2020 Aus Circumnavigating Lake Towerrinning
At Lake Towerrinning
On occasions Rob comes up with the most delightful ideas for an excursion and I became curious when he disappeared into the kitchen yesterday and started making noises not linked to washing up dishes or pouring drinks. Upon exploration I discovered he was packing a snack of Fruit cake and chocolate biscuits and filling a thermos with heaped teaspoons of coffee and boiled water. “We’ll circumnavigate Lake Towerrinning today, poppet.” I was delighted he was getting back into the circumnavigation frame of mind too.
The lake has only been a permanent water filled lake since the land around it was cleared for agriculture, otherwise it would be like Lake Indoon, with its indeterminate periods of dry. The water once became saltier until a plan was carried out to divert a number of freshwater streams into it.
We chatted with the lady cleaning the loos with the help of her dog Max, but she had no idea of whether one could get right around; so there was our challenge.
We walked along a good track through the campsite, saying ‘hi’ to the few campers there. No boats were on the water; in the summer the lake is popular with water skiers; Malcolm and Christine used to love bringing Kylie and Tennille there for some skimming over the flat surface.
All the while we could look back over the lake at our starting point to see how we were doing. Rob suddenly noticed where something had dragged across the track leaving a shallow groove. I followed it and found this beautiful Egerina Skink, coincidentally after we found another one exactly the same on a recent walk around the station. It had fortunately successfully negotiated the track and remained motionless while we chatted and photographed it.
You will see from the aerial view (many thanks Mr Google) that some way beyond the campsite area as we walked in a clockwise direction from the orange pointer there is a thin strip of land that goes almost right across to complete the circle of the lake. Well we weren’t sure if we’d get across and we wanted to explore the smaller lake anyway so we continued along the track until it made a definite left turn away from the area. There was a clear ford across the creek here to the right and back towards the lake side so off came shoes and socks and cool muddy sand oozed up between our toes as we carefully waded across.
There were a few more soggy patches so we walked on barefooted until I had the brilliant idea of photographing Rob paddling over the soft ground. That is why there is a photo of him going back to do the same bit again, for the sake of the blog of course. What a guy.
The lower lake was a haven of bird life. Apparently 128 species either live permanently or migrate here each year. From a distance we saw a tree with a colony of spoonbill perched on its naked branches. Black swans preferred this area to the bigger lake along with pied stilts, seagulls, ducks and tall white storks. One or two nest boxes were strapped to the trees but more were in the water having fallen off.
As we approached the tiny gap I mentioned before, it looked as if it had been made to allow freshwater from the creek we had just waded across, which fed the smaller lake, to flow into the bigger lake and some kind soul had placed a canoe there on enough line at each end attached to both shores so it could be used like a ferry.
Hair-like weed had been blown off the lake and accumulated on the beaches and looked like sails drying in the sun and paperbark trees, much loved by aborigines for their myriad of uses, thrived on the lakeside.
Someone’s secret hideaway awaited their return half a mile from where we started and the whole walk took just over two hours. We were glad of our bottles of water before we drank the coffee and ate our snack trying to work out the area of the lake. A strange clarity of memory set me multiplying pi (3.142, not bad after 50 years of neglect) X our estimated radius of the lake to establish its area, but as we could not decide on the radius I can tell you from further research the main lake is 265 hectares in area and very beautiful too.