Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ferguson Valley

Gnomesville, Western Australia.  Only 50 km away from Harvey and we just visited it for the first time this past weekend!  A few years back some bloke placed a garden gnome at a roundabout many kilometres away from anything.  It grew from that lonely soul to a metropolis of 1000s of gnomes of various sizes, dimensions, colours, homemade, store bought, snow-white and the 7 dwarfs, killer gnomes, kissing gnomes, geocache gnomes, x-rated gnomes, and whatever the imagination of the place-layer holds.  We laughed and laughed at this tacky, yet feel good destination.
 Wow!  Look at the gnomes in Gnomesville.                                    Is it litter or art?  You decide.

Caleb, "Look up, look way up and I'll call Rusty". 
(A quote from the CBC archives.)
About 10 minute drive away from Gnomesville is the Wellington Forest Discovery Centre.  This is a part of the Wellington National Park, a jarrah forest ecosystem between the coastal plain and the wheatbelt.  Jarrah is a fast growing eucalyptus tree with an outer layer of stringy bark and a red hardwood core.  It is a very desirable wood for furniture makers and hardwood timber flooring. Jarrah can withstand bush fires and is quite a unique adaptation to the dry Mediterranean climate - it has deep sinker roots and slender leaves to stop transpiring water.  The forest is home to numerous rare marsupial mammals, snakes, reptiles and birds.
We keep telling our kids that fallen logs are home to venomous snakes, but they keep on climbing.
(One bite will learn 'em)

Other places we visited in and around the Ferguson Valley was the Crooked Brook Forest with its awesome and informative walk trail and then onto Boyonup to meet with some exchange teachers and gracious host families.  We ate a delicious meal in a small country hall with large country roasts and hospitality.
Just a typical Aussie farm in  Boyonup - trampoline for the kids and an emu for the chooks (chickens).

Another thing that Aussies got it going on - kids play areas at pubs and breweries.

Ferguson Valley was a scenic drive with a host of wineries, breweries, and galleries - some of the best of rural WA.  So close that it would be worth another visit.

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