Invitations From Nature

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Ephemeral Stick Art on Drooping Sheoak

 

Playing with sticks is something that I never quite packed away with the rest of my childhood activities.  On my wanderings through the wilds, I’m always foraging along the forest floor looking for sticks that have fallen from the bough of a nearby Eucalypt or Blackwood.  Weathered, gnarled, smooth, or bleached by rays of the sun to resemble the texture of bone, sticks for me, are something to be admired, touched, played with, and collected.  (more…)

Invitations From Nature

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Oxalis on Fungi

 

Connecting with nature is a way for us to understand more about ourselves, and delve deeper into who we are and how we fit in to the natural world around us.  There are various practices that help facilitate this process, from the spiritual through to the ritual, but how often do we consider that engaging with nature on a creative level can bring about profound understanding of our own nature, as well as that of the other-than-human world that we share. (more…)

Of Wild & Wildness

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“Wild things prefer to remain wild. To honour a wild thing, converse with it on its terms, in its language, on its territory.  Its gift might be to make you wilder.”

Bill Plotkin; Soulcraft – Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

I am drawn to the words wild and wildness; intrigued by the number of different ways they are used in everyday language. But I have come to realise that they have a certain enigmatic quality to them that can make their meaning somewhat ambiguous, to my way of thinking.  In the context of delving into the human-nature connection, I decided to seek out a more personal understanding of what wild and wildness entailed. (more…)

Solo In The Wild: Day 3

Little Waterloo Bay, Wilsons Promontory
Morning in camp, Little Waterloo Bay

Below is my recount of Day Three on my first 3-day solo hike, in Wisons Promontory National Park.  You can catch up on Day One here, and Day Two, here.

DAY THREE:  The Power of Porridge, and Powdered Milk

I awoke to the sound of chatter in the school camp next to me. Porridge was on the menu from what I could gather, from the conversations that wafted over the noise of clanging pots and pans.  I lay in bed, content, watching beads of rain occasionally roll down the outside of the tent fly.  Rain had fallen on and off during the night, droplets of water pinging on the tent sounding like the twang of a rubber-band flicking on taut plastic.

I had no idea what time it was, only that it was morning. I sensed an overcast sky, but was too comfortable lying in my sleeping bag to contemplate unzipping it and opening the tent to find out.  So I lay there, dozing occasionally, until I heard the words I had been waiting to hear: “OK guys, let’s go”.  I waited, until all I could hear was the silence, tip-toeing back into camp and filling up all the empty spaces.  Only then did I emerge from my tent, rustling leaves underfoot as I shuffled over to the Trangia to make my breakfast, with solitude, my only companion. (more…)

Solo In The Wild: Day 2

sealers cove, wilsons Prom

Below is my recount of Day Two on my first 3-day solo hike in Wisons Promontory National Park.  You can catch up on Day One here.

A warning that this post breaks my rule of less than 1000 words!

DAY TWO:  A Hard Lesson Learned

I awoke to the unfamiliar song of a forest bird; light, flutey notes that hung thread-like in the air, coming from somewhere in the tree canopy above my tent. I had that strange sensation that comes when you’re not sure exactly where you are.  Seconds went by before I placed myself, aided by the now familiar sound of waves breaking and rolling rhythmically into shore.

I had slept well enough, but woke frequently to the sound of the waves coursing in to the cove; the mountains surrounding the cove bouncing the noise back across the still night, like a giant amplifier. I pictured the waves, forming, holding, breaking, then skimming gracefully across the top of the water, to reach the shore.  As I lay awake, listening, I tried to imagine if the tide had come in again, the waves so loud they sounded as though they were right outside my tent door.  My breathing rose and fell, keeping time with the rise and fall of the water. (more…)

Solo In The Wild; Day 1

 

sealers coveLast week, I embarked on my first solo 3-day hike to Wilsons Promontory.  I completed a circuit, starting and ending at Telegraph Saddle, via Sealers Cove, Refuge Cove and Little Waterloo Bay.  Below is my recount of day one, with the next two instalments to follow!  Please excuse the photo quality, as I only took my light-weight compact camera, AND had it on the wrong image quality setting!

DAY ONE: The Unexpected Can Happen.

I was not sure what time I arrived at Sealers Cove, but it was sometime late in the afternoon, when the tide was heading lazily back out into Bass Strait.  I removed my boots and socks, and waded through the rusty-brown water of the tidal inlet, relieved to find that it was only knee-deep.  The water was deliciously cool, and the sand beneath my feet felt soft and velvety.

I scampered up the opposite embankment, walking barefoot through the forest, feeling the firmness of the earth, cool and compact against the soles of my feet.  Sandy campsites lay scattered among the Bracken Fern and Messmate, each one worn smooth and level by the pitching of tents and the patter of boots from the thousands of hikers that had come here before me. (more…)