This column's recent expose on the secrets of Namadgi National Park prompted a deluge of correspondence about the natural and man-made treasures of our only national park which officially turned 30 last month
While the park's birthday celebrations enticed several readers including Janis Norman to explore parts of Namadgi for the first time, it also prompted several seasoned bushwalkers to reflect on past adventures.
Erwin Feeken, of Bywong, reports that in 1971 when he visited Split Rock – named by this column in the park's Top 10 natural features (Namadgi's natural wonders, September 20) – he "made a closer inspection of the rock in order to sketch it".
Erwin's sketch clearly shows that the giant rock is not split in half (as previously stated in this column), "but instead is split into roughly in five main sections, plus a small triangular, but high column." Erwin, who has "engaged in mostly trackless bushwalking in the ACT's mountains for 37 years (1960 to 1997)," explains that "the measurements in the sketch are derived partially with a length of stick and partially by walking in estimated metre-long steps".
During a recent two-day trek to Cotter Hut via Split Rock and Coronet Peak, Jeremy Hagan, of Fadden, stumbled upon a rock which he claims closely resembles a "prehistoric fish rock". It almost looks like it's smiling, doesn't it? Jeremy, a self-confessed simulacra-seeker, also submitted a photo of a "sombre, parasitic old gentleman with an upturned nose" which he caught a glimpse of while hiking near the Orroral Geodetic Observatory in Namadgi. Quite by coincidence and independent of Jeremy's sighting, avid adventurer Simon Williams of Yarralumla recently photographed exactly the same rock which he reckons "looks more like the Moai on Easter Island."
Loo with a view
After reading about "Aboud's Dunny" - Namadgi's remote toilet without walls (Secrets of Namadgi National Park, September 27), Nigel Moth of Cook fossicked through his old photo albums to dig up this photo "of another loo with a view".
Nigel recalls taking the photo in October 1998 at the Bendethera Homestead site in the Deua National Park "after a violent windstorm swept through the valley," and adds "it's probably best if the "occupant" remains nameless!"
Meanwhile, this column's bushwalking correspondent extraordinaire, John Evans, has an hilarious photographof his cross-legged walking companions queueing up "for their turn on Aboud's dunny."
After considerable effort, Matthew Higgins of Ainslie, recently captured a photograph of one of our region's rarest goannas.
Having spotted a Rosenberg's monitor (Varanus rosenbergi) last year on Mount Ainslie, but unable to take a photo of it, when Matthew caught a glimpse of another specimen during a recent bushwalk in the rugged gorges upstream of Googong Dam, he was determined to get a photo.
Matthew reports that he "visited the area on two days, spending two hours with the reptile the first day and about one-and-a-half hours the next - waiting for Rosie to come out of its rocky lair."
Thankfully, the 1.5 metre long monitor finally obliged, and Matthew snapped away. "They are very beautiful and impressive animals," explains Matthew, who adds, "this one displayed nicely that marvellous reptilian tongue-flicking behaviour too".
Did You Know? Apart from the Rosenberg's monitor, the other monitor (goanna) found in and around the ACT is the Lace Monitor (Varanus varius). "Canberrans will be more familiar with lace monitors from encountering them at the south coast [especially around camping areas] where they are more numerous," explains Matthew, who adds, "as for Rosenberg's they are a bit more common around the Googong area than close to Canberra but are officially listed as 'vulnerable' in NSW."
Although no further information has come to light on the (now semi-demolished) historic Braidwood velodrome (In the Spirit of Mulga Bill, October 25), Kim Houghton reports that she recently "came across two old fellas looking for what had been a velodrome (or at least a cycling track) that they'd used a lot on the 1950s near the base of Mount Majura at Hackett and Watson.
"I still haven't worked out exactly where it was," explains Kim who adds that she's also heard stories of cyclists booked "by one of the local coppers for going over 30 miles per hour across Lennox Crossing (one of several Molonglo River crosses prior to Lake Burley Griffin).
Contact Tim: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @TimYowie or write to me c/o The Canberra Times, 9 Pirie Street, Fyshwick. A selection of past columns is available at: canberratimes.com.au/act-news/by/tim-the-yowie-man.
Where in Canberra?
Last week: Congratulations to Abbey of Narrabundah who was the first to correctly identify last week's photo, taken by Chris Blunt as 'love locks' on the John Douglas Gordon footbridge near the Carillon. Abbey beat a number of eager readers to the prize including Andrew Hobson of Campbell and Llew Reilly of Reid.
Thea Greenwood of Scullin reports that "last time we were walking across the bridge I had to explain to my brother (who is 9) why people put padlocks on bridges when getting engaged or married and that throwing away the key signifies unbreakable love." Thea adds "it was only that it was a chilly day that kept him out of the water trying to match submerged keys to their locks!"
Meanwhile, Brigitte Tabuteau of Bruce reports that last year her son and his wife "added a love lock to a bridge in Paris which is now in danger of collapse due to the weight of the locks".
How to enter: Email your guess along with your name and address to email@example.com. The first email sent after 10am on Saturday, November 8, with the correct answer wins a double pass to Dendy cinemas.