weekend away

Well here is my review of the weekend, I could add so much more in many areas but have tried to keep it short and sweet but it is long, long, long, I wish I could write my essays in the time it took me to do this πŸ™‚

If you don’t want to read what I wrote you can go straight here to the photos, but it may not all make sense just looking at the photos.

Friday the 23rd.
Mid-Friday Arvo, Mum and I headed off with a car packed full of supplies, my bag of library books from my last essay plus my essay to hand in at Uni. Joined the Friday afternoon traffic heading west as people left their jobs in Brisbane to make the drive to Ipswich. We by no means took the most direct route to Urbenville, with all the stopping we took to either take photos (Helen) or explore things (Mum) we arrived in Urbenville round 7pm, 3.5 hours after we left uni. We had planned to have a pub meal at the Urbenville Pub but they didn’t serve meals and we were directed to the Bowls Club which we did. Side note, we were so very much south of the border with all the Tooheys ads around the place. Mum and I both got Lasagne with Chips and Salad or Veg for the grand price of $7.50, yep nothing like a counter meal πŸ™‚

Headed to the campsite, hooked up with the other NPAQ Members and I had fun taking photos of the clover that carpeted the campsite, in the dark, using my headlight to light them up.

Saturday the 24th.
Dropped Mum off near Edinburgh Castle and I started a day of exploring, I had decided not to go on the walk so I would be in fine condition for the day we had planned for Sunday, a wise decision as it was a rough trip and two of the party stopped part way into the walk. I meandered down the road from Edinburgh Castle back to Urbenville, stopping along the way when I saw something interesting. Drove over to Tooloom Falls, which had very little water flowing over them. After seeing various fruit trees in blossom alongside the road on Friday night, I was on a quest to find some in day light. On the way out from the falls, I passed an old quite collapsed house with a grove of trees near it, so I loaded up with my gear and went off to explore these trees. Oh the smell and the bees buzzing round πŸ™‚ Continued on the road to Legume, a village that has seen better days for sure where I filled up with petrol, had lunch and a little look round before turning back on the road to go back to some fruit blossoms I had seen on Friday night.

Then back to the campsite with the goodies I had collected through the day which I knew would make fine specimens for my home-made macro lens (two lenses taped with gaffer tape together so that the fronts are together, for ultra magnification but very very limited depth of field). I set up my tripod and camera outfit over a table in the shade of a tree and got to work, in the space of two hours I only took about 20 images as each one required checking and re-checking the tripod height as it was controlling the focus. Had a blast πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Was visited by two Jehovah’s Witnesses, who believe it is their duty to come round to the campsite spreading the word that the end is coming.

Knowing what they wanted to hear, I fed them some lies to send them on their way. I said I was an Anglican knowing full well that they would be intent on talking to me if I told them the truth and said I am an atheist. They wanted to know if I was raised as an Anglican, I said nope I came to the church myself. Then they sprouted on about how the stuff I was photographing was the work of god. mmm right on guys and they left after I refused to accept their literature and they read me some scripture. What an experience πŸ™‚

Mum and the rest of the lot came back, we packed up and made the trip to Barney Lodge where we would spend Saturday night in preparation for our walk on Sunday. On the road there Mum spotted a native hibiscus (Hibiscus heterophyllus), until then I did not know we had native hibiscuses, learning something new the entire trip.

Now it has to be said that most bushwalkers have a favoured area to walk, without a doubt for Mum that area is Mt Barney, she has been on various parts of that mountain and surrounds more times than can be counted on the fingers. When we reached the lodge in the fast approaching dark, Mum was greeted by name by the owner from about 10m away. Oh Mother!

After dinner and setting up the tent, we headed back along the road to a spot where I could take could photos of star trails. This following section is called Helen’s guide on how not to take star trail photos.

  • If you can’t see through the view finder because of how dark it is um make sure the lens cap is off! Good one Helen only after a series of test exposures where I knew that I should be getting stars recorded did I check to see if the lens cap was off!
  • Make sure you have a new battery in the camera, in the afternoon I had noticed that my battery was showing as low, I didn’t change it though, so of course halfway through my last and longest exposure for which I had finally got the composition right to have a silhouette of Mt Barney, my battery died πŸ™ good job Helen
  • Went back to camp and I set my tripod up there with a fresh battery in and went to bed, setting my alarm for an hour later. This time the photo was all ok

    Sunday the 26th.
    A day with a single purpose to get to the junction of Barney and Ballow Ck to see a rather large King Orchid in flower.

    Headed off to the Upper Portals entrance to Mt Barney Nat park, which required serious AWD action from the Subaru. Mum let me drive both in and out. Serious driving πŸ™‚ We passed a sedan about 1/4 of the way up the 4wd track which could not make it any further, Mum said to me if we pass those people we will offer them a lift, perhaps 2/3 of the way up we pass two guys walking on the road, we stop to offer them a lift, they decline. They really must have had a mob of roos loose in the top paddock. It was hot, they had a steep climb ahead of them, before they even started their walk for the day, and they said they needed the exercise! Right, probably didn’t want to seem weak accepting a lift from two women.

    Made it up to car park and started the walk to the junction, down a very, very steep and washed out 4wd track that our Subaru would not stand a chance on. Made it up to where the track met Barney Ck in about 55mins, then started the creek bashing up to the junction which took us about 2.5hrs of hopping rock to rock, ploughing though Mist Weed (Ageratina riparia) an utter pest, testing each footing to make sure that there was rock below the weed and not water which could have led to a very wet person. I spotted some Ironbark Orchids (Dendrobium aemulum) and various other plants.

    Made it to the King Orchid (Dendrobium speciosum) with no real mishaps, took the shoes off, put the socks in the sun to dry out and had a nice leisurely lunch, too some photos and explored a bit. This orchid is no ordinary king orchid, this one should be called the Emperor! It has at least seventy(70)! flower stalks each with gosh knows how many flowers on each, it was huge! It was not fully in bloom yet though πŸ™ but I was so not coming back next week to check on the progress!

    On the way back we cut across two of the bends in the creek by going up and over the ridges, took 1hr off the time this way and found more interesting plants as well in addition to passing the dead koala that Mum had passed 10 days earlier when she was in this area. When we got back to where the 4wd track meets the creek, we had not waited long when the two guys from this morning appeared from the main part of their walk, they then planned to go round the ridges back to the car park. Man, they really did have a mob of roos in the top paddock, unless they were going to power on full boar, they would have been hard-pressed getting back to their car before dark. On the walk out I found an unknown fruit tree in blossom πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ just made the day better for me. Stopped in Boonah for arvo tea and made the trip back home.

    Didn’t take many photos of the walk as most of the time I was too exhausted that once I stood still there was no way I could hold the camera still enough. I am fit enough for the exercise I do but not for the stuff Mum does and my calves are so feeling it today.

    All up 620km of driving of which I would say at least 3/4 of that was done by me. Here is a link to a selection of photos from the weekend.

    Injury Count.
    Helen – 3 possibly 4 ticks, one leech, one wet foot.
    Mum – 2 ticks
    Helen & Mum – plenty of scratches.

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