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kuanyi/Mt. Wellington revisited


I drove my mother up to the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington a few days ago. She’d been wanting to get up somewhere high and breath in the air at 1470 metres (4,000 feet). The air is rarely still on the top of the mountain but this day there was a mild breeze and brilliant sunshine and lots of tourists enjoying the stunning views that stretch as far as the northern end of Tasmania on a clear day like this.

We sat at the end of a little walkway that faced towards the remote southwest wilderness and relished the feel of the cleanest air in the world blowing over us on unusually gentle breezes.

Afterwards we headed for The Springs, part way down the mountain and stopped for a little nostalgic visit to a site that brought back memories from nearly 50 years ago. The 1967 bushfires that ravaged Tasmania were particularly devastating to the mountain, and left thousands of animals, who had survived the fires, without any food to eat. A group of local women, including my mother, Jasmine, took it upon themselves to provide food to the animals. I still remember helping with dumping food at certain points and how, in the beginning, every scrap of food was gone when we stopped by with fresh supplies collected at local supermarkets. And we watched with satisfaction as less and less of the food was consumed as time went on, until the bushland came back to life enough to once again feed them.

The sign at the Springs is still there, depicting the story of these women’s efforts and, there in the photo is my Mum, almost 50 years ago, doing her bit for the animals of the mountain. I wonder if some of the animals that come out of the bush at night and feed on the grass in our back yard at the base of the mountain are their descendants!

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