I love this time of year in our National Park home. Every evening while we cook dinner we glance outside our windows to spot a baby pademelon (Tasmanian wallaby) finding it’s feet. With such huge feet on such a little wallaby it often leads to giggles from the kids as they watch the babies tripping over as they learn to hop. Last night it was watching one toppling over backwards when leant a little too far back to scratching its belly.

What makes our evenings most special however are the juvenile endangered Eastern Quolls with their spotty furs and long tails racing and playing through our yard. Sitting patiently and waiting at any window in our home never fails right now. The sight of these beautiful little creatures scampering playfully like hyperactive kittens through our yard is something few people will ever experience.

Long Tasmanian twilights give ample chance to enjoy our surroundings. Many afternoons after closing our Cafe I take the chance for the short walk to our breathtaking Russell Falls. The smell in the warm air of fresh growth and fallen leaves is enhanced after the brief sun showers we often experience. Leaving behind the busyness of work this time refocusses and re-energises me, reminding me why I love where I live.

Last week I needed some inspiration, so I took my regular walk through the day, taking in my rainforest backyard and breathing in the spray from the waterfalls. I enjoy this walk so much, the waterfall at the end is just the icing on the cake, but the entire walk has something new to find every time I take it.

As I ambled along, spotting new fungi and a couple of pademelons, I noticed the people around me. Their pace was so fast, like they were on a mission. Now I know that would be to see the cascading awe of the towering Russell Falls, but they were missing out on so much.

One couple from China who spoke no English were wondering why I stopped, so I pointed out the gorgeous little blue mushroom I had found growing out the side of a fallen tree.  Instantly they were checking every tree they walked past, taking photos of the brown ones, the orange ones and the shell like ones that I’m sure are a fairy Jacuzzi. Their walk to a waterfall became an exploration of fungi, and it isn’t even fungi season!

Standing at the base of the falls I always forget to take my glasses off, ending up with soaked with the spray every time.  The feeling of the light mist on your face is just bliss and I could stand there all day.

On my walk back, looking through the ferns I spotted mum and young pademelon. As I quietly stood there watching a photographer rushed past me with tripod in one hand, backpack of gear on his shoulder and a look of determination on his face. I know that face, it’s the one my photographer husband has when he is thinking about the shot he wants to capture.  I wanted to call out, to show him what he was rushing past, to explain that there is so much more than just a waterfall to photograph here, but I know that face.

Sitting enjoying my after walk coffee I was pondering... is it just me, the only person who slows down enough to soak up and truly enjoy the walk that is so much more than a waterfall?  Then I overhear a conversation from the table next to me, an older couple who had just returned from the same walk. “How beautiful was that baby wallaby? I’m so glad I stopped to take a photo of that fern or I would have completely missed him.”

Good, it wasn’t just me. I’m not the only one who takes it slow and appreciates the majesty of where I live.  Maybe it’s time for you too, slow down... there is so much more to life than an awesome waterfall at the end.

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