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This walking project was supposed to be a weekend adventure. Here am I, heading off just after wallaby time on a Wednesday morning. OK, I needed tomato paste and ground coriander from that general direction, but it would’ve been quicker not to walk as well.

But I walked. Today, along the course of the river, on a road with the hillside towering above me and dropping off beneath me, and the perfume of honeysuckle thick in the air. I caught a quick burst of the whipbird’s song, the mooing of cows, and then the approach of the school bus. Beneath the overhang of the cutting were wasp nests, and flourishing grasses, and almost vertically up, slim eucalypts. Below me the river wound, brown and sandy, but still moving in mini rapids in spots. Here were tree ferns, clinging to steepness and the russet unwhorling of their fronds. Kangaroo grass dropped its seeds and woggled in the occasional breeze.

My turn-back point today was marked by a signpost, a clump of letterboxes, a bracken-smothered track down to the water, and a patch of purple so vivid it resisted the camera.

The cutting

The river

Ferns

Honeysuckle

Turning point

Flowers and grass