And now, on to my weekend ......
We left on Friday morning, for a long weekend (due to Australia Day ... see previous post) at Bonnie Doon. Now, I know that's not very original ... we always seem to head up to Bonnie Doon ... but it is only 2 hours from home, and we have everything we need there ... all we need to take is clothes and perishable food !! It was quite a warm day on Friday, and when we arrived, all our friends had headed off to a nearby lake to play in the water with their boats and wakeboards. We had a relaxing afternoon, doing absolutely nothing ... sigh, bliss !!
Saturday, the weather was cool and cloudy, and threatening to rain. We decided to go for a drive. Originally, we wanted to drive up to nearby Mount Buller, but due to the recent fire activity up there, and it being a fairly windy day, we decided against it ... the thought of the wind pushing over already fire-damaged trees was rather scary !! Instead, we drove in the direction of Jamieson. Approaching Mansfield (which is only about 25 km from Bonnie Doon), we passed this tree, which was decorated in the Aussie Soccer colours (since the World Cup last year). In previous years, it has had various pairs of bikinis, and AFL football colours. It is in dire need of a new paint job, I feel, as the paint is beginning to peel. (Peter, I thought you might be interested in this picture, as I know you have posted a pic of this tree in your blog in the past !)
Anyway, we drove to Jamieson, had lunch there, and visited my cousin and his wife, who were staying in her family's holiday home for the weekend. On the way back, we decided we just had to have a sticky-beak up the Howqua Track (which we thought would be still closed, due to the bushfires, but it wasn't !!), to see if we could see any areas where the bushfires had been. I know it sounds kind of morbid, but we were terribly curious. As we drove along the track, we caught glimpses of the burnt areas (if you click on the picture below, you should be able to see the brown patches of burn-out bush). The track you see in the picture is the one we were on !!
We continued to follow the track, until we rounded a bend and came across an eerie landscape of burn-out trees and totally burnt out underbrush. It was really creepy, very quiet (no wildlife or birds), and it somehow felt wrong to be there, almost like we were trespassing. We jumped out of the car, explored a little, took a few photos, and then high-tailed it back out of there !!
On arriving back on the main highway, instead of turning left back toward Bonnie Doon, we took a detour by turning right, toward Mount Buller, in the hope of getting a glimpse of the mountains, showing all the fire damage. It was incredible to see, and very very sad. So much damage ... I would hate to think of all the wildlife lost. (If you click on the following picture of Mount Buller, you might be able to see all the brownish areas, which are where the fire burnt through.)
After this, we turned around and went back to Bonnie Doon, where we caught up with our friends, and had a lovely evening of laughing and drinking !!
On Sunday, we decided to once again explore the dry lake bed ... there is always something new to see. We were lucky enough to catch sight of a Willy-Willy (or whirly-whirly) going through the dust. By the time I had my camera ready, it was almost in the water. We followed it's path through the water ... it was fascinating. We get lots of these in dusty areas ... they can be quite exciting. We were once buffeted by one whilst driving ... you could really feel as it hit the car !!
We packed everything up Sunday night, ready for an early departure Monday morning (Hubby didn't have to work until Monday night ... night shift ... so we had plenty of time to get home).
Monday we left bright and early, taking the back road across the hills, across to Eildon, rather than our usual path home on the highway via Yea and Yarra Glen. We wanted to visit the Eildon Dam wall, where the original wall was partially exposed, due to the low water levels. I hadn't been there for a couple of years, so it was about time. It was very fascinating, as I had never seen it this low, with the old water tower thingy, and the old spillway on display. These two photos were taken from opposite ends of the wall.
We had lunch in Eildon, and then headed home through the Black Spur, a very tropical looking mountain range, just outside of Healesville. We can actually go this way, rather than our usual way, when we head to Bonnie Doon, but the Black Spur way seems longer, so we usually go the way we always go !! The Black Spur drive is very beautiful, with an abundance of ferns and the tallest of trees. It is always very much cooler here, when it is warm, and also very much colder, when it is cold. It quite frequently snows here, in the middle of winter.
So, that was a little bit about my weekend. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
I hope your week is going well. My Chicky is off to high school tomorrow (Wednesday) ... she tells me she is a bit nervous, but very excited. I'm sure she will be totally fine, but I'm a mother ... I'm allowed to worry about her.
Enjoy the remainder of your week.