Turning off North Head Rd near South Durras, I followed the dirt down to Honeysuckle Beach. No honeysuckle in sight, but then I remembered that honeysuckle was a name for banksias: the Ancestors steeped their flowers in water to make a sweet drink.
Through the trees I could see a black beach and a sombre headland.
I crunched through the deep black shingles and black sand onto the rock platform, which didn’t swallow up my feet and was much easier to negotiate. I had the area completely to myself, except for birds and a colony of wasps who had suspended their nests in a rock overhang.
The messy cliff face with its slanted rocks suggested the ancient mix-up of turbidites. The coast continued south via coves and a cave that I didn’t explore, leaving them for another visit,
As always, dimly-grasped geology went hand-in-hand with beauty, this time an intricate limited-palette patterning of the rocks, and satisfying arrangements of rock or pebble pools.
I didn’t go far towards the northern end of the beach: my powers of observation were dwindling, and I was hungry. But I did note the bare rockface, and the chevron in the rock platform and left further exploration for another day.
I retreated to a shady spot in the bush with my chair, my lunch, my books, and glimpses of the increasingly blue sea: behind me a frantically budding snake orchid; in front of me an emphatically flowering grey ironbark (E paniculata), surrounding trees leaning in to pay it homage.