Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog
Why I live in The Grampians: my afternoon walk
By Jane Gibb
My walk begins by climbing over a fence. Having grown up in mountain country near Mansfield, I graduated in climbing over fences at a young age; with honours! I choose a point where the ground is elevated. On tiptoes, my feet can touch the ground on both sides of the fence. With a stretch, I step over the fence.
Crossing a field, keeping the steep fall of the escarpment on my left, I pass a mob of kangaroos grazing on the hillside. This mob has begun to recognise me on my regular ramblings, so instead of fleeing they lazily stand tall to watch me.
A steep slope leads down to the Wannon River, which is the biggest water course near to our place. There is water in it at the moment (in the summer, it dries up), so I find a log to act as a bridge. It’s fun carefully balancing on the log, with one eye on the water running below. I’m pleased with my agility. I quietly congratulate myself; I haven’t even come close to losing my balance!
I stop briefly to admire the huge old red-gum trees that love growing by the river-side, and then continue up the foothills of The Piccaninny Mountain towards the lake.
My lake is not really a lake; it’s a dam. But I prefer to call it a lake. Somehow a lake sounds more authentic and natural.
By the time I arrive at the water’s edge, the sun is setting. Orange sky silhouettes the trees on the far side of the water. A couple of cormorants mark my arrival by flying noisily up into the sky.
I begin to survey the scene and notice there is not much visible wildlife. I can’t even hear any scurrying or rustling sounds. The only noise comes from little ripples lapping gently on the bank. The silver skeleton of a tree rises from the water. As I begin to photograph it, the light disappears and I slowly, gently make my way around the lake. A little group of lovely local birds, New Holland honey-eaters, are feasting on the flowers of a Hakea bush. I try to photograph one but it’s too fast and I end up with a picture of scrambled twigs. There’s a bird somewhere in the middle.
A water bird comes soring overhead. It has come to see if it’s safe to return home. When I snap a picture of it, it flies away, to wait until I have gone. The fading light tells me it’s time to go. I don’t want to. A parrot arrives, perching high up in a tree to catch the last of the sunlight. It’s calling to its mate and the sound echoes across the valley. It’s right above me, a magical moment in nature that reminds me why I live here.
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