Going on A Waratah Hunt!

My apologies if you were wanting to go on a bear hunt- especially for koala bears. Instead, we’re off on a Waratah Hunt. The Waratah is the stunning red floral emblem of NSW, and they’re rare as hen’s teeth in the wild. However, they used to be endemic to our local area on the NSW Central Coast in Greater Sydney, and there’s a patch of them beside the road on the way to nearby Patonga. So, off we go. I’ve even given you a map, although it’s probably not much good to you, and you’ll need to consult the oracle.

Map from Umina, Umina Beach NSW 2257 to Patonga, New South Wales 2256

By the way, if you’re one of those task-focused A to B types, you’d better leave now because we’re not just checking out the Waratahs. I’m a firm believer in what John Lennon said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. Moreover, too many of us live our lives through blinkers, losing sight of the rich diversity of life around us. So, while we’re here, you’ll also enjoy a luscious smorgasbord of Spring wildflowers, and even a few carbonised gum trees.

Flannel Flowers

By the way, let me remind you we’re still in dreaded lock down here. In fact, all of New South Wales is currently in lock down, and we need to wear masks when leaving the house, excluding exercise. It’s been about 2.5 months for us now, and this weird way of living is becoming the norm. Hugging a friend is a capital crime, when it used to be such an integral part of me, and so many of us. However, as usual, there are always winners and losers. No doubt, this tightening of social boundaries has been a relief to many introverts, who are glad to see the back of us beastly random huggers.

While hugging beyond your household is out, as long as you’re not in the red zone, you’re as free as a bird as long as you’re exercising alone or with members of your own household or your significant other. So, in a literal sense, I’m not really locked down at all. I just have to stay away from people. This was okay for a while, but it’s wearing thin. I’m really getting to the point where I’ve had enough of the view. I want my people back within arm’s reach – and not just one at a time either!

Me,myself and I out for a walk.

Yet, having said that, I am till making the most of our beautiful outdoors and wanted to share my wildflower walk with you. Of course, the Waratahs were the jewel in the crown, but they had some stiff competition, and almost lost out to masses of golden pea flowers which lit up like lightbulbs in the sun. They were absolutely amazing and there were so many of them. I felt so happy…even joyful.

It’s that weird contradiction, isn’t it?!! The darker the shadow, the brighter the light. I was staring at these flowers with my eyes out on stalks fully drugged – especially with all that luscious golden sunshine all around me. Hello! It had been a week since I’d last ventured beyond my letterbox. I hadn’t been feeling well in a physical sense and a bit achy. Nothing serious, but enough to keep me home enjoying my research and pinned to my chair by the dog (I’ve taken to calling Zac the Demotivation Manager as he’s seemingly hard of hearing, and makes it quite difficult to stand up and get out of my chair).

Burned out gum tree, which still had a thriving crown of leaves growing at the top.

As beautiful as it all is, it still feels weird to be able to kiss a waratah and hug a burnt out gum tree, but not a friend. I can’t drive an hour down the road to visit my Mum and Dad and see them face-to-face, let alone give them one of those filthy germ-transmitting things formerly known as a hug. I celebrated my birthday with friends and family via zoom, and this week we’ll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary the same way. I was wanting to have a party to celebrate something, anything. I have been sick for so many birthdays and this year when I’m well, we’re in lock down. I’m not happy, Jan!

However, I also have to acknowledge that the reason why I’m so well, is because I’m isolated, wearing masks, and hand sanitizing with obsessive compulsion. We get our shopping delivered. The measures to protect me from covid, have also kept colds and those dreaded chest infections away.

I hope you enjoyed these flowers as much as I did.

How are things going in your neck of the woods? I hope you’re going okay.

Best wishes,

Rowena

3 thoughts on “Going on A Waratah Hunt!

  1. maxwellthedog

    Great flowers but I admit I wanted to see some drop bears and bunyips. From what I read Oz is almost prison-like in its lockdowns these days. If it works, great, but I’m sure there’s much stress connected with that, too for you, Geoff and the kids. Seems like it’s one step forward and a step back…

  2. lindamaycurry

    For people like me, retired, regular income, partner in own home, the lockdown isn’t stressful. For people with their own business who can’t run it online it must be a nightmare. For all those shop owners it must be very stressful. We are all hoping next month that restrictions will be eased but we are all worried that hospitals will not be able to cope with the increased cases.

    For us the time spent in the garden and surrounding bushland has been unprecedented and surprisingly rewarding. Thanks to Rowena’s encouragement I now have a kayak which I was able to buy with Click and Collect at BCF. I have been out on the lake on a perfect last day of winter and watched the pelicans skimming over my head. I can’t wait to get back, just waiting for the wind to drop.

    The family sent a feast in a box for Fathers Day. We sent photos but it was sad they couldn’t be with us. Maybe Christmas will see us all together.

    I love reading your posts Rowena. You’ll have me out looking for waratahs next.

  3. Gary A Wilson

    The Waratah is stunning. It reminds me of an odd thing we have in our mountains in California that not many have seen or noticed. They are called ‘Sarcodes’, they’re rare and small and more like a mushroom than a flower but they are stunning. A while back I wrote a quick piece that featured them for a color challenge that got me attention somehow. You might enjoy a close look at one of our true oddities.

    Pushing Winter Aside


    Hope this is a decent ooo-ahhh moment for you as your waratah was for me.
    Blessings.

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