Monday, November 3, 2008

Mountain Ride

Having not ridden for 3 months it was time to dust off the bike and head out for some fresh air and exercise. The ride? Familiar. How did I fair? Not too bad considering the lack of fitness.

The trees and shrubs were in full blossom and the track was hard and quick. It was not too long before I was enjoying an energy bar at my favorite look out. New holland honey eaters, and black faced couckoo shrikes flitted amongst the tress whilst bell minors echoed in the cooler sections of bush.

The whole atmosphere reminded me of this poem

Bellbirds by Henry Kendal 1869

By channels of coolness the echoes are calling,
And down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling:
It lives in the mountain where moss and the sedges,
Touch with their beauty the banks and the ledges.
Through breaks of the cedar and sycamore bowers
Struggles the light that is love to the flowers;
And, softer than slumber, and sweeter than singing,
The notes of the bell-birds are running and ringing.
The silver-voiced bell birds, the darlings of daytime!
They sing in September their songs of the May-time;
When shadows wax strong, and the thunder bolts hurtle,
They hide with their fear in the leaves of the myrtle;
When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together,
They start up like fairies that follow fair weather;
And straightway the hues of their feathers unfolden
Are the green and the purple, the blue and the golden.

October, the maiden of bright yellow tresses,
Loiters for love in these cool wildernesses;
Loiters, knee-deep, in the grasses, to listen,
Where dripping rocks gleam and the leafy pools glisten:
Then is the time when the water-moons splendid
Break with their gold, and are scattered or blended
Over the creeks, till the woodlands have warning
Of songs of the bell-bird and wings of the Morning.

Welcome as waters unkissed by the summers
Are the voices of bell-birds to the thirsty far-comers.
When fiery December sets foot in the forest,
And the need of the wayfarer presses the sorest,
Pent in the ridges for ever and ever
The bell-birds direct him to spring and to river,
With ring and with ripple, like runnels who torrents
Are toned by the pebbles and the leaves in the currents.

Bell Minor (Please note:- not my photo)

Often I sit, looking back to a childhood,
Mixed with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood,
Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion,
Lyrics with beats like the heart-beats of Passion; -
Songs interwoven of lights and of laughters
Borrowed from bell-birds in far forest-rafters;
So I might keep in the city and alleys
The beauty and strength of the deep mountain valleys:
Charming to slumber the pain of my losses
With glimpses of creeks and a vision of mosses.

I think my love of the mountains is summed up in those last few lines.


  1. ahve to admit, the smell of the bush and the isolation was just so beautiful.

    This poem really sums it up....

  2. This makes me long for summertime! We are having some very windy and wet weather at present, not conducive to biking even the 3km to work!!! Your post has made me 'homesick' yet again for the Camino and weeks of walking in the outdoor landscape. (I think I am now officially 'crazy'!

  3. Simon's on his bike, he never lingers,
    He eats his KitKat, all four fingers.

    See, you are not the only one that writes poetry!

  4. Kiwi- yes our weather is "off the chain too"!

    Lorenzo- ahahahahah!!!

  5. Great to see you out again!

    Great poem too, captures the atmosphere beautifully.

  6. Beautiful, great to see that somewhere there's Spring, while here November is serving us perfect November weather, gray, gray, gray, and rain! :-)
    Good to see you out on the bike again.

  7. Maalie and Merisi:- thanks! its nice to be out. I MUST do some birding soon.

    The weekend was very busy with 14 auctions booked for saturday, so not much time for myself...

  8. haha nice poem, Lorenzo.

    Really nice poem, Simon, and beautiful pics. Nothing quite like mountains. I can't say from really seeing everything firsthand, but the Ozarks in Arkansas seem to hold some sort of special appeal (all too theoretical) to me.

    And wonderful what you can find out there. Nice pics.

  9. thank you Ted for the encouragement!

  10. Ahh yes, Simon, the mountains are somehow deeply embedded in my soul too. When I go home to my mountains - the Blue Ridge - and catch my first glance of their color rising before me, I know a peace that sings in a way that I cannot describe. Your poem catches that nicely.

    Now send me an email you bad boy!!

  11. You certainly know how to enjoy nature. I would have loved to have been on this ride too.