Daylesford Forest, Wombat State Forest

Oh yeah, sorry about this, but here’s another ye olde walk from my inaugural May madness this year. For the punter who’s just arrived here, I went slightly mental doing day walks during May and racked up a few million, which I still haven’t written about. Should I jot them all down? Probably not, as I’ve got a five day hike coming up, which will probably be dissected here before these May affairs.

Anyway, as I seem to be revisiting last autumn a fair bit, I thought I’d be clever and start the post with a quote about the month of May. You know, part inspirational, part wankeral. I wanted something where you’d sit back on your Chesterfield, one hand on your chin and the other in your trousers, as you stared out into space, pondering the wise quote about May I’d written.

Guess what? I eagerly Googled, ‘quotes about May’ and I was instantly whisked to a website, which had over 40 pages of May quotes. There I was, saying to myself, ‘Why is the month of May so popular for quotes? This is amazing! So many choices!!’. Oh, until I looked and found out these acres of quotes weren’t about the month at all, but rather, the word ‘may’ was included in them. Ha! Stooged!

Okay, I didn’t exactly get what I was after, but I must admit, I’ve just lost 20 minutes of my life reading these ‘may’ quotes. Scrolling through, I endured the standard dreamy, mystical stuff, before suddenly coming across one by Jimmy Hoffa. Huh? My favourite missing person has a quote? What could it be?? Fasten your seat belts, as here it comes…

‘I may have many faults, but being wrong ain’t one of them’ – Jimmy Hoffa.

Hang on, was he taking the piss? Never being wrong in his life? Ever? Damn, I’m wrong every day. I mean, last night, I didn’t need to eat the entire family block of chocolate in one hit, did I? A couple of squares could have sufficed?

Actually, come to think of it, I’m a little suspicious of his ‘100% never wrong’ lifestyle. To me, the whole aspect of going to a restaurant to meet blokes from the Mafia, who have then knocked him off, sounds like a bit of a wrong decision. Well, that’s me anyway. Maybe you think Jimmy had quite a nice day out instead?

Right, this walk. I really don’t have to tell you where it’s from, do I? As per usual, it’s one of GT’s and I found it in his ‘Victoria’s Goldfield Walks’. I think I’ve given him more free publicity than anyone could ever want? Titled Daylesford Forest, Wombat State forest is a bit of a mouthful. At about 20 km, it was longish, but overall, it didn’t sound too hard. As long as I got an early start. Which I didn’t. I noticed the first photo I took for the day was at 12.31 pm, so it was another day of being on the go. Oh well…

The beginning of the walk was at Sailors Falls and I’d never been there before. A waterfall is always a nice way to start a stroll and I was quite keen to step out the car and immediately see plummeting water. Except it really couldn’t be drier. Mm… The simple job description of a waterfall is water, which is falling and without it, it’s just not the same. I stared at the rocky wall and was so unenthused, I snapped a photo without even looking through the viewfinder. It was a picture by the numbers and is possibly one of the dullest I’ve ever posted. Be careful when perusing, as I don’t want you slipping into a coma at this early stage.


Sailors Falls, Daylesford

Well, this isn’t going too well, is it? Maybe I can wake you up with a bit of a historical ‘then and now’ perspective. I ventured over to my favourite source of ancient photos, the State Library of Victoria, and found the following. Hang on, it looks as if the picture, which was taken in Easter 1899 was taken from the same spot. That’s not all, as I hate to say it, but it appears as woeful as mine in its lack of attempt to engage the viewer.

Sailor's Creek Falls near Daylesford Daniel, Mark James 1867-1949

Sailors Creek Falls, Easter 1899 – Mark James Daniel

Maybe my shocker will end up in the State Library of Victoria in a few hundred years time? At least this old picture put my mind at ease about one thing. In mine, I was wondering if my shoulder had been in spasm when I took the photo, as it appeared the horizon is insanely crooked. It’s just an optical illusion though, as the same angling appears above.

It was a bit of a fizzer, but what did I expect in May, after months of dry weather? Wandering off, I began following Sailors Creek, which was choked with more blackberries than I reckon I’ve ever seen in the one spot. Acres of the bastards and I’d show you a photo, but I can’t post two dead boring ones in a row. Instead, how about some leaves? There were some impressive sized ones lying on the ground…


…that were perfect to pick up.


Wandering on, I continued along a wide track, contemplating Jimmy Hoffa’s quote. Actually, that’s a lie, as I didn’t know it existed until I started writing this, so I’ll rephrase the sentence. Strolling on, I pondered the Jimmy Hoffa quote, which I didn’t know at the time (is that any better?) and I reckon I’d wandered for at least an hour, without seeing anyone.

It was quite peaceful and things were going well until I got my dick out. Hang on, I may have to explain this, otherwise you might get the wrong idea. I’d guzzled a few gallons of water before starting and its after-effect had taken hold. No problem though in a deserted forest, right? Stepping off the track, I unzipped, removed the sock (I buy them in threes) and commenced Operation Relaxation. There I was, imagining I was extinguishing the Great Chicago Fire, when suddenly I heard mayhem coming towards me. Fast.

Oh yes humble reader. I could have done anything during the day slightly differently, such as brushing my teeth for an extra minute, actually looking through the viewfinder for the Sailors Falls photo and I would not have been in that spot, at that moment with my dick in my hand and being caught in the act by a bloke on a horse. Huh? Oh yeah, not just any horse, but the whole trotter shindig.

The trotting jockey (what are they called?) pulled up to say hello. Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering, I didn’t just continue whilst I was talking to him. He didn’t seem too perturbed though, as I can imagine an old bloke who’d spent his lifetime around horses would have seen far worse. Following this brief conversation, he continued on and I took a photo as he left. It was hard to take one of him approaching me, as you can well understand.


So far, the walk had been a casual affair, but nothing beats some unwanted exposure to liven things up. Continuing on, I made a pact not to mention what happened to anyone ever again, as there would be nothing worse than people online knowing about this.

In the rider photo, do you notice the burnt trees? It seemed the forest had been torched the previous summer, which was understandable, as it seemed the whole state was on fire at times. I hope the fire wasn’t started by discarded rubbish lying around, such as fire investigation tape.


It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, with regrowth well and truly in full swing with green leaves sprouting out of blackened trunks.


It was a perfect day to show off the forest’s colour, as tall trees reached into blue sky, lined with cirrus clouds. Oh, and power lines.


Mind you, I couldn’t gaze skywards for too long, as there was a risk I’d get run over. I’m not sure what was going on, but it seemed the forests around Daylesford were busier than the Indy 500.


It was weird, as pre-penis, I hadn’t seen anyone, but since then, it had been a non-stop people-fest. I haven’t even mentioned the 4WD’s flying by, as I can’t write about everything that happens. I guess this is what happens in State Forests rather than National Parks. I think.

Anyway, I was heading out of the forest and arriving in Daylesford with a jaunt around the lake to come. Oh, I must warn you now. Very shortly, coming up, there are gratuitous shots of insanely colourful autumn trees, a freakishly blue sky, which in turn is reflected on glassy, calm water. I suggest you de-tune the saturation on your computer monitor, otherwise the vivid colours may make you queasy.

Firstly though, I wandered under a vast expanse of trees, which had left the ground littered with their yellow leaves.


Cirrus clouds remained above and they look even better without power lines accompanying them.


Then I arrived at Daylesford Lake to be confronted with a picture-perfect scene. Left, right and centre, vivid colours were bouncing off my eyeballs…


…and even passing ducks looked amazing.


Where was Monet now? He’d have a field day with the vibrancy going on. I reckon I took about 50 photos in the stroll around the lake and I’ll be stuffed if I can pick a favourite. The best I can do is overstay my welcome and leave you with way too many to look at. Because I can.


Don’t worry though, as I like to add a bit of edginess to the colour explosion. It wouldn’t be the same without a bit of bleakness thrown in. After reading this sign, I concluded the lake may not be ideal to swim in. Is that what they’re saying?


Oh, the duck was still getting in some mileage. A bit like this photographic lake overkill.


I’m not sure if it can get any better. Water, reeds, a jetty and cirrus (yes, cirrus) in the one shot.


My god, I could go on, but I had to keep walking. Don’t think my retinas had stopped being flamed though. Even trees in the front yards of houses were glowing.


I was now off to the Cornish Hill lookout, which would give me an expansive view across Daylesford. There was a bit of a climb on suburban streets…


…before reaching the lookout. Indeed, there was a lovely, elevated spot overlooking the township. I guess you want to see the view, don’t you? Well, I do have photos, but the bright sky and beaming sun had to catch up with me sooner or later. From the viewing platform, I was looking straight into the blazing orb and the handful of pictures I have are so washed out and woeful, I’m afraid you’ll just have to imagine the sights instead. Sorry, but you can’t win them all.

My next target was Jubilee Lake. Two lakes in one day? It was all getting a bit too much and my shutter finger was getting twitchy at the thought. Mind you, large expanses of water are not needed for a nice image. On my road strolling I came across this puddle and it provided one of my better reflective shots I’d ever taken. It makes you want to jump into this other world, doesn’t it?


I was well and truly into the closing stages of this walk, but rest assured, your eyes are due for another colourful popping, as Jubilee Lake is imminent. Firstly though, I wandered up this road…


…before following an old railway easement, which to be expected, was lined with a canopy of autumnal trees.


Then the lake was in view. Can this visual climax just finish and put me out of my misery? Firstly, the parts of the still waters were carpeted with fallen leaves…


…and appearing through the trees, Lake Jubilee itself.


I’ve contemplated a post about how a great trip or walk can’t be replicated on a revisit. Sometimes it’s best to hold onto the memory of the first view or experience and I reckon this applies here. I could go back a hundred times and doubt the stars will align and I’ll have such perfect conditions as they were on this late afternoon. Leaves, floating in the reflective water…


…could not have looked better.


Am I coming to an end? Yeah, sure, as by now the sun was low in the sky, so I moved on. Again, following the old railway easement, although this time it had a few speed humps along the way.


At times I dawdled, as there was fungi to be examined. Some of it looked decidedly fatal if ingested…


…and others appeared less lethal. Well, maybe they’d put you in hospital for a week, but I’m sure modern medicine will help you pull through. Possibly.


Can the colours of the day finally finish? Almost, but by now the low sun was glowing through the trees…


…and to cap it off, I had the moon to accompany me on the final leg.


By now, I only had a kilometre or so to go and getting caught in the dark didn’t bother me so much. Not when the fading light…


…kept looking this good.


One of my last shots before darkness was the final glow on the horizon, as the sky blackened above.


Shortly after, I reached my car and in the end it was pretty good timing, as I didn’t even have to get my headlamp out.

Wow. What a wild day. From indecent exposure to mind blowing light, this walk was quite action packed. At a shade under 20 km, it was long enough, but more than an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

Anyway, that’s another one down from the month of May. Tomorrow I’ll be vanishing for a hike, which will be the longest I’ve attempted since my neck imploded. I may or may not survive, but whatever happens, I’m sure it’ll make for a few decent posts.