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
It is amazing how quickly we move out of winter and suddenly spring has sprung!
Looking back over my photos I am pretty amazed.
Hope you are too!
Almost mid-August and with a little bit of warmer weather things are starting to colour up. (Don't be fooled though, Jack Frost will have another go before he's done!)
Snow bush covers the property every where you look.
Various wattles are starting to colour the landscape as well.
The picture below is taken up in the open area of the Tree of Life Spiritual Walk.
This mob were very interested in what I was up to.
This is the wattle just behind the Earth Cabin.
The purple Hovea Heath is pretty.
There is a tall one and also a low ground cover sort of one.
Another purple you will see is the wild sarsaparilla, a low ground cover in the rocks.
An occasional bacon & egg flower is starting to show giving us a change of colour.
You will have to cover a bit of territory to find this one.
We only have a couple of the round-leaved Phebalium and it's pretty to find.
There's plenty of woolly mat rush around if you keep your eyes open and watch the ground. This photo was taken in the open area of the Tree of Life Spiritual Walk.
The smell of honey from these flowers is fantastic.
The Grass Trees are just starting to show their spears.
The Wallaby Trail has been cut for some time now. So we have found a new way across Cannon creek down under the paper bark trees.
That's where I got this picture the other day of the Eastern Yellow Robin.
My companions here are often the Babblers.
They are such happy birds and fun to watch.
Just recently I have been blessed with a young Satin Bower bird.
I'm pretty sure he is a young male.
I've been watching him collect my blue milk bottle caps and tracked him to his bower he is building.
I'm very excited but Donna isn't.
They are pretty savage on her cabbages and other young vegetables and fruits.
Australian Bush Tucker!
If you're getting around the place, check out the 5-corner berries.
They've been fruiting now for a month or so.
Check on the ground below and if you're lucky and have beaten the birds, there's a pretty good harvest to be had.
Very high in Vitamin C.
The berries have a large seed.
Peel off the 5-cornered sepal or husk.
Chew the fruit and spit out the seeds.
It's pretty exciting around here at the moment.
As we move into September I'll keep you posted.
I think the Rare Wild Flower consortium's planned walk in a couple of weeks at the Amiens State Forest should be pretty good.
Hopefully I will see you there.
Regards... Mark & Donna
So far, just this month July 2021, we have had 93mm. Today, the crossing below the main home is still pretty wide and flowing over.
50 metres down from the crossing, the Five Cascades are sparkling and singing their song.
We won't be going across the creek on the Wallaby Trail for a while yet!
The dam is looking the best it has been for 10 years but we still have a way to the spillway.
Where we usually walk down into the Cannon Creek Gorge is still running strongly.
We usually step across these boulders but we can't get down that way at the moment.
The best way into the gorge at the moment is to cross at the crossing below the main home and go into the top of the gorge, half way along the road to Doro's Hole.
It is truly beautiful when flowing like this. As I say, it is good for the soul.
It is exciting to be here at the moment.
Watching the flow of water through the rocks and pools of the Top crossing.
Everywhere we go at the moment is a photographic dream.
More rain is expected this Friday.
Enough to keep the flow happening.
It's good for the Soul.
32mm of rain yesterday.
This is the second time within a week that we've had over 30mm.
Today we found time to wander down to the gorge.
Less than 100 metres walk from the main home takes us to what I call the Five Cascades.
The beauty of the Five Cascades is the ability to hear the various tones of the cascading waters as they flow down towards the gorge.
From here we wandered another 400 metres down to the Cannon Creek Gorge.
Cannon Creek has cut the Wallaby Trail.
So we weren't going any further down that way.
Similarly we couldn't get further down into the rocky creek bed by following our usual trail
But I did find a good, cranky face in the rocks!
To get down the to the floor of the gorge we had to walk further along from the dam and go down a different trail to Lounge Chair Rock.
Lounge Chair Rock is on the other side of the Top of the Gorge.
The view below looks across to our chairs on the Top of the Gorge.
This picture is taken from standing on top of Lounge Chair Rock.
Also looking down from Lounge Chair Rock, gives a great view of what I call the Terraces.
Down on the floor of the Gorge it was great to see Cannon Creek in flow.
This view is just below what I call Baker's Crossing.
Baker's Crossing is named because of the structure of 4 slices of bread and a hot cross bun.
Now is a great time to explore the Gorge.
The granite rocks are a bit slippery and can be dangerous but it is exhilarating!
In addition there are some wildflowers starting to show if you want to explore a bit more.
In the next few days we might get a chance to check out the cannon Creek Top Crossing.
It's so great to see the area coming to life.
124 Barker Lane
Phone: 0417 669 449