Thursday, 21 January 2010



I have sat here with my fingers hovering over the keys for several minutes, wondering where to start describing what I have seen and experienced in the first few days of my stay in Hobart, Tasmania...... This photo is of Erica and I on a walk around the lake at Mt. Field in the cold drizzle, the mist blowing in and out of the valley and down the mountain again, totally engrossed in the beauty of the mosses and lichens, the pencil pines and pandanus, and the Tasmanian mountain pepper leaf bushes in their natural habitat. Earlier we were in a deep, damp valley filled with thousands of tree ferns under a thin canopy of tall trees reaching to the sky. Platypus and trout live in the crystal clear streams while tiny wrens and other birds fill the air with song.

This is the paradise I had almost forgotten existed, where people become insignificant and humbled by the wonder of nature.... but you'd better check your feet for leeches when you take your shoes off! And the Kurrajongs greet you in the carpark!

While it is 40C in Adelaide, try and think of a good reason why you are not here too!


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imageAnother day we drove up the Huon Valley, stopping here and there to buy cherries and nectarines and apricots from roadside stalls. But life is not all fun here, as logging of old-growth forests is still going on and trucks laden with the trunks of massive trees thunder down the main street of Huonville.

We were intrigued by this sign, also in Huonville .... Follow path to the book shop.... so we did and found a magical little green garden room filled to overflowing with second hand books. It was a challenge to remove any book from a pile lest the whole lot cascade to the floor! Somehow all 4 of us came out laden and excited with what we had found. My favourite is called "A Wild Herb Soup... The life of a French countrywoman" written originally in French by Emilie Carles who lived in alpine south eastern France in the early 1900's. My version is in tiny English print.

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I am so lucky to be staying with my very good friend Erica, her husband Brian and delightful daughters Kristy and Emma. Two more welcoming and friendly teenage girls you could not meet. Emma was not with us the day we found the bookshop, but below is a photo of her magnificent gingerbread house creation. The other girl in the doorway of the bookshop is Jean, a lovely friend of Kristy's.

Emma ...

This little weatherboard house on 1 acre, with a creek and fertile soil, could be my next home!

Beautiful location.... at Cygnet, south of Hobart.






Seeing the Tasmanian mountain pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) growing in the wild was so exciting. It is one of my favourite native herbs and it takes a lot of care to grow it in Adelaide. In this wild, cold and windy environment its pungency fills the air as you brush past it.


See more photos here.


chaiselongue said...

It looks idyllic, Kate! I'm looking forward to you descriptions of this very different climate and environment. And that bookshop looks wonderful. Enjoy the wild herb soup!

Maggie said...

Buy one of those properties for me too!

Kate said...

OK Maggie.Just 2 houses along from this one, there is another for sale!