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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)

TITLE: Eagle's Vista
By Gerry Depuit


Eagle’s Vista.
It had been a very hectic, demanding past 2 weeks and both my wife and I needed to re-charge our physical as well as our spiritual batteries. Even our attention seeking Labrador was showing displeasure at having missed our undivided focus.

Today is the day, and the car is packed with all we need for a well earned excursion into the nearby mountain forests.

A sense of well being is already experienced as we leave our home town of Deloraine and travel to the township of Meander to visit our favourite picnic spot and to climb the mountain that harbours an incredible lookout, high above the towering forest trees, a place where you can almost touch the clouds.

Initially the road is flanked by large flat pastures of rich dairying and cropping farms. The smell of cows and cow dung is especially strong as we travel through a lazy bend in the road with a cow shed balanced on a steep incline.

Irrigation sprinklers work effortlessly in a huge pasture. Their sprays resemble a flock of wading pre- historic birds with outstretched wings, glimpses of a multitude of rainbows can be seen as rays of sunshine play with the slow moving sprays.

Our dog in the back of the vehicle has already sensed that we are going “bush” and with her snout facing the breeze you would almost say she was grinning with anticipation.

We soon pass through Meander with its array of old pioneer cottages and modern homes. Pastures are replaced by gently sloping hills which form the foothills of the Western Tiers.
The sealed road becomes a gravel track and we soon find ourselves in a small clearing near our favourite river bank. A short walk through low scrub and bracken ferns leads to the edge of the stream, the water is incredibly clear and the term “babbling brook” becomes a reality.

In a slow moving part of the stream is a large swimming hole surrounded by washed and shaped mountain rocks. Rich vegetation in a multitude of greens overhangs the opposite bank, the stream is only a few meters wide at this point and large tall trees on both banks offer plenty of summer shade with their generous branches.
Blackjays hover excitedly close by giving an occasional glimpse of their white tail feathers in anticipation of a lunch time snack. Smaller mountain birds seem to be forever busy extracting nectar from the sweet smelling highland flowers and nervously twittering as they flit from plant to plant. On one occasion a disgruntled wombat stumbled through our picnic spot and we felt quite guilty having invaded his space.
The aroma of the seemingly always damp forest is rejuvenating and the sight and sound of the stream as it leaves the swimming hole is captivating. We usually leave the swimming to our grandchildren although on a hot summer day we have been enticed to take the plunge.

Having enjoyed our lunch we prepare for the long hike to the lookout, being the primary reason for our trip.
The sign at the base of the mountain indicates that this track is classified as “Moderate to Difficult” and suggesting appropriate clothing and emergency rations. We are well prepared as this is one of our favourite hikes.

Our destination is the lookout appropriately named “Eagle’s Vista”.

Having walked through the “moderate” section of the climb we soon experience a slowing of our pace and find ourselves negotiating a very steep boulder strewn track with perfectly straight eucalypt trees that are home to several mountain cockatoos. These graceful, noisy birds seem to delight in our company as they put on a display to welcome us into their habitat.

Being urged on by the dog we soon reach our destination and as always experience awe and amazement of the beauty of God’s wonderful creation.
The view is remarkable, stretching over forest trees and descending to farmlands and the distant ocean. We were also treated to a Wedge tail Eagle teaching its young to fly, soaring on the currents of the forest sky.
The mountain silence is broken with rolling thunder warning us that it is time to go, but not without thankfulness of once again having experienced God’s presence.

We always return home with a sense of contentment and appreciation of this small yet wonderful piece of paradise.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 06/12/11
Beautiful descriptions of God's creation. Thank you for sharing this.
Nancy Bucca06/12/11
You paint quite a word picture. It reminds me of the sorts of articles you might read in a nature magazine.
Bonnie Bowden 06/13/11
It seems that you are very aware of your surroundings. You are very gifted with using word pictures.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/15/11
This is a lovely piece with vivid descriptions. I liked how you merged two different definitions of outlook into your story.