Wallum Heath

back of "campsite 3"

I spent two afternoons exploring the wallum behind the campsite. The first afternoon was a botanical “walk” through the heath with 2/3 of our party where we were scratched to near an inch of our life. However, the scratches were relieved with a dip in the river afterwards.

The first plant that I spied were some Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora). Which were of the yellow variety and not the red and yellow as I am used to seeing.

Christmas Bells

Just as you entered the wallum from the campsite there is a clearing for helicopters to land when needed and covering the ground there was scores of Trigger plants (Stylidium graminifolium) and baby grasstrees.

Trigger Plants

Past the clearing we entered the area that you can see in the first photo of the post, the main plants you can see in that photo are the Banksia robur and Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea sp.)

Banksia robur.
Banksia robur

Grass tree (Xanthorrhoea sp) with Banksia robur in the background.
Grass Tree Dead

As you started to get to closer to the heath however you could hundreds of other plants from Boronias to Leptospermum to Yellow pea flowers (that Mum has always said there is way too many to be bothered identifying them all) to more Drosera (sundew) to Hibbertia sp and a score to two more but I can’t recall or find the names at the moment. There was at least two species of Boronias and a score of different Leptospermum.

Leptospermum are such gorgeous plants and whilst the various species are similar in many ways they still all look so different.

Leptospernum?

This is Cathy with one of the pea flowers.
Cathy and a pea flower

The second afternoon it was just me, however it was relatively still which meant that you could smell the plants and it was the most delightful scent I have ever smelt. It was floral and delicate yet still bushy and oh so very Australian. I wonder when I will see it on the shelves in Myer and more importantly which “celebrity” would they use to advertise it?

I didn’t just go for a walk in the heath but also through the dry eucalypt forest that bordered it and just had to smile at the Scribbly Gums. 99.999999% of all scribbles you see on a Scribbly Gum are made by the larvae of a wood-boring moth. However, in places where humans, generally of the young male category frequent you often see scribbles that were certainly not made by larvae 🙂

Scribbly Gum

One of the other ladies on the trip went to school with Mum and she said that a couple of places reminded her of poems they had learnt in primary school. For me however, there was many places where I just paused and said “This is Australia”, I truely do love a sunburnt country. Which of course comes from my favorite poem, is a poem that many Australians know well and I discovered recently that the author was only 22 when she wrote it. I am 21.

My Country.
Dorothea Mackellar (1907/8)

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die-
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold-
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land-
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand-
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Isn’t it beautiful?

3 Replies to “Wallum Heath”

  1. Helen, it is very beautiful. This blog is exceptional, and glad I found it.

    I’m hoping that you would please consider an invite to contribute to wofoblog. That stands for The World of Fabulous Bloggers.

    It’s also a lot of fun, and brand new.

    The idea is that it’s a central place for bloggers from around the world.
    Anyone can post there, and edit, moderate comments etc. It already has quite a wide readership from places around the world. Currently there are several bloggers (and one non blogging writer) of artistic expression considering publishing there (it’s early and needs to get going a bit for most people i imagine), which is encouraged.

    Would be fabulous to see you there, especially to bring to a new audience your beautiful photos and the interest of your region.

    More information on site for you; by all means email me if you’d like to discuss it.

    Thanks and best wishes,
    wofoblog.

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