Thursday, December 06, 2018

Two local walks



Start of the Leslie Vale Track

 After the Mt. Dromedary fiasco, I have set my sights a little lower literally this past week and my friends and I have gone for gentler, shorter walks, not far from home. On both days the weather was still a bit drizzly, hence the rather dull picture quality, but quite pleasant walking weather all the same.

The first walk was the Leslie Vale Track through horsey country at the back of Kingston.  This is in fact one of several horse trails in the area and should take about an hour and a half if all goes well. The first part travels through farmland alongside the main highway and then does a short traverse through the bush before re -emerging between five acre paddocks. Unfortunately, we then came upon a “Y” junction which was not marked on the map and with no indication of whether to go left or right. This seems to be the story of my life lately. Since this was to lead us to a road, we decided on the route to the right, where you could see some houses in the distance. This, alas, ended in private property (unsigned as such) and as we were walking down a driveway towards the road, an angry farmer came out and told us off, adding that we weren’t the only ones. At least he wasn't the kind of farmer who comes out weilding a shotgun.  I told the council afterwards and they said thanks as they were in the process of reprinting the map and they would also try to add a directional sign at the junction. 

The only other blood pressure raising moments were walking back along busy Lesley Vale Road, which is narrow, windy and without footpaths and where the traffic goes incredibly fast. On the plus side, everything was lovely and green after all the rain and there were a few wildflowers about including a rare broadleaved Boronia.

I think this must be the rare broadleaved Boronia. Have asked Santa to bring me the definitive guide to native plants. The hand drawn sketches in the little field guides - lovely as they are, just don't cover things like this and the Field Naturalists are tired of me badgering them for information

The second walk, another shortish one on the fringes of suburbia, ran between Huon Road and the Waterworks Reserve. I was quite pleased to see the Reserve again, having recently written about it. You will see what I mean about the nod to aesthetics and not just practicality in the public works built around the turn of the century. There’s a nice little bit of history – more of a scandalous history really, documented within the little sandstone pumphouse at the far end. Many other tracks also start from here, more than I would have thought even though I have now lived in Hobart for over two decades.  The really lovely thing about them is that they are only about ten minutes’ drive from the centre of Hobart and you don’t need a lot of gear, yet you feel like you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city with its crazy new parking meters and even crazier Christmas shoppers. 

Tranquility reigns or should I say rains, at the Reserve

Inside the old Pumphouse - see what I mean about the industrial architecture of yesteryear being somewhat more interesting than the utilitarian structures which followed


Birds call, the scent of eucalyptus is in the air and the wallabies don’t even bother to bound away as we pass. Alas the dogwoods, which bloomed more spectacularly this year than I have ever seen them, are now in decline but there are bright spots of trigger plants and foxgloves and  the odd unexpected orchid.    

Though fading now, the humble dogwoods have put on a spectacular display this year


 
Foxgloves are not native to Tasmania but their tall spikes add a touch of mystery and colour
 
Trigger plants do their best to compete
Along with these ????
 
... and these white daisy bushes.

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