Day 2 – Tuesday 29-Jul-2014

Much to my pleasant surprise, I didn’t see or even hear a single rodent last night. Maybe the week I spent away from here was long enough to break their habitually visiting the camp every night.

Don’t get me wrong I love Mice and Rats. Hell I love anything furry and cute, but these particular Mice were waking me almost every night scurrying around me as I slept which was beginning to bug me: broken sleep isn’t what you walk out here, where energy is a premium resource.

Anyway today, the mission was to walk down Leura Cascades in search of mushrooms. Not just Psilocybe, but any distinctive, recognisable culinaries as well.

Now, I’m no Mycologist but I did not see a single mushroom of *any* kind in over six kilometres of hiking. There hasn’t exactly been a heap of rain the last week or so though, with only a night-time shower several days ago and I’ll wager that plus the fact it’s starting to warm-up a little in the valley, has a bit to do with it.

There is a very highly prized culinary mushroom that apparently grows in the mountains called a Milk Cap: With orange colouring, and exuding a milky sap I should assume they’d be pretty easy to spot, and pretty tasty in my pasta dinners. Maybe next time!

On the way back , I stopped at a creek to refill my 3ltr bladder and as I was walking down to the water, heard scratching in the leaves on the bank above.

I look up and there’s a young Lyrebird, standing on one leg whilst using the other to sift through the forest floor for bugs.

These remarkable, yet peculiar birds are about twice the size of a parrot, walk like chickens and have such fine, soft feathers their entire down coat jiggles when they walk. While it’s well known they can imitate any sound in the forest from chainsaws to mobile phones so accurately we humans cannot tell the difference, perhaps less known is that owing to the fact an adult Lyrebird can teach younger birds calls and sounds they’ve never heard, they can still perfectly replicate sounds that have not existed for hundreds of years, such as axes chopping wood from the early colonial times.

Anyway, I took a few photos but as usual, the bird was too far away and blended with the dark undergrowth so well it was barely visible at all when I looked back through the pictures on my phone. I’ve seen up to four Lyrebirds scratching around together in Leura Forest in a group, but that was a rarity.

Finished watching our NSW National Parks emblem digging for lunch I filled my water bladder and dropped three tablets in, strapped my pack on then started heading back towards camp.

I got back here at around 3:00pm, and after several coffees, decided to go ahead and cook an early dinner.

A Kangaroo just thumped past me close enough for me to hear the pounding of the ground with each hop. Man they make a big noise when they’re jumping around.

It is now 8:57pm and I’m just about to go to sleep when I hear the rustling leaves of a mousey visitor. I hit my head torch, trying to spot him, and after several failed attempts, managed to get a glimpse of the furry critter sitting on a log about one meter away.

I’m not actually sure it is a mouse to be honest: he’s slightly larger than the mice I’ve seen, and when hit with the spotlight, he just sat there a moment before leaving. He was much slower than last visits’ “mouse” who zipped around so quickly all I saw was a flash.

Maybe a little Marsupial Mouse? That’s be nice. I got a decent look at him, so I’ll look them up later. He was also a greyer brown, where the mouse I thought was more a light toffee beige.

Anyway, time for sleep.

Leave a comment