look up some videos on how to use my camera beyond the automatic setting!

    1. Lucinda,

      I'm encouraged by my photos. I know they're not perfect but I'm heading in the right direction. I imagined coming home and finding out none of my photos were acceptable and I'd have to go on another walk to take some more, but they were okay. I guess I could have done some editing but I want to post the photos as they are so I can see if I am getting better. I still haven't got landscapes sorted out. I'm not sure what aperture I should be using. I'll keep trying.

      Lucinda, Kelly asked me for some video recommendations and I posted some links on my personal FB timeline. Perhaps I'll share them on my blog page just in case you'd like to have a look too.

      You could join Elisa and I each week and post your own nature walk. I'd love to see your photos and where you go for walks.

  4. I needed a touch of rest and refreshment this morning, and this was the perfect "treat." What beautiful photos!! Such softness in the bush, and Gemma Rose is lovely in that dress and that gorgeous braided hair. I was amazed to see what I think you called a liquidamber tree, because I had no idea anyone had them in Australia. We call them Sweet Gums here in the USA, and my husband and I didn't know about the seed pods (easy to fall on!) when we chose to plant several in our yard years ago. They are beautiful trees, and turn gloriously red and yellow in autumn, but oh - those "gum balls!!!" It was such a surprise to find, in the midst of your nature walk, a photo that could have been taken out my back window!

    Thank you for sharing such a splendid walk.

    1. Nancy,

      I was discussing gum trees with another blogging friend who lives in NY. After swapping descriptions and looking at some photos, we decided your gum trees are not the same as ours. Your gum trees are our liquidamber trees! And now you have confirmed that! I was talking about this with Imogen this morning and we decided it's just as well every plant and animal has a Latin name as well as a common name. The tree's Latin name is Liquidambar styraciflua. I guess that's why we call it the liquidambar tree!

      I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for looking at them!

  5. Oh, I just sooo enjoy your nature walks. I'm so pleased that you join in every week. I really like seeing all your beautiful flowers and trees, many of which I have never seen before! I wonder what it smells like over there...I bet it smells really nice with all these giant trees and bushes and flowers. One day I'd like to come visit.

    1. Elisa,

      Your link up encouraged me to go for a walk yesterday afternoon, and I am glad I did. I got some more practice using my camera and I really enjoyed strolling along with Gemma-Rose. Thank you for pushing me out of the house!

      It's so interesting sharing such different nature walks with you. As your snow melts, our trees will be changing colour.

      None of the trees or flowers have overpowering scents but there is definitely a bush smell... fresh, damp if it's been raining, earthy, smoky if it's dry and bushfire season... The wattles are strongly scented. The bush smells different when they are in flower. I can't wait until they flower so I can share some photos. There are so many different species of wattle and they flower at different times, so there is always wattle flowering somewhere!

      A visit would be so lovely!

  6. What lovely surroundings you live in, always flovers and green trees. Your place looks so lovely, quiet and far from everything, but near an ice cream shop. That's ideal.
    White horses grazing on disused railway tracks look wery romantic. I'm sorry no more trains are running there, though. I always love going places by train.

    1. Uglemor,

      We do live in a quiet place. A train service would be nice but our village might be busier and more popular if it were still on the railway line. Someone proposed the railway tracks be turned into a bike and walking path. It would connect up the local villages. I like that idea. We could run along it too. The only problem would be the steep terrain. I imagine it would be an easy run down to the next village and a steep climb back up!

      I am thinking all my friends should consider doing a linked up nature walk. We live in such diverse places. I always love looking at your photos!