Tag Archives: bees

To sing or not to sing that was the question

Imagine you are walking along a road and, ahead of you attached to a post is a large sign with one word, SING.  Would you?  Sing?

On this Stage 13 walk when I noticed the sign, I was in a location where I could neither see nor hear any vehicles, and houses and other buildings were absent.  The day was glorious and deserved a song. Without thinking, my mouth opened and I sang.  Full throttle.  (Refer to my first posting for Stage 13 for the song and a You Tube rendition: A new milestone marking the 13th stage of my walk along the Derwent River: I reached the mouth on the western shore.  Whoppee Doo!!)

Breathtakingly delightful. That was freedom at its best. I only felt a little sheepish when I stopped and realised all the birds had stopped making sounds.  The bush was silent except for the hum of bees seeking nectar from native flowers.

I continued on the road and passed another hand painted sign at the entrance of a long gravel driveway. It read: Summer Song.  The sign provided a phone number and declared ‘all welcome’.  I hadn’t needed to walk up a driveway to sing. Besides it was only 9.25am – isn’t anything and everything permissible early in the morning?

Before long I spotted a nest of white wooden bee hives near a house.  I wondered how the owners would label their honey.  Wildflower honey?  Bush honey?  My favourite honey, which is only available in Tasmania, is Leatherwood honey made from the blossom of our native Leatherwood trees. This is a comparatively rare and flavoursome honey, and comes from a different kind of bush wilderness elsewhere in Tasmania.  The website http://tasmanianbeekeepers.org.au/new-page-3/ provides more information about Leatherwood honey.  The purest honey I have yet found is packaged by http://www.miellerie.com.au/ produced by an expatriate Frenchman south of Hobart.

If you are planning to visit Tasmania, then please plan to try some Leatherwood honey on your breakfast toast while you are here.

In writing this posting I discovered five distinct types of native bees exist in Tasmania: Reed bees, Leafcutter bees, Resin bees, Masked bees, and Homalictus bees.  The site http://www.aussiebee.com.au/beesinyourarea.html#maskedbees provides further information and some pictures.  I now wonder which bees were buzzing along Tinderbox Road.

A new milestone marking the 13th stage of my walk along the Derwent River: I reached the mouth on the western shore. Whoppee Doo!!

Yesterday, I completed the first part of my walk along the Derwent River: an exciting achievement.

Last August I started walking from the mouth of the River at Cape Direction on the tip of the South Arm peninsula and now, at the end of February, I have completed the distance from that mouth to the Bridgewater Bridge and back on the western shore to Pearson’s Point near the settlement of Tinderbox.

On the 8th stage mid-November, I had the first major milestone when I finished the walk from Cape Direction to the Bridgewater Bridge. This 13th stage was the culmination of walks from the Bridge back to the mouth on the western side of the River.

During yesterday’s walk, I covered about 5km of the length of the Derwent River.  By my reckoning, the total distance of the Derwent River on the western shore from the Bridgewater Bridge to the mouth is 38 3/4 km.

For Stage 13 yesterday, I needed to walk to Pearson’s Point from the bus stop where I finished on Stage 12 and then, on reaching my goal, I needed to retrace my steps back to Blackmans Bay to connect with a bus that could return me to Hobart.  This distance was approximately 17 kms. I have now walked at least 171km not counting getting to and from buses.  But when the walks are staggered over time, this number does not mean much.

The highlights of the walk to Pearson’s Point were mostly small and natural: rosehips, green rosellas, hum of bees, resting sheep, and the taste of delicious ripe blackberries along the way.


I was surprised how close the northern part of Bruny Island was to the mainland of Tasmania (almost felt like I could swim across the D’entrecasteaux Channel) and I felt overwhelmed by the staggeringly expansive and grand views across and up and down the Derwent River.


The fun part was singing (including mixing up the words in my excitement) Handel’s Hallelujah chorus (from The Messiah) at the top of my voice when I passed a large sign with the words SING. You can listen to a superb version performed in 2012 by the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall in London England at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUZEtVbJT5c


Over the next few days I will write up the journey and the discoveries of Stage 13’s walk.  Then I will be looking towards a long main road walk from the Bridgewater Bridge at Granton to New Norfolk which I expect to undertake in the next couple of weeks.  Once I have reached New Norfolk I will be on the way to Lake St Clair, the source of the Derwent River.