Of Aces and Bridges

Visiting The Four Aces and One Tree Bridge

Long ago, thousands of karri seeds sprouted in the ash of a burnt out log. They struggled fiercely for sunlight, water, and food from the soil. Four of those seedlings are living today . . . 

They are The Four Aces.

(Inscription at The Four Aces)

The Four Aces are four majestic karri trees that can be found in the midst of a beautiful karri forest in the One Tree Bridge Conservation Park and are estimated to be between 300 and 400 years old.  What makes them so special is that they stand in an evenly spaced straight line, (apparently) due to their seeds germinating simultaneously in the hollow of a burnt out log.  I can understand that.

P1150193

It was difficult to photograph the four of them due to a lot of shrubby undergrowth.

It takes 100 years for karris to reach their full growth height, and I’ve thought a lot about the age of these trees and what was happening in human history all those years ago.

During the year 1715, King Louis XIV of France died, Edmund Halley observed Baily’s Beads for the first time, 10 treasure laden Spanish galleons sank off the coast of Florida, and London’s Thames River froze over.

(I found these facts online 🙂 )

But while all of this was going on, the growth of these trees was either well under way, or they were newly germinated seedlings – AND, at that exact time, Australia was known as Nova Holland and the entire coastline still remained uncharted.

. . .

From the Four Aces, we walked the beautiful Karri Glade Path, marvelling at the spectacle of more incredible karri trees, some taller and evidently much older than The Four Aces.

We then continued along to see One Tree Bridge.

One Tree Bridge

The remains of One Tree Bridge

As its name suggests, this bridge was made from the trunk of a single tree, and is a testament to the ingenuity of Australia’s early pioneers.  A huge karri tree, suitably positioned, was selected and skilfully felled so it fell across the Donnelly River and then a platform and rails were added.

That was back in 1904 and the tree provided adequate stability that bullocks teams and their wagons could safely cross.

After serving faithfully for 44 years, the bridge was eventually replaced and left to decay, finally falling into the river.  This remnant was removed in 1971 and placed where it is now as a memorial to people’s engineering inventiveness.

. . .

We also went bushwalking in the Dalgraup Reserve, where I took this week’s Photo of the Week.  I can’t describe how lovely it is to walk around simply looking at, and listening to, the forest, but I can say this feeling seems magnified amid the beautiful trees of old growth forests.

Like many of the areas we choose to visit, we did so early in the morning and were able to enjoy the beauty of the forests devoid of other visitors.  Not that we can’t share, we certainly can, but a clown taking on a mobile phone quickly shatters the serenity.

I’ve added a new gallery to the Photography page, and I think you’ll see that I was able to focus on the BIG and small of where we found ourselves.  I’ve also added the promised gallery of images taken in the caves Beneath Margaret River.

. . .

Thoughts on Location No 68

Nannup, South West, Western Australia

With caravan park accommodation unattainable, we took a step backwards to the lovely little township of Nannup and spent four days at the Nannup Caravan Park.  The park was undergoing huge redevelopment (including the installation of a 20 kW solar power system), but we found it very quiet and the perfect location to enjoy bushwalking in some pockets of the Southern Forests of Western Australia.

Our intention wasn’t to stay so long, but the weather turned miserable, and this was the case for (almost) the entire region, so we made the decision to stay put rather than pack up in the rain, travel through the rain and the wind and the wild conditions, and then set up again – in the rain.

I must add though that the Nannup Bakery and Cake Shop had the loveliest bread, THE best bread we’ve had for a very long time and I’m glad I had the chance to tell the owner when I returned to buy another loaf.

2 Comments

  1. That picture feels like home to me. I love trees. Are you going anywhere near where those walkways are built up in the trees? My friend Kim has sent me pictures they took there. They were amazing!

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    Reply

    1. Hi Calen,

      We did visit that area (See Walking With Giants) but, as my foot was still very sore following my fall, we made the decision to not go on the Tree Top Walk. Maybe we’ll revisit the giants before we head further north at the end of January.

      Clare

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