Walking to Wombelano Falls

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There’s nothing like a change of scenery to refresh you, is there? With weather warming up into spring, my family and I escaped the concrete jungle on the lovely mild Sunday we had on 19 October to give Miss Z a new adventure of her first bushwalk to Wombelano Falls.

That's me at the sign and Miss Z eagerly running down the path to the right

That’s me at the sign and Miss Z eagerly running down the path to the right

I’ll leave the family references out now as I really want to speak about my reflections while I was there.

You can see the charred tree trunks from the Black Saturday bushfires in the photos but life renews and the undergrowth is all green with sprinkles of yellow, red, and purple flowers.

Sprinkles of yellow and red flowers

I felt much more of a sense of being in nature’s world, than in the human world, where nature struggles. So many human concerns fall away here and it is a change of perspective being dwarfed by tall trees and hearing birds call out high above.

You can see glimpses of the sky through the trees

You can see glimpses of the sky through the trees

I made a short video to enjoy the audio:

This is nature at her healthiest, where the environment has matured to the forest stage in succession. If you haven’t heard of succession, here’s a graphic to show the process (image and more information available at Deep Green Permaculture).

Nature transforms the ecology over time

Nature transforms the ecology over time

Essentially, we are typically surrounded by early stage succession, where there are weeds, ground covers, assorted grasses as nature’s attempt to cover poor soil and gradually break it up, allow water and nutrients in, attract insects, and improve the soil. Gradually, perennial plants will move in and continue to improve the soil. Shrubs will appear and start shading out the weeds, and some trees will have the chance to flourish. Eventually, tall trees will dominate in a forest environment, which is a mature ecosystem. This process might take 50-150 years left to nature. It’s all well and good to hear the theory, but it’s wonderful to see a mature example for yourself.

At the Falls

At the Falls

And being there was a chance for me to practice wide angle vision and fox walking, which I had learnt from reading Rewilding the Urban Soul.  I found fox walking feels quite natural as I walked along the pathway, and I noticed that I broke less twigs on the path, walking more quietly and with less impact as I travelled. I found wide angle vision allowed me to identify more movement, which I could see being useful if you’re hunting or being aware of predators. Thankfully, we had no concerns on that front on our walk.

I really enjoyed the feel of being surrounded by trees and am wistfully imagining my backyard with the same feel.  I say wistfully because such tall trees aren’t suitable for our site.  I’ll just dream of our next bushwalk instead.

What about you?  Do you find bushwalking a chance to connect with nature?  Do you have any favourite bushwalks with kids?

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