A message from Brigid ....

I have been a blogger since 2005. At the height of my blogging busy-ness, I had "a small stable" of blogs on different topics: social and political commentary; desert spirituality; food; waste and ....

A few years ago I called time and ceased blogging altogether - although there was an occasional post. I had called it quits. I am an aged woman these days with a couple of serious illnesses. I am not allowed to drive. I am no longer active in organisations. I think it fair to say that I am housebound. I am active on Facebook, although I am not there as often as once I was. I have decided to embark on a re-entry into the blogging world ... beginning with The Trad Pad and, possibly, a return to my food blog, Oz Tucker. I have always used a lot of photographs on my blogs ... and I miss not being out and about with my camera.

The Trad Pad has been my blog for the lovely things of life. The controversial or political has seldom intruded. Occasionally, the spiritual has found its way in, but I kept spirituality for the blog, Desert. I don't yet know if I will revive that. I will stick pretty much to food and the lovely things of life. If I have some regularity with those two categories, I feel that I will be doing well. I hope that, with this blog new friendships can be formed and old friendships renewed; new lovelies discovered; new reflections can enter into the meaning of modern life. I would love to hear from you - particularly if you have suggestions for new topics to enter into the conversation. So, it is a new year. Let's see what it has in store, what it can bring to us. And I hope that those who share the spirit of The Trad Pad can spread the message of a world of beauty, the creativity of humanity, and the joys of simplicity and tradition. ~~~ February, 2017

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

In search of the rushing, gushing Yarra River - Part 1

I had a lovely day out yesterday.
It was full of the unexpected and pleasant surprises.

Large tracts of Victoria are under water at the moment.
A vast contrast from the worst drought since white settlement
and the deathly bushfires of last year.

The radio said that the Yarra River was expected to flood
at Yarra Glen.

I didn't want to wait till the Yarra actually flooded.
I wanted to see the Yarra gushing and rushing
with the water of the yet-to-be flood.

And I did.

This is the story of my day in search of the pre-flood Yarra.
The map at this site will give you a bit of an idea of where I went.

As I left the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne behind
and hit the Melba Highway,
everything was green
and there was water, water everywhere.

Dams were full to the brim.
A few drops more and they would overflow.
Water was lying at the edge of the road
and the Yarra billabongs were spreading.

The photos above and below were taken
from Skyline Drive looking back to Yarra Glen.

Looking for Sugarloaf Reservoir Park was quite an exercise.
I think there is a job going begging in the Victorian public sector -
Commissar of Signage.
I find the signage poor in and around Melbourne -
sometimes beyond belief.
It doesn't compare with the signage in Sydney -
where the traffic moves so quickly
and the layout of the city is so convoluted
one would never survive without clear signage.

I turned off the Melba Highway at the appropriate sign.
Not to see another sign on a major road for the rest of the day.
I later was told I did not go far enough along
the Yarra Glen to Eltham road before turning off.

I had two sets of "clear" instructions
neither of which delivered the desired result.

After wandering hither and yon -
yes, I didn't have a clue where I was -
I found Sugarloaf in the distance.
The photo below is the result.

My camera is fairly humble -
a Kodak EasyShare DX7590
(5.0 mega pixels and 10X optical zoom) -
and I am an even humbler photographer
(for this read ignorant and unskilled).

If I were clever,
I could probably customise settings
but I am not clever enough to figure all that.
Given these limitations,
I was rather pleased with this photograph.
I was a great distance from the water,
and I couldn't tell how well the zoom
was handling what I was asking of it.
I consider myself fortunate to have
recorded not only the water
but the dam wall and, somehow, the CBD in the distance.

Once I discovered this back part (well I think it was the back part of the reservoir), I followed a road which ran alongside the high Melbourne Water perimeter fence. So you don't lay awake at night wondering, I have to tell you that there is a fair degree of security around our water storages.  I went past all sorts of signs and many, many locked gates.  And after this journey, I eventually came to a half-open gate.

In spite of warnings to trespassers, I - lost in search of a pre-flood experience - entered.  I went down a bitumen driveway and came to a large concrete area.  At one end of this was a multi-story building.  But I couldn't resist walking across to the fenced off section at the other side of the concrete apron.  And there I was - high above the Yering Gorge.  And the water was rushing and gushing.

Camera was quickly put into action and, just as I had taken these, a man came to see what I was doing.  I explained to him about looking for Sugarloaf, the poor signage, seeing the Yarra in flood, etc.  And he gave me directions....

....and I did make it to the Sugarloaf Reservoir Park....

and here is some explanatory signage

Click the above photos (3) to enlarge and make legible.

The picture below is of a section of a narrow peninsula jutting into the reservoir
which is covered in low blooming wattle.

and then there was the getting out -
and, if the getting in was a mystery, so was the getting out.
And it had its adventures too...

.... I found a castle in the hills.
A modern version - but, I think, a castle nonetheless.

One finds all sorts of things on roadsides in the bush.
The quaintest are usually letter boxes.
This is the most curious.
One can imagine baskets left there
to receive the bread, the parcels.
But...what is the story with the picture frame?

Hopefully this is a successful partnership.

Bush flora.

Driving down the bush road,
I spotted the beautifully rusty wheelbarrow.
I could not resist.
Pulled up the car right in the middle of the road,
because - with the Kodak zoom lens - I thought 
I could get a picture from the road.
Next thing, a woman came into view.
I walked over and explained how I had found the wheelbarrow -
or it had found me.
Introductions done -  she is Deirdre.
Her cottage garden is small.
She would like to plant her favourite daphnes
but there is no room.
Nillumbik Shire Council has some tight controls.
The amount of land given to non-indigenous plants is limited.
Deirdre has planted out a number of wattles -
but these are wattles indigenous to the area.
As well, the shire dictates the height of houses.
Deirdre's house fits well into the landscape -
almost hugging the ground in comparison
with the bush around.

I told Deirdre about my Yering Gorge adventure,
and she told me how her Bend of Islands home
overlooked the gorge and took me to the verandah
so I could photograph her view.

Yering Gorge in the Bend of Islands -
photographed from Deirdre's verandah.

And, across the old white bridge above,
I exited the Bend of Islands
through some beautiful green Victorian bush.

The story continues to-morrow
with the rushing, gushing Yarra River
at Warrandyte.

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