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"We are going rain, hail or shine!" Pat Williams had announced on the SGWAAC website. Rain AND hail AND shine at the same time -- now, that would warrant reporting.

"Dammit", I grumbled to myself, "now I've been volunteered to write yet another report! Isn't it the responsibility of the leader to write the report? Why has it been delegated to me?" But my feeble attempts to wiggle out of this 'voluntary' task had fallen on deaf ears -- I had been stared down by all the others.

About four hours earlier, seven intrepid explorers had congregated at the Moonlight Creek Picnic area in Mount Worth State Park. It was raining and the rain drops clearly ignored all social distancing rules. Fourteen participants had originally registered but, by early Tuesday morning, cancellations had shortened the list to nine. Two more cancellations had come in via phone calls. However, this diminished number also had an upside: We would not have to break up into two separate groups to comply with Covid lockdown restrictions of a maximum ten participants. Instead, we could all enjoy the rain together…

But how could I possibly write about a pleasant walk in the rain? To make matters worse, that rain had slowly faded away over the subsequent hours -- making it an absolute non-topic, not worth mentioning in a report at all. I continued to grumble on my drive back home…

You see, it is one thing to write a mildly interesting piece about a walk that (perhaps?) never happened (see 11 May 2021 report). It is quite another thing to have to write about a walk where everything is just simply nice. Writers need some drama to report on -- political intrigue, mysterious murder, s3x, drugs and rock'n'roll. For a bushwalking report? At least some sensational weather events, please. Did I enjoy the pleasant company and conversation on today's walk? Check. But there was no hail and no shine. Was it interesting to look at the old abandoned farm house? Check. But no hail and no shine -- and no ghosts worthy of reporting, either. The magnificent large oak tree that Pat had promised? Check. But no hail and no shine, and none of the tree's fallen limbs had buried a disgraced politician implicated in a juicy scandal. In other words: Nothing, absolutely nothing to write a report about!

Could I perhaps spice up my report with a sensationalist 'drugs'-angle by writing about the (magic?) mushrooms in Mount Worth State Park? Or a horrifying story about alien species invading the bodies of unsuspecting victims, turning them into zombies? We took the southerly anti-clockwise route during this walk, walked up a spur to Blowfly Hill and then joined the Moonlight Link Track that Chris and I had taken a month earlier for 'the walk that never happened'. As we had already noted then, Mount Worth State Park produces an amazing range of interesting fungi. "I'm also a fun guy!" John exclaimed and we were not sure for a moment whether to take his word for it or blame that remark on his hearing aid. Pat wrily pointed out that the other "fun-gi" included cordyceps. The latter, as I'm sure you all know (I most certainly didn't), are an endoparasitoid genus of fungi. This means that they feed parasitically on witchetty grubs and similar larvae, which doesn't end particularly well: The mycelium of cordyceps (essentially their thread-like root network) invades and eventually replaces the grub's tissue, eventually resulting in the death of their host. Meanwhile, their elongated fruit body (ascocarp) grows straight upwards and forms the above-ground cylindrical shape that we saw along much of our path. Fungi and fun-guy, flesh-eating alien species and mummified zombies in the ground just below our feet. But not a sufficiently sensationalist 'drug'-angle for me to write about…

Or should I try adding some gentle romance to my report? Perhaps also include the thrill and tension of impending peril? Ann and John had been holding hands throughout the walk -- uphill, downhill, throughout the rain and mud. Meanwhile, Pat and Roz were making bets as to whether Ann was going to take down John on the slippery slopes or vice versa. But none of those bets paid out as our two lovey-doveys remained steady and stable all the way -- even on those muddy slopes where Robyn threatened to switch on her four wheel drive (that is, go on hands and knees). So again, nothing particularly noteworthy. Nothing that anyone would want to read in a SGWAAC report -- just lots of laughter, interesting conversation, good-humoured banter and good vibes all around, as usual.

By now, I had reached home. I had put my gear in the wash, my mud-caked boots in the garage, and myself under the shower. Still grumbling, I sat on the sofa with an empty laptop screen staring at me. So, now, what am I going to write in that report?

Participants: Pat W, Bev P, Roz S, Robyn S, John A, Ann A, Frithjof A

Mt Worth 8 08.06.21