Stories and Poems from past participants
Memories of an Alpine Summer by K. Kelly (NSW)
It is a week since I returned from my trip to the Victorian High County, but I continually find myself back there with Jenny and the others. Once again I wander among the snowgums; smell the mountain ash bushland; gaze with wonder upon the myriad varieties of pink, white and yellow wildflowers scattered across the hillsides. I watch ibis, heron and eagles dip and soar in flight while raucous kookaburras take the mickey out of earth-bound humans.
I feel the warm sun on my skin, tempered by cool breezes and enjoy the impossible freshness and clarity of mountain air. My eyes drink in the vistas of burnished green mountain grasses; jagged rock-strewn ridges; ghostly tree-limbs; and line after line of blue ranges tumbling into the distance. And the sky! Blueness that speaks to the soul during the day and blackness be-jewelled with a billion glittering stars at night.
I can’t drag my soul away.
Highlights of my Alpine Discovery weed by Joan (Melbourne)
Thinking back to our wonderful visit to the high country in January, some experiences have emerged as highlights: The Room with a View walk, especially the viewing of the White-necked Heron and the encounter with the Flame Robin family; the walk up to the summit of Mt Hotham and the sunset and visitas from Danny’s Lookout.
Thank you for organising and leading the tour Jenny and for your interpretation of so many aspects of the Alps. It has been a wonderful start to 2018 and I look forward to my next trip with you.
Alpine Discovery By A. Sicotte (Canada)
Our trip into the High Country was certainly the highlight of my visit to Australia. Jenny, your enthusiasm, energy and sense of adventure made this trip unforgettable. Thank-you for sharing your knowledge of the creatures big and small, of the history and the people of the High Country. It has made me discover this part of Australia in a way I could never have done otherwise.
I returned to Canada with vivid memories of the Australian Alps including our copious lunches in the shade of gumtrees and our chats with local people.
What a pleasure it was discovering wildflowers and plants and tasting the berries from a wild pepper bush. Taking in the beauty of the many colours of a variety of gum trees, including the red candlebark, the white and grey snow gums.
The accommodations were well chosen and made us feel close to nature while always comfortable. I will never forget seeing a wombat cross the road in the evening and have so many other vivid images of the mountains, valleys and high plains.
We had the best of travelling companions and had such a wonderful time everywhere we went.
Under the beautiful alpine peaks By M. Brauer (NSW)
By mountain and glen and in Nargun’s Den
There our Jenny you’ll find
‘Neath bush, stone and leaf, insect and bug builds a reef
Jenny knows every species and kind.
We came fro arid, a walk and a look
Not knowing how much we would learn.
Now that we know what’s under the snow,
To return with all speed we do yearn.
So it’s all thanks to our guide, for the wonders which hide,
Under these beautiful Alpine peaks.
We’ve had a great time, everything was so fine,
And of this to our friends we will speak.
Alpine Discovery Tour By P. Macdonald (Vic)
“In January I toured the Eastern Victoria high country on the Alpine Discovery Tour commencing in the Gippsland Lakes district and travelling through the Victorian Alps. The weather was fine and warm to hot (it was mid-summer) and the scenery was superb.
The tour featured walking in the Victorian Alps at Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain. Saw wildlife and a myriad of birdlife as well as enduring many flies! The alpine vegetation was unique – snow grass plains, snowgum woodlands and a profusion of wildflowers.
Heard many stories and tales from Jenny regarding the wildlife, the history, the personalities, the communities, the bushfires and the debate re. alpine grazing. The company, organisation, accommodation and food were all wonderful. A great week away.”
On Top of Mt Hotham (to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”
By Sharon, with assistance from Elizabeth, Hazel, Phil and Marion (Canada)
On top of Mt Hotham, with a smidgen of snow
We capture the summit then descended to show
That Trevor could lead us, for we followed him down
Disturbing the grasshoppers, we cleared the last mound.
We packed up our troubles and mosey’d along
A wombat sidetracked us and turned us around
Jenny backed up to see him, a difficult feat
A brown ball of lard, with four chubby wee feet.
Now Jenny’s our leader, she gets us our meals
She dodges the cattle and makes all the deals
We have to be ready, we cannot delay
The procession gets started at each break of day.
While Jenny’s the expert, she knows all the birds
Yet Trevor’s the one who will show us the turds
His smile is so pleasant, his wit is real keen
Piggybacking Hazel, was a sight to be seen.
Each night’s an adventure, with unique places to lay
Now our parting brings sorrow as we’d sure like to stay
Our thanks for your knowledge and driving skills too
With patience and courage to humour this zoo.
Lush green are the forests, many roads with a bend
We savour your friendship, so this has to end!
“The highlight for me were the Alps with spectacular scenery and the profusion and variety of the wildflowers. You have passed on such much information and told fascinating stories of life in the High Country from early settlement to the present day. It has been especially interesting to learn of the impact of the fires on people and the environment and come away knowing that both are resilient.”
“Thank you Jenny for a grand trip. Wonderful stories of the local history and the appreciation you gave me of the wonders of nature. The High Plains a sheer delight and a highlight of my week.”