Friday, February 19, 2016

Bush, Bog Rolls and Bikers

The new track
No apologies for today's title. 

Just after Christmas, work began on widening the southern half of the Margaret River walk trail, closing the loop along the river. It being summer holidays here meant an increase of traffic on the northern side.The new path, when it opened was shocking...a wide expanse of bare orange dust, in parts through newly cleared forest.  Two weeks later we had an unexpected downpour and our new path turned to mud.

There were grumblings amongst the regular forest users. They are an eclectic bunch, most of us know each other and our dogs, by sight, if not by name. Since The Hairy Marron, the new bike shop, opened at the bridge, the amount of mountain bike traffic on the paths has increased and walkers need to be alert.They don't have time to chat, pat the dogs or to admire the new sculptures by our rock man, who quietly creates sculptures from stones along the path that vanish within a few days. Nor the woman you will find perched on a log or a seat chanting in the early morning.
Rock man at work

At the weir, the new path has made the entrance to the southern portion more obvious and is has become a magnet for illegal campers who strew the car park with litter and the forest alongside with used toilet paper and worse.These visitors who speed through miss a lot, the strange sound of the 'nail gun' tree which leads you to think there is a building site in the forest and its mate on the south side who screeches like a possum. They don't see the bright yellow leeches who cross the path after rain and miss the wonderful giant caterpillar that turns into one of the largest moths in the forest and the shy birds that come near if you are silent. I wonder if in spring they see the orchids and the marron who crawl lazily under the bridge?

We live in paradise here, it can make you selfish. Change is often difficult. The forest has changed and more people can now appreciate it, which hopefully will mean care for it too. 

New karris to meet
The summer rain and following high winds have softened the path with fallen leaves The extreme heat has caused the karri trees to begin shedding their bark and helped it settle into the landscape. The Rotary Club has installed some benches  and the workmen have left the odd large rock along side the trail that can be used to rest a while too. We are beginning to appreciate the fact we can now walk three abreast and no longer have to watch for snakes in the damp spots close to the water (although the snakes have been seen checking out the new path too.) We have met some new trees and cheer on the Zamia palms pushing through the compacted dirt. At the end of the path, 'Hairy' welcomes us with a smile and we can appreciate their excellent coffee and the boys in bike shorts setting off on their bikes while we moan about the tourists!
Fat as my thumb and long as my finger!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it is still paradise.. with coffee at the end! Bonus! :)


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