Tuesday, 13 December 2011

driving down south

After dropping the LBD (little black dog) off at the kennels in Lake Clifton, we headed for Donnybrook on the SW Highway and stocked up on provisions for our stay in Nornalup. Since we were last there, an Antique Shop has opened right next to the fruit & vege shop! I am a sucker for antique/junk shops but on this occasion I didn't buy anything although I was tempted.

Next stop, Bridgetown (also known as Fridgetown in winter).

At last I found the Christmas Shop (Christmas @ 139) in Bridgetown - I've been meaning to stop there since I first heard about it some years ago. Unfortunately they had run out of the Australian themed xmas tree ornaments I was looking for - except for the fairy penguins in pixie hats; so I purchased two. I left my name and number so they could phone me when the new stock came in. It is the tiniest little shop - more like a walk-in 'robe - and full to the brim with gorgeous xmas things. Sometimes I would like to be more interested in xmas ...

Between Balingup and Bridgetown we could smell the smoke from the out-of-control fires at Nannup. This is a beautiful part of South Western Australia but so susceptible to fire. Bridgetown was nearly wiped out in 2009 but has made an amazing recovery.

On the journey down south we saw few dead 'roos by the side of the road - not as many as usual, probably because the rains have been good so the animals are not browsing on the road verge. You can smell the dead animals long before you see them. We also saw some squashed snakes and some unidentifiable birds. One live monitor lizard ran across the road in front of us - we were lucky not to hit it. I always thought these reptiles were very big skinks but apparently they are monitor lizards. I can't remember the proper name.

The road from Manjimup to Walpole winds through the forest. The light flickers through the trees and that makes me very sleepy. Roland drives this bit now - ever since the time (times) I've fallen asleep at the wheel and nearly ended up in the trees or worse. Rooney's Bridge over the Warren River is a nightmare spot for me - I was nearly wiped out by a logging truck there once. The narrow bridge is situated on a dog-leg corner and there is nowhere to run if a truck comes down the middle of the road.

Rooney's Bridge heading south

Rooney's Bridge heading north.
Strange how the temperature drops as you near Shannon. Shannon used to be a timber town but was all but destroyed by fire many years ago. Now, there is a camping ground and toilets - that's all.

The blue wrens were in abundance at Riverside Retreat. How beautiful they are - sapphire blue (males) and pale blue/grey (females). They are very small and fly close to the ground feeding on insects. They are like sparkling jewels in the sunlight.
Fairy Wren
In the evening, wild mallard ducks came to the verandah door hoping for some food. I couldn't resist and the bold creatures took food from my hand! The second morning, there they were waiting by the door for a hand out! The trouble with ducks is the mess they make - and if you step in it, it sticks to your foot like glue. End of feeding the ducks.

I saw rabbits and evidence of the roos that live in the bush surrounding Riverside Retreat but only caught a glimpse of one, one evening - like a grey ghost in the trees.

Christmas @ 139 phoned me and I've placed my order for the silly season (and I do feel really silly about it). Anyhoo, I think my grand daughters will enjoy the ornaments!

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