The plan was simple walk the 7.9km Mt Matilda Walk Trail is located in the Wongan Hills Nature Reserve which is 12 km from Wongan Hill’s townsite. Beloved Significant Other (BSO) had a long cherished dream of doing the walk and with nothing on the agenda we set out to fulfil it. Now at this stage I’ll be completely honest and say my intentions were not only of the walking kind. I was hoping to slope off and get some orchid photography in at another nearby reserve. The BSO doesn’t like hanging about while I take photos – she would sooner watch paint dry.
How things turned out was another matter. As Rabbie Burns the Scottish poet wrote in his 1785 poem To a Mouse “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley” or for those non Scots language speakers “The best-laid schemes of mice and men Go oft awry”.
Well we did climb to the summit of Mount Matilda, which at only at 411m isn’t really saying much, but a combination of a dodgy back, grumbling knees and a long drive meant that we didn’t do the full walk. We decided to walk out to the summit and then back track to the turn off for the 4.8 km Wildflower Loop and I’m glad we did because we saw something really special – something we’d only waited 36 years to see. There on the side of the track was a Thorny Devil. We could scarcely believe it. Now Australia is full of weird animals – egg laying mammals, strange birds, bizarre looking insects, but the Thorny Devil is one of the strangest looking I’ve ever seen. Its defence seems to based on the idea that you’ll not want to harm it because it’s covered on big thorns as it made no attempt to move away from us.
On completion of the walk we had a nice picnic lunch at the shelter at the start of the walk trail while watching a bunch of blokes head to run the trail. I didn’t slope off to do any orchid photography as I couldn’t be fagged. The walk had been enough.
As I sit and write this SBO has announced we’ll have to go back and do the whole walk.