The name of this blog may probably be a bit obscure for some people, so I thought I had better shed some light on the subject. Ben Cruachan, which stands 2765 feet above sea level, is our familiar sentinel 27 kilometres to the north west. It is named after the 3689 feet high Scottish mountain in the Southwest Highlands east of Oban, in the Clan MacIntyre lands. It is properly pronounced “kroo a hn” and the word is the battle cry of the Clan Campbell, and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Translated, it means stack, so Ben Cruachan means “mountain stack”, or “stacky mountain”
The masthead photo was taken from the gate into Bellbird Corner Reserve, Ben is the main peak, the bump on the left is Smoking Point, and the two on the right are Little Ben and Rocky Knob. The picture below shows me standing on Little Ben in approximately 1948, it was my first serious hike into the bush, and the picture was taken by my cousin Bill using an old Kodak 116 folding camera. I’m looking out towards home, while Rocky Knob and Ben loom to the right.
Ben Cruachan and the surrounding hills and ridges are composed of conglomerate, or puddingstone, and the agates that rockhounds seek in the Avon River below Ben have weathered out of this conglomerate. The whole area is botanically very rich.
My mother’s family came to Gippsland from Perthshire in Scotland in the latter half of the 1800′s, and after working in the gold mining areas of Walhalla and Cassilis, settled on the land in the Newry and Upper Maffra districts, in the shadow of Ben Cruachan. They would have looked up to the north every day to see Ben, just as I do now, well over one hundred years later, and that is the inspiration for the title of this blog.
My name is Duncan, and I’m an amateur naturalist and photographer. My present main interests are moths, birds, and native flora, but anything that walks, flies, wriggles, or swims, will attract my attention and the lens of my camera. Gippsland, in Victoria, Australia, is a region of great natural diversity, stretching from sea level to over 1300 metres. It contains the RAMSAR listed Gippsland Lakes system, both cool and warm temperate rain forest, Box-Ironbark forest, coastal and alpine heathland, and the Red Gum Plains, to name a few of the habitat types. In short, a great place for the naturalist to explore, I’m lucky to live there. I can be contacted at djfraser35atgmaildotcom