Our hiking group takes to the trail on a Tuesday and a Friday, and nobody watches the weather more closely than us, as the thought of a missed hike is enough to cast us into the depths of despair. The natural beauty of the Mother City provides an escape from the worries of the world and succour for the soul, and the ongoing lockdowns as a result of Covid-19 have highlighted the need for a return to nature like nothing before. The green belts of the Southern Suburbs attract everyone from the casual stroller to the serious mountain biker, with horses and dogs in between, and it is a miracle that all these enthusiasts can share the same narrow paths to no detriment. The greatest effect on the trails right now is the deluge of water gushing down the mountain from an unusually wet few days, taking the path of least resistance by filling the gullies and tearing through overgrowth, exposing roots and felling the weaker trees.
One of the most noticeable effects of the rains is the clarity of the air, the brilliance of the light and the myriad greens of the forest. The wind, although forecast to be fresh, came over the mountain in a few gusts, then subsided to a pleasant calm as the clouds dispersed and blue skies opened wide overhead. Birds chattered in the canopy as we picked our way over twigs and branches littering the path, pausing to note the demise of an old giant that will now be a natural bridge across the gully and gradually decompose over the decades into life-giving humus to continue the cycle of life on Earth.
A little over 5km up hill and down dale saw us exercised, invigorated and well with the world again. Looking forward to the next sunny day!