Friday, 13 June 2014

Toolangi State Forest

Snow at 1300 means winter has finally arrived, the winds turn south wester and the days seem incredibly short, our eyes adjust to the darkness, our feet to the cold pavement and on come the layers.  Toolangi is one of the places close to Melbourne ( 45 mins on a good day) where you can forget city life and slip into a world amongst the giants.  Mostly cloud covered and misty in the winter it is a constantly changing place that never seems to have a dull moment.  
It is a unique forest for southern australia where the altitude allows for a micro system to have developed and it appears to be unaffected by fire, possibly due to the high rainfall and almost tropical forest like undergrowth.  
The trees are monstrous Eucaplypts mostly and in places the forest has only a top story and a lower, where only weak and spindly understory trees struggle amongst the giants. 
I read recently about the logging that continues to push into Toolangi, it is impossible not to notice the logging which continues along the roadways and the areas many tracks.  Some areas however should be preserved, there are streams with old groves of myrtle beech, one of the most attractive highland trees, seemingly endemic to this region and southern high country areas.  There are also forests of tree fern and moss gardens with year round fungi growths and other micro flora.  It is a popular area for a huge range of activities such as shotgun practice, motorbike tracks, mountain bike tracks, walking tracks and just driving and appreciating.  There was a protest along one of the roads but I noticed on my last visit that it is no longer in place.  I hope this is because they have succeeded in stopping the paper giants consumption of this wondrous natural resource and let us enjoy it in its entirety. 

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