Friday, September 18, 2009

Glenrock Lagoon.

Today Rhiannon's class had their school excursion to Glenrock Lagoon. They had asked for parents to volunteer to be helpers on the trip and because it was happening on a Friday (my day off work) I was able to join in.

The day was a hot one so we had to put sunscreen on head to toe and then loads of mozzie spray because we were going to be bush walking through sub-tropical rain forest (see I was listening to the ranger!)
Water was frozen in bottles overnight and camera batteries were charged up and raring to go.

The parents got to travel on the bus with the kids, they should have told us to bring ear-plugs! We arrived at Glenrock and were introduced to Gary our Aboriginal "Discovery Ranger" We started with a lecture on all the dangerous snakes and spiders we might come across.

Most snakes although very venomous are not aggressive and we were told how to stand still then throw our hat down and walk slowly and quietly backwards while the snake was distracted. It was at this point that I would gladly have stayed behind to mind the bus! Then we were told about the tiger snake who was the aggressive one that would chase us. At this point I was hanging on to the tow bar of the bus trying to stop it from leaving the car park. After a firm but fair talking to from Mrs Crossingham (Rhiannon's teacher) I joined the group in an orderly manner and promised to behave myself.

The next couple of hours were a kaleidoscope of sounds, sights, smells and information. I love new information, especially of the bizarre and unusual type. Not info you need to pass your driving test or at a job interview, but the bizarre facts that you can fascinate your friends with at a weekend BBQ or during the quiet part of Mass where you are supposed to be paying attention in a serene and quiet way.

Here are my favourite facts I learnt:

Paper bark gum trees produce a thin soft paper like sheets of bark that peel from the trunk and are perfect for... No not writing on but wiping yourself if you get caught short when out bush walking.

The leaves of the prickle tree (or itchy tree or something similar) will bring the skin up in fiery welts that burn and sting for days.

The leaves of the prickle tree should never be used for the same purpose as paper bark.

There are hundreds of different types of small berries that grow in the Australian bush. If you get bitten by a snake and eat a certain berry it works as a powerful and highly effective anti-venom. There are other similar looking berries that if eaten will kill you.

If I ever get bitten by a snake in the Australian bush I am likely not only to die an agonising death from the snake venom but also suffer excruciating pain from the poisonous berries I eat while trying in vain to save myself.

Apart from all the wonderful new knowledge I gained today the kids had a really great day. The bush walk ended on a long golden beach where they ran around and splashed and explored rock pools, finding yabbies, star fish and tiny crabs.

The bus journey home was just as loud if not louder and now I am yawning and wanting to go to bed. It is only 6pm so I think I should probably wait till the kids have finished tea and I have put them to bed first. I'm going to sleep well tonight...

6 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Beautiful photos....sounds like an interesting place. But I have to add, a snake that will chase you?? My worst nightmare realized!! I'm afraid that teacher would have had to drag me kicking and screaming along that trail. :)

  2. I am so glad you clarified what NOT to use the prickle tree leaves for. I would have used it for that.

    BTW, I purposely used the word "loo" in your honor today. I was afraid you wouldn't understand why we use "bathrooms" to go to not use the prickle pear tree leaves.

  3. What beautiful pictures! My favorite part, though, was all those matching outfits...down to the backpacks and, little things excite me!

  4. Great pics Gina. Thanks so much for your kind words, I really apreciate it.

  5. I used to love peeling the paper like sheets off paper bark gum trees when i was little. Thanks for the tip about them, its good to know... lol.
    I've lived here all my life and never once came across a snake in the bush, maybe i keep to the safe bushes!

  6. that's just how I remembered the day it was a great day. paper bark is also water proof and koala's have very long intestines with little footprints on them. lol karen