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Potpourri. By Geoff Murray

April 08, 2021

Potpourri. By Geoff Murray

Three weeks ago, I drove up into Tassie’s Central Highlands late at night to visit a dead forest of Cider Gums. Now a dead forest doesn’t sound all that exciting, but the trees that are standing are beautiful in their grotesque and twisted silence. They were the perfect backdrop to an image of the Galactic Core as it quietly floated above the Earth’s horizon. It might have been a beautiful night, but with a light breeze blowing and the temperature in the low single digits, my Mont Guide Hoodie kept the cold at bay.

Some may think that to drive a round trip of 250kms for a single image is a little crazy, but it was a nice drive. It also rewarded me with sightings of five fallow deer (including a big stag), two wombats, five Tasmanian Devils and hundreds of wallabies and possums, along with a couple of Eastern Quolls and one Spotted Tail Quoll. The latter aren’t often seen, so that was a rare treat.

The following week I nipped out to Scott’s Peak in South West Tasmania to capture the sunset over Lake Pedder. This was another worthwhile outing as the sun very obligingly put on an excellent display for me. :)

With the approach of the Fagus season in Tasmania, something that photographers get very excited about, I thought I would drive up to the high country in Mount Field National Park to see how the turning was progressing. Fagus is short for Nothofagus Gunnii (Deciduous Beech), and this is Tasmania’s only deciduous plant. It is a plant from the times of Gondwanaland, the supercontinent that existed some 300 million years ago when South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Antarctica, New Zealand and Australia were basically one large landmass. The plant in various forms still exists in Tasmania, New Zealand and South America’s Patagonia. A truly ancient plant. Its colloquial name is Tanglefoot for reasons that soon become obvious when trying to traverse a forest of Fagus. When the leaves are in full colour, it is a glorious golden plant that makes the Tassie bush glow with life.

It’s still a little way until the full colour arrives, so I satisfied myself with capturing some images of other members of the Tasmanian alpine plant community.

This day walk was wet from start to finish, so my Mont Odyssey jacket was worn throughout the day to keep me protected from the elements (which included driving hail at 2 degrees C in the high country).

I walked back up into the same mountains yesterday to spend a night under the stars. In contrast to last week’s stormy amble, the last two days have been calm, mild and clear, which rewarded me with beautiful nighttime skies with some nice airglow to the south of me and gentle reintroduction to carrying a pack.

Life’s good.

Geoff Murray
Photographer and Mont Ambassador

 


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