Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Easy Stroll Through The Mountains

Deb, E, Lu and I went for a stroll this afternoon.
Interestingly enough we went for a very easy ramble along the flanks of Mount Donna Buang and its neighbours.

Before you wonder how you ramble on a mountainside I will explain.

Back in 1914 an aqueduct was completed that took fresh mountain water from high in the Yarra Valley down to Melbourne’s water supply. Known as the O’Shannassy Aqueduct it remained in service until 1997 when it was decommissioned. Since then the trail that runs alongside the old aqueduct has been opened to the public. And like the aqueduct it serviced it snakes almost dead level through the most amazingly steep terrain.

Now before you start imagining something like this
Wikipedia image

Let me show you what the aqueduct is actually like: a concrete lined channel set into a terrace cut along the mountainside.We started our walk at a section of the trail far above the little town of Warburton.
The trail quickly runs into the bush that cloaks the mountainsides here.
These old rails guard some sluice gates that allowed workers to drain this section of the channel.
Looking back the way we came you can see how forest that hasn’t been disturbed for 100 years recovers. Typical of this mountain country is very big eucalyptus trees with an under-story of tree ferns.Lu obligingly leant on this tree, she provides a handy scale. All the falling leaf litter from the forest is quickly filling up the channel and in some areas it is covered in a carpet of forget-me-nots.And buttercups.The tree ferns growing along the edge are among the tallest I have ever seen, some of them 20 to 30 feet tall.Finally a shot of one of the less friendly locals.

A bull ant. This guy was standing up to me, daring me to come closer.At about an inch and a half long and packing a nasty sting, they are quite aggressive.
I snapped a shot and left him to his own devices.


Old Kitty said...

I'm so glad you showed what you meant by viaduct cos I did have that lovely roman one in my mind! LOL!!

Awww but this abandone one along Mount Donna Buang (fab name!!) is even more impressive!! Cos it's being reclaimed by an old forest that's not ready to give up or over to such disturbance!

I love the eucalyptus trees!! And the first are MASSIVE!! Wow!!! Awwww and it's brilliant how the ditches are now covered in wildflowers - buttercups and forget me nots - beautiful and delicate!!

I can't say the same for the bull ant! RESPECT!! to the ant!!! LOL!!

Great to see Lu - hello Lu!! These are brilliant pics - thanks for sharing!

Take care

Theresa Milstein said...

You're right, I was picturing the first photo. How beautiful. We had a highway in Boston that used to be above-ground. It was a mess while the construction was going on when I first moved here. Now it's all underground and they took the above for park space. There's grass and sculptures and water fountains and flowers.

Indigo said...

Amazing visuals! The bull ant definitely looked daunting. (Hugs)Indigo

Kittie Howard said...

If I ever see a bull ant I'm crossing to the other side of the stree! Yipes!

Have never seen forest ferns that tall. What a treat!

Loved your photos. I've seen acquaducts like this before. Wonder how all would've worked out for the Romans if they'd had cement? What a great day you had.

Myrna Foster said...

Ha! Your aquaduct looks remarkably like the ditches I shoveled dirt out of when I was growing up. Those tree ferns are gorgeous though.

Susan Fields said...

I'm glad you stayed away from that ant! I even had to call my daughter over to take a look at it. I'm glad we don't have those around here!

Hart Johnson said...

What a gorgeous hike! Thank you for sharing that! (though those ants look like my least favorite part)

Tahlia said...

You'd love the bush where I live too. It's a bit far for you to come for a stroll thought. ( 2hr south of Sydney.)

Al said...

Hi Jennifer,
No lovely Roman ones here :-(
It is great seeing the bush take over. I have to say I love the wildlife, including the bitey ones.

Hi Theresa,
Sounds like a great park you have. Isn’t it lovely when the authorities give space back to communities like that.

Hi Indigo,
It is a beautiful spot. And the bull ants are ok if you give them space.

Hi Kittie,
I certainly give the little fellahs a wide berth.
They are pretty amazing ferns, I have seen others as tall, but not often.
It was a great stroll!

Hi Myrna,
Hey I shovelled a fair bit of dirt and leaf litter out of water structures when I was young, so I can identify with you there! Love those ferns.

Hi Susan,
The sting really, really, hurts. I’ve learnt the hard way to leave them alone. Pretty amazing creatures though.

Hi Hart,
We had a great time. You are most welcome.

Hi Tahlia,
Thanks for popping by.
Now you have me guessing. Southern Highlands? South Coast? Both have buckets of beautiful spots. I love Kangaroo Valley and further south Bega, and the Eden Monaro.

Rebecca E. said...

Al- took one look at teh ant and went BIG BIG ant, a bull ant! no doubt, but it must have been a great trip.

L'Aussie said...

Hey Al, been thinking of you and pleased to see you were attracted to snakes. You have a post of your own I see, but why not in Oz?

I based mine on Henry Lawson's Drover's Wife.

Thanks for the walk from Warburton. Beautiful pics. That bull ant looks so big - no wonder they pack such a bite - you can throb for hours.

Looks like all goes well, but I think you've got a new blog look..:)