A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milsons Point|
|Assistant Editor||Dot Butler|
|Walks Reporter||Kevin Ardill|
|Business Manager||Maurie Berry|
|Production Assistant||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs.||Christa Calnan|
|Assistant Sales and Subs.||Bill Horton|
|Editorial - Lot 7, North Era||1|
|Social Committee Notes||4|
|Not at Our June Meeting||4|
|Creating a Primitive Area||H.A. Lindsay||6|
|Instruction Plus||Kevin Ardill||8|
|The Annual Photographic Exhibition||10|
|Recipe for a Primadonna||M. Bacon||12|
|Notes on Walks & Ski trips||13|
|As One Moron to Another||15|
It is good news that the Federal Treasurer has consented to our purchasing lot 7, North Era for £350, thus validating our agreement with the owner. Out efforts to purchase this land have extended over several years while our interest in it is as old as the Club.
From the earliest days of the S.B.W. members have camped at Era. Till early in the thirties South Era was the most popular camping spot. Other campers followed and shacks appeared in increasing numbers. One windy week-end two well known Bushwalkers invited some of the other campers to their camp fire - a nice sheltered spot - and the next week-end the guests made a point of arriving early enough to “bag” it for themselves. After that the Bushwalkers moved on to Stockyard Creek, North Era, and, when more people came to camp there they moved on to North North Era, which has been the S.B.W. camp site since about 1935.
About 1937 the possibility of buying lot 7 was mooted, and a rough survey made of the boundaries (This was published in the April, 1947, issue). We could probably have purchased it then on favourable terms, as it belonged to a relative of a member. However the suggestion was not followed up because members had become used to camping there without hindrance and inferred that they would always be able to do so. Shortly after this a man appeared and demanded a camping fee of 1/- a tent. He used to came late at night, flash his torch into tents and wake everyone to demand his fee. It was not until early in 1943 that his right to the fee was questioned and it was ascertained from the owner of the land that he had no right to collect. By this time we had made him a gift of a tidy sum.
Early in 1943 it became known that Byrnes' Estate was to be sold. This includes most of the land round South Era. Fears were aroused that it might be sold to a land development company. These fears were based on an attempt made in 1927 to float an “Era Development Company.” The proposed company was to erect a large boarding house or hotel and to instal all the usual holiday facilities. The possibility of another such scheme, coupled with resentment over the camping fees, supplied the needed impetus, and since then constant efforts have been made to preserve North Era as a camping area.
These efforts took several forms, and, as each met an unsurmountable obstacle, another means was tried. At first the Government was requested, through the Federation, to resume the whole of the privately owned lands between National Park and Garrawarra, a request in which the National Fitness Movement joined. Bushwalkers were a bit apprehensive about this move, but were assured by the National Fitness Movement that North Era would remain as a camping area. The Government would not resume the land, so attention was turned to the possibility of purchasing lot 7. As this lot included all the flat land at North Era it was thought that its acquisition would prevent any development of the surrounding hillsides. A proposal was made to the Federation that it should organise the purchase, but the Federation would not undertake this, though it offered co-operation. After this the Club decided to attempt the purchase. The first step was to test out the financial reactions of members by finding out how much they would be prepared to contribute. It was decided that no special efforts would be made to raise the money, which was expected to be about £400, as it was a large sum to raise, and it was considered that the land was not worth having unless members were sufficiently enthusiastic about it to contribute willingly. In a very short time nearly £200 had been promised. This evidence of substantial and unsolicited support was placed before the half-yearly meeting in September, 1943. The meeting resolved “That the Club devote £100 from its Savings Bank Account towards the purchase of the whole or half of lot 7, North Era, provided the balance of the money required be raised by loan or gift.” At the General Meeting in January, 1944, it was decided to accept donations from anyone outside the Club on the understanding that it did not give the donors or any organisation special rights in Era. This proviso was made clear to all non-S.B.W. donors by Edna Garrad, who undertook the collection of funds.
The next move was to send Tom Herbert and Mouldy Harrison down to the owner, Mr. Ziems of Wollongong, to arrange for the purchase. It was known that he was not keen to sell, but, after hearing our reasons for wanting to buy, he consented to sell for £350. By this time funds were assured. They continued to come in until, by June 1945, a total of £435 had been contributed. It was very gratifying that, although we were prepared to accept either loans or gifts, all the money was given. Money, however, was not enough, as we found that a mistake had been made about the valuation, and the Federal Treasurer would not consent to a sale for £350 of land valued at £210. Unable to purchase we leased the camping rights for £18 a year. Renewed efforts were then made, through the Federation, to have the land resumed. It was decided to offer the money to the Government on condition that it resumed all the privately owned land between National Park and Garrawarra. As the money was not donated for this purpose, refunds were made to all who so desired. This resulted in the fund sinking to £365. Though a sum was placed on the estimates for the resumption, it was removed before the estimates were passed. We then adopted a new tactic. The valuation was a very old one, and our Honorary Solicitor advised that, should an approved valuer place it higher, the Treasurer might consent. The trouble then was to find an approved valuer who would go down to such an out-of-the-way place. Here a prospective member came to our aid and put us in touch with Mr. O.L. Wild, who went down and revalued the place at £300. We did not expect that this was near enough to £350 for the Federal Treasurer's consent, but now we learn that he has approved, and the last obstacle has been overcome.
Funds came from the following sources:
|S.B.W. Club Funds||100.-.-|
|S.B.W. - gifts from members||214.15.6|
|Australian Forest League||14.15.6|
|N.S.W. Federation of Bush Walking Clubs||7.2.6|
|River Canoe Club||5.-.-|
|Burning Palms Life Saving Club||1.1.-|
|First Ramsgate Rovers||1.-.-|
|Gifts from individuals (non-S.B.W.)||3.3.-|
In addition the Wild Life Preservation Society generously offered up to £50 if required, but this amount was not needed.
Now that it is in our hands quite a lot could be done in the way of cleaning up, improving the water supply, and supervising the use of wood and camp etiquette of newcomers. Perhaps in time we could exclude the cattle, start reafforestation and stop the sand drift. Unfortunately we have little hope of entirely preventing the use of axes and firearms, or of controlling bush fires in dry times, but, as it is rich volcanic soil, with good rainfall, the grass and herbage is vigorous and green. This means that it will take a tremendous beating. Most sandstone areas, if used as much as Era, would be blackened ruins with large areas of bare, eroded soil. But Era seldom burns out and will never wear out.
The time may came when shacks and “development” come right to the edge of lot 7, but it will still remain the last convenient beach-side refuge of the bushwalker.
The last dance at “Pakie's” was so successful that another has been arranged for the 15th July. This time it will be on a Tuesday so that all the people prevented from attending last time on account of “Wednesdayitis” can have a share in the fun. The address is still 219 Elizabeth St. on the first floor.
The film night on the lath. has been arranged to interest people in ski-ing. It is hoped that by a little advertising the accommodation at the snow will eventually be in keen demand! It may be possible one day to go to the Chalet and not find oneself the only one stopping there. These films are kindly lent by the Kosciusko Alpine Club. Most of them are instructional, but one or two are of scenic interest.
Can you stand criticism? If not, bring your A.B.P's. (Anti-blushing Pills) to the debate on the 25th. The subject under debate will be that “Most Bushwalkers are Morons”. We cannot say more than that this debate will equal the brilliance in argument, the scintillating repartee, the astounding (sic) facts, the genuine desire for the truth shown in the last, most successful debate. We have a list of homes having vacancies for the feeble-minded.
As to what is coming in the succeeding months we'll just give you the slightest idea. On the 15th August there will be a concert and Quiz. It will probably be males versus females - so sharpen up your wits girls and see if you can endeavour not to be beaten! On the 22nd. of August, Ira Butler, on the 20th a dance… really Hollywood would be dull after the Ingersoll Hall.
On the evening of Friday, 13th June the President was bound for Jamberoo. The Vice-Presidents and Secretary were on the way to Moss Vale. The Treasurer was stuck in a car at Bulli Pass. The Walks' Secretary was starting for the Abercrombie. Other members were in other places. Only six turned up at the Clubroom, so there was no meeting. But who on earth could have imagined there would be on the Friday of King's Birthday week-end?
The party assembled at Mittagong from the 4 p.m. train from Sydney and every other train till the paper train on Saturday morning. The Friday-nighters camped in a delightful spot not far from the station. Saturday morning appeared clear and crisp and the ground was covered in a thick white frost. We all met at the station for transport to Joadga. It was an interesting drive and the frost was still thick under the trees.
At last we arrived at the old workings and made an inspection, after which we followed a steep track down to the Creek and had a look at the houses and plant. The valley was a delightful spot with traces of Autumn leaves still on the trees. We followed Joadga Creek down to the Wingecarribee River where we lunched and then followed the Wingecarribee up stream to a good camp site below Mt. Penang.
An early camp was made. After tea we had a good camp fire with Wick officiating on his “Squeeze-Box” and all joining in the singing.
Next morning there was another heavy-frost and even the Creek was frozen. We climbed the hills - Mount Penang - without packs. Moss Vale can be seen from the top and we found several patches of neglected cultivation. At one spot some of the party gathered turnips for their tea.
Returning to the camp site for lunch we farewelled Max who set out for a long walk back to Mittagong as he had to be home that night. The rest of us moved off up the River towards Black Bob's Creek and in cutting up over a ridge to avoid a bend in the river missed Peg, Cath, Billy and Kevin (who toil on Saturday mornings and had came out to meet us). However Eric had started walking on the wrong side of the river looking for a photographic masterpiece and could not get back to us, so he eventually came across them waiting for us to go by. His coo-ees brought us back and we all moved off again.
That night we camped on a river flat beside a large pool, which the hardy Bondi Iceberg tested and declared excellent. Once more we sat round a glowing fire while Wick played for us and we watched the stars reflected in the pool.
We made an early start next day and reached Jacky Jacky Creek in very short time. Here we climbed up a ridge and went across country till we picked up a track which led back to a ford across the Wingecarribee, where we lunched, and after that followed the track until it reached a road leading into Berrima where our truck picked us up and took us to Moss Vale.
The last part of the journey was through open grazing country and the photographers queued up to get THE MASTERPIECE of a fine tree on a hill with just the Right Clouds behind it. So now we are all looking forward to the next photographic exhibition.
By H. A. Lindsay (Adelaide Bush Walkers)
(This article was written for the magazine by Mr. Lindsay in response to our request. Though the last primitive area ceased to exist last century with the advent of the rabbit, the fox and the lucifer match many bushwalkers seem to think that if an area is reserved and left alone it will become primitive. But the damage is too great for nature, unaided, to overcome. The area must be re-created and preserved by man. This is not to say that we would follow exactly the same methods as have been evolved for the dry open bushlands of S.A. Somewhat different methods might have to be used here. The acid test of the effectiveness of these methods would be the return of the native fauna - a test which fully justifies Mr. Lindsay's methods in S.A. - Ed.)
Few people realise how portions of Australia have changed since white settlement took place; even fewer realise what an immense amount of work and care it takes to restore an area to something its virgin state - and then comes the task of maintenance. George French Angas painted many South Australian scenes in the early days of colonisation; comparing one of those paintings with the same scene today brings home to one the great change which has taken place. In the paintings, the casuarinas are shown to be as much a feature of the scene as the eucalypts, but today the gum tree is dominant and the sheoak or bulloak a rarity. Grazing by sheep and - a thousand times worse - the rabbit pest doesn't give more than one casuarina seedling in a thousand a chance to grow. Even more startling is a visit to one of the bigger islands off the S.A. coast; the wealth of wild flowers, the abundance of fodder and the bird life on such a fox and rabbit-free natural sanctuary has to be seen to be believed.
Te have an area declared a national reserve is the indespensable first step, but then the real work begins. The first step is to minimise the risk of the area being swept by a fire and for this, the boundary firebreak is indispensable. It need not follow the boundary line scrupulously; it is far better to run it across the most suitable areas. In heavily timbered areas, with little or no grass, bracken or underbrush, this is often a simple job; all fallen litter is raked into a long line and then lit. As it burns down, the fire is raked forward, a few feet at a time, until a belt some twenty feet wide has been cleared. A small party using ordinary garden rakes can clear a mile or more of break of this type in a weekend. Bracken and underbrush is best cut with a mallee slasher - an implement which is swung like a golf club - heaped into a long ridge and burned when dry. Both these types of break are best done in the autumn. Grass is the hardest to deal with; it has to be burned off under expert supervision late in the spring. It must be born in mind that these breaks will check only a ground fire; nothing short of a clearing a quarter of a mile or more in width can check the real forest blaze, roaring through the treetops. In addition to the break, the whole area must be gone over and all hollow logs - which also harbour rabbits - stumps and dead trees burned completely.
Next on the list of “Musts” comes the rabbit pest. Every warren and every burrow on the reserve must be located, as well as for half a mile into the surrounding scrub, the rabbits killed by fumigating the burrows and digging them in. Thereafter the sign of as much as a single rabbit inside the reserve must be followed up and the invader dealt with at once. A netting boundary fence is useless unless regularly patrolled and kept in repair. That done, the work of restoration can begin. It is wise to enlist the aid of a botanist at this stage in order to ascertain the species of native flora which used to be found in the area; specimens are often hard to locate but an old bush cemetery whose netting fence has been kept in repair will often prove a happy hunting ground. Another good idea is to enable the flora to “stage a comeback” by clearing away an area of very thick underbrush on an open space, away from dense timber, and put a rabbit proof fence around it. In that way seeds which have been long dormant may germinate, and so will those of rare plants which had been growing in the shelter of the brush. Burning a little light rubbish in patches inside the fence also encourages seed germination. It is astonishing how the types of vegetation which appear to have vanished completely from the area will put in an appearance inside some of those enclosures.
Now make a thorough survey of the reserve with two objects in view - to plan where your paths will run and to decide what timber and undergrowth should be left exactly as it is, and what must come out. It is wrong to think that virgin bushland has no paths on it; I have seen some of the portions of Australia which are untouched by a hoof of domestic stock, and all are criss-crossed by kangaroo and emu pads, and also those made by the Aborigines as they move from one campsite to another, or to hunting and fishing grounds. Plan your paths on a strategic layout, to enable fire-fighters to get to any corner of the reserve, and also to any of those blind spots in the form of crags, thick brush or deep gullies where colonies of rabbits can remain unsuspected until their damage becomes apparent.
To attract our furred and feathered native fauna to the area, three things are needed - freedom from molestation, water and food. Regular policing of the area ensures the first, clearing out and deepening of creek pools, springs and soaks, the second, but the last is a problem. To get grass to grow after the rabbits are under control, thin out the timber on creek flats and any patches of good soil. This also lets in the sun and creates open glades which have nothing artificial about their appearance; intact, they were a feature of much of our bushland before fires caused thickets of saplings to replace grassland. Where the timber is thinned the trees carry far more blossoms, thus attracting the honey-eating birds. If any xanthorhoeas yaccas, grasstrees, blackboys, etc. - grow in the area, the leaves of about 20% of them should be burned off in regular rotation every autumn; this causes them to flower next spring and the heads of their long peduncles yield an abundance of honey and pollen. By enlisting the aid of a beekeeper you can ascertain the honey-yielding of of the district, be sure to include as many specimens of them as possible in your programme of replanting. To help out your grass, burn little patches of scrub out every autumn, as the Aborigines did, to enable marsupials to feed on the young growth. This also prevents the formation of those dense thickets of old bush full of dead sticks, which become a roaring inferno when a fire hits them. If done when the underlying leaves are damp, these fires don't do any harm; it is the big fire which destroys all the humus and hills out the wildflowers.
I'm not airing theories; the above is all sound and practicable as my wife and I proved when we did it on our own property. Many others have also done it. Admittedly, it involves a 1ot of work, much of which must be done at the right time, but it is indeed labour of love.
Your reward comes eventually. Kangaroos and wallabies graze throughout the area; birds nest in the hollow limbs. Claw scratches on the bark of trees show that the larger opossums have found a sanctuary; if you use a torch at night when shrubs like the banksia are in flower, you may find that tiny and beautiful creatures like the doormouse opossum and the feather-tailed/phalanger have also found a safe home. At blossom time birds are thick in the branches above; with every passing year the trees and shrubs which you have replaced grow taller and more sturdy; if you can keep the fires out and do not let up in your ceaseless battle against the rabbits the wildflowers appear in ever-increasing numbers. Then you can look about you and say “Our club has done something worthwhile. This is indeed as it was in the beginning.”
By Kevin Ardill.
P.G..Wodehouse or Lennie Lower would be the ideal person to describe the Instructional Week End but I will endeavour to do my humble best. (Murmurs of “the modest type.”) I'll skip the train trip to Glenbrook, mentioning only in passing that after a little solid rucking at Central and Strathfield a couple of the boys were approached by Rugby League talent scouts.
Colin Lloyd was darting about with maps and instructions and there were not a few humorous and bright remarks being exchanged. Wal Roots brings himself into the spotlight by remarking to Tom Moppett, “Wouldn't it be funny if you went and got yourself lost.” To be truthful I have heard similar expressions on twenty seven walks and you, gentle reader, may have at some time been guilty of such an indescretion. I utter no word of censure or reproach as the Editor does not wish to lose too many subscribers.
Colin had mapped out three routes to St. Helena. One party to go the quickest route along the Bridle Track and two parties on each of two other routes, one along the creek and the other up the ridge. Ten minutes interval was allowed between the two parties on the last two routes. This doesn't seem clear even to me but anyhow I found myself in Party No. 1 with Peg Bransdon, Christa Calnan, Olive Jurd, Chris Gordon, Roley Cotter and Jack Wren. Mainly by a mixture of first class map reading and supernatural walking ability we arrived at St. Helena at 4.30 p.m. and made preparation for the camp. First party to arrive was Luke Priddle, Stan Madden and Bob Palmer. Next came darkness closely followed by Colin Long, Kevin Dean and Len Falls. After another short period, next to salute the Judge was Tom Moppett with Bill Kinley, Ron Stone and Stan Everard. There was a counting of heads and the gathering is one party short, to wit Wal Roots, Ken Smith and Roy Cunningham.
We were past the soup and on to the roast duck and green peas when lights flickered down the ridge. No customers, it was not Wal Roots, but Phil Hall being led, and liking it, by Kath Hardy and Val Downing. They came up on a later train and they had not seen the missing links either. I am assured that wa1 will be O.K. but nevertheless my appetite is affected and I have great difficulty in masticating my third plate of duck, and only for fear of offending Peg do I lap up a small portion of apple and custard. Luke and Colin are also seen dealing with a plum pudding that would have fitted more comfortably in a bucket than a tin.
A camp fire is a necessity and the party is just warming up when someone introduced Aunt Martha. This person is no lady but purely imaginary and her likes and dislikes give the clues to a little mental problem - Aunt Martha is one of those little mental testers that usually passes the time, and distracts the mind very well in a train, the dentist's waiting room or place of torture. On this evening, however, it became an epidemic. There was not a voice raised in song, funny stories were not told, and believe it or not, no one remembered when we were on such and such a walk. Aunt Martha will receive not another line but you can see her damaging influence when I tell you that everyone was abed by 9 p.m. and most were in a state of mental exhaustion.
We did not arise with the lark and the clock showed ten before the crew assembled for a first aid talk by Doctor Cotter. Without throwing the big bunch of flowers I consider the Doctor gave the best condensed lecture on the subject that I have ever heard. The talk, illustrated with practical examples and fourteen feet of sticking plaster, lasted one hour and covered just about everything you would wish to know. There was a demonstration of artificial respiration which I consider is of utmost importance to bushwalkers generally.
While in the serious mood I would like to give the general impression of the Instructional Week End. Everyone was satisfied that it was a vast improvement on the Field Week End, as it combined the instructional side with a reasonably hard walk, where prospectives and new members were confronted with the task of leading their parties with the aid of map and compass.
After lunch and in various small parties, we took off for Springwood. By the time we arrived we were practically a unit again. Partnership was dissolved at the station, and by train and but the instructed ones journeyed home. I was on the train and partly from habit and mostly because I was forced by the packed carriage, I poked my head out at Glenbrook and who do you think I saw? If you don't plump for the Wal Roots trio you're wrong. Because of the crowd I do not have conversation with Wal but I know he accompanied us on both train journeys. What he did in the interim is at present one of the great mysteries of the year.
After rereading this effort of mine I'm afraid it might be good policy if I too lose myself somewhere or other. Any suggestions Wal?
The moons, the stars, the streamers of the aurora borealis, and the other nocturnal emblems which bedizen our clubroom, were reduced to faint blurs above the dazzling light of innumerable globes, hanging from hitherto unsuspected points on the ceiling, when the photographic exhibition opened on June 20th. Beneath this incandescent galaxy the photographs were arranged on rows of forms and chairs placed on the top of two lines of tables. A large crowd of bushwalkers swarmed and eddied around the exhibits, which were, as you will have gathered, full of interest. In fact it is unlikely that one would see anywhere else a comparable display of bushland photography taken by those who know and understand the bush. There were many new and artistic studies as well as some of our old favourites. Here it may be mentioned that these well-known photographs are appreciated as much, if not more than, the new, and it is a pity that more of them are not displayed. Having described the brilliant scene we will now attempt a description, E and O.E., of the exhibits. The “E's” are due to our ignorance. The “O's” we pin on the bashful (of lazy) photographers who neither autograph nor describe their works.
Starting with Roly Cotter's exhibit, perhaps the best of his studies was that of the Valley Farm, Megalong. It was a nicely balanced blend of trees, shadow and sunlight and very real. Another which we liked was the Blue Lake, Kosciusko, in which the gleaming snow drifts contrasted with dark rock faces. The texture of the snow and the glimmer of the water were very effective. Another Kosciusko one, taken from Pound's Creek, portrayed well the approach of snow clouds. There were two very pleasant studies of the Tumut River, a striking picture of the vertical rock columns of Barn Bluff, and a number of other mountain and River views. His photograph of Gordon Smith on the rocks in the bed of the Kowmung brought back tender memories.
John Houghton (C.M.W.) has a very artistic exhibit. Some of his steel-engravure like effects were, we are informed, created by bromoil printing. One, taken on the Kanangra River, of casuarinas mirrored in still water, needed only an elf or a fairy to become pixieland. His study of the snow-bound Mawson's Hut was delightful, while “Morning at Euroka” caught vividly the glistening dew on grass and trees. There was nice graduation of shade and sun in his study of the Cox.
David Stead's nature studies were well arranged. Perhaps the best was “legless lizard” - coiled symmetrically to reveal its anatomy. There were good studies of rock lilies and other flowers, including an artistic and delicate black and white photograph of “Pomaderris ferruginetum.” His photograph of a reunion camp-fire gathering was as clear as if taken in daylight, even the wrapt and amused expression on faces were perfectly clear. He had some excellent tree studies, particularly of the big tree in Bluegum Forest. An interesting variation was one which he styled “Riveriera Sydneiensis” - taken from near Rose Bay, with nothing but trees, beach and water to be seen. The photograph of the “Tigers” on the edge of Tiwilla Canyon was one of the old ones that never fades.
Allan Hardie had some varied exhibits. Perhaps his best were of Kosciusko. Seaman Hut looked like some quaint Chinese structure and made a good study, the hut itself and foreground rocks, being highlighted by the sun. Kosciusko from Lake Albina was a good portrayal of the rolling tops of Australia's roof.
Malcolm MicGregor can be depended on to produce some vivid and original prints, and his main subject - the Main Range, Kosciusko - lent itself well to his style. One of Mount Lee was fine composition of dark landscape, glistening snow, and light wisps of the whitest cloud. Another, taken from beneath the overhanging edge of a snow drift, caught the smooth rounded snow curves and shadows, and contrasted them with the landscape beyond. A photograph of a different tyre, but equally atmospheric, was that of a muddy road on Broger's Creek, taken in the dawn light. Mud, early morning light and dark foliage are not easy to depict, but the effect was most realistic.
Dorothy Lawry exhibited only three prints, but they were very effective ones, particularly “Reflections, Burragorang” in which the cliff faces and casuarinas were perfectly mirrored in the glassy waters of the Wollondilly. There was a friendly camp site scene on Galong Creek and a pleasant road side scene on Mount Wilson, which did justice to the English trees and the sunlight.
Ira Butler chose a difficult subject in the Warrumbungles, which seem to lack contrast and be dwarfed in most photographs. We are told that he used a telephoto lense to get his nicely arranged photographs of the Split Rock and other features. Presumably this was used too to get a photograph of an eagle soaring high above one of the great rock spires. He also had a good photograph of the summit, Kosciusko, which showed to advantage the curves of the last of the snow drifts. Another, taken in winter on the Main Range, was entitled “Snow Shadows.” It was a very artistic blend of smooth snow slope and soft shadow, with a faint line of animal tracks running across the slope.
Arthur Gilroy also chose the Warrumbungles for some of his best enlargements, but chose panoramic, rather than close views. His photographs gave a good impression of the country as a whole and depicted a weird collection of strange mountains. He also had a very clear photograph of the South Coast, taken from near the old Otford tunnel at Stanwell Park. It was a nicely balanced study of mountain, beach, sea, and cloud.
Th6se, as far as we know, were the exhibitors. On looking them over again we realise that they were all old members. Perhaps the shortage of equipment is the reason, but we seem to have seen at least some recent members taking photographs. What do they do with them.
By M. Bacon.
Take one Vigorous Walker. Let It depart from Central at 5.15 p.m. on Friday evening. Motor It in the dark to Fitzroy Falls and dump It in the night. The following day, Saturday is the important day for training. Lead, drive, push, haul and shove It over Mountain Ridges. If a section dashes off and sees goats running wild don't worry. It helps in the sniffing or should we say breathing department.
If you come to a Mountain that looks like Carrialoo, drive the protesting Primadonna as near to the top as possible, then decide It is not ready for the higher spheres. Shoo the protesting Prima D. down and around the side of Carialoo. It will then make for a gap and flutter almost exhausted to the riverbed.
A heavy frost lasting until 11 o'clock in the morning seems to harden the lungs, and give more volume. (Probably through holding the breath for so long trying to keep the cold air out). Good food is required for the proper building of a Primadonna and as much variety as possible is recommended. Before putting to bed a little mature port can be recommended.
The next day should be spent, not in lounging idly in the sun, but rather by climbing a grassy mountain, grassy on the far side, not the side you climb, of course. The Primadonna should be carefully put to bed on the evening preceding the recital.
Up at dawn, and drive P.D. up the hillside. If you can find an open grassy ledge with a timber homestead on it, so much the better. If you can arrange for the P.D. to have It's palm read, do so much the better again. An excellent man for this is John Barratt. He says the most encouraging things; some are so devastating in their as to be almost uncanny. Try and avoid the P.D. being told “that It is in love with two men and to be human when making It's choice.” (This tends to make the P.D. broody and lose voice.)
After this mental conditioning, lure the P.D. up to the top of the mountainside with a promise of a lorry large enough to hold 20 people. If the lorry happens to be parked near Sandy Creek, so much the better. Drive It rapidly through the afternoon air, sitting in the open tray of the lorry until Mossvale, 14 miles away.
Now comes the really delicate period - those important two hours before the recital really begins. Take It to the local hostelry, lubricate it sufficiently, but mark you, not too lavishly, or it might become bawdy. Now try and tempt It with a sizzling steak, garnished with potatoes, green peas, tomatoes and for that final bird-like note, a pair of eggs well fried.
If you can arrange for the Primadonna to tuck all this away, It should then be ready for the recital.
This recipe was proved on Bill Hall's Carialoo - Marrunga Creek - Meryla walk, not once, but ten times. Ten Primadonnas of various species with almost identical conditioning were able to completely drown the heavy orchestration provided by Commissioner Hartigan. His symphony of Four Wheels played on two rails is a most exacting background for 10 voices. With this modern treatment the voices are able to last for the whole period of 3 hours - at exactly 3 hours to the minute the party could be disgorged from its birdlike box on to the platform, guaranteed to have had every note rung completely from it! - and to have given much joy to those privileged to hear the Recital.
Note: It is hardly necessary to add that good weather considerably aids the Preparation of Primadonnas.
Edna Garrad advises that, re her week-end walk on 19/20th July (Glenbrook, The Oaks, Nepean River, Erskine Creek, G1enbrook), there is an error on the programme. The train will be the 8.40 a.m. from Central, and not the 1.25 as shown. Mileage approx. 20. Type Medium. If train restrictions continue the party will return by bus to Penrith.
Eric Pegram, on his walk on 1st, 2nd. and 3rd Aug. intends to camp in Mittagong Park. This will enable starters to choose either the early or late train. On the Saturday, Mount Jellore will be climbed, and from there the party will go down Jellore Creek to the Nattai, camping somewhere between Jellore Creek and Rocky Waterholes Creek. On the Sunday, the party will climb up Rocky Waterholes Creek to Hilltop.
Tall, straight and wonderful they grow; or some
From twisted trunks their branches reach, speckled with shadows.
Theirs is no sheltered growth in some cool land,
Well watered, gently bred, for they must wrest
Uneasy life from intermittent rain
And turn their leaves against the summer sun.
From twisted small beginnings have they grown,
Wounded by fire, or their own eagerness, and now
They promise safety to the imperilled soil
Enriched by those that fell before they came.
Trees are the very spirit of a land —
Though strangers still, they speak to me of home.
There is still room for one of each sex on the Bett's Camp trip starting on Sunday 21st September.
The Bank Holiday Week-end trip to Mount Gingera is on, as the Friday night train has been restored.
He must be a clod indeed whose heart does not leap up when he beholds a platypus. This strange little creature with the bill and feet of a duck and the fur of a beaver, that lays eggs and yet suckles its young, is too preposterous to be anything but true. Unlike God, had it not existed no man would have dared to invent it. It is the missing link, complete with refutations. It is the doubter's delight, the bewilderment of bishops, a cosmic giggle. Yet it is rare and frail. It could be extirpated in a month. And once it was destroyed who would ever believe it once had been?
Bergen Evans “Don't Monkey with the Platypus”, Harper's Magazine, December 1946.
The Lady Moon is my lover,
My friends are the oceans four,
The heavens have roofed me over,
And the dawn is my golden door.
I would liefer follow the condor
Or the seagull, soaring from ken,
Than bury my godhead yonder
In the dust and whirl of men.
After an enjoyable interlude, during which one could look up a train time-table, and find a train and a seat at the place and time indicated, conditions have reverted to normal and bushwalking is once more a game of chance. But it was nice while it lasted. Most members are probably too young to remember, but there was a time, back in the thirties, when railway time-tables meant what they said. If only the miners could be induced to go down their mines oftener and stay there longer, we bushwalkers could enjoy our train trips in comfort.
Cosgrove, Leyden, & Co. had planned a trip to the Nandewars for Kings Birthday week-end, but with the cancellation of trains both going and coming, they ended up doing the Kowmung.
Overheard from an old member on a recent Sunday test - “I like test walks - you don't have to use your brains.”
Whether it was due to the personality of the leader, the weather, the fact that it was the only walk placed on the walks' notice board for three weeks, or because it looked easy, will never be known; but 19 members and 3 visitors turned up on the Gunyah Bay trip on June 7th. There were 19 on Bill Hall's walk on June 21st. We recommend Sunday walks for those who like to know what's going on (use of brains optional).
There were 20 at the Chinese Dinner at the Capitol Cafe on June 21st. Seven courses were devoured. They were: Fish Cream Soup, Chicken and Almonds, Fried Rice, Spring Rolls, Fried and Steamed Duck with Vegetables, Chicken Chow Mien, and Sweet and Sour Fish. It tasted as good as it sounds. The Social Secretary seemed to enjoy the change from Terry's meal and uncooked vegetables. He got a grip on the tail of the fish during the last course, but as luck would have it, tail and body parted. Some operated with chopsticks, but they weren't in the race with Jenny Felshow.
Anti-climax to the events described in M. Bacon's “Recipe for a Primadonna” was that 5 of the ten P.D.'s got colds. This was because they rasped the lining off the larynxs and inhaled deeply the germ laden air. Those who heard the uproar were not surprised. One at least has sworn off it (i.e. singing).
Mr. E. Caines Philips (River Canoe Club Topographical section) advises that map No. 40, Hunter River (West Maitland to Hexham) is now completed and available for inspection.
A little while ago Paddy was chopping down a tree. Keep your seats folks! It was a casuarina which was being taken out to make way for native shrubs in Paddy's backyard. The tree fell with a crash into a small gum tree. It took a few hefty pulls to free the oak tree, but as it came clear what should fly out of the gum tree but a mopoke. That was sufficient surprise but as the oak crashed to the ground out flew another mopoke. The first one flew right away, but the second one evidently had not had his sleep out and he picked on another tree a few yards away. There he perched on a branch not ten feet from the ground and adopted that ridiculous stiff-necked attitude which these birds use. Under normal circumstances it acts as an almost perfect form of camouflage, making it look like a stump of a broken off limb. This bird has been the victim of a curious accident of naming. The mopoke does not say “mopoke” at all but merely “oom”. His relative, the Boobook owl, utters that peripatetic cry of “mopoke”. So next time you hear a mopoke say “mopoke” you'll know it is not a mopoke at all but a boobook owl, and when you see a mopoke you'll know it doesn't say “mopoke” but just “oom”. That's clear now isn't it?
But to return to the garden. Paddy thought he would like to take a snap of the mopoke and hurried to the house for the camera. Several shots were taken with great care to avoid disturbing the bird, but as it turned out there was no need to bother, for he stayed there despite all disturbances of mattocking, digging and rock chopping for the rest of the morning. It was just as well he was with friends because he could have quite easily been knocked off his perch with a stick.
Paddy has in stock:
Bushwalker steel frame rucksacks. £3/1/- & £2/11/6.
Plastic proofed cape groundsheets 6' x 4'. These groundsheets are very compact and light, non-tacky and very durable, 23/- each.
Tents are in short supply again. Orders taken 1st. of each month.
Plenty of rucksacks without frames from 12/6 to 32/6.
Aluminium billies all sizes available 4/6 to 8/3.
Paddy Pallin, Camp Gear For Walkers.
'phone B3101. 327 George Street, Sydney, N.S.W.