Tuesday, April 30, 2013
After yesterdays flower show I woke up feeling great! I now have some buckwheat seeds and some other plants that I really wanted to have. When they flower I'll get a .
We have a nice hearty breakfast of Whole Wheat Waffles (say that fast three times) with fresh Blackberries and Blueberries. It was delicious and very filling. I'm glad that I'll be on the trail so I can burn off some of these calories I just ate.
We leave Pemberton and get on the trail. Hiking in single file when needed and abreast when possible. The first impressive sight is The Glouchester Tree. It is so tall and with the platform on top I'm amazed people actually climb up it! I'm not afraid of heights but it doesn't look very sturdy to me. Of course having to use a walker doesn't help. lol It really is kinda funny to me since the tree and the national park is named after the Duke of Glouchester in England. I've always wondered why things were named after English places or people here in Australia. Kinda different. The tree is one of three fire watch tree as I mentioned in a previous post/blog. It must have been quite a job sitting up in these trees looking for fires. One would have to really like to be alone.
We keep on hiking since we want to reach our campsite before night. We are all having just a great time when we come across the Cascades! There must have been some rain upstream because they are not at full force but are more than just a trickle. What ever the case we all are loving the views and sounds. We all take a quick break and take pictures and wade in the water for just a little while. I know I can't help myself. It's just so fun!
Another thing I learned about in Pemberton was the Brockman Sawpit. It provides an interesting reminder of the early days when timber was cut by hands. This sawpit has been restored to how it would have looked in about 1865.
In those days a 1.8 metre deep pit was dug and wooden beams were laid across it. The log to be sawn was then placed on the beams. One man stood on the top of the log to lift and guide the saw, while down in the pit, one or two men operated the saw from below.
It is not hard to imagine just how uncomfortable this work must have been, especially for the men below with sawdust showering down on them. In winter, the pit would part-fill with water.
For this arduous, unpleasant work, those pioneer loggers were paid the pricey sum of sixpence per hour! I've decided that it really isn't the work for me! Especially for that pay! lol
We end up drying our feet well and getting back on the trail. It now starts to go in and out of the Warren Valley. It's much steeper and the going gets tougher but we keep on going. The views we get to see on occasion of the Valley below are breathtaking! The differences between the colors on the trees are so pretty. Some are in bloom and others are not. The wildlife is all about us. The birds are flitting and we can see some gliding on the hot thermals over the forests looking for unwary prey to scoop up.
Around us on the ground we can hear rustling in the underbrush. I'm very sure it is little forest creatures. One being the Quokka. As I learned at Rottnest island there are Quokka here on the mainland proper as well. They are a little different genetically than the ones on Rottnest but are definitely related. They are so cute and have pouches just like kangaroos. They belong to the marsupial family and their babies or Joey's, as they are called, live in them for 4 months or so. I also look for lizards and snakes. The other thing I'm looking for are spiders and scorpions. I sure hope we don't run into them. I really don't want to have a run-in with a Recluse! I hear their bite can be nasty and needs to be treated in a hospital. I've never seen one but I really don't want to anyways. I would love to see a Trap-door Spider though. I'd love to watch it get it's prey. Those ones are fascinating and don't go after humans so we'd be safe.
But we keep on walking and end up walking to our campsite in good time. Tonight we are staying in the Warren River campsite and are happy to get there with good light left. Pitching a tent in the dark is not fun! I also want to make sure my tent is up and closed up against creepy crawlies before night comes.
Tonights dinner is Beef Stroganoff and one of my favorites. I add some Earl Grey tea to it and just have a feast! It tastes great after a day on the trail. It also feels good to put my feet up.
Today I did 2,401 steps and worked in my gardens for about 30 minutes total. I can't wait for the harvest! YUMMY!!!
Friday, April 26, 2013
Well my friend Lady Marcia you beat me today for sure. lol
Since I slept in way to late I'm working on catching up to everyone else on the trail. I look forward to getting to our next campsite. I hear it is near a waterfall called Beedleup Falls. We walk around the actual Beedleup National Park. There is a fee for getting into the Park proper. If we stick to the trail it's free. There is no camping within the park but it is fine in the campsite near the falls. The park was created in 1910 and declared a reserve in 1915. The Pemberton National Parks Board has been responsible for management of the park since 1957.
There are many interesting plants in the park. Since it has a very high water content some of the plants are bog plants or swamp type of plants.
Some of the plants are the Agonis which is a genus of four species in the plant family Myrtaceae. All are endemic to Western Australia, growing near the coast in the south west. Only one grows to tree size, the others generally grow as tall shrubs. The Agonis species generally have fibrous, brown bark, dull green leaves and inflorescences of small, white flowers. They are most readily identified by the powerful odour of peppermint emitted when the leaves are crushed or torn.
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches.The stem holding the whole inflorescence is called a peduncle and the main stem holding the flowers or more branches within the inflorescence is called the rachis. The stalk of each single flower is called a pedicel.
The Hibbertia, or Guinea flower, is a genus of trees, shrubs, trailing shrubs and climbers of the family Dilleniaceae that is also found in the Park. The five-petalled flowers of all species are varying shades of yellow except for three. Those three have Orange petalled flowers.
About 150 species of Guinea flower occur in Australia of which two are also found in New Guinea. Also, 24 species occur in New Caledonia, one of which is also found in Fiji, and one other species is endemic to Madagascar. The genus takes its name from George Hibbert who was an English merchant and amateur botanist.
Given the similarity in flower colour and shape, the number of stamens is a useful method of identification as this can vary widely from 4 to about 200 depending on species.
Another interesting tree that is in the park area is the Red Swamp Banksia or Waterbush. It is a species of shrub or small tree in the plant genus Banksia. It occurs on the south coast of Western Australia. A 1980 field study at Cheyne beach showed it to be pollinated by the New Holland Honeyeater and White-cheeked Honeyeater.
The New Holland Honeyeater is a honeyeater species found throughout southern Australia. It was among the first birds to be scientifically described in Australia. It is around eighteen cm long and is mainly black, with a white iris, white facial tufts and yellow margins on its wing and tail feathers. It is a very active bird and rarely sits long enough to give an extended view. When danger approaches a New Holland Honeyeater, a group of Honeyeaters will form together and give a warning call. The sexes are similar in looks with the exception that females are, on average, slightly smaller. Young Honeyeaters less than a year old have similar colouring but have grey eyes and a yellow gape and "whiskers" near the nares.
The White-cheeked Honeyeater inhabits the east coast and the south-west corner of Australia. It has a large white patch on its cheek, a brown eye, and a yellow panel on its wing. It is a medium-sized black and white honeyeater, with a long, sturdy bill that curves downwards. It has large bright yellow tail and wing panels, with a large conspicuous white cheek patch on a mainly black head. The eye is dark brown. Young birds are duller (brownish) and paler with softer, fluffier plumage. They are gregarious, active and noisy with swift, erratic flight.
Another plant is the Acacia myrtifolia, known as Myrtle Wattle or Red-stemmed Wattle. It is a species of Acacia that is native to Australia. Its specific epithet 'myrtle-leaved' is derived from the Latin myrtus 'myrtle', and folium 'leaf'. It has distinctive red branches its flowers are creamy white or pale yellow and appear in winter and spring. These are followed by 4–7 cm long curved seed pods. It was one of the earliest plants described in the colony, having been illustrated by James Sowerby. James Sowerby was an English naturalist and illustrator. The use of vivid colour and accessible texts were intended to reach a widening audience in works of natural history.
The Darwinia is a genus of about 70 species of evergreen shrubs in the family Myrtaceae, endemic to southeastern and southwestern Australia. The majority are native to southern Western Australia, but a few species occur in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The genus was named in honour of Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin. They are commonly known as Mountain Bells or simply Bells. Many species in the genus Darwinia are threatened with extinction, being listed as Endangered or Vulnerable on the Australian National List of Threatened Flora. Land clearing and grazing practices have reduced the areas where Darwinia species grow naturally. Recovery is hindered by drought, changed fire regimes and susceptibility to infection by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi which kills the plants.
Some rare fauna are thought to inhabit the area including the Woylie, Numbat and the Tammar.
Another interesting feature of the park is the walk through karri tree. It is a 400 year old tree with a large man-made hole cut through at the base large enough for a person to stand in it!
Maybe I'll be able to come back and go hiking in the park to see all these interesting sights.
I'm loving the air being moister because I live close to the coast in California so I'm used to a more humid environment. The naturally dry air here in Australia has been hard on me. This area though is much nicer for me. The streams and rivers we are crossing are all helping me adapt.
We finally reach the campground and happily take off our packs. I chose to set up my tent and get my bed ready right away so I wouldn't have to do it later. Then I walked to the waterfall where I found quite a few of our group taking pictures. It is a rather small waterfall but it is pretty. The view from the side shows exactly how flat this falls really is. It is more like a cascade than a falls but it is beautiful none the less. The sound coming off of it is very melodious and not to loud at all.
I only had 1236 steps today but it was up and down small hills so it was just about right for me. I had saved a great vegetable soup for tonight so I went back to the campsite and cooked it up eating it with some hearty whole grain bread and some roasted garlic. Ahhh, a nice hearty warm meal after a nice hike.
As the sun sets the sounds of amphibious animals start to flood the night with their melodious music as the areas animals switch from daytime to night.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I always love the beds that's for sure. I went to bed early as I wanted to get enough sleep for the hike today. I hear there's several bridges to cross and there are supposed to be many rivers/creeks/streams to go over. I also hear there are a lot of flowers and wild life to spot as well. I'm glad that I was able to charge my camera last night.
We start off early in the morning as this part of the trail is a bit harder than other places. There are many times we have to walk single file. Especially over the bridges. The flowers are of all the different colors under the sun! It's just beautiful and I keep taking pictures of most of them. Soon I find some really large "nuts" on the ground and look up at the tree and see them up top as well. I find out that they are called "Honkey Nuts" by the locals but is also known as "Gum Nuts" as well. ‘Honkey nuts’ were made famous by May Gibbs' children’s story books about the ‘Gumnut Babies’.
"Honkey Nuts" are from the Corymbia calophylla tree or the Marri or Port Gregory Gum Tree. The tree is a relative to the Bloodwood trees found elsewhere in the world as well. The name Bloodwood comes from the Kino that leaks out when the tree is mechanically damaged from the outside. I'll get back to the Kino in a minute. The Bloodwood trees are also known for having very large flowers and fruit. In Australia there are two varieties of them. They are both Eucalypts and the way you tell them apart is from the nut. One has a very thick wall to the fruit and is known as the Woody-fruited Bloodwood (Corymbia) and the other has a very thin wall on the fruit and is known as the Paper-fruited Bloodwood (E. subg. Blakella). Corymbia terminalis, also known as the Desert Bloodwood is a tree native to the interior desert regions of Australia. It is known for it's red sap as well.
Now back to the Kino. Kino is the name given to the "Plant Gum" or a specific sap that the tree covers it's boo-boo's with. It is in many of the plants but this variety is specifically very RED. It is very well known in the Eucalypts and can be harvested like Maple Syrup is from the Maple tree by making cuts in the bark on the trunk and hanging a bucket to capture it. It looks like Red-Current Jelly when it comes out but hardens in about an hour when exposed to air and sun. So timing is crucial. Kinos typically dry to an amber-like material, it consists of dark red angular fragments, rarely larger than a pea. Of the small angular fragments, the smaller are reddish, and the larger are almost black; thin pieces are ruby red. It is brittle and easily powdered. It has no smell, but a very astringent taste. The Kino once it is hard is partially dissolvable in water. What remains is a pale flocculent (flaky) residue which is soluble in boiling water but deposited again upon cooling. Kino is not absorbed at all from the stomach and only very slowly from the intestine. The drug was frequently used in diarrhoea, its value being due to the relative insolubility of kinotannic acid, which enabled it to affect the lower part of the intestine.
Kino also has an extremely high kinotannin acid at about 70-80 percent. Because of the high Tannin content it is used in tanning of hides. It is also used in medicine and dyes. As they are usually soluble in water, kinos found use in traditional remedies. Eucalyptus kino is used by Australian aborigines in a tea for treating colds. Kino, from other parts of the world, was employed as a cotton dye, giving to the cotton the yellowish-brown color known as nankeen.
Okay so back to the trail. We see the Kino on several trees around and can see it for ourselves. I'm also able to see many different birds and snap pictures of them for later identification. It is cute to see them flitting about in the bushes of the undergrowth. We hike in single file most of the way, spreading out when we come to the open tracks that used to house the railroads for the mills. Then back to single file on the narrow paths and across the bridges over water. lol Okay bad attempt at a joke.
I was so intent on the hike I got in 1757 steps today and worked out in the garden for 20 minutes planting and watering and cleaning out the pond filter. So I've got in my exercise for the day. My right elbow is killing me as I did to much after my Dr shot me up and made me feel better. It is also raining and so my whole body has been cranky. So before the Oxy catches up with me I better stop typing and not making sense.
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