Sunday, August 01, 2010

Winter in the Paperbark Forest

(Random walkies in Woy Woy)

Paperbark forest July 2010

(The camera battery carked it, hence the low res mobile phone snaps.)

The Paperbark Forest is a wee sliver of bushland sandwiched between a suburban street and the golf course. It's official name is the Everglades Lagoon Wetland. I've been there before. It's one of my favourite bits of Woy Woy.


Everglades Wetland Woy Woy NSW Australia July 2010

Wandered up to the forest mid-morning during the week.

There's been a decent bit of rain in the last week or so and the wetland's lagoons are fairly full. The ground is covered in leaf litter right to the water's edge and you can't tell where the mud starts and ends. Put a foot wrong and you'll end up on your arse. You gotta tread slowly from stick to fallen stick.

Had a bit of a wander about then picked a firm bit of ground to stand on, in a tiny clearing back from the water. Just stood there and looked and soaked up the leafy quiet of the place.

Small patches of light outlining the shadows on the ground of the big trunks, there was the plucking almost-cluck of a tree bird at the very edge of the lagoon, the high almost-honk reply from a dozen trees away. Over and over. They should just get together already and do brunch.

Mmm ... brunch ... Dug quietly in my pocket for a bar of chocolate, leant on a spider-free trunk and ate and listened.

The wetland backs onto the golf course and there was the faint sound of a golfball being sworn at. Eventually, the bloke managed to hit it and went off after it and the golf course disappeared from the aural landscape.

A chocolate brown butterfly with white-edged wings flittered about nearby and starlings or something twittered in the trees like twinks at cafe.


Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii)

After I'd been still for a while, there was a faint rustling in the bracken under a cluster of trees. Some sort of wee beastie perhaps. Up near the edge of the forest, where it's sandy, there were a dozen small holes dug by small paws. Don't think lizards really hang out in wetlands that much. Could be wrong though. But there's definitely bandicoots on the peninsula and I know they like it sandy.

The breeze picked up again and two tall paperbarks moaned as they rubbed together as slow as Sunday sex. Above that was the soft silvery sound of the breeze shivering through the tops of the trees.

A whole stand of tall straight paperbarks had all grown leaning slightly in one direction. The longer I stared at them, I more felt like I was standing crooked. Started to get vertigo and had to look away.


Native violet Everglades Wetland Woy Woy July 2010

In the drier ground, back from the lagoons, native violets spread out in wide patches. Just a few flowers so far, in the sunny spots, more at the edges of the forest where there was more light.

Long pale branches radiate out across the ground from the trees they've fallen off. Their shapes are flowing and take your eye across the wee clearings to where there's a lone baby cabbage tree palm or gun tree sapling.

A lone kooka gave that faint drumming ound in its throat they do before they laugh. Stood there patiently but it was only warming-up not actually laughing. It sounded like a teenager and I've heard them do that a lot. Maybe they can't laugh until they're adults.


Paperbark bark July 2010

In the spreading trunk of a big old tree, some kids had built a platform for a cubby-house. In the raft of branches laid overhead there were some sheets of newspaper and more sheets all around the tree like they’d been blown out or rained out. Guys, your cubby is in the middle a bloody paperbark forest. You sure there’s nothing better to make the roof out of?*

There was a cabbage tree palm every hundred yards or so. Along the edge of the forest, where it borders the lane, there was a thin line of casuarina trees and a gum every now and then. Other than that, the paperbark forest is all paperbarks.


Paperbark Forest Kerrawah Blvd Woy WoyEverglades Wetland Woy Woy NSW Australia July 2010

Summer on the left, winter on the right

Paperbark Forest in summer

Bonus photo

Traditional Aboriginal uses of paperbark


Stuff

My favourite shop name on the peninsula? Acropolis Yeeros Chinese Takeaway. Menu includes, kebabs (kabobs to Americans), rainbow steak, chow mein and steak sangers.

Illustrated Ducktionary addition, courtesy of Ron in Fort Bragg


World wide walkies

Fabulous wilderness photos from Kansas


Local linkage

Some fresh this week, some a wee bit late.

Woy Woy at Wordpress

Fabulous fish and crab photos from a kayaker

Comment from old Woy Woy cinema worker on Stevo's model of same

Last chance to see, includes GPS & directions to the Woy Woy hieroglyphs

ACDC concert that never was

A year to the day (Roy Sainty finally found and buried, my sympathies to his family and best wishes to all those still missing a child)

Slightly eerie dusk photo of the beach

Fabulous photos from Empire Bay

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