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Showing posts from July, 2017


A quiet week

Breakthrough -morning sun finally reaches the north facing window It's been a quiet week. Wan sunlight now filters Stonehenge –like through the clerestory window. This means that we are now over the hump and hurtling towards Christmas, but winter isn't over yet.  I know this because there’s snow on the mountain and I'm stuck in bed with a book and a cold. I blame this on yet another unfortunate walk to what seems to have become my nemesis, Adamson’s falls. A friend and I set off in light drizzle. He’d already told me that he had to be back in Hobart by 5 p.m. but no problem I thought, the sign said "2 Hrs. Return." At least we actually found the way in this time thanks to Forestry, correction Sustainable Timber, at Geeveston. (Thanks Cathy). However, I would personally like to strangle the person who put up the sign. It should read approximately 3 hours in if you are trying to keep your feet dry and then two hours back if you don’t mind getting m

A Musical Protest

Hobart is up in arms. Our small historic city, the second oldest in Australia has just received two proposals for multistorey hotels, one of them is to be forty stories high and 210 metres tall, the other 94 metres. In a place that is renown for its quaint old buildings and where the height limit in the historic precinct is 18 metres,   I can’t help but think that they are going to look very out of place and spoil it’s old world charm. You can see what the big one would look like here . Now I don't want to offend Mr Koh or the Fragrance Group and Hobart certainly needs the work, but does it have to look like every other city in the world? This is not Dubai or Singapore. Is there no international ordinance to prevent such vandalism? How does Washington DC manage?   Perhaps the whole of Tasmania should be declared a heritage site. Not that we want to scare off potential   investors either, but surely there other places or other ways of achieving the same ends, without d

Extreme Monotremes - Day 2 in the Huon Valley

Watch this space..... The unexpected feast was not the only surprise in Geeveston. My friend went home the night before but I still wanted to do the Duck Hole Lake walk and possibly Adamson's Falls, which I had previously encountered but not conquered. Alas, this time I couldn't find the start of the track so I was heading into Geeveston to ask Forestry when I noticed the sign “Platypus Walk.” Nice, I thought, not for a moment expecting to see one. The tiniest bit of sunlight allows the bryophytes and fungi to flourish along the Duck Hole Lake Track Yep, still intrigued by the fungi - interestingly, although most other species increase in diversity towards the equator, the opposite is true of mosses and fungi The platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus , is a most unusual creature. It belongs to an early branch of the mammalian family and its only near relative is the echidna. Not only do platypuses have fur and suckle their young like other mammals,

A Journey in Time –Stories from the Huon Valley

The Ida Bay Railway at work - once the age of steam had arrived, little workhorses like this were the lifeblood of many small mining and forestry communities. This is one of the few left. Many of the bushwalks in this area follow former rail lines The Huon Valley is about as far south as you can go in Australia.   It’s a beautiful sight in the spring when its abundant orchards – apple, cherry and pear are in bloom, but even in winter there are attractive views of little patchwork farms, vineyards and orchards and tiny hamlets nestled against a backdrop of dark timbered mountains and bordered by the mighty Huon River. Sometimes when I travel this way, I wonder if our lives would have been different if our parents had landed here, where the landscape superficially resembles the European countryside they left behind, rather than in the flat alien country to the north.  Not that it was always as bucolic as it now seems.    It is still literally at the end of the earth, but