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Photos by Frits.
Here and there along the roads that lead from cities to forested areas are places where cars may be safely parked. These are often positioned at the top of a track to a waterfall, or near roadside facilities such as picnic tables, barbecues and amenity blocks. Yvonne, Lidy, Paula and Frits broke their journey here to eat bag lunches, walk through the scrub and, of course, take photographs.
Creeks like this one wander through fern gullies, often forming deep pools where a fallen tree has formed a natural dam. The water may be inhabited by various small creatures, including yabbies, and very occasionally an observant visitor may catch a glimpse of the elusive platypus.
Close enough to the southern cities for families to get there by car in an hour, areas of this sort of woodland are another world. You can’t say they’re silent, because bird and insect noises are all about—even frog noises sometimes—but there's no sound of traffic or people and there's the most wonderful smell of earth and greenness.
Settlers from Britain tried valiantly to transform the Australian landscape into the one they'd left behind and missed so terribly. Pines, oaks, elms and birches were planted, along with grasses and flowering plants. Today we know that much of this planting caused injury; native plants couldn’t always compete and native animals needed particular plants for food and shelter.
Nevertheless, European trees have become an accepted part of the scenery in many places and there seems to be a happy mingling of the old and the new.
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