I told you I would write some things about Australia, my life here and some of the beautiful places. Thinking what to write causes me to look at things in ways I would not normally, which is a good thing. Lately I have been reading other blogs and enjoying what people write, and think, about their immediate surroundings so I’m just hoping you will enjoy when I do the same.
A few months ago, our daughter was visiting and, as it happened, her boyfriend’s family was also here in town. The ‘boys’ were all playing golf or watching sports and we ‘girls’ decided to have our own fun by way of a little bush walk. Standley Chasm is about 50k (35miles) out of town along the Western MacDonnell Ranges. The Western Macs are gorgeous, and I will show you better photos in future of them, than this one taken from the car window mid-afternoon.
Once you arrive, the walk is not long, about 40 minutes round trip, though quite rocky and challenging if you are not a bit fit and sure of foot. The walk leads to the actual chasm, and is quite picturesque. Mother nature has landscaped the rocky crags with graceful gum trees, ancient cycads and other, more scrubby, specimens. The trail follows what is a roaring creek, if there has been a big rain, but which is otherwise dotted with a few small reflective pools. Most of the water retreats to underground during dry periods.
It was the beginning of winter so the gums were just gaining their layer of protective bark, like speckled fawns. A few ghost gums, still glowingly white were lagging behind developing their winter coats and they shown against the sapphire blue sky. It depends what time of the day you arrive at the chasm, and the time of year, as to how the sun shows off the ochre coloured walls. When the sun is directly overhead the contrasts are stark but the floor of the chasm is lighted. Otherwise, as when we were there, the shades are more subdued. I prefer the latter, having seen it both ways.
I could have meandered through, pondering the plants and rock formations for hours, but the rest of the group had ice cream on their minds, so I will return another day and perhaps give you a different view. Standley Chasm is named after Ida Standley, the first white woman ever to venture to this lovely place, early in the 20th century. The first, but not the last…