Yesterday we walked with Penny along the Little Yarra River in the mountains east of Melbourne. If we'd been walking without her we would probably have enjoyed the vista of mountains and trees, but we would have missed the detail...
When she was playing in the water we looked at the coarse-grained sand on the tiny 'beach' and focused on the myriad canine footprints - obviously a favorite place for local dogs. I'm convinced that the stream bed was scattered with gold dust (all this area is gold country) but my friend Geraldine is adamant that it will only be 'fool's gold' (pyrites). Next time Penny stirs up the bottom I'm going to take my gold panning equipment!
When she nosed around a massive old log, we were fascinated by the sheer size of the fallen giant. It's sad to think how many hundreds of years it must have taken for this forest giant to grow - and then it was cut down and left to lie for decades. This area is home to eucalyptus regnans, the tallest flowering plant in the world. It is also called the mountain ash. It seems likely to me that this giant log is a mountain ash.
Snakes are a danger to dogs, especially small ones like Penny who don't have the body mass to survive for long after a bite, so we had to scan the low vegetation - the rule of thumb for humans is, 'Don't walk anywhere that you can't see your feet,' but Penny doesn't obey this rule. Consequently we took more notice of the lovely feathery grasses along the ege of the path and enjoyed the elegant lines of the eucalypt leaves scattered across the mown grass.
On a more prosaic note, we also came across a piece of litter that we photographed for one of my favorite flickr groups, Faces in Place