Porcupine Ridge

Winter is a great time for bushwalking, snakes are all asleep. My friend David who is an intrepid walker and walking guide found some mines he had never come across before. The mine is called Tubal Cain Mine and it’s near Porcupine Ridge. A fantastic reason never to leave the path! To go for a guided forest stroll, contact David on 0428 112 378  or email asic45(at)gmail.com.

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Hello koala

The koala is one of the rarest animal sightings here, not because of lack of numbers, but because of being still and high up in a tree during the day. And who wants to be on a bush track in the middle of the night? My walking companion David from Daylesford Forest Strolls sent me this picture from yesterday’s walk.  Though he can’t promise sightings, at least he knows where the best chances are.

Call David on 0428 112 378 or email asic45(at)gmail.com if you want to find out more.

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Stressed?

Being stressed is no good at all. Though a visit to Daylesford might not fix the source of it, you might come away from here feeling a whole lot more relaxed. Here are five shortcuts to reduce stress:

  1. Meditation and relaxation. Do nothing, stare into space and let time pass you by.
  2. Nature is MADE to relax you. Visit forests and nature of any kind as much as you can manage. The natural sounds of birdsong, water and leaves in the wind reduces your blood pressure, pulse and halts the stresshormones, according to a studie in Sweden recently. I could have told them that! If you want company in the forest, walking on unknown tracks, my friend David offers guided walks. Even less stress with someone knowledgeable to show the way.
  3. Spend time with animals. I can’t offer much of that at the Pip, but animal time is brilliant for general wellbeing. You can watch the birds in the garden, coming in for a drink or some nectar, but I am not sure birds count. You could go horseriding at Boomerang Ranch, that would certainly count. Would be doubly good, as they ride in the forest. Nature AND animals.
  4. Sing! Especially singing in a group is good. Oxytocin levels go up, which can only be beneficial. I have lots of music at the Pip, sing like no one is listening (and no one can hear you anyway). Get the tambourine going.
  5. Laugh! Laughing gets certain signalling hormones going in your brain which in turn create calm and reduces stress. Watch a comedy, or maybe meet up with the Daylesford Laughter Club, they meet on the second Saturday of each month. Laughter yoga has been going for a few years in Daylesford now, all welcome, free event.

Daylesford is relaxing in many other ways, simply because of being country. We have no traffic lights, only a handful of roundabouts, very little traffic, and a generally relaxed lifestyle surrounded by nature in every direction. Hope to see you de-stress here soon!

Guided forest strolls

For the last couple of years I have been walking occasionally in the forest with a friend of mine, David. He really knows the area, and it is a great thing to do. Recently he has decided to do it in a professional way, and is offering guided forest walks (or strolls, if that is more your thing). The rate is a flat $50 regardless of if it is just the one of you, or more. Walking in the forest is another world. You are extremely likely to see kangaroos and wallabies, and likely to see wombats too. And if the wombat is not at home, he can most certainly show you their lair. On occasion the odd echidna or koala will be around as well. One fell off his tree right in front of David once. A koala, not an echidna. They don’t favour trees. Well, it was a very windy day. All the pictures in my bushwalking section and wildlife section on this blog are taken from walks with David. If you want to see old gold mines, he can take you there as well.

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Below is his brochure, it’s a little hard to read so I have typed it out for clarity. I really recommend this as an activity whilst visiting Daylesford! David is the one with the snow covered hat, taken this winter.

Daylesford Forest Strolls

The Wombat Forest is one of the jewels in Victoria’s crown. With surrounding parks, it provides over 900 square kilometres of native vegetation, rivers, hills and animal habitats. Having explored the forest over the past 16 years, I have selected a series of walks which best display the forest and the history of the region.

A walk typically consists of a half hour drive from Daylesford in my vehicle, in to the bush, a guided walk of between 1,5-2 hours, and then the return drive. You will have the opportunity to learn about the events which have shaped the region, to enjoy our beautiful plant communities, and with luck, observe some of the wonderful native animals which abound in the forest. All walks contain some gentle slopes, and forest tracks can be a little muddy, but no special level of fitness is required, only a pair of good walking shoes. Walks are $50 total regardless of numbers, single walkers welcome. Cash payment only.

Call David on 0428 112 378 or email asic45(at)gmail.com.

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Garden of St Erth

Just left to the entrance of Garden of St Erth, a Digger’s Club garden and cafe/restaurant, is a fantastic looped bushwalk. It will take you a couple of hours and will be rewarded by something delicious at the cafe maybe. I walked it recently and learnt a New Thing. Part of the paths are actually old water races, created to lead water to wherever it was needed in the goldmining boom. They were back in the day extended to cross gullies with timber extensions, but today only the carved paths remain.

A Frenchwoman, Madame Pauline Bonfond, was chiefly responsible for these. A marvellous thought, in the mining days when women were scarce up here. A woman, making a living from water races! I would like to know more about her. All I can find out is that she was known to be quick with hitting miners with her shovel so that no one got the better of her. Something must have done though, as she only lived to 47. She is buried in nearby Blackwood.  Around Blackwood are over 80 miles of these races. If I didn’t know better, I would just think of them as nicely levelled paths. Here is one, see what I mean?
st erth3You can tell when you are walking on a water race or just a path. A path moves up and down a bit, but a water race would lose water if it did. Hence, it just gently inclines. Nice bit of engineering, Madame Bonfond!
st erthThe walk around St Erth is great because it changes so much. Part of it winds around permanent wet areas which means a rare sighting for this area of giant tree ferns.
st erth2There is also plenty of Victoria’s State flower, Pink Heath.
st erth5If Pink Heath is not suffuciently exciting to lure you out on a bushwalk, there is plenty of thrilling exploration possible in mining remains. You see this kind of thing frequently here. There is also a good creek following the walk, in my amateur opinion very likely still able to yield gold.
lerderdergPack your walking boots and get out there!

A little wombat

Here is a well nourished little wombat to encourage you to take a bushwalk. You never know who you will come across! Did you know that wombats mostly communicate with each other through smell, but also have a little coughing noise when they pass each other? Very polite.

”Cough, cough. Ahem. I am just passing through, don’t mind me!”

”Cough, cough. That’s alright, just keep moving now! Cough, cough.”

Take a guided edible weed walk

Every Saturday morning at 10am there is a great thing going here in Daylesford for people interested in a bit of a wild food forage. During a two hour walk you will learn to identify 20-30 species of edible weeds growing on verges and naturestrips. To book a spot, call Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman on 0418 523 308 or email permapoesis@gmail.com. edible weedshttp://theartistasfamily.blogspot.com.au/ for more details and pictures. Lunch is included at the end of the walk. Sounds to me like an excellent way to see (and eat) Daylesford. There is nothing wrong with gaining a little new knowledge!