Since July last year, we have had unprecedented rainfall and flow down Cannon Creek and the Broadwater. Don't get me wrong, we're not complaining. It is fantastic. After 10 years of looking at the dry bottom of a waterhole it is a great change. The smokey quartz, topaz and other stones we were getting when the creeks were low are now hidden for another generation to find.
The ground is so wet that areas are waterlogged and there is nowhere for the water to go. The Earth & Soul Labyrinth has been particularly effected by the inundation of water. The lavender and rosemary that was growing so beautifully, doesn't like getting wet feet. A lot of it has had to be removed and we will start again.
Add to the wet feet, in the last month we had a beauty of a windstorm and the big trees that were top heavy in blossom have just come crashing down. One half of the Labyrinth was covered with a large white peppermint gum that brought down four other trees beneath it. I have cleared the tree from the Labyrinth and we can walk it again, although it is still a little damp here and there. I have had to dig spoon drains and trenches around the labyrinth. Currently the landscaping isn't so pretty but when it dries out I may be able to improve on things.
We finally made our way across the Cannon Creek crossing below the house. Once more I had to do some road work and fill in some big washouts to make it more trafficable. We then were able to get down the road to Doro's Hole and remove 4 big trees that had fallen across the road.
At the Point on Doro's Hole on the Broadwater, where we launch the kayaks, it is pretty muddy and not real inviting. Recently we bought a double kayak to add to our 2 single kayaks. Currently, we have left it at the dam where it is a little bit more accessible.
Walking around the property, you see many big trees and limbs that have fallen. We will have plenty of good firewood in a couple of years. The problem with getting firewood at the moment is being able to get to it without sinking.
Donna's parents owned this property since 1956.
I'm sure if they were here to tell, they would confirm that there has never been such a consistent flow down Cannon Creek.
For the last 10 years, Cannon Creek was dry and even the big waterhole on the Broadwater dried up.
Cannon Creek has been flowing since last July.
Another 74mm overnight.
This photo below shows the crossing below the main home this morning.
Bushwalking at Earth & Soul, at the moment, means gumboots & wet weather gear.
It is pretty exciting though!
The video below is the flow down Cannon Creek Gorge.
Looking from above the Gorge Terraces.
Now is the time to book a front row seat!
A bonus at the moment, the five-corner berries are fruiting.
Search around the base of the bushes and gather the berries.
Remove the sepal, chew the berries and spit out the seeds.
Very high in vitamin C.
It is always great to get around with the camera.
Here is an interesting Fungi I found in the grass up at the Tree of Life Walk.
It was great to go for a walk this morning, despite the weather.
A benefit of the overcast skies iss that it isn't cold.
You just need to be ready for anything and get out there and enjoy.
Life is what you make it.
Take care out there!
Regards... Mark & Donna
The challenge is here!
Spot the faces in the trees!
It is difficult.
Keep your eyes on the ground
watching where you step
at the same time scan the trees.
There are 6 Tree Faces.
There are 3 on each side of Cannon Creek.
One at The Point where the kayaks are.
One at the Fortress.
One on the Ridge Walk.
One at the 5 Cascades.
(Which you can also see from the Buddhas in the Bush.)
There are 2 along the path from the Labyrinth to the Gorge.
Best of Luck!
Enjoy getting to know your way around Earth & Soul.
I had my 66th birthday last Monday and what a great day!
Another birthday - another walking track!
Donna & I had walked down across the Paperbark Crossing and along the Wallaby Trail.
Half way along the Wallaby Trail there are some lovely rocks before you get to the seats near Pig Rock.
This is now the entrance to the path that takes you in to The Fortress!
The large boulders of the Fortress are in Cannon Creek Gorge.
They are seen when you enter the Gorge from behind the dam.
But you can't get across to them.
For my birthday, I couldn't think of a better thing to do than be in the bush.
I was excited about working on the new path that winds through boulders and flannel flowers into the Fortress.
Being the official photographer and as it was my birthday, someone had to do the work!
The track takes you in 108 metres and is a lovely, easy winding trail.
There are some lovely rocks to find shapes in and gradually the tale of the Fortress started to develop.
Smoko in the bush is always the greatest experience!
Just love it and the surroundings are exceptional.
Donna was rewarded for her hard work.
This beauty was picked up on the top of the sand at the Paperbark Crossing.
Other nice finds while out & about include:
We are also continuing to work on the Buddhas in the Bush.
We are developing a sitting area at a spot we call the Kissing Tree.
The Kissing Tree is along the track from St Bernard Rock that takes you to the Top Crossing.
A closer view shows you why it is called the Kissing Tree.
The tree has grown against the large boulder as if kissing the stone.
It is just another nice area along the walk.
Other activities that keep us healthy & happy.
See you soon at Earth & Soul.
Regards... Mark & Donna
Welcome to Earth & Soul in 2022. There has been a lot going on and I think pictures are the best way to tell the story.
There has been a lot of rain. The Gorge, Doro's Hole and the Dam are looking fantastic. We have rebuilt the road at the Crossing below the main home. The vehicle track down to Doro's hole is now accessible.
Access across Cannon Creek, down by the Round Hole following the Wallaby Trail is closed indefinitely. The best path to cross Cannon Creek is the Paperbark Crossing. Then you can choose to follow the Wallaby Trail or the Ridge Walk.
The benefit from this is that we have developed a new walking trail along the western side of Cannon Creek and the Gorge. Currently it is marked with pink ribbon. It is a work in progress.
Follow the path that takes you along the back of the dam, but don't turn down into the gorge. Continue along the rocky outcrop beyond the dam. The path takes you up to Lounge Chair Rock and the Terraces, looking across to the chairs on the Top of the Gorge on the other side.
We have also been working on a Meditation Glade.
A loop has been added along the walk from the Cabins to the Labyrinth, between the turn off to the Gorge and the Five Cascades.
The Meditation Glade is another lovely, quiet place to sit and take in nature.
We are trying to add in a sense of the spirituality of Earth & Soul.
Climbing up on the rocks behind the glade provides a magnificent view of Cannon Creek below the Five Cascades.
The Tree Faces provide another challenge for guests.
Watch out for them as you walk the property.
There is a new sign at the gate to greet you when you arrive.
Next Monday is Valentines Day.
Our tradition is to take a bottle of white and a bottle of red, cheese and nibblies to the Top of the Gorge and take in the sunset.
It doesn't get much better.
We look forward to seeing you in 2022.
Yesterday we enjoyed the excitement of sharing some of our natural orchids with some enthusiasts from the Gold Coast.
Teresa Clifford from the Stanthorpe & Granite Belt Rare Wildflower Consortium introduced us and I thank Brad & Clare for the beautiful pictures below.
We are very lucky to have such natural treasures on our 300 acre property here at Earth & Soul.
We have a rough common knowledge of our little treasures, so it was good to get some more scientific identification and put a name to a face (so to speak).
The Dipodium Hamiltonianium is commonly referred to as a Yellow Hyacinth. This little fellow is quite rare. This is the second one we have found on the property and this is the second year in a row that we have had an appearance.
The Dipodium Roseum is commonly known as the Pink Hyacinth.
The Dipodium Punctatum is commonly known as a blotched hyacinth.
Calochilus therophilus is commonly known as the late beard orchid.
It's like a Christmas present, isn't it.
Have a merry Christmas.
See you in the New Year.
Regards... Mark & Donna
Following on from my last post, "It's wet!", we have been finding new paths to access our favourite places.
Yesterday we were able to make our way to the big waterhole, Doro's Hole, on the Broadwater.
To cross Cannon Creek, we were able to make our way across the Five Cascades.
Down at Doro's Hole, there is a sad story to tell.
The big gum, central to our photos of the reflections on the waterhole, has come down.
Banjo Patterson, in his poem "In Defence of the Bush", said:
"But the bush has moods and changes, as the seasons rise and fall..."
Well, sometimes the changes are not so subtle!
This has been an inspiring tree.
It has been there forever.
As you get around the property it is good to notice some of the trees.
It is also good to notice some of the rocks!
So, in the last two days we have managed to visit the Dragon's Backbone, Doro's hole on the Broadwater and cross Cannon Creek Gorge.
Making new tracks means finding new things.
Rocks, Trees, Flowers, Birds.
It is good for the Soul.
A visit to Earth & Soul is not complete without a walk around.
Bring your gumboots.
You need to be waterproof with good tread.
Let Mark & Donna show you around.
Look forward to seeing you!
Now is the time to visit the Cannon Creek Gorge.
Access on the usual tracks is limited.
This is the Cannon Creek crossing below our main home.
We're not driving too far.
A good pair of water-tight gumboots with non-slip tread are recommended.
We can show you how to make your way around the property.
It's pretty exciting.
You never know what wildflowers you might discover!
These are what we found today on our walk.
We also found a teddy bear trapped in a tree.
Take care out there!
Regards... Mark & Donna
Yesterday afternoon Donna and I went for a walk, down through the gorge, to the Dragon's Backbone.
I have been wanting to get down there this month because there are always some flowers out around this time that we don't get in other places.
We walked over the Dragon's Backbone down to the Broadwater on our bottom boundary.
From there we followed the fenceline along the other side of the Broadwater until we came to the bottom of Doro's Hole.
We then followed the Ridge Walk until coming out on the road and then followed the road home.
The pictures below show some of the flowers on our walk.
September/October is an exciting time of year on the Granite Belt.
Now is the time to look for bird's nests, flowers, lizards and just explore the natural environment.
Seems like a long title but I wanted to show that all of these things are closely related.
Today, the 23rd September 2021, is the Spring Equinox.
The word “equinox” comes from Latin.
It means “equality of night and day.”
So, the equinox occurs at two specific moments in time when the sun is exactly above the equator.
Any day is a good day to celebrate nature but today, being the Spring Equinox, is a very special time to celebrate the natural seasons and the cycles of nature.
Our property Earth & Soul is 300 acres of natural Granite Belt bushland with two creeks Cannon Creek and the Broadwater.
We have developed over 18 kms of walking trails.
Only 20 acres of our property has ever been cleared.
The rest is protected, endangered vegetation.
In addition to the natural walking trails, we have two spiritual walks.
The Tree of Life Spiritual Walk and the Earth & Soul Labyrinth.
Both of these spiritual walks provide the opportunity to connect with your spiritual centre and get in tune with nature.
The Tree of Life Spiritual walk derives from the Tree of Life of the Jewish Kabbalah.
The Tree of Life is a model of how energy, life and the universe is formed.
It is also a model of human psychology and consciousness.
The Earth & Soul Labyrinth is a walking meditation.
St Augustine is quoted as saying “Solvitur Ambulando”.
“It is solved by walking.”
The Earth & Soul Labyrinth is modelled upon the 11 circuit Chartres Rose Labyrinth.
The Chartres Rose Labyrinth was built in 1203 in the tiled floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France.
The model is believed to represent a pilgrimage returning to your spiritual centre.
Take the time to release, receive and then return.
All of these aspects of Earth & Soul Retreat, nature, the Tree of Life Spiritual Walk and the Earth & Soul Labyrinth represent ways of honouring nature, spirit, and the September Equinox.
Enjoy your Spring Equinox.
Regards... Mark & Donna
Author - Mark Carter
This page covers the natural highlights throughout the year so you can see the seasonal changes, wildlife, wild flowers etc.
124 Barker Lane
Phone: 0417 669 449