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Thursday, 20 October 2011

NOT FERAL BUT DEFINITELY WILD

After our coffee at the mini golf course, I drove Maureen and Nancy along Mt Zero Road to Heatherlie Quarry. Since the 1880s, the beautiful Grampians sandstone had been quarried. Equipment was hauled in and rock hauled out by teams of bullocks straining through sandy terrain in the dry weather and bogging down in the wet.
The site for a village to house the workers was surveyed but never built. A school house was brought in for the workers’ children but never use and was removed to another site a year later. Walking through the bush along a sandy track, you come upon "road signs" indicating which roads had been intended for that section.
At the quarry’s edge there are still the remains of the machinery used to power the drills, and bits of the railway line that replaced the bullocks. The rock from the quarry was still being used to repair historic buildings including the Melbourne Town Hall, up to the 1980s.

From the internet I learned that: "The high quality building stone was used in more than twenty well known buildings in Melbourne, including Parliament House and the Town Hall. During the 1880s the quarry was in full production A tramway was built from Stawell to carry the stone to the main railway line and up to one hundred men were employed. When the demand for stone eventually declined and it closed in 1938." Nowadays stone can only be taken from the quarry to repair historic.

Jeez! You can tell I didn't write that!
Walking from the road into the quarry was a delight. The wildflowers were everywhere –white ti tree blossoms, red grevillea, purple flowers like tiny stars, miniature pink orchids, single and perfect, pea flowers of many colours, golden daisy-like blossoms, banksias of several sorts and brilliant orange fungus on the stark black trunks of burnt out trees. I Have tried to identify them from a brochure but if you know thenames or I've got it wrong, please let me know. 8)
 



Tinsel Lily


Orange fungus on burnt out tree


Pink Sun Lily



This area has been devastated by bush fire many times, the most recent being  the 2009 Black Saturday fires. Throughout the regenerated forest, are the tall black silhouettes of the trees that didn’t make it back. Surrounding them are the thick green of those that did and the wildflowers seemed even brighter with the dark contrast. A tribute to Nature’s determination. And throughout the forest, tall and stately, covered in white blossom are the re-named grass trees.


Desert Baekea


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