The Hills are alive with Wild Flowers

Saturday 10th October 2016

It’s been raining for the last couple of days, so we decided to take a run up to the Hills of the Darling Escarpment and travel down some more tracks in the Mount Dale area with the plan to enjoy the drive and photographing of Wild Flowers.

It was sunny as we drove along Brookton Hwy through Karragullen when we passed a sign for a local fruit grower selling Mandarins, Apples and Pears for $10.00 a box. We have passed this way several times and haven’t stopped previously at any of these roadside stalls but today was a different. With a bit of nostalgia for the days when as a country boy, on the way home from the big city, Dad would stop at one these stalls and buy a case fruit, more often than not we bought plums. If I recall correctly a case of Plums cost $10.00 back then and held about 4 to 5 the times the bag of mandarins we were about to buy.
Anyway, what caught my eye was the $10.00 price tag, so we stopped and brought one bag of Mandarins which held about 4-5 kgs, with the cost of Mandarins in the local supermarket being around $5.00 a kg this was a good buy and as a bonus the Mandarins where nice and sweet.

About 30 Ks from Karragullen we turned onto a gravel road and headed towards Mount Dale. It had been raining on and off. When the rain stopped the sun peeked through the clouds and lit up the water glistening on the shrubs and trees making the bush look superb. As the day went on it was a battle between the sun and the rain clouds. The sun would burn a hole the in fat wet clouds and strike the earth in a display of shimmering reflections of sun on water drops. This view was driven away by dark angry rain clouds that released sharp bouts of heavily bloated raindrops as if in attempt to smother the beauty of the sun’s attempt to scorch the water droplets from the earth. The rain created different beauty and we were privileged to witness two of Mother Nature’s elements battling in a contest that has being going on for eons.

The wild flowers were brilliant with heaps of different types and a couple of fungi including an odd looking one attached to a burnt tree trunk. The hills certainly were alive with wild wild flowers and with our current weather pattern here in Perth, they should be around for a few more weeks if you want to get out and see them.
We keep saying that every 4wder should clear at least one tree from a track on each trip/run and we got our chance today.

The tracks were slow going, damp and held a bit of surface water in places but offered no challenges from a 4wd point of view. The one exception was a bog hole about 300 mtrs from the point we were aiming for to rejoin The Brookton Hwy. This bog hole required checking for depth, traction, obstacles and for the best line through. So I got the Bog Hole tester out of the Truck put a twig in her hand and sent her into the cold slippery mud to make sure the Pajero could get through without any problems (ie don’t get bogged). With the report and the line picked from the Tester who gave the all clear the Pajero when through without and issues. On a personal note Good Bog Testers are hard to find, if you get a good one treat her like gold and she should last many years.

All too soon the day came to an end we did about 200kms in 6 hours, saw many beautiful wild flowers, a couple of emus and several kangaroos and wallabies. It was another good day to be alive.

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