Three months ago I spent a morning on Mt Stuart and came home with new perspectives on familiar Townsville locations. Last weekend I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with friends on a slightly different part of the mountain, and came home with another set of views.
We were hanging round on cliffs which look towards Cape Cleveland and Magnetic Island. For much of the time we were on a ledge only a couple of metres wide, with cliffs above us (on the right of my first photo) and beneath us.
A few weeks ago I received an enquiry from a reader: did I know what was happening with the Blue Tigers at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island?
At that time all I knew was second-hand or worse, but soon afterwards I saw a local ABC News report about thousands of them on the site of the old Horseshoe Bay school, which I was fortunate enough to visit with family and friends at the end of May. It was a magical experience.
My very first impression of Townsville’s landscape, thirty years ago, was of dead-flat land interrupted by peculiarly isolated hills and ranges, and it has only been reinforced over the years by views and events.
The views? Getting to know the topography from the top of Castle Hill, Mt Stuart or (most recently) Mt Marlow on the Town Common reveals a coastal landscape of mangrove flats rising (minimally) to the suburbs which wrap around the bases of the hills, with Ross River, Ross Creek and the Bohle River winding lazily through them.
Winter is traditionally followed by Spring but not here, and not in the era of climate change. Last week was Winter; this week is the Fire Season.
Perhaps that is a little melodramatic, but it’s justified by the conditions we have experienced recently. The fire season is already well under way, as it usually is by this time of year, and we have had several very smoky days in town but today was exceptional. Late this morning I could hardly see Mount Stuart from the Rising Sun intersection on Charters Towers Rd, so I visited Castle Hill with my camera to see what I could see from there. It wasn’t pretty.