News Views and Changing hues
News, Views and Changing Hues
From Dick Renshaw’s Lookout to Bluff Knoll
First some good news. Jeremy and Kathy have arrived safely in Freemantle Sailing Club on San Darago after taking advantage of the past few days of fine weather with steady SE winds; but not before they climbed the hill behind their mooring at Emu Point and took this fine photo looking over Oyster Bay to the marina with the boatyard behind where you can see Zoonie, she has the tallest mast, and on to the countryside behind. They can watch the bad weather that is due in from the NW this weekend from the safety of their marina pen; hopefully the storm will bring some rain as all the farmers need it for their crops including Malcolm for his paddocks of barley.
Secondly, my picture of our botanical punk rockers; maybe Black Flag or The Sex Pistols is in pic number 912, (sorry it didn’t appear in the last blog) I favour the sex pistols for obvious reasons. In 917 you can see where rainwater runs off the road along the gulley and into the bush carrying with it life-giving and life-destroying properties.
As we approached the mountain range and the sun rose, so the dark gloomy shadows lightened to reveal not only the extent of the fire damage but also the shapeliness of the well-worn sandstone. These were not Mountains born of volcanic activity as were the Porongurups you see in pic 921, which as you know we climbed when we first arrived in Albany. The Stirling Range was born from the sea and is made of compressed sand called sandstone and some of that was again altered by compression into quartzite. The rippling effects of waves upon a sandy beach that we have all seen is preserved here as rock, some of which is found at the top of the mountains following the processes of folding and faulting during phases of the earth’s crust being on the move.
The ancient perpetuity of geological movement and change was another source of hope for me. It is like the strong arm of nature, doing the groundwork that we enjoy today but that is never ending but always on the move.
At the highway end of the Bluff Road there is a delightful café where we stopped for some refreshment before approaching Bluff Knoll Mountain for a closer look at the highest mountain in SW Aussie at 1,100 metres; a mountain and a half! (A mountain is 2000 feet or more and 1100 metres is roughly 3400 feet.)
The park has only re-opened recently after the easing of the strict Covid 19 rules which followed the necessary closures while the fires raged. So with the rain that has fed the range in the past weeks the bush has had a few weeks to start its recovery, and as you can see it has been very busy.
We sat outside the café on a patio area where the majority of chairs and tables were still stacked and the few in use were well spaced to allow for social distancing. A very fluffy young brown lama watched us, hoping for some crumbs or maybe just out of curiosity.
We came away hoping the couple running the place would be able to continue providing their friendly service after the lost business they have suffered, and with a tray of six quite different little cakes to add to our picnic for later on.
Just around the corner was a pay station where we parted with £7.50 so we could enjoy the mountain and they can continue their invaluable work preventing the dieback and maintaining the tracks; do you see the irony?
A few kilometres nearer to the magnificent corner of the mountain that juts out arrogantly towards its neighbour, I could make out in places the thin hair-like track that leads diagonally and steeply upward from left to right and then curves around the back into a different climate fed by cool ocean winds. The track distance to the top is 3.1km from the car park. I could see tiny, weeny specs stomping their way upward and said quietly to Rob, “You’re not getting me up there!” He was doubtful of my resistance from the start, knowing me as he does. Born a Leo always a Leo. I just wondered if I still had my Machu Picchu or Mt Hobson on Great Barrier Island, or Mt Manaia or even my Parihaka at Whangarei fitness. I was soon to find out.