THE warning went out: after this much rain, and a walk on a track beneath tall trees, with lots of very damp leaf litter, there would be leeches.
Some of us shrugged off this warning, and armed ourselves with a variety of preventative measures before the drive to Wooton Way – which was the old Pacific Highway – and the O’Sullivans Gap Nature Reserve. This area has been logged since the early days of settlement, and there are still signs of this on the stumps of forest giants, a reminder of the hard work which was once necessary to fell trees with axes.
The tall white trunks of Eucalyptus grandis, or flooded gum, stand out among their less eye-catching relatives.
The track makes its way on a loop which crosses a few creeks, including one where the walkers decided that ‘one at a time on the bridge’ was wise, and another which required some scrambling over rocks.
Flocks of tiny unidentified brown birds greeted us as we continued on our way.
There is still a couple of short flights of stairs, now moss and leaf strewn.
We then headed for what was once the tallest tree in NSW, another Eucalyptus grandis estimated to be 400 years old.
The picnic area was a pleasant spot for morning tea.
Some of the walkers returned to Bulahdelah for a picnic lunch.
Others headed home, to check their feet for leeches.
The next walk will be to Walka Water Works, Maitland. New members welcome.
We meet in the car park at the Tea Gardens Library at 8.30am.
By Barbara LYLE