A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|The Three Carrialoo-ns||Frank Leydon||2|
|The Bush in Summer||Ray Birt||6|
|Some Walker!||Dot English||7|
|Do You Remember?||8|
|Spring on the “Barren Lands”||Doreen Helmrich||10|
|Letters from the Lads & Lasses||11|
|Our Own Meeting||14|
|Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies||15|
I saw the moon come floating, faint and white
Over the hill and soft as spreading snow
The dark bush blossomed in a flower of light
That shone with silvery glow.
No secret was revealed: nothing was said
But quietly in the hush
A grave within my heart opened, and one long dead
Walked with me through the bush.
By Frank Leyden.
“Tell your boss I don't like his business methods.”
“You sent the telegram?”
li'Yes, the telegram was - 'Can you provide car to Fitzroy Falls Friday night write Cosgrove.'“
“He's too busy to write letters. He wouldn't write a letter if it meant fifty pounds to him. But he sent the car around to the station Friday night though.”
“He only meets the early train.”
“Oh Gee! That's three hours we've lost. Next time we'll send a stamped addressed envelope with letter - 'Dear Sir, I can/cannot provide car etc.' - strike our irrelevant words. We'll have breakfast here while we're waiting. I'm not going to carry that pineapple though. We'll have that at Fitzroy Falls with the raisin loaf. Frank's brought extra butter, too.”
“What's the fare to Fitzroy Falls?”
“Of course we don't want to buy the car.”
“My word, that's beautiful. Two hundred and fifty feet the first fall! Best in the State, isn't it?”
“Look at all that water going over. Quite a river!”
“We'll slap the butter on. We're up on butter.”
“I'll give it a twenty fifth at f8. Shade the lens, Bill.”
“Get rid of that pineapple and cut down the weight a bit.”
“The air is filled with spray down here.”
“Yes, aren't the rocks slippery?”
“See all the cascades and little falls?”
“Just like Lamington. You've never been to Lamington?”
“Eat up the pineapple Frank. Go on, I've had four slices. Eat some more. Have some pineapple, Col, we've got too much.”
“You carry the raisin loaf Col - that'll do for the tent. Look Frank's ready. What's happened to him. He and Dormo always used to be the last to move off.”
“Will we go down?”
“It's a snare and a delusion”.
“That little clearing is just a sma11 shelf that rapidly falls away into the rough stuff. Better keep us close to the rock face.”
“Gee! Carrialoo looked good from the saddle. Pity we didn't have time to go out on it.”
“It's quite open on the top too.”
“If it wasn't for this rain and mist.”
“We always break the drought down here; every time.”
“I didn't think the south side of Carrialoo was as bad as this.”
“Should have gone down the road.”
“Too late now. Can you get down there on those rocks?”
“I think so. It's a bit steep. Don't hold on to the bushes or rocks. Everything gives away.”
“Mind the nettles. Aren't they corkers?”
“What's that on your leg?”
“Cows to get off!”
“There's the end of Carrialoo. Look at those rock faces, Grassy is in the in the distance.”
“Grassy Mountain is a long ridge going down from Carrialoo to Yarrunga Creek. Although it's a bit lower than Carrialoo you get a much better view of the Kangaroo towards the Shoalhaven and the wild country in the distance.”
“No good stopping here all night. We'll never do Grassy and camp on the river tonight at this rate.”
“Wipe Grassy and get the car down into the valley next time.”
“Straight down to the road. Let's go.”
“Can't get through here.”
“Have to go back.”
“Just have to push through it.”
“The undergrowth is over your head here and full of big nettles.”
“Can't see where you're putting your feet.”
“Roast beef stew with gravy salt tonight.”
“Half past five now and five miles to go yet.”
“Followed by macaroni custard.”
“Just try and force your way through it. Break it down with your feet first and mind it doesn't come back at you.”
“And raisin loaf with cocoa.”
“There's the junction. Kangaroo River and Yarrunga Creek. There's some water in the river. Wouldn't get across without swimming. Look at the driftwood up fifty feet. No farms here. Never thought it was so wild. Those ridges come down like the Dogs but are covered with that impenetrable mass of undergrowth.
“It's eight o'clock, it's raining, there's nowhere to camp and I'm tired and want to go to bed.”
“Have to camp up a bit.”
“No, over there.”
“Don't tie the knot that way, tie it this way.”
“Get everything in the tent.”
“We've got the inside of the tent wet mind the drips.”
“Um, yum, yum, the vegetables are done, cut up the meat.”
“Run them down with your finger.”
“Too many. Put some newspaper round the sides.”
“That billy filled up quick off the tent.”
“Gee, this stew is good! Have some more Frank, I think we've got too much. Have some stew, Col?”
“Gee, she's wild,”
“We've got all the chickens anyway. Push the box well back in the truck. All set there on the back?”
“Meryla Pass mud.”
“Up to the axle.”
“Back her on to this bark.”
“She's a good truck too and usually pulls very well.”
“Pack the bushes under that wheel. I'll try and run her up on the side.”
“Look at the smoke from the tyres.”
“No good. Run her back again.”
“All together, push!”
“Oh. Gee! That wheel's thrown mud all over me.”
“Look at my groundsheet too.”
“It certainly rains down these parts. That mist never seems to rise.”
“Ah! she's made it.”
“Another soft spot,”
“We're right, get in.”
“No, get out again.”
“Bring up some more bark, get some sticks and bushes.”
“Never get out of this.”
“Doesn't look too good.”
“Been here over an hour.”
“Push! I think she'll make it. Ah!”
“All O.K. Gee, were lucky.”
“We've been lucky all through on this trip. Think what might have happened. But you should see this place when its clear weather, this farm is the most beautiful place imaginable. It's set on a shelf below the towering rock face of Meryla Pass. There's big timber on the slopes, up to a hundred and fifty feet high; and the evergreen jungle of ferns, vines and moss; the cabbage tree palms, lonely sentinels on the grassy saddles. Below is the deep and forested gorge of Yarrunga with wisps of mist suspended, phantom-like, in the thin air. Across, like Solitary before Echo Point, stands the massive rocky face of Carrialoo. Then to the right there's Grassy at the end of the long ridge, in the clear like Splendour Rock, and pointing to the Kangaroo and Shoalhaven gorges, to the blue ridges and valleys that merge to Pidgeon House and beyond.”
by Ray Birt.
“Sweet flower, for by that name at last
When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast
Sweet silent creature;
That breath'st with me in sun and lair
Do you, as thou art wont, repair
My heart, with gladness and a share
of thy meek nature.”
The above lines very aptly depict the flowers which I am bringing to your notice this month and gladly would I “share their meek nature” as a respite from the complications of life. I shall take the Lomatia Silaifolia (Wild Parsley) first.
Lomatia, taken from the Greek “loma”, the fringe of a robe was named from the border or “wing” on the seeds. The creamy white flowers usually grow in pairs arranged alternately on the long flower stem. The flowers resemble those of the Waratah, with a curved and irregular corolla. The 4 petals become finally free and soon fall off. The 4 stamens are on the lobes of the petals which hold the and of the pistil fast, until the pollen is ripe and ready for distribution. The pretty leaves are much divided and sharply toothed and unfortunately much loved by the flower sellers in Martin Place, who usually try to improve on nature by dying them pink or red shade.
Wahlenbergia Gracillis (Aust. Blue Bell) is a dainty slender herb with delicate blue flower bells. The upright solitary flowers have a green calyx with 5 lobes which may be short and broad or narrow and long. The bell shaped corolla has 5 outspread lobes, which are generally longer than the corolla tube. The 5 free stamens stand up round the style which grows up through the encircling anthers, the early ripening pollen is collected on a ring of sticky hairs just below the stigma. The sticky liquid soon dries and the pollen is ready for distribution.
Thysanotus Tuberosus (Fringed Violet). The Thysanotus (from the Greek Thysanos - a fringe) is well known by its delicate fringed petals, from which the species are known as fringed violets. Violet, however, is a misnomer as the colour is its only resemblance to that flower. Fringed Lily has been suggested as more correct, but it would be hard to alter the old favourite. The flowers are arranged irregularly on a flowering stalk. The 3 dark purple narrow sepals show between the 3 fringed bread petals, which twist round each other after the 6 stamens have shed their pollen and the stigma has ripened. As implied by the name, it has tubers which are the underground stores of food and thus enables the plant to live and flower under very dry conditions.
by Dot English.
[Cartoon of men in a walking race. Three spectators look on.]
Caption: “Some Walker? I should say he is! He s won the walking championship three times running.”
Blaridges is a game for two teams, one team being called the customers and the other the staff. The object of the customers is to force the staff to give them attention at the earliest possible moment; the object of the staff to withhold it as long as they can even to closing time when, of course, they win the game. Customers can play the game only by paying a “forfeit” the minimum being called coffee (6d.).
The customers first stand outside the base completely blocking the entrance so no staff can escape. They then suddenly troop in in an endeavour to take the staff by surprise. Being, however, unused or unable to keep reasonably quiet (they have been arguing and gesticulating all the time anyway) this move is heard and circumvented by the staff who immediately flee into their secret base at the back which is out of bounds for the customers. The staff must, however, issue from their base at least once in ten minutes.
The customers now attempt to draw the attention of their opponents by various moves - the favourite one being to completely disorganise the base by placing the tables in thick bunches, by blocking passages, by forming culs-de-sac etc. Nevertheless, only raw beginners among the staff lacking finesse, poise and endurance are disconcerted by this practice and at this early stage of the game acknowledge defeat and throw in the sponge (with coffee 1/-) with a querilous reprimand. More seasoned players, squinting from their base through cracks in the door or rents in the curtains merely gnash their teeth.
From time to time staff must necessarily run the gauntlet or risk a forfeit (another species of sac) from their captain, but they may be unsporting and merely elevate the nose, glaze the eye, stiffen the neck and back and walk the length of the room looking neither to right or loft. The correct move, according to Hoyle, is for the member of the customers adjacent to the passageway to nonchalantly place his leg across it in an effort to trip the player. Should he succeed he should gasp: “Sorry, Miss. It gave me quite as bad a turn as you. Could you get me two toasts, a toasted sandwich, two teas and a coffee - I feel faint.”
The more adventurous staff may decide to wander about and are thus sometimes caught in a cul-de-sac when their chances of escape are slight. However, as in wars, the victors do not always come off best and a cornered staff may murmur, “Well, what would you like? There's iced water and the day-before-yesterday's bread.”
What you did with that “Penguin” you bought to read in the train the day you went to Aunty Maggie's?
Where you put the old “Digest” you took away on the Xmas Trip?
When you have a minute to spare, please look them up and any similar publications you may have and just pass them in at “Paddy's” addressed to “The Bushwalkers' Services Committee” - your fighting friends will appreciate them.
In the constellation Taurus there are two star clusters, The Hyades and the Pleiades. The brightest stars in the Hyades form a remarkably symetrical group in the form of the letter “A”. At the right foot of the “A” is the giant red star Aldebaran. Six stars are visible in the Pleiades. The cluster is set in a luminous background of nebulous matter in which the stars glimmer softly.
It is probable that the Babylonians first likened the constellation to a bull. In Greek Mythology Taurus represents the white bull whose form Jupiter assumed when he abducted Europa and swam with her on his back to the island of Crete. The Pleiades, sometimes called the “Garden of the Pleiades”, represent the seven daughters of Atlas and the Nymph Pleione. Now only six stars can be seen plainly, but there is little doubt that the disappearance of the seventh is an astronomical fact. Some of the legends of the Australian aborigines account for the disappearance of the seventh star.
The planet Saturn is now in Taurus and is brighter than any of the stars of the constellation. Jupiter is to the West of Taurus at present. The planets may be identified by their brightness, and by the time they rise and set as shown in the meteorological reports.
The moon silvered the biliowing clouds as we climbed into the mountains and silvered the heavy white clusters of flowers on the May trees by the roadside. The valley beyond the mountains spread silently, moon-misted before us as we pitched our tent in deep shadow, by a jungle sheltered stream.
Climbing steeply again next morning we reached The Barren Lands, lonely and remote above the fertile coastal plain. The marshy uplands blazed with flowers, colour splashed among the tall grasses - rose of Boronia, pink of Heata, scarlet of Christmas bell, and blue, mauve, gold, white and yellow of a dozen other flowers. Only the breeze stirred as we walked among them and crossed to the sheer cliff-edge on the farther side, where we sat for a long while, meditating…
The mountain side below us was covered by rich jungle which merged into the emerald of the valley and a vivid patchwork of cultivation and red earth, new1y ploughed. Pastel shaded roads spread like narrow ribbons from farm houses, half hidden among clumps of dark foliaged trees. Far away the benches curved, pale gold, separated from the deep bright blue of the sea by two long lines of breakers. Lake Illawarra showed palely ahead, and the mountains brooded over all.
Nothing moved but a wisp of white smoke beyond the lake, trailing into the clear blue sky.
We held, it seemed, the essence of Tranquility within our grasp. The memory is ours, to be called upon at will - an antidote, a refuge in days of stress and turmoil.
In the evening we went down from the mountain across the pleasant fields, gathering mushrooms…
During the month we had news of Betty Pryde. She is now in Melbourne, and, we hear, so enamoured of the bathing boxes on the beach where she was swimming that she took possession of one for several hours.
Betty met an old Bushwalker on the train to Melbourne, Ethel Hansard, who was going there to be married. She had with her, her future husband's young [illegible]. We do not know Ethel's married name yet, but no doubt someone will inform us sooner or later.
This column is very hard to fill lately and we are beginning to suspect things are deliberately being kept from us, unless there is a shocking falling off of marriages etc.
We noticed on interesting announcement in the new social programme. An evening with the intriguing title “Old Tales Retold”. We are wondering if all we hear whispered, about this Evening, is true.
At the deep walls of women
many times I found
whiteness to slake a thirst,
a dark taste underground
that spoke of moss, dead leaves,
green forms the brim around,
but never O till now
dreamed that sun could free
like a cold storm of sapphire
in rock's grey purity,
the very sprite of snow
to flood her song to me.
So deeply delved in rock
she must proclaim her home,
but tells no tale of darkness,
rain on the cloddy loam:
stone and tree of the mountain
thrill in her singing foam,
and far she is from earth,
clear pool upon the height,
when on her faery circle
falls the black snow of night,
and all the wild stars dance there
a white dance of delight.
This song is but a leaf
whose slender beauty grew
from that great tree of joy
that sprang when first I knew
her skylark flame of crystal
in her skylit cup of blue.
and now, unworthy, bears
such witness as it may
to all her snow-born beauty
whom I have seen to-day
imaged in water singing
on pebbles blue and grey.
so cold she takes my breath
so sweet my words away.
Letters were received during January from:- Ross Easdown, Bill Burke, Alf Watts, Morrie Stephenson.
Bill Burke is chasing Mr. Rommell and writes as fallows:-
11th November, l942
The worst part of the “big push” is over and I'm still on top of the ground so I have high hopes of seeing Aussie once more. There were one or two sticky moments when I thought the game was over. Received word the other day that both my cobbers had come through O.K. as a result I'm feeling particularly cheerful these days. That little Guardian Angel that hovers around me and mine is doing a first class job.
Shortly after my last letter I went back for a few.days spell; at least it was supposed to be a spell, but the “bigwigs” found plenty of time to pop in the training. Ten days of this and I was just about “browned off” so chasing mythical Huns over realistic sand hills is not a particularly pleasant pastime. Particularly after the life of a gentleman of leisure that I had been leading. All bad times must end eventually and the night came; when, loaded up like packhorses, we trotted once more into the fray. This trip we were even more fortunate than before. There was the blue Med. to swim in; fish to be blasted out of their happy hunting grounds and many a tasty meal we had - Jerry was 3000 yards away and separated from us by a lovely salt marsh. No tanks to disturb our dreams here. And so life went on; surfing, sunbaking, fishing, an odd shell or two, and night patrols, in which we either slipped and slithered over the mud flats, or else did our best to catch pneumonia through lying on the damp ground.
The serenity of our ways was disturbed when we were informed that “the game, she is on” as our O.C. put it. And “on” that night it most decidedly was. Our job was to counter any counter attack, and, as a result, we had a grandstand seat. The spectacle of hundreds of guns firing away half a million shells is beyond my description save that they kick up an infernal din. They seemed to have half a dozen planted right behind my douver and it was more than my ear drums were worth to try and curl up for a nap. It wasn't so hot for us on the export end so I shouldn't imagine that Hermann was entirely happy on the import end. I expected a let up during the day, but Jerry decided otherwise. This kept up for quite a time; us during the night and Jerry during the day, and one day someone woke up that the Battalion was loafing, decided to rectify the matter and that night we were in to it.
One of the greatest morale boosters for our side was the old “Football team” as the troops affectionately nicknamed them. Flights of blank blank (saving the censor a job) bombers which kept up a shuttle service bombing ————. If they enjoyed it half as much as I did earlier in the show the bombs weren't wasted. Another highlight of the air was the old Stuka. He had an exceptionally rough passage. Each time the parade came over a few of our lads popped out of the clouds to say hullo, with the result that bombs and Stukas were all mixed up in a mad dash for “terra firma”. There are a lot of gaps in the ranks of the “Yellow Nose” squadron these days. Even at night Hermann had a rough passage. One of his bombers sneaked over one night to cause us some annoyance, but only got as far as the flare dropping before the air was filled with crackle of cannon fire - one of our Beaufighters was on the job - and the roar of his exhaust as he beat a hasty retreat.
———had the doubtful honour of holding off Jerry's last counter attack. Started off with Infantry which never ever looked like succeeding. Our Arty and machine gun fire chopped them to pieces before they got within 500 yards. Next on the list were tanks which managed to occupy a ridge 300 yards away, but could not get any further. Nevertheless it placed us in a pretty nasty spot as his infantry could consolidate there and could overlook our positions. Managed to overcome this by keeping the top of the ridge sprayed with machine gun fire and giving them no opportunity to dig in properly. We all got a bit of a shock towards evening when he dragged one of his largest field guns on to the top of the ridge. I thought of lots of things while that big black muzzle was staring me in the face. We turned everything we had on to it as it was either it or us. Managed to get quite a few of the crew, but everything depended on our anti-tank crews as their's was the only gun capable of knocking it out. They rose nobly to the occasion, and soon the flames were leaping skywards. You could hear the cheer we gave even above the din of battle. After this setback Jerry contented himself with sitting back and letting his artillery and anti-tank guns blast hell out of us for the rest of the day and best part of the night. The old Battalion men claimed that it was the heaviest barrage they had ever experienced and its a mystery to me how any of us came out of it. Its funny how odd bits of conversation stick in your minds at times like this. One of the funniest incidents was our Company Commander's “well he has been at it for four hours now he must stop some day”. Another was a rhyme printed in the A.I.F. news; something about “And poor old Fritz seems to have lost his blitz”. Sandy McGregor read it out to me when the barrage was at its height; he got quite disgusted.
By the close of the second day we were just about all in. We had had no decent sleep for over a week and none at all during the previous two nights, apart from the fact that everyone was suffering from cramp after spending 48 hours cooped up in a hole one foot wide and about five feet long. I was even worse off as half the space was taken up by spare ammunition for the bren. You cam imagine how pleased we were when we were told to be prepared to move as we were to be relieved. Jerry must have got wind of it as he mounted a couple of spandaus on the ridge and kept spraying the flat/
However, I managed to get out unharmed. It is simply astonishing the amount of fire a man can walk through unharmed. The worst of the show was over by now and although it was a couple more days before he went on the skids, the rest of the time was fairly quiet.
Every Bushwalker who has been to Point Lookout has met the Moseleys and enjoyed their hospitality. Their knowledge of the local tracks and beauty spots has guided many of us on our way. Members will be glad to hear that Mr. Moseley has now been elected an Honorary Member.
The Services Committee are anxious to get more magazines. Last month, amongst other activities they prepared 1800 contact prints.
Hostels Committee Delegates reported that the Cambewarra Hostels scheme will be the first to be developed. The next hostel will be at Bouddi. The Kuring-gai Park Trust is being approached for permission to erect a hostel in the park. This matter was discussed at some length at our meeting and Frank Duncan's motion “That the hostel be erected on one of the existing tourist tracks or in areas already settled in Kuring-gai”, was adopted. Plans have been completed for a hostel at Marley and the hostel is to be pre-fabricated. Alex Colley asked why, in spite of the opposition of both our own club and the Federation, the hostel was still to be built. Federation and Hostel Movement delegates explained that, as the money had been made available by the Government for this purpose and plans had already been drafted, the scheme must now go ahead.
The National Fitness Camps' Committee is considering the establishment of a Fitness Camp at Gibbon (near Bundeena), which is in the National Park. No objection was raised to this site, though its suitability for the purpose was questioned. It was decided that the matter should be referred to the Parks and Playgrounds Movement.
The President gave an outline of a scheme for the establishment here of Community Forest Centres. Marie Byles has agreed to explain the scheme in a future issue of the “Bushwalker”.
Wal Roots and Alice Wyborn were elected Room Stewards for the next two months.
The last Federation Meeting lapsed for want of a quorum.
Delegates report that the Mount Wilson timber cutting protest has been the means of reviving the N.P.P.A.C. Greater Blue Mountains National Park Scheme.
So reads an item in the index of the Commonwealth Year Book, 1940. Page 632 is headed “Deaths from external violence: Australia, 1939.” Under this is:-
|Cause of Death||Males||Females||Persons|
|Poisoning by venomous animals|
Your chances of dying from snakebite in 1939 were; If male 1 in 589,135.5; if female 1 in 1,154,171. If male you had no chance of dying from the bite of any other “venomous animal”: if female you stood one chance in 3,462,313 of being bitten and dying. It may therefore be taken that “other venomous animals” prefer females (blondes perhaps).
Automobiles accounted for 1,405 persons (mainly males).Personally I prefer snakes.
|February||11th (Thursday)||7.30 p.m.||Third visit to observatory. Meet Maurie Berry at Essex and George St.|
|19th||8.0 p.m.||Lecture by Mr Strom. “Geology & the bushwalker”.|
|26th||7.30 p.m.||Third exhibition of water-colours. (Loaned by Malcolm McGregor).|
|March||13-14th||Reunion weekend at Morella Karong.|
|19th||8. 0 p.m.||Mr. Micheal Terry will tell us why “There is adventure in Central Australia”.|
|26th||8. 0 p.m.||“Old Tails Retold to music, by Reg Alder and other photographers.|
Paddy hasn't any lamps but if you have an old Groundsheet or cape that has gone sticky with old age, neglect, or some other cause, don't despair - Paddy can fix it.
Provided the cloth is sound, the old proofing can be removed and the fabric re-proofed.
The cost of de-proofing and re-proofing is:-
6 x 3 Groundsheets 3/-
6 x 5 Cape, Groundsheet or Storm Cape 4/-.
327 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone B3101.
Camp Gear For Walkers.