A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney.
|Assistant Editor||Dot Butler|
|Business Manager||Maurie Berry|
|Production Assistant||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs.||Christa Calnan|
|Walks Reporter||Kevin Ardill|
|Maps & Illustrations||Dennis Gittoes|
|At Our April Meeting||4|
|We Are Keen on Nature Study||H. A. Lindsay||6|
|The Lost Hiker||8|
|A Tale of Woe||Dennis Gittoes||9|
|Social Events for May||11|
|The P.A.C. Outing, from a report by D. Lawry||11|
|Afternoon on Mount Oakleigh||E. Garrad||12|
|The Kiddies Treat||Christa Calnan||13|
Though there are a number of entertaining and interesting articles published in the Magazine, there are several ways in which it could be made more usefu1 and informative to members. The Magazine staff do their best to publish everything of interest, but they can only publish what members supply, either in written or verbal form. Some of the useful services of the Magazine should be the following:
It should inform members about Club affairs. All Club Officers have a lot of information to impart about such matters as social programmes, walks, programmes, library facilities etc. They also have a number of requests to make about various matters. Their best means of approaching members is through the Magazine, provided they think ahead. Walks leaders and others could make good use of these pages. Many members, for example, would have been interested to know details of the Official Easter and Anzac week-end trips. Leaders of private walks might be able to arrange cheaper transport if they could find others who wanted to go to the same place as they did themselves.
Probably the most enjoyed section of the magazine is the “gossip” page. This is Dot Butler's department, but any of our competent news hounds will pass on anything members can supply. The more personal news we can gather the more interesting the Magazine will become.
One of the main uses of the Magazine should be to let members know about trips. Apart from Humorous or descriptive articles there is need for purely informative articles. When anybody goes through good country off the beaten track members are interested to know details of the transport, route, camp-sites, location of water, etc. Though quite a few have been to Tasmania, for instance, how many know how to get there and where to go? There is, too, a need for short articles - say half a page or less - on more ordinary walks - giving just the highlights of the trip. By publicising your trip you are doing your fellow members a service - they have some idea what the trip is like and know who to ask about it. If you don't write up your trip tell Kevin Ardill, our Walks Reporter, about it so that he can write a par on it. We can now reproduce simple maps of a page, half-page or smaller. Dennis Gittoes, our illustrationist has undertaken to do this. They should be a great aid to description.
Members could also make use of the Magazine to express their opinions on matters of interest to the Club. Too many members grizzle in corners instead of saying it at a meeting or writing to the Editor. If you want reform or change you will not get it unless you let everyone know what you want.
Though there are many advantages in belonging to a large Club, the spoken word is no longer sufficient for purposes of Club business and information of members. The benefits of membership could be greatly extended if all would co-operate in making use of the facilities the Magazine offers.
The following Officers were appointed at the last Committee meeting:
Assistant Membership Secretary: Win Duncombe
Librarian: Edna Stretton
Magazine Sales and Subscriptions: Christa Calnan
Curator of Maps and Keeper of Time Tables: Colin Lloyd
Duplicator Operator: Brian Harvey
Assistant Treasurer: Kevin Ardill
The remaining officers will be appointed at the next Committee meeting.
(The following are a mixed clutch, not all to be attributed so to speak, to the one fowl. It was hoped to give you more details of more walks, but, as the magazine had to be produced on Friday 18th because of Anzac week-end, and there was a meeting on Friday 11th it couldn't be done in the time. However we hope to tell you more about Easter walks in the next issue - Ed.)
To west young man! So he did and was accompanied by nine other blokes and three of the fair sex. You've guessed it. Roley Cotter as producer, Max Gentle as director and the rest of the cast comprising Sound effects by Bill Hall, Music and songs by Claude Haynes and a specialty act by Luke Priddle who produced rabbits from thin air. Extras were Eric Lewis, Eric Pegram, John Connor, Len Fall and Kevin Ardill. The three heroines were Peg Bransdon, Ruby Payne-Scott and Mary Macdonald who shared the distinction of being the first gals over the territory. A purple certificate to Max Gentle who led the party from Kandos to Mt. Victoria via Mt. Uraterrer, Glen Davis and Newnes. To those who counted heads, there were thirteen in the party.
Next we record the trek from Katoomba to Kowmung and Galong Creek. Betty Penfold was the only Lassie present to comfort Peter Gracie when he had the inspiration to fall down a waterfall and submerge both himself and pack in the drink.
The flying figure you saw on Central Station was Colin Lloyd and he did not arrive in time to catch the train for the Warrumbungles. On the train and trip were Clem Hallstrom, Frank Leyden and about nine others.
Easter time being egg time, it was not surprising to find a few pickled eggs about. One egg in particular intruded on the train taking S.B.W. members and St. George walkers down to Wombeyan Caves. Details are a little obscure but they mixed up a cocktail of punches, hair pulling, communication cord pulling and to cap it all, one fair bushwa1ker did a very ladylike faint.
When a man travels some 600 miles on the Warrumbungle Grand Photographic excursion and returns with no photos owing to a jammed shutter, his feelings can be accurately described by George Dibley.
The Nobles and the female Butlers are out gunning for Bill Henley on whose recommendation they spent Easter at Mitchell Park, Cattai Creek. They want to know:-
(a) why the bus driver from Windsor should take an unannounced holiday and leave 50 people stranded;
(b) whence arose the fallacy that there are no mosquitoes there, when the place swarms with millions of them;
© how does one get into the river without being sucked down in the marginal mud;
(d) is the thick yellow fluid flowing between the banks actually water? As Grace observed after the infant napkins had been rinsed in the murk - “These are the dirtiest clean napkins I've seen for a long while!”
Doug Johnston and party flew to Canberra and moved fast when they got there. Their trip included Mount Gingera, Cotter River Homestead, Mount Murray, The McLeod Range and Coolamon Creek. Some of this is new country. We want to hear more of it.
Arthur Gilroy and party spent their first night in the Kanangra Cave, together with 57 others, mostly noisy, particularly the ones, (whom we believe wore members of another Club), who arrived yelling at 4 a.m. and flashed their torches round to see who was there. On the way up Kanangra River after breakfast they found two unextinguished fires, one left by members of yet another Club.
Ray Kirkby led a party of five along the unmapped divide between the Endrik, Clyde, Corang and numerous creeks and rivers of which the map gives no hint. Huge gorges don't even dent the contours of the 4 mile to the inch military imp. The scenery was fascinating and often extensive. Of this, more later.
Though we were with Ray and Jean on the trip, we were too dumb to realise what was in the wind. On Saturday 12th they were married. Our very best wishes to them both. It will be a real pleasure to witness the presentation of debutantes to the wife of the Social Secretary.
Our Social snoop-sleuth at the Show on the Wednesday evening before the Easter holiday met Max Gentle suffering untold tortures; duty was urging him home to bed to build up his strength for his big Mt. Uraterrer trip, whilst desire was urging him to remain and worship at the pyramid of enormous pumpkins in the Southern Districts display.
A couple of weeks before Easter the Editor made a crate for a show pig. Proud of his work he was about to autograph it, but remembered just in time, that as he didn't wear a hat, there might be some unfortunate misunderstandings.
Even the Bushwalker Magazine can't avoid giving a bit of free publicity to Mr. Sinatra. At the recent Kiddies' Christmas treat, a high-powered, hefty hoydan headed the throng in a white sweater marked in bold lettering “Frankie Forever.”
The President was in the Chair and about 80 members were present. It was announced that Frank Cramp, Alice Wyborn, and Peter and Rae Page had been transferred to the non-active list.
The question of whether the Federation Ball should be a ball or a party was debated at length. Allan Hardie said that a ball was a ball and demanded all the frills, including presentation of debutantes (pity the Duke didn't stay for it). Wal Roots pointed out that, in order to escape taxation, profits would have to equal 50% of gross takings (this must be a hang-over from War-time regulations designed to make sure we couldn't enjoy ourselves). This would mean that tickets would have to be at least a guinea. After this, the issue was never in doubt. We want a party.
In response to a Federation request for information, Allan Hardie said the Warrumbungles trip should certainly be reported. He alluded to the delight of the station master at Coonabarrabran, who pointed in wonder and said “They're all going to the Warrumbungles!” Frank Leyden promised a report, both for the Federation and the Magazine.
Marie Byles was congratulated by the President upon her election as President of the Federation. In reply Marie said that it was easy - all you had to do was to sit still and see other people do the work. Wal Roots said it would be better to say that you had to see that the other people did the work. Our own impression is that the President is elected to do most of the work as Secretaries usually knock off round midnight.
The Social Secretary announced coming entertainments including the “bevy of oratorical brilliance” to be heard on April 18th. He tested the reactions of the meeting to a mixed confection of entertainments, including dinner-dances and shows afterwards, Club dances outside the Club Rooms and Club Room dances, theatre parties to legitimate stage shows. A good number of those present said they would like to go. Club Room dances and theatre parties seemed most popular. A well supported request for another play night was made. The chief difficulty is a producer. It was resolved to use chopsticks at the Chinese dinner on June, 25th - a fine example of long range planning.
Colin Lloyd, the Keeper of Time Tables and Curator of Maps, announced that he had a lot of information available on trucks, cars etc.
Arthur Gilroy drew attention to the working bee at Burning Palms on May 24th. Materials would then be available. It had been decided, in view of the lack of support from other Clubs, to make it an S.B.W. affair, but to accept offers of help if any were given (at the last working bee the other clubs were represented by one prospective member).
Marie Byles delivered a request from Peter Page that the debate be put on the air.
Edna Stretton, the Librarian, drew attention to the fact that we have a good library and that books can be obtained for a penny a week.
Mouldy Harrison, our ace diplomat, said he would be pleased go to Wollongong with Tom Herbert to try to arrange a new contract if the Treasurer did not approve of our paying £350 for lot 7, North Era.
Dorothy Lawry described the efforts of the search and Rescue and Section to organise a search for the lost “hiker”. Chief difficulty had been in contacting members by phone, but a party of 60 or more was ready to leave that night if it had been necessary.
A Committee was appointed to look into the question of adequate Club and Walks notice boards.
The meeting closed at 9.40.
By H.A.Lindsay, Adelaide Bushwalkers.
We have met members of other Bushwalking Clubs; most of them have informed us that their members do not go in for any form of nature study, their walks being conducted for the sake of the outing alone. Each to his own taste, of course - but it is difficult to see how any Club can carry out its avowed role of fauna and flora protection without it.
When Adelaide Bush Walkers was formed last year, we decided that a passive role was not enough as regards fauna and flora protection. To save some of our harmless and beautiful native creatures from the extinction which is threatening them it is necessary to know all that can be learned of their breeding and feeding habits, and what their enemies are. Without such knowledge, the enthusiast is liable to waste his time or to do something worse than doing nothing - to take the wrong kind of action. A typical case of this kind was that of a man who decided that some form of drastic action was necessary to save the last few koalas found wild in S.A.; to be left as they were, scattered in ones and twos over miles of scrub, meant extinction. He and his sons accordingly went out with ladders and climbing irons, caught all the koalas and transferred them to the one spot. Up to that point they were on the right track. Then they made the bad mistake. In order to be able to keep an eye on them, they put them in trees close to the homestead. Within a few days the koalas looked very sick; within a week they were nothing but skin and bone; within another week all were dead. Starvation was the cause; the well-meaning amateurs did not know that the koala selects its food trees and will not touch some particular trees, even though they are of the right species, because the leaves have too much oil in them or by reason of the fact that they have developed a poison in them akin to hydrocyanic acid.
Something of the same sort holds good in the case of flora protection; it is not enough to place a plant or flower on the protected list. Often specimens of it have to be found after diligent searching, seeds or seedlings collected and a replanting programme carried out - the last-named always on land which is not grazed and which has some natural protection from fire. It also pays to enlist the co-operation of a landowner who will see that the rare plant is given a chance.
It must be admitted that one must have a natural “bend” for nature study, just as one must have an ear for music before trying to play an instrument, but for those who like it, no other form of study holds such a never-failing interest. It also increases the charm of a bush ramble a thousandfold, for you are learning to read old Mother Nature's writings at first hand. To quote one example; to many people ants are just ants. To others, they are among the most wonderful creatures in nature, whose evolution and social structures afford a striking parallel to those of human beings. The most ancient strain is the Ponarine - our old friend the bulldog ant belongs to it. Living in small colonies and strongly individualistic, going out singly to forage for food, they resemble our Aborigines. Next come the Dorylines, to which the terrible driver ants of South America belong; they hunt in packs and sweep across the country as did the hordes of Ghensis Khan, slaying every living thing they encounter. The Myrmicine ants are the only creatures beside man which plant, manure, weed and harvest food crops. The Formicine ants have a social structure almost exactly similar to that of a totalitarian state and one of their species - the Argentine ant, now such a pest around Melbourne, has actually embarked upon a programme of world conquest - the ant world, of course. Reading a book like “Of Ants and Men” puts you in possession of facts like these and opens up a new world for study; without such knowledge, ants remain ants to you.
It Is just the same with our birds and our trees. It is the man or woman who can identify each species, who knows their life history and why they flourish in some areas and die out in others, who can do most towards preserving them. You will usually find that some scientists go out of their way to instruct the amateur, to teach you the real art of observation and how to gather the data which will aid your work. Perhaps a recent experience of ours will be more illuminating on this point than would yards of explanation.
Three of us went to Port Lincoln, taking with us a young member of the South Australian Museum Staff. He wanted to do as much collecting and gathering of information as possible; we intended to aid him in any way which lay in our power. The owner of a fishing ketch went miles off his course to land us on Thistle Island and to pick us up again; we found that the owner of this island is a nature lover who has declared it a Bird Sanctuary, and on it we found what some of us had sought for years - an ideal spot for establishing lowans. It was not enough to see acres of standing mallee which will not be burnt as they provide the only timber for fence posts on the island, nor to find the leaf mould suitable for nest mounds lying a foot deep under the trees; we had to make sure of the food supply, and that is where our knowledge of nature study was helpful. By raking away the leaves we found an abundance of the species of insects which form the chief food of the mallee fowl; there are no foxes on the island and human pests won't worry them there. At the first opportunity we intend to sent a few pairs of the birds to the island; if they fail to do well there it will be by reason of some factor which cannot be foreseen.
Back on the mainland again, we were loaned a yacht to make short cruises around the coast and a truck to do overland trips. We still had a lot of walking to do on our own flat feet, but this kindness enabled us to cover a big scope of country, and to return with collecting boxes and jars filled with specimens for the Museum. Others had sought in vain for the campsites of the tribe of Aborigines who once roamed those miles of trackless sand dune and scrub, but we were more fortunate; we found four of them and on them collected a fine lot of stone tools, to later gladden the Ethnologist. At the same time we were able to plan future walks for club members and to locate water supplies, particularly along the rugged southern coast between Cape Wiles and Redbanks, from whose lofty cliffs you can see some of the grandest seascapes ever beheld by human eyes. We had also made a host of new friends and had had a marvellous holiday ourselves. The words “Flora and Fauna protection” and “South Australian Museum” had been the key which unlocked much of this for us.
Adelaide Bush Walkers do not hold themselves up as models for others to copy. We are a young club and we know that we can learn a lot from the older ones. But we do state that it is a great advantage to Bushwalkers to have some people in their club who are keen on nature study and others who will help them in their work - even if the latter do not understand what it is all about. Further, you find nature lovers everywhere, and there is nothing like a common interest to break down the barrier between a casual acquaintance and firm friendship among the people whom you meet on your walks, especially on that all-important first visit.
(It will be very gratifying to S.B.W. members to learn of the keen interest being shown by the Adelaide Bush Walkers in conservation. The S.B.W. attitude has been that the worst enemy of flora and fauna is man, who destroys the flora, and with it the fauna, by ruthless exploitation. Our main efforts to date have been in the reservation of land for the protection of the bush. We have several members who have scientific training in one of the natural sciences and many who have acquired a knowledge since being admitted to the Club. - Ed.)
Once again a hiker has become lost - as usual on a Monday. The Search and Rescue Section did a good job in planning for about 60 searchers to leave on Friday. People always do get lost on Mondays, after the week-end, but, with the best of organisation, the Search and Rescue cannot arrange a big search before Friday, since few can leave work at a few hours notice during the week. This means that the burden of the search falls on the police and the local residents, who are ill equipped for the work. Many lose time and pay while searching. Is it any wonder that the locals do their best to warn us off the rough country and keep on the roads?
Perhaps the most alarming aspect is the publicity. A “hiker” lost in “rough mountain country” is always good copy. It should be a warning to us to see that our own members know their bushcraft.
By courtesy of “Dunk” our re-union recorder, we are enabled to publish the following list of children present at the re-union:
Barry Duncan, Diana Croker, Caroline Croker, Suzanne Rose, Nancy Moppett, Eileen Ashdowne, Nicky Yardley, Mary Yardley, Gail Savage, Fran Thorsen, Geff Chowne, Colleen Coffey, David Roots, Daphne Roots, Rosylin Roots, John Milner, Lynette Whiller, Richard Whiller, Phillip Moroney, Nora Maroney, Lyndal Bean, Wendy Butler, Graham Armstrong, Ross Wyborne.
Female Member, to Male Member, outgoing from Club on Friday night: “Your manners are so circumspect in taking my arm to assist me down the steps - but you didn't do that on Govett's Leap!”
By Dennis Gittoes.
Be warned - never hire a car! That is, unless you are SURE it will go till the end of the journey. Bill Cosgrove, George Dibley, Len Scotland, Fred Svenson and I, hired a car together but none of us even looked under the seat to see if there were any tools.
The first day, after running out of petrol once, blowing out one tire and tube, (and, of course finding NO tools), we camped by the roadside near Tarcutta in the Riverina.
Next day, as we were driving down the main street in Wangaratta (Vic.) one of the back tires gave way, leaving only three for the rest of the trip. That night there was talk of dropping the original Mount Buller plan, and catching buses and trucks to all parts of the countryside, Melbourne included. It would have been quite pleasant spending a week on the banks of the Ovens at Wangaratta. However we were very fortunate in being able to buy two old tires from the tire repair man in town and so - “We were free as the breeze, open road, open - the bonnet! and see why she won't go!”
Now it was the motor pegged out on the steep grade just out of Harrietville. After pulling to pieces everything that we could, with the sole aid of a pair of pliers, namely, the petrol system and half the ignition system, we turned the stubborn car back downhill to coast beautifully (?) - until we were about a mile below the St. Bernard Hospice site when she petered out again.
And so another night of arguing as to whether we should go on or go back - as if we could go anywhere!
Next morning Len and I walked down to the car to get some gear and food. Just for luck he put his foot on the starter and she went - first kick! So like a lot of mugs we threw our gear into (and onto) the liz, and climbed into (and only) it ourselves and went gaily on uphill, till we reached the top of Mr. Hotham where she conked ou– Yes! Haven't I said that before? Well, we lay in the glorious alpine sunshine for three or four hours whilst two of our party went on to the Chalet. They said they had lunch there, anyhow they did bring three nice young girls back with them. In the meantime, a passing motorist sent a couple of mechanics up from Bright who fixed the Ford. These mechanics charged us eight pounds much to our horror. Half this cost was the two shillings a mile each way fee. And we even lent them our tin opener at one stage!
The trip so far, was like one series of breakdowns and the further we went the more frequent they became. We learned an excellent stunt for making the liz go when she repeatedly stopped. She would peter out about every mi1e (or even loss) on hills, so we poured water on various parts of the motor till it went. Using these tactics, we coaxed the old bus down to Omeo, then across to Corryong, camping the night on Deep Creek between the two towns, on the Nariel Road.
The unfaithful odd flew on past Corryong, and we camped that night on the banks of the Murray River near Khancoban. Next morning, we drove the car on for a few mi1ew and then walked to Reeds Flats, via Geehi Walls. At least - the others walked - I rode a horse. That afternoon we made camp in full view of the Main Range, whose swirling mists and rugged ridges turned a pinkish tint in the light from the dying sun.
On the following morning we climbed the Pinnacle (5170 feet), which is the bump on the southern end of the Grey Mare Range. A fairly good view could be obtained from the trig. Water is always to be found just a little to the north, in a little gully, as it is above the snow line.
The Main Range was silhouetted by the dawn of the next day as we sorrowfully retraced our steps back to the car. I say sorrowfully, for we were now well and truly on our way home. Leaving behind green Geehi Flats, nestling between the wooded foothills, we reached the car, and then motored out onto the undulating plains. The big mountains formed a backdrop till they finally merged into the twilight near Batlow.
Len drove the “faithful” old bus onwards through the night at a terrific pace, out goal being Tumut. Thump, Thump! tire flat, change wheel, on again. Len turns the steering wheel to go round a sharp bend in the road, the car doesn't answer. Front spring broken! Somehow we managed to crawl into Tumut about midnight, and as we clattered noisily into the camping grounds we must have caused sleeplessness in the tents and caravans of our many neighbours. We decided to struggle on to Gundagai early next morning, before breakfast, and there get the front spring mended.
We started again before dawn and repeated the performance of the night, by driving noisily out of the camping grounds, and waking everyone up. Eight o'clock found us cooking breakfast in a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Gundagai.
The garage man wouldn't mend our spring, but he lent us his tools, and due mainly to the efforts of Len, we soon had the car in tip top order. By midday we were speeding on again through the haze. As the mileage posts flashed one by one behind us, the sun gradually relaxed its relentless heat and glare, and it was evening when we stopped by the cool banks of Paddy's River for tea.
Shortly we entered the hateful, smoky city, but somehow my mind was still somewhere down near Kosciusko's side.
Rumour has it that a certain member tried to poison a prospective with custard on a recent walk, and the prospective retaliated by trying to poison the member with porridge the following morning. What is the Club coming to when prospectives can take such liberties without being severely reprimanded?
By Christa Calnan.
The postponed Kiddies' Xmas Treat was held at Fuller's Bridge on Sunday, 30th March. Bob Younger, conducting the Treat for the first time was aided by Rene Brown with her wealth of experience with Kiddies' Treats and made a great success of the day. The 66 children from the Devonshire Street Free Library who attended had the time of their lives.
The children, who were all from Surrey Hills, ranged in age from 7 to 12 and some of them had never been in the bush before. The River was a great attraction and by much improvisation, swimming costumes were found for all the children. One lass of 7 cut a dashing line clad in Norma Barden's 2-piece swim suit, precariously moulded to her little limbs with the aid of many safety pins.
Close on 30 Bushwalkers had a hectic day turning skipping ropes, watching that the children didn't drown, supervising races, administering first aid and last, but not least, preparing luncheon and tea for 66 ravenous appetites. Luncheon was a great success, particularly fruit salad and ice cream and by the end of the meal even apparently insatiable little boys were clutching their stomachs and saying “No thanks, Sir” to offers of a second helping.
The climax of the day was reached when each child received a toy and a bag of sweets, and then came the scramble into the special bus. There was a bad moment when the bus left the Park and we found it wasn't heading towards Chatswood Station at all! Somehow a horrible misunderstanding had arisen and the 30 Bushwalkers and 66 children were on the wrong bus! Sleepy children clutching sticky sweets and pistols and penknives and lord knows what were hastily transferred from one bus to another.
Bob acquired a few grey hairs in his curly locks when at Chatswood Station it appeared that there were two children less than there should have been. But there had only been a miscount in the morning and Bob was able to hand over the full complement to the Free Library Supervisor at Central Station.
Bushwalkers and children had become firm friends throughout the day and there were some sad and reluctant partings, Helen, aged 7, tearfully clutched at Bob when the hour of departure came and extracted promises of “seeing you at next year's Xmas Treat”.
The children melted back to their Surry Hills homes with memories of the warmth of sunshine after the coolness of the tree-lined river, green grass and a clear expanse of sky. The Bushwalkers returned to their homes with happy memories also and not without a sense of satisfaction. It is hard to say who were more tired - the children or the Bushwalkers. Compared with Kiddies' Treats bushwalking isn't so strenuous after all.
(Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair Reserve.)
By E. Garrad.
One of the most delightful recollections of a recent holiday in Tasmania is of an afternoon spent on Mount Oakleigh.
It is not as high as many of the other mountains in the reserve but has a number of features which make it outstanding.
We climbed from Pelion Hut, first crossing the lovely rushing Douglas Creek, and then ascended to a gap facing the hut. The going was very difficult but like much of the Tasmanian country, the undergrowth was unfriendly, and we arrived at the top minus a considerable amount of the skin on our legs.
We walked west to the trig and from here had magnificent views of the Forth Gorge. To the north was Cradle Mountain and to the south and south-west, Pelion East, Pelion West, Mt. Ossa, Mt. Thetis and Mt. Achiles, and away in the distance the white top of the magnificent Frenchman's Cap. Wherever, we looked there were lakes and tarns.
For a long time we sat, greatly enjoying this lovely panorama. Then we followed a staked route along the mountain top. Oakleigh is a fairly long mountain with a more or less level top. From the far end we had delightful views of Lake Ayr. The blue waters of the lake were surrounded by brilliant greens, yellows and browns of the button grass plains which are a feature of the country.
The crowning glory of the mountain was the flowers. Lovely expanses of Richeas, displaying every imaginable colour - white, cream yellow, orange, pink, red, etc. etc. I have never seen anything on the mainland to rival the beauty of these flowers. Then there are stretches of boronia, one a lemon scented variety. We found only two boronias in Tasmania, neither with the lovely perfume of our N.S.W. varieties, and both low growing. They provided delightful carpets of soft pink, and almost white.
The staked route followed an easy descent, and we returned to the hut with pleasantly tired bodies, and spirits aglow with all the sights we had seen.
Bob Younger and party enjoyed a rare experience on Good Friday night, that of listening to orchestral music on a moonlight night at Kanangra. A lad from the Technical College Walking Club had come to Kanangra in his car armed with a portable gramophone and record albums and we lay in our sleeping bags beside the fire while the lovely strains of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto drifted near us into the moonlight depths of Kanangra Deep.
Rain, glorious rain! Soft soaking rain! What a lovely thing is rain. How the bush responds. Harsh, dry, crusty soil is transformed into warm vital life giving mould, ready to nourish the spreading roots pervading it.
The Bloodwoods have responded with a foaming abundance of creamy blossom. In their way they are every bit as spectacular as the red flowering gums which have almost finished their splendid show. All the shrubs have sprouted prodigiously though few are as yet in flower. They are for the Winter/Spring carnival. This year must be an off year for cicadas. Last year every tree was filled with its crop of yellow Mondays, black princes, cherry noses, double drummers, floury bakers, green grocers. (What a genius for names the kids have). Where have our friends gone this year with their shrill love songs. The scientists seem to be very vague about the whole business and talk about seven year cycles or three year cycles and so on, but one would think that even though each individual spends three years or seven years (or what it is) underground, over the years the crop of cicadas would be more or less even from year to year. There must be some set of conditions which act as a stimulus to the tunnelling nymph and bring it to the surface for a brief life of love and laughter and ear splitting love songs.
Paddy has good stocks of tents made from white japara and willesden japara, The material is thoroughly reliable and equal to any pre-war cloth. All stock sizes on hand.
Hip length proofed jackets.
Surplus U.S. Army jackets. Lightweight plastic proofed jackets only weigh 20 ozs. Light gray colour. 20/-, no coupons.
£2 (Prisimtic). Others 20/- and 10/-.
Cape ground sheets. 16/6.
Storm capes with hood. 22/-.
Phone B3101. 327 George Street, Sydney.
Camp Gear for Walkers.