Pleasure and Pain – Mt Edwards, Moogerah Peaks

“Perhaps there’s no better act of simplification than climbing a mountain. For an afternoon, a day, or a week, it’s a way of reducing a complicated life into a simple goal. All you have to do is take one step at a time, place one foot in front of the other, and refuse to turn back until you’ve given everything you have.” -Ken Ilgunas

In my last post I was disappointed to miss out on attempting the Mt Maroon summit. What a difference a week can make to one’s mood. I’ve had the opportunity to de-stress with a mountain walk, make some nature discoveries on an old mining site and enjoy a sunrise walk at a new beach. I also had the pleasure of meeting  a Brisbane blogger I follow, who also enjoys photography and walking. So this week I am in the joyful position of having something fresh to write about…

A cool, clear day dawned on Easter Monday and as usual my hyperactive mind was whirling with possibilities. North, south, east or west? A new walk or an old walk? Since I was going solo I had a few safety issues to consider. I eventually chose to revisit a walk I did a couple of years ago with my daughter. Mt Edwards’ summit is a steep class 5, six kilometre return trail that begins at the far end of Moogerah Dam wall. It lies about 60km (37 miles) southwest of Ipswich, Queensland, above the picturesque Fassifern Valley.

Moogerah Dam Wall

Moogerah Dam Wall

The area is a favourite of mine and I have already shared some photographs in Mist and Magic.

Lake Moogerah

Lake Moogerah

There are no warnings at the beginning. Just a simple sign that says, “Summit 3km.”

On Easter Monday the trails were overgrown with weeds and grass.

Overgrown rocky trail

Overgrown rocky trail

And recent rain had turned some trails into small streams. What a contrast to the concrete city paths I’ve been restricted to lately.

Small streams running down the tracks

Small streams running down the tracks

It wasn’t long before I had the camera out and I was getting my knees filthy crawling about on the path. These little butterflies have teased me for years. However, on this occasion they were more interested in drinking than escaping. Thanks to Chris Sanderson for helping with the identification.  The magic of Twitter!

Small green banded blue

Small green banded blue

Possibly a Speckled Line Blue

Possibly a Speckled Line Blue

Upper side of a speckled line blue?

Upper side of a speckled line blue?

Orange Ringlet

Orange Ringlet

Engrossed in the activities of “fluttering flowers,” I failed to notice the quiet approach of a man. Fortunately, he was just a considerate solo hiker and nature lover rather than an axe murderer. He didn’t want to disturb me and was waiting patiently.

Despite it being a cool day, it wasn’t long before humidity and the steep ascent had me glowing purple. I also discovered that my lycra running pants are not good in some conditions. The overgrown paths were often bordered by a pretty white daisy which produces an evil burr that bursts apart on contact.

flower daisy

daisy burrs in lycra

Thick cotton trousers or jeans would have been better. I made the mistake of resting my backpack on some. After putting it back on I’d managed to transfer these delightful prickles to my back and hair. Not clever, Jane!

The paths got quite steep and rocky in places.

Rocky paths

Steep rocky paths

There were plenty of new colourful fungi to discover. Thank you to experienced blogger friend, Dayna Andreussi, for enthusiastically helping me to to identify these. Currently we are waiting on replies from mycologists to confirm so I will add the names at a later date.

red fungi

yellow fungi

purple fungi

spotted fungi

Hole covered fungi

There were numerous spiders to admire, including this St. Andrew’s Cross Spider.

St Andrew's Cross spider

And a hairy specimen  hiding away in a leaf home.

spider inside leaves

Finally, a warning sign.

warning sign - cliffs

As well as a convenient wide stone resting throne. I almost felt quite regal while I panted and dripped sweat.

Stone seat

A rocky platform appeared.

Rocky ledge

So of course I had to stop again to take some pictures.

Lake Moogerah in the distance.

Lake Moogerah in the distance.

Views from platform

More views

Thankfully there were some flowers other than daisies.

flower white

flower purple

flower red

star flower

A little moss caught my attention as well.

moss

And a  leaf and lichen sharing a rock.

Leaf and lichen

I’ve admired the artistic shadow shots other hikers have shared so I gave it a go myself. I think I look more like a Telly Tubby carrying a handbag than an adventure seeker!

Shadow

A termites’ nest was  a convenient seat.

termites nest

After numerous camera stops to help lower the heart rate, I finally passed through a grove of grass trees and was  rewarded with the summit view.  At this point I was feeling both strangely alive and close to death from the exertion  so a quick nap was in order. Fortunately, the axe murderers still hadn’t made it to Mt Edward or at least didn’t want to dirty their blades on my sweaty, smelly body. After all that effort, my addled brain forgot to take any pictures so I will have to share the summit view from my previous visit a couple of years ago.

Me at the summit of Mt Edward

Me at the summit of Mt Edward

As usual, the walk down was much faster but just as I was thinking, “Ah, I can relax now,” a highly venomous young eastern brown snake slithered across the path within a few inches of my shoe. It had been hidden by the long grass. Last week I wrote in my blog that I’d hoped to write about venomous snakes. I was only joking of course, but perhaps some force out there has a sense of humour. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a venomous snake on a hike before which I suppose is probably some kind of record for an Australian hiker. Anyway, the snake was more scared of me so I am still alive today to tell the tale.

Walking down always gives a different view but it was getting late and the snake appearance made my descent more tentative. I tended to have my eyes on the ground rather than searching for exciting photographic opportunities.

I did see a couple of glasswing butterflies by the path though.

Glasswing butterflies

And lifted my head occasionally to enjoy a few distant views.

view from descent

view from track down

Lake Moogerah and dam wall

And after that huge wall, here is something small to finish the trail.

Greenery

I really wouldn’t recommend this walk to anyone without decent footwear, water and some snake bandages. It was not well maintained when I walked it and after rain was quite slippery in parts. However, I loved it for the challenge factor, the butterfly sightings and the views.

Here are a few old shots from my earlier walk with my daughter  to finish up.

Little eagle on the dam wall

Little eagle on the dam wall

Grass trees close to the summit

Me at the dam wall

Me at the dam wall

Lake Moogerah (2)

The beginning of the summit walk

The beginning of the summit walk

For more information about Mt Edwards and other walks at Moogerah Peaks check the Queensland National Parks site. 

Next week’s post will be about my wander through Denmark Hill Conservation Estate, under which lies a network of abandoned mines.

Thanks for reading!

64 thoughts on “Pleasure and Pain – Mt Edwards, Moogerah Peaks

  1. oh wow, lovely butterfly photos you have here! put my lame efforts to shame! haha. really beautiful photos, well done!

    • Don’t say that! Yours are great too! These were very thirsty butterflies so I was able to get very close to them. I was lucky. No skill involved really. Usually mine are more distant shots. These sneaky ones have eluded me for years! It was quite a warm day. Thanks for the nice comments though and for reading. Your adventures are most entertaining to me and I look forward to them a great deal. 🙂

    • Thank you, Susan, but I admire how active you and your siblings are! You do get around a great deal. I just hope I am at least half as mobile as you when I reach that age! You are an inspiration for me. I’m glad you enjoyed the butterfly pictures. I was very happy to capture some shots of these teasers at last. I enjoy sharing my wanders with you. 🙂

    • That’s the situation for me most of the time. I think these ones stayed still because it was getting quite warm and they needed a drink! I was lucky to get close. I’m glad you liked the pics. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

    • Hi! I’ve been trying to get close to these butterflies for years. They are usually way too quick and flighty for me, but it was warm at that stage and the butterflies were thirsty so just ignored me. All I had to do was crouch down, set it to macro and shoot. I was lucky. Thanks! 🙂

  2. What a wonderful selection of butterflies and fungi you encountered and what nice pictures you took of them, The combination of the precipitous crag and the venomous snake means that, however rewarding you found it, it isn’t one of the walks on my bucket list! Well done for the climb (and the descent).

    • Thanks for the kind praise of my pictures. It was a lovely walk despite the physical challenge and I was really delighted to find the fungi and be able to get close to the butterflies. I think I will go back again with my daughter on a nice quiet day. I missed out on goanna and bird shots due to it being a busy public holiday. The snake did give me quite a surprise. Perhaps I was a little too complacent about that risk! Thanks for reading and commenting. Lovely to read your comments. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful hike, so many things to discover along the way. I loved all the butterflies, flowers and the fungi! And I can’t believe you found that spider hiding in the leaf, you really have a keen eye! 🙂 A little scary with the snake though… 🙂

    • Thanks! I really enjoyed that walk. There was so much to see. I will return soon. Now is a good time as it’s not so hot and so the wildlife are out during the day instead of just early morning and late afternoon. It’s sort of easy for me to find little things like that hidden spider because I have to stop so often to catch my breath and cool down. When you are sitting still, these things stand out more I think. If I was fitter and keeping up a good pace I probably wouldn’t have many pictures to share. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂

  4. I was so delighted to read about the encounter with the burrs! Now I don’t feel so bad about my encounter with burrs while walking with FD to put his deer stand up last fall. Isn’t that just like it, where we wear something that suits the weather, when in fact it should suit the terrain and landscaping! Ah well, you had a lovely and successful hike. I’m glad you left the snake for last… as you know, I’m not very fond of snakes, but I am learning to appreciate some of them. I’m not sure how I feel about venomous snakes… we only have copperheads in this area and maybe a rattlesnake or two. Most of our snakes are harmless – except they love to raid the chicken boxes of fresh eggs. Those buggars!

    I can’t wait to read about your next adventure! I feel like a kid anticipating the next chapter in an exciting book! Your hikes are always interesting and educational! 🙂

    • Hi Lori! Yes, I thought you would appreciate the burr tale! I was remembering your experience as I wrote about mine. I overheat easily and so I like to wear lycra running pants that are self-wicking to draw the moisture away from my body and cool me. But they attract burrs something fierce! Next time I will know better. I quite like pythons but prefer to admire venomous snakes from a good distance! When I was a child, many TV shows about the US had scary rattlesnake incidences so I grew up thinking they were extremely dangerous and there were lots of them! 🙂 Our harmless carpet pythons are very big and I still have one living in my ceiling that keeps the rats under control and sometimes swallows a possum. It could well swallow my tiny ancient dog too! I’m pleased you enjoy my wanders, Lori, as I always look forward to your most entertaining reads. Thanks for the lovely support of my blog. 🙂

    • Thanks, Steve. While challenging, there were great views and lots of flora and fauna to discover. It was just what I needed. The snake added a little extra excitement to the descent of course! I’ll probably return soon. 🙂

  5. Beautiful photos once again. All your walls seem to have such diverse wildlife and plants. Mountain climbing can be hard work, but the end result is nearly always worth it. The way I look at it, is that every footstep that you make is banked. You never lose it. So it’s a case of proceeding upwards at your own pace.

    I’m not sure that I like the idea of sitting on a termite mound – the whole concept seems to produce visions of a hoard of angry insects popping out to give you a welcoming party.

    What are snake bandages? I’m guessing it’s something you put on before a walk to add some kind of armour to your ankle regions?

    • Thanks, Rob! Firstly, I should have been clearer about snake bandages as some readers live in countries that don’t have venomous snakes. After a venomous snake bites, pressure bandages are wrapped along the entire limb to slow down the rate at which the venom can travel through the lymphatic system. The person should also remain as still as possible to reduce the venom spread. Since we have quite a number of deadly snakes in Australia, I guess this information is something I take for granted. It would be nice to be able to go hiking in a country where we don’t have to consider this risk. But i guess we don’t have bears and other large predators that some countries have.
      I certainly agree with you about the rewards of a mountain walk. Each footstep is banked as you say. It’s not a waste. I love the exhilaration of reaching the top, or of just trying my best to make it there. It’s a great way for me to relax.
      Thanks for the lovely comments about my pictures. I am lucky to live in a place which does have a great number of interesting things to see. The country you walk through is equally as interesting to me though, being very much a contrast with the kind of plants and wildlife we have. I’m looking forward to the next installment of your Dartmoor adventure! 🙂

      • P.S. “Snake armour” is actually a good idea. If I was really sensible I should have been wearing thick trousers to cover my lower legs but I usually suffer a great deal from the heat and I was unaware that the paths would be so overgrown.

    • Thanks for saying that! You put a smile on my face. Yes, I must say those three things are high on my list of favourite things too. I am always looking out for them on my walks. Have a lovely day. 🙂

    • Hi John. Thank you! I always enjoy hearing from you. It is a pleasure to share my pictures with you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

  6. This is a wonderful journey, Happy Easter Monday. Your attentiveness to detail, to seek and find, is refreshing. You will find me on my knees and belly during each of my treks. The photos are fine, many species and colors. Enjoy learning the names of what you have yet to know. Become more acquainted with their part in the whole. I’m certainly glad that the axe did not find you. Lycra makes poor hiking in picky country. Watch out for jeans and cotton in general. They are comfy on perfect days but will kill you on cold wet ones. Thanks for sharing your words and beauty!

    • Hi Jude! Thanks for reading and for your wise and kind comments. I love the distant views while hiking and at the same time I enjoy all the tiny things that play a part in our world. The more I discover, the more I realise just how much is left to find out about in life. There are many lessons to be learnt from the natural world. Usually I choose lycra as for me is is much cooler. I really am not suited to the Queensland climate. This is only the second time I’ve had problems with using it because I’ve tended to stick to areas that are not overgrown, but I am keen to explore more wilderness areas so will need to find a suitable alternative. Thanks again for reading. Your blog is extrememly informative and interesting. There is so much useful information for me to use, especially when I am in a position to do some multiple day or week long walks. Thank you and have a beautiful week. 🙂

      • You’re most welcome. I love your adventures, your adventurous spirit, and how you choose to share your experiences. Yes, there is useful information for raising the chances of a an enjoyable trip. I’m still learning from others. The day I think I know it all is the day I should stop. I wear lycra from time to time. My bike pants are great. The only drawback is the destruction of them via prickly things. No reason to avoid wearing them. You may want to trade them out for something else if for brushy trails and bushwacking. I started out my hiking days on a shoe string budget. I’ve accumulated needs throughout the learning curve, but never need to spend oogles of $$$ for the namebrand stuff. In fact, I’m taking up sewing so I can make that same stuff myself. Why not? If I can design and build a kayak, I can make some great clothing, tent, raingear etc. There are some things that spending the big $$ is good use of judgment. The key is “some” things. I’m don’t have much for resources nor have I ever. I have a problem with $$. Hate the stuff and don’t much about it. It is a necessary “evil”. The most important thing is to the life you are meant to have as best possible under all circumstances. You won’t regret such a life. You’ve already begun the journey into something really huge. I cheer you on. Congratulations!

  7. What great photos of the butterflies, flowers, and fungi! I haven’t done much mountain climbing, since we don’t have any in Michigan. But, I do remember the amount of work that it is to make it to the top, and I’m impressed by how easily you made it, despite the poor trail!

    • Thanks, Jerry! I really don’t think I found it all that easy to make it to the top. It took me nearly 2 hours to walk the 3km to the summit. I stopped so many times and let some dedicated fit hikers zoom past me. I took some pics of my red sweaty face but didn’t want to scare people off too much by sharing those. 😉 It’s nice that you were impressed though. I hope one day to do some more kayaking though. I tried it when I was young and loved it. I should hire one to use on Lake Moogerah. It looks much more calm than the stuff I am sure you’ve done in your life! Would love to try out the Great Lakes area where you live. Thanks for reading and the nice comments. I’m glad you liked the pics. I’m always so impressed with yours! 🙂

  8. I am glad you got to squeeze a good walk into your busy schedule. It’s so important to take that time for yourself isn’t it? The snakes have been on the move haven’t they? I cant remember ever seeing as many snakes as I have over this past summer, everything from harmless pythons to venomous red-bellied blacks, browns, taipans and even a death adder! I’m silly really, I have snake kit in my work car but I don’t take one walking. I will be rectifying that shortly! Great post Jane.

    • Thanks Amanda! Yes, I always carry 4 snake bandages in my backpack. They add to the weight and I often wonder if I am being silly always taking them everywhere, but I am sure that the only time I leave them out will be the day I or a walking partner get bitten! I’ve seen quite a few brown snakes, red bellied blacks and pythons about too. Strangely, I rarely see snakes on my walks – mainly in my yard or in the suburban streets. It could be the case that I am always the slowest hiker when walking with others so they probably scare them away before I get there. On this occasion I was on my own and the path had become quiet. Interesting how one can become complacent until you see one and then hyper-vigilance sets in for a while. I was quite antsy on the walk down after that! Thanks for reading and commenting, Amanda. Looking forward to your next great set of beautiful pictures and your story-telling. 🙂

  9. You know, New Zealand doesn’t have snakes.
    Sounds like a great walk, but I’d be happy not to spot the spiders if I do it. Or encounter the snake because – being in Qld – we’d possibly only be wearing shorts and hiking boots. Although I have recently succumbed to the inevitable and bought some short gaiters.
    Great post Jane! 😊

    • Thanks for the reminder about New Zealand! I rarely wear long pants in summer here. Just get so hot! Most times it’s ok since the paths are fairly bare. When I know I have to walk through long grass I’ll don my jeans (and be scared the whole time!) Now if I lived somewhere colder like Tassie, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem… 😉 Dreaming. Thanks for reading and commenting again, Dayna! Loved your Brompton post. 🙂

    • Thanks, Cameron! I’d actually forgotten how steep it got in parts! Short but a nice little challenge for my legs that have been used to city paths for the last few months. I’m hoping to do Mt Maroon soon but think I’ll wait for a nice cool day. Seems to be much more exposed to the sun. 🙂

    • Thanks Gail! It was a lovely walk, full of interesting things to catch my eye, made easier by the fact that I needed to rest frequently and so they were easier to notice as I sat still! I enjoy taking photos of fungi. I don’t often see such colourful ones on walks. I must have been there at just the right time. Thanks for the follow and for the nice comments, Gail. 🙂

    • Hi! I was fortunate that day as all the conditions came together to allow me to see more fungi and butterflies than usual. Recent rains and milder conditions helped. While challenging, it was a lovely walk. A wonderful start to the week. Thanks for reading and commenting. Lovely to hear from you! 🙂

    • Thanks, Brittany! I’m glad you enjoyed them. I think I am still hungry from the scrumptious food photos on your blog! In fact, i am heading off for a snack now… 🙂

  10. Really interesting and well presented blog Jane, your photography is of a very high standard. I love the fungus shots and butterflies, it is such a beautiful mix of our natural heritage. It is so lovely to be taken on the hike with you, in the way you share each detail. I am most impressed by the quality of your work, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for the kind and encouraging feedback! I really appreciate your lovely comments. I’m not very technically minded with the camera. My memory is poorer these days too so I find it harder to learn new things. But having said that, I really enjoy my walks and taking photos. It’s great fun and I like to share the images with others. These activities help me to relax and be thankful for the beauty around me. Your own blog is a treasury of images and I am delighted to have found it! 🙂

  11. Hi Jane, I read this post a little while ago. I intended to comment but got distracted instead. I appreciated the photographs of the spiders, the butterflies and fungus. Given the state of some of the walking tracks, I was amazed you returned in one piece with nothing worse than burrs stuck on your pants. I think some of those photographs were hard won!

    • Thank you, Margaret! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I liked taking them and sharing them. It took me about two hours to cover the 3km to get to the top so I certainly took my time. It’s the only way I can go up hills/mountains these days…very slowly! I saw people wearing things and with young children who didn’t know had bad it was going to get. The last time I walked this, it was dry and the paths were clear of weeds so I was surprised to see the condition on the day. But seeing the views and the wildlife made it worth it and sometimes a good physical challenge helps me relax. Although, I think the Daylesford walk you shared would have helped me de-stress enough without the burrs and sweat. The pictures are beautiful. 🙂

    • Ik ben erg Blij DAT je genoten van de foto ‘s . Bedankt voor Het lezen en becommentariëren . Ik waardeer het! Ik geniet van je blog ook.

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