After a few weeks of much working and not much other stuff I was yearning to get out into Nature a bit more. I needed a fix of trees.
We headed out west towards Denmark and stopped for a quick morning snack before heading out on Scotsdale Road to the Harewood Forest trail.
It always amazes me how settlers to this area managed to clear the forest of trees. Not just in the effort and determination it took, but also in having the gall to start the job in the first place. The trees we walked through today are not particularly old by any standard in comparison to the old growth forests of the south west, but its lucky we still have them. Mostly, I am guessing, because this area of land is sloping and was probably a bit more of a challenge to clear and get logs out of the area.
We then called into a friends farm which is situated on much flatter land and would have been much easier land to clear 140 odd years ago. You can see some of that land in the four wheeler image in the slide show above. Most of the job was done with axes and fire in this area, usually with two men and 6-12 bullock or draught horses.
In only a few decades however up to 70% of the farmers had left the land (around 1930) due to the harsh living conditions and the declining soil fertility. They were thoroughly disillusioned by the size of the karri forest around them and assumed that the land would produce amazing crops. Sadly, once these forests were cleared the very meagre soil fertility that was there probably just washed away in the rain. Much of the land is rocky or has layers of granite or coffee rock underneath it.
I had taken some seeds and a dahlia tuber to share with our friends but we ended up bringing home a small treasure trove of seedlings and tubers, plus some home-made sausages. The Little Fellas got to have a go on the four-wheeler, pat some piglets, feed the cows and check out the tractor. We had a tour of the garden and chook pen and The Shed where many home-made projects were in progress.
It was nice to get out and about and to return home to tuck in the new seedling pets. By the afternoon it was raining lightly so I didn’t need to do much watering and could focus on dinner instead.
As I type this I can hear the fireworks at the Fair, bursting, popping and sizzling over the town. Exciting the Little Fellas as they get to bed.
But it is time for bed.