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  • John Heyworth

Great Southern Revisited



Well, it has been some time since I had travelled to my favourite haunt near Quinninup, a town located between Pemberton and Walpole. When I arrived there were a few surprises. I guess I should have known things wouldn’t be quite the same…

…or be too surprised of changes in a strange year like the one we are having in 2020.

Sadly the first thing I found was that the good old Australian weatherboard pub has gone, burnt to the ground in a bush fire. Luckily no-one was hurt.

The OLD and the NEW!

The new pub is great (and most importantly, the people are still the same), but I did miss the atmosphere the old country pub had.

After the four hour drive down from Perth, I was looking forward to some of my favourite walks in the forest. Along the way, I was disturbed to find some of my favourite areas of the forest were now fenced off with constant warning signs: Private Land – No trespassing.

And I was disturbed to discover some land cleared of trees for farming. The rumour about this is as follows; as the land dries out, farmers are having to move further south in a bid to find more reliable rainfall. Is this true? The sad thing is that it can only be a temporary fix. Eventually, as more forests are cleared, then inevitably climate change will dry out this land too. Won’t it?

But as I walked on, my optimism returned when I passed through a tranquil country scene on an established farm.

At that moment I realised that farmers, like the rest of us, have to make a living to make ends meet – how else can they supply and feed the country. In addition, farms and the forest can be integrated and the land looked after. I hope that happens. Perhaps we can help and stop buying discounted food from the supermarkets _easier said than done! Maybe we need an understanding between consumers, markets and farmers that together we can save our planet. Anyway, I argued all these things with myself; that is the beauty of walking in the forest – your mind can toss these thoughts around as you stroll along! BUT, I was happy again.


Later on, I came across a section of the Warren Blackwood Stock Route, part of a trail that meandered through the Karri forests.


The colours of the forest provided evidence that winter was over and now it was spring!

How lucky are we to live in such a beautiful state!


Happy, refreshed and energised by the clear air of the forests, I was ready to get back into my writing (my new occupation!). One novel published, another being reviewed and my third is on its way! Natural environments have a way of clearing the mind and freeing the creative spirit! Try it out :-).




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©2019 BY JOHN HEYWORTH