Office views

This splendid wall of green overlooking the Meander River at Deloraine was taken through the back window of Madam Plush early this morning.

With office views like this, and the gradual return of energy following the traumas of the medical dramas earlier this year, I am beginning to feel rather restless.

A lot of ideas have been simmering through the fog of surgery and recovery, and I’m looking forward to some new creative adventures.

It could be interesting …

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Been camped next to the freezing snowmelt waters of the Ovens River near Bright for nearly a week and I am convinced it has restorative powers.

True, the camp might simply have coincided with my ongoing recuperation, but I’m giving Mother Nature the nod.

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Despite its ominous name Dead River Beach is a delightful, peaceful campsite on the Victorian side of the Murray River.

It is a popular stopover for river travellers — lone kayakers, groups of schoolchildren on rafts, motley convoys of river craft travelling together, and the usual hoon or two in a beer-fuelled tinny.

Behind the campsite was a small brackish pond where one evening I spotted a pair of wild ducks and their dozen young. Unfortunately I ran out of ‘film’ on my digital camera at the crucial moment and captured this less than ideal exposure of the family outing.

Two days later the adults were back, but without any of their brood, likely taken by foxes.

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Thought I’d head off about noon today, but was cut off at the pass.

One by one, from mid-morning on, an amazingly eclectic collection of classic and vintage cars began to surround my Mt Franklin campsite.

One that caught my eye was the 1927 Double-T Ford truck, above, that came from Kyneton. It started its working life trucking fruit at Harcourt.

There are about four dozen so far, and they’re lovely. Spotlessly clean and polished, and lovingly restored, they indeed evoke fond memories of a different era.

Madam Plush has even been sharing in the glory as the other campers flock over to view them.

Of course, my fickle friends, the Guinea fowl, immediately made a beeline to a 1950s Studebaker and preened themselves in its mirror-bright hubcaps.

And more trophy cars …

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It has been a while, but finally I’m on the road again.

For seven long months I was forced to hover near Hobart for various medical appointments, operations, and followups. I won’t bore you with the details (some of which I’ve talked about elsewhere in the Ghostgum Chronicles), but suffice to say I did not enjoy the bleak views I was often saddled with — inner-city streetscapes and rundown caravan parks in particular.

There were brief respites here and there visiting with old friends living in the country, but often the views were blocked by curtains of rain as Tasmania succumbed to one of its wettest winters in history.

So, imagine my joy when I finally left Hobart and headed north to catch the ferry to the mainland in a few days time.

I made it to Oatlands, a longtime favourite free camping spot, and reversed into my chosen campsite to give me uninterrupted views of Lake Dulverton which, thanks to the same winter rains that kept me cold and depressed, was enjoying its highest water levels since the early 1900s.

From my ‘office’ windows I could see the ongoing variety show being offered by a new generation of coots, being silly. There was also the stately parade of a family of swans, and an old friend, the comical and basically ugly musk duck.

The high water levels also attracted the fishermen; with the best catch, a 1.5kg rainbow trout, going to a young guy from Launceston who’d spent hours drifting across the lake in his kayak.

Then came sunset, a glowing tribute to nature, and a fitting sequel to the first day on the road for my next adventure.

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After another round of visits to the dentist (big, big, ouch financially) and doctor, I finally managed to escape the city in preparation for a visit to a very special place on the Tasman Peninsula.

Here’s tonight’s office view where I’m parked on the edge of a 12-metre cliff which is just beyond the fence overlooking Dunalley Bay.

Tomorrow I head on down to Windgrove, an artist’s retreat above Roaring Beach.

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Nature’s prime favourites were the Pelicans; High-fed, long-lived, and sociable and free.
James Montgomery, Pelican Island

The first pelicans I saw today were in flight … about a dozen soaring effortlessly overhead in formation. Their necks curled back, and beaks jutting forward like sharp knives. They swooped and soared.

Then came the landings on water. Oops.

This fellow later came in close, perhaps thinking I was gutting a fish and preparing to throw the entrails his way.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed the quiet of this slice of waterfront, which some decades ago, was apparently a caravan park.

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A great office view and hard to believe I am camped barely two hundred metres from the heart of this lovely little town with a decidedly old-fashioned feel.

The ‘shopping centre’ is a mixture of typical small-town one-storey businesses, and a disproportionate number of coffee shops [all good I say].

After the frenetic tourist trap atmosphere of gaudy Lakes Entrance, Paynesville is a pleasant change.

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A curious setting with level parking on a silt bank millions of years old.

I’m camped on a southern edge of the Mitchell River delta — a classic form of ‘digitate’ delta which ranks as one of the world’s finest examples of this type of landform.

That’s Paynesville, south-east Victoria, showing up at the bottom centre of this Google satellite view.

The river sweeps near the western shore of Lake King before hitting Eagle Point Bluff and heading east into the lake.

According to Wikipedia:

Where the river meets the lake a river delta alluvial deposition of sediment has formed, known locally as silt jetties, which extend more than 8 kilometres east into the lake.

Silt deposited by this process forms into long narrow banks which run many kilometres. The silt was deposited over millions of years to form silt banks or islets as the speed of the river slows.

The silt jetties have been nominated by geologists as a site of international significance, second in size only to those of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico.

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