Tag Archives: fishing

A splendid hidden world

The shuffling walk down 1 Acre Lane with the wheelie bins was well worth it. The old lady answered my many questions before she continued on to her house when I stopped to admire the first of many extraordinary buildings.

When I look back over this two day walk along the Derwent River, finding an historic precinct at the end of a dusty lane was my greatest joy.  An absolute treasure.  In Europe such a place would attract hundreds of coaches disgorging thousands of people each day to visit. Yet in Bushy Park Tasmania, I was the only visitor. Extraordinary. Some of my blog followers are brilliant photographers and would, if they visited, create amazing pictures.  I hope my photos are sufficient to whet everyone’s appetite for a visit and to have their own experience of this historic site.

The precinct contains an innovative and more recent initiative – a Junior Angling Pond.  Perhaps fishing is the main hobby of locals and what better way to lure new devotees than to offer children their own safe experience.

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The buildings had no or limited signage, therefore identifying the purpose of most was impossible for me.

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The photo below looks like a large unusual house but apparently this was the bakery feeding the hundreds of workers involved with the hop industry in the past.

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The most surprising structure was, what is now known as, the Text Kiln, built in 1867. As I approached the building I did not know this name or the year. Immediately I loved the shapes of the structures then suddenly I was stunned see a sandstone plaque embedded high up on a wooden wall. This was a biblical text.  And nearby was a second text. My mouth dropped open; I wrinkled my forehead and shook my head.  What am I seeing? What is going on here? In this remote location, clearly the early hop growers placed a great deal of importance on the Christian scriptures. I wondered if this text indicated a puritanical god-fearing way of living in the 19th century in Bushy Park. What was that community like?

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Beneath a window one text offers: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life’.  In a triangular alley another plaque exhorts us to ‘Have faith in God’.

As I walked around the building, I saw many more texts .

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In all, approximately 13 different texts exist on three sides of this magnificent building.

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Eventually I left the Text Kiln and wandered further around the precinct.

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The old lady, owner of the wheelie rubbish bins, lived on-site in the red-roofed house.

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I guess the red bricks have been painted over in the building named the Red Brick Kiln, shown in the photos below.

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The last building I looked at before following another dirt road to the main road, was the Picil Kiln as pictured below.

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I hope to bring friends here with a picnic hamper and perhaps a bottle of bubbly in order to relax and soak in the quietness, and to be pleasantly stunned by the scale and dramatic shapes of the buildings.  Perhaps I will see you there one day.

Have the invading Seastars been discovered by a mortal enemy?

Today I watched a family of Dominican Gulls at Howrah Beach on the Derwent River.

When the temperature rose, I meandered off towards the Derwent River beckoned by the thought of a peaceful walk along a beach (albeit one that I walked on an earlier stage of my trek from the mouth to the source of the River). By the time I reached the end of Bellerive Beach I was feeling very good about the world and so I continued around the point and down onto the people-less Howrah Beach.

The only life was a pair of adult Dominican Gulls and their three immature offspring fishing.

Two surprised me.  From a distance I could see that one adult and one immature were active on the sand where the wash of gentle waves covered their feet from time to time. Each had food of some sort which they couldn’t seem to swallow.  How they tried!  When I walked closer, it was clear both birds were playing with exotic Seastars, with their five brightly orange-coloured arms.

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The immature bird played with a tiny starfish, while the adult focused on a much larger version.  While I watched, both birds battled with their prey, sometimes getting it into their mouth then usually it was disgorged immediately. The shape of bird throats and the shape of the food source were seemingly incompatible. Apart from the challenge of five thick arms which are not particularly pliable, the surface of the starfish is a little knobbly, so I could not believe the birds would have any success getting them ‘down the hatch’.

But then my mouth dropped open in amazement. The immature bird suddenly swallowed his Seastar.   Gulp.  And s/he waded off looking for more. Now that was a feat!

You can read more about these invading starfish in earlier postings at: https://walkingthederwent.com/2015/03/31/pacific-seastars-are-multiplying-in-kangaroo-bay/; https://walkingthederwent.com/2014/09/14/northern-pacific-seastars/; and https://walkingthederwent.com/2014/09/05/stage-2-on-492014-mitchells-beach-email-4-of-14/.

After today’s experience, I wonder whether the Dominican Gulls are finding these Seastars sufficiently tasty so that they will seek them out deliberately.  Perhaps these Gulls will become the natural predator to help reduce the Seastar plague on our native species.  But it looks like hard work to me. Not a comfortable swallow.

Another idyllic pathway on Stage 14 of my walk along the Derwent River

The world I entered on the pathway away from the Tynward Park sports ovals, was gentle in the autumn afternoon light. Almost a fairyland. A father fishing while his young daughter sat making drawings.  Blue wrens flitting. Seeding bull rushes sending creamy fluff across the path. Superb water reflections.

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The dramatic background was the walls of Derbyshire Rocks in startling view on the other side of the Derwent River.

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How lucky I felt to be able to walk in such a beautiful place, free of all worries.

The track started climbing up and away from the River.

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Black faced sheep grazed behind fences

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Powerful pylons carried electricity across country.

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I enjoyed the watery views with the backdrop of autumn toned trees and then, with excitement at 2.20pm, for the first time during the walk I saw the bridge in the distance over the Derwent River at New Norfolk.

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Not much later I came to a fork in the path, but neither track were signposted.  Where to from here?

Large information panels provided information about the nearby historic Turriff Lodge property (on which the black-headed sheep grazed), but nothing about which path went where.

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