Monday, May 18, 2009


We were driving home yesterday over the Black Spur, a beautiful tourist road between Healesville and Narbethong, Victoria. Much of the beauty was destroyed in the devastating bushfires of February this year. I took the shot above; amazingly the resilient tree ferns were the first to appear amidst the blackened tall trees remaining and the sight is still eerily beautiful, especially in areas where clouds are low.

Much of the mountain was destroyed in the bushfires of 1939 and re-planted by Italian prisoners of war.

The mountain was previously called Black's Spur; some say the name came from the pack horse teamsters in 1862 meeting long lines or aboriginals on the ridge between Healesville and Narbethong. The Upper Goulburn natives, or Taungurong, were pushed out of the central highlands and moved to Coranderrk near Healesville leaving little evidence of their existence.

In March 1863, after three years of upheaval, the surviving leaders, among them Simon Wonga and William Barak, led forty Wurundjeri, Taungurong (Goulburn River) and Bun Warrung people over the Black Spur and squatted on a traditional camping site on Badger Creek near Healesville and requested ownership of the site. They were anxious to have the land officially approved so that they could move down and establish themselves. Wikipedia

Photo from Bruno's site - click below for more

We detoured up through Marysville as I wanted to visit Bruno's Art and Sculpture Garden. They have done an enormous amount of work cleaning up. The paths are exposed, not like the jungle it used to be but they'll bring it back and nature will help, I'm certain. The whole town is getting a lot of support from visitors. I couldn't take photos of other people's hell on earth. It was so distressing seeing that previously idyllic little town. We drove on, very sombre.


Susan said...

Forest fires are so destructive and devastating, but out of the destruction comes new life. We were fortunate enough to have gone to Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. in 1988 before major areas of it were destroyed that year by fire. In fact, we couldn't access the south entrance, because fires were burning there. We could see the smoke in the distance. Luckily, the forestry and fire workers were able to save all of the historic lodges.

We returned 11 years later and were amazed by the extent of the devastation that was still visible. But in the midst of all that was the new growth which was beautiful.

Did all of Bruno's sculpture's survive? I feel so badly for all those displaced people who lost everything. I'm glad you didn't take pictures.

The Clever Pup said...

The photo of the remaining sculpture is stunning.

Ladybug said...

Susan, most of the sculptures survived. If you go to the link, under 'Rebuilding' there is a slide show of the devastation they found.

blackbird said...

Thank you so much for taking me along with you on your drive. To hear a little history about Black Spur and then to visit the sculpture garden through the link was extraordinary.

Nature is so amazing for her energy- the same kind of force that regrows and builds anew is equal to the force that blackens and destroys all in its path. To see the green begin amidst the charred remains is wonderful.

But, so many people can never be replaced, birds and animals too. I think that the sculptures that remain will stand as witness to the loss.

Ladybug said...

Hi Blackbird, It's such a pretty drive over the Spur but a narrow, windy road that you just can't stop the car, get out and take a shot. I could have snapped some magnificent pics with the low cloud and a shaft of sunlight penetrating the cloud and tall, black trees, highlighting the green ferns.

Yes, agree with your last para.