Over the weekend we were lucky enough to head down to the Great Ocean Road for a short getaway. For those of you who don’t know, my Mum’s family have a holiday home in the lovely seaside town of Anglesea, where I spent many of my school holidays on the beach or bush walking.
This weekend was meant to be a lazy, stroll along the foreshore, sit around the house with a book kind of weekend. But as often happens, things did not quite go to plan and we didn’t get as much down time as we hoped (I even missed my habitual visit to the local op shop) – however we did ‘stumble upon’ a fantastic local event, which made our weekend.
Anglesea is a wonderful community with a lot of very active sustainable residents. It is surrounded by beautiful native heath and Melaleuca forest, which the townsfolk are very proud of and work hard to conserve. ANGAIR (Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna) is one of the most active groups within the community and last weekend was their Annual Wildflower Show.
As mentioned, we stumbled upon a poster in one of the shop windows and decided to check it out. The event was held in the community precinct and was very professionally organised. It included a reptile display, puppet show and other activities for the kids, as well as a fantastic display of all the weird and wonderful plants from within the area. There were book stalls, an art exhibit, a variety of stallholders promoting different factions of the local sustainable network and most importantly free guided walks! Naturally we signed up for one of the walks immediately.
Our guide was a volunteer with incredible knowledge of the area. It was fascinating for me to wander through the heath along a track I have walked hundreds of times and learn about all the beautiful species of natives. There was so much in bloom – the whole clifftop was like a big white fluffy pillow with patches of delicate orange, blue and yellow in between. We even discovered some native orchids growing among the daisies and creepers!
I have often walked the track and wondered “what kind of wattle is that?” or “is that a native or a weed?” and now I feel like I value the place more, given that extra knowledge.
Whilst Anglesea is not a ‘new’ place for me to visit and tick off on my Action Plan I feel like I have rediscovered this place that is such an important part of my life. I learnt quite a bit about the flora and now when I walk through the space I know I will feel more grateful, more aware.
Don’t you just love spring – it’s novelty, variety and sunshine!