Under a blue sky, in a brisk cool breeze, I walk the seventh segment of the river road. The new obsession is characterising each stretch: so far I’ve walked history, lagoon, harvest, rainforest, river, and creek-and-clouds. Today, it’s dilapidation. Everywhere signs of a vigorous farming past that no longer exists: a discarded corrugated iron tube, maybe once a culvert, now rusting into pleasing patterns; an overgrown creek without any water; stockyards overrun by bushes; thistles and bracken; a half empty dam, framed by blackberry vine; a skeleton with fragments of hair; a building swallowed up by trees and vines.
However, the countryside is green, the cows on the road observing me as I walked past looked healthy, and the road wound its way easily between towering old trees; white ozothamnus bushes; and wattle with its smell of sweet honey heavy in the air and its branches frantic with buds. Lozenge-shaped scats placed neatly on a rock suggest the lumbering presence of wombats; butterflies, white with restrained green specks, and orange with a brown banded pattern, evade the camera with flittering skill. The wind in the eucalypts makes a clacking rustle, so unlike the familiar susurration of the she-oaks.