Along the Merri Creek just a little upstream from the Heidelberg Rd bridge, the concrete bike path diverges into a little set of stairs. A bluestone retaining wall frames the embankment on one side, and longer stones frame the stairs on the right. The staircase seems to lead to a path along the river but it didn't look very inviting. Perhaps I'll explore when it is no longer the height of snake season.
Long couch grass is growing between some of the stones. That's pretty unusual, as bluestone walls usually fit pretty tightly. (I can foresee a time when I might be able to make judgements about the quality and even the date of bluestone walls from their mortar: there seem to be quite thick layers here.) The pole on a slant bears, if I remember correctly, a warning about flood levels. Just to the right of these steps is a low timber crossing, which is regularly flooded after heavy rains, as the Creek fills up.
To me, it's hard not to see something a bit whimsical here. The stairs certainly help shape the embankment as the path twists and curves to the right, yet they also lead the eye and the step upward, away from the determined running, walking and cycling that goes on daily here. The steps seem to offer your own secret little space of wilderness, in dramatic juxtaposition to the civic geometry that invites you there.