Our August bushwalk continued to enjoy the pattern of fine weather that we've been having for these occasions. In fact, the rainfall this winter has been well below average. So far this month only 8 mm has fallen, and authorities are predicting a dire bushfire season ahead.
Regardless, it was a very comfortable, sunny day for our walk, which took us steeply downward through unremarkable country to a clearing beside a small creek. Beyond the creek sheer cliffs rose skyward,
enclosing us in the grassy valley where stands of sunshine wattles (Acacia terminalis) were in full bloom.
Michael opted to make another entry in his sketchbook sitting comfortably in the bit of shade cast by one of these wattles.
The slope where we had entered the valley was dotted with Lomandra longifolia, so carefully spaced that I wondered if they had been deliberately planted. This is a hardy and adaptable plant, often used now for roadside plantings and to cover rocky slopes.
From where we stood we could see a dramatic cleft in the cliff face ahead.
Our party crossed the creek, scrambled up a rough trail and squeezed one by one through a keyhole in the boulders to reach the inside of this amazing fault.
There were actually two rifts running at right angles to each other. So narrow was the gap that it was hardly more than shoulder's width across. My photos are blurred by the movement of people and by the dim light at so deep a level (and maybe just a little by the photographer's lack of skill.)
From the end of one canyon we could look back towards the valley we had left.
This natural feature was unquestionably the highlight of the day. The upward journey to return to our vehicles was challenging to say the least and we were pretty tired by the time we reached home.