Friday, October 1, 2010

What's in a name?

Tibrogargan or Beerwah, Coonowrin or Beerburrum, or even (best of all) Tibberoowuccum and Miketeebumulgral, what do these tongue-twisting names mean to you?  Probably as little as they did to me until I visited the Glass House Mountains and saw these fascinating formations.

"An Aboriginal legend of the origins of the Glass House Mountains  tells of a family who were forced to flee as the sea flooded and rose.  As they fled, the father, Tibrogargan, asked his eldest son Coonowrin to assist his mother, who was pregnant.  But Coonowrin left his mother and ran off to save himself.  An angry Tibrogargan struck Coonowrin a heavy blow which dislocated his neck.  Ashamed by his son's cowardice, Tibrogargan turned his back on him and wept.  Today, Tibrogargan still faces away from Coonowrin, his tears flowing as mountain streams.  Coonowrin's neck is still crooked and Beerwah is still heavy with child."'*

I like this story far more than the prosaic geological explanation that the mountains are volcanic plugs, formed from cooled molten rock.

At the Glass House Mountains Lookout I found these beautiful mosaics embedded in the circular pathway.

I hesitate to say with any certainty exactly which mountain is which, other than Coonowrin which, with its crooked neck, is instantly recognisable.  My confusion is due to the fact that as we drove around along Mountain View Road outside Melany, the view of the mountains is reversed, so I leave it to expert Aussies to explain.

The hinterland countryside is absolutely beautiful, fields of lush green grass, punctuated by darker green trees and dotted with grazing cattle and horses.

Magical houses tucked away in enchanted forests like illustrations for a fairytale book...

... and paths, lined with colourful azaleas, leading who knows where.

Attractive and unusal postboxes suggested homeowners with a good sense of humour.

A cheerful robot figure clearly indicates a driveway ...

... and someone passing by has added a toy dinosaur!

* Steve Parrish -  South-East Queensland - A Discovery Guide.



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