Friday, 10 July 2020

Up to the Hinterland

Just over an hour's drive from here, up into the Blackall Ranges, is a growing hinterland town called Maleny.  This bustling, eclectic village, set amid a countryside of rolling green hills and spectacular views of a not-too-distant coastline, is a beautiful place to spend time away from the city. We visited recently, on a very cold Wintery day, to see a dear friend. Rather than venture into the busy town, we spent the day breathing in the blues and the greens around the local lake.

Across Lake Baroon to the sky above.

On our drive down to the lake, formed by the Baroon Pocket Dam, we passed lush paddocks, edged with fencing and dotted with old and beautiful trees that cast deep shade underneath. Cows and horses grazed on abundant grass against the backdrop of wide blue sky. 

An old and shady tree.

We stopped at the Platypus Viewing Platform, along the Obi Obi Creek, and waited quietly for the telltale ripples of the shy platypuses that make their homes along the creek's banks. Our glimpse of these unusual creatures was fleeting, and gone too soon for photos, but there are images over on National Park Odyssey's blog, of this elusive Australian animal in this local creek, if you'd like to spot one too.

A horse in one of Maleny's paddocks.

After the morning outdoors, rugged up against the Hinterland's cold, somewhere warm was most welcome. Out on the deck of Secrets Cafe, located in a stunning timber building on the edge of the rainforest, we enjoyed a delicious lunch that came complete with a beautiful view through the trees and across the water of the lake.

The inviting Secrets on the Lake at Maleny. 

A window box planted with geraniums.

A bright yellow orchid growing on rocks outside the restaurant.

Artworks, like this bright red waterlily piece, in the gallery.

After a lunch that included a souffle made with local cheeses, salad and a lemon myrtle creme brulee sprinkled with macadamia nuts, we walked along a well-used track around more of the lake although I could easily have curled up beside the warm fire and read all afternoon! 

The warm and welcoming fire.

My delicious dessert.

It was quiet along the path we walked, that for a time hugged the edge of the lake before winding its way back to its beginning. We passed tall trees, a few with possum boxes up high, and were accompanied by bird song, including that of the distinctive whip bird, along the way.

A possum box up high in a tree.

A view across the lake.

The afternoon was casting long shadows as we made our way home from the hinterland. We could have spent this day, strolling the streets of Maleny's town centre, but I am glad that we soaked up the blues and the greens of nature on its outskirts instead. 


Saturday, 4 July 2020

Just One Word

Nestled inside a beautiful gift ...

A tiny pendant bird.

...was the hint of a word... 

Handmade & sweet.

...that says so very much.

I shall treasure her.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

A Birthday Bushwalk

On a clear and cold June day, I turned another year older and celebrated my birthday day with a bushwalk in a forest not far from home. With the sun high in Winter's blue sky, we rugged up in several layers against a chilly and brisk wind and set off to picnic in the Samford Conservation Park. Our picnic spot, in a red ironbark forest, is just over the ridge from our place.

Leafy shadows on an ironbark's trunk.

To add something warm and nourishing to our packed picnic lunch, we drove the 'long way round' and stopped in at a local bakery, in the Samford Village, for pies. Mine was fresh and hot from the oven and filled with lentils, tomato, onion and zucchini. Along with the sweet strawberries and other goodies we'd packed, it made for a simple and warming lunch.

Our picnic spot.

At our quiet picnic spot, we chose a table under the trees from where we could hear the whip birds calling and watch the kookaburras perched upon their branches. This fellow kept a keen eye on us as we ate our lunch and we left him in charge of our picnic basket when we headed off on our bushwalk.

Kookaburra keeping a keen eye on lunch!

Along the winding, rocky track we took, the ground was carpeted with fallen eucalyptus leaves. Either side of the track grow the forest's trees, so many being straight and tall and thin like matchsticks in comparison to the older specimens among them with their thicker trunks and their rough and deeply furrowed bark. These are the ironbarks after which the gully we looped around is named.

Two trunks in the forest.

Being Winter, there were very few native flowers in bloom but the forest's foliage, shaded in a myriad of gorgeous greens, was beautiful against a backdrop of barks. 

The green of a young grass tree.

Spending time in the forest, with the high blue sky above, the ground firmly underfoot and tall trees all around, felt the perfect way to spend some of my day.