Here is information about a new thrill for Walking the Derwent followers who have been sad to see this blog coming to an end …
I know many followers have loved their daily fix of Derwent River walking and related stories and some have said they will feel quite bereft once the postings stop.
For those devotees of the Tasmanian landscape I am delighted to tell you I have started a new blog that takes effect today! Over time I plan to tell the stories of my experiences in Tasmania’s great Cool Temperate Forests of the Tarkine. Never heard of them? Well go to my new blog Touching the Tarkine (www.touchingthetarkine.wordpress.com) to find out more.
The menu items underneath the header image are:
Home (which will have a new blog posting each day starting tomorrow),
About (which explains what the blog intends to do)
What is the Tarkine?
Where is the Tarkine?
How to get to the Tarkine?
Why take an interest in the Tarkine?
As with this Walking the Derwent blog, in the side bar on the actual blog screen I have added a few useful favourites:
The Follow by email option- add in your email address (and no-one but me sees it) and then automatically every day the latest post pops into your email inbox without you having to remember to check. DO THAT TODAY SO YOU DON’T FORGET!
A Search option so you can hunt through the extending blog for particular places or ideas or names etc
An Archives option so you can go back to the beginning of the blog or to a particular month later on if you need to, or if you want to show friends
A Google Translate option for international followers who do not read English and for Australians who have English as their second or third language
Whoopee! My walk from the mouth to the source of the Derwent River is complete, and the complete record of that walk has now been posted to this blog.
Undoubtedly information, ideas and events that relate to the Derwent River may attract my attention and leave me compelled to blog them. I expect to add very few new posts but please, do not stop ‘following’ the blog just in case I find new aspects of the river from new angles and can show you more wonderful vistas which complement those previously posted.
STOP PRESS – I have been offered a ride along some TasNetworks tracks beside the Derwent upstream, and this trip will take place before Easter – more stories guaranteed.
Less exciting news: this blog will cease to exist in December 2017 despite the fact that I know it contains a wealth of useful information. The reason is simple. I cannot afford to continue it. When I started the blog I was happy to pay the tiny amount for an address that didn’t contain ‘wordpress’ within it but, after adding many hundreds if not thousands of photographs, I exceeded the 3GB limit and for the past two years have paid a larger amount to keep the blog in existence. The fee is due for renewal this December and I will not be paying it. On this basis I am assuming WordPress will prevent visibility and stop access.
My next project is to create a small book using the material from the blog; online and in hard copy. My goal is probably unrealistic. I aim to publish the book by the end of November this year.
But before I get involved on that serious business, I would like your feedback about the nature of the book.
Who do you think will be the most frequent type of reader; would it be a bushwalker, a tourist, a local, a historian or some other type of person?
What should be the style? A descriptive book, a how-to-do-it explanation for getting around the Greater Hobart Area, a personalised story, a humorous account, or should I take some other approach? If so, what do you suggest?
What should be the content? For example, should it be about the mechanics of such a walk, or about the personal development associated with such a walk, or about the history and use of the River, or about the land use either side of the River, or what? Are there particular stories or parts of the River that you loved which you believe must be included?
Should the book contain photos? If so, should there be lots or a few? What sort of photos do you think should be included? Are you able to remember favourite photos that I simply ‘must’ use?
Should the book contain maps and diagrams?
What size do you prefer books to be?
Your ideas will help me as I compress and select from the 250,000 plus words and thousands of photographs. With the sheer volume of information (and I have files of unwritten material as well) this book could take form in so many different ways. At the moment I am torn between a few options so your thoughts will be useful to help me refine mine.
There are different ways you can offer your ideas. You can add a comment directly onto this blog. Alternatively you can email me at email@example.com. If you view my blog on Twitter (named as walkingthederwent), Facebook (named as Walking TheDerwent) or LinkedIn (named as Tasmanian Traveller) then comments or messages can be added on those sites. I look forward to hearing your ideas.
Since my walk from the mouth along the Derwent River culminated at the source, Lake St Clair, writing one of the final blog postings about my favourite Tasmanian artist Piguenit who painted Lake St Clair a number of times, seems appropriate. Previously in the posting Piguenit- artist extraordinaire in southern Tasmania, I extolled some of his virtues.
The story goes – in one of my former lives, in my arts and museum career, I started in the profession working at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery – in three ways: I gave the occasional public lecture in the art gallery section, I volunteered and worked on the art collection in the bowels of the building, and I was employed as a cleaning and security attendant. Because of my art knowledge and interest I was usually allocated the large gallery at the top of the building for the security detail, the one with the 19th century paintings and sculptures. In those days there was no cover on the roof windows, no insulation and no heating. This is late 1970s and I recall being frozen for most of my winter shifts standing there. But the win for me was that all the TMAG’s big Piguenit paintings were hung at one end of the gallery. Until then I had never seen his work. I was bowled over by their majesty, their drama and with the artist’s skill. Most especially, for the first time, I saw an artist painting serious pictures in oil but sometimes only using black and white paint and creating an image with greys (some were slightly yellow greys). I marvelled at this and have adored his work ever since. When I come across one of his pictures in any Gallery of Australia I simply stand in reverent silence. His work has that effect on me.
Recently I received a card for a milestone birthday from a couple of stalwart walkingthederwent supporters. The image on the cover was Lake St Clair, the Source of the River Derwent, Tasmania 1887. Piguenit delighted in this lake and its glorious mountainous surrounds. The image below, courtesy of Artnet, is very similar to that on my birthday card (regrettably I can find no online reproduction of ‘my’ image).
The original oil on canvas, shown on my card, was presented to the Tasmanian Government in 1889 and is now housed in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The differences between ‘mine’ and the Artnet versions include the fact that the latter is a smaller canvas and the foreground rocks and sand are shaped and painted differently. My earlier posting has another image of the same location – one which is held in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Clearly the birthday card was sent with my recent walkingthederwent project in mind but without knowing my decades long ‘connection’ with Piguenit’s work. That image of Lake St Clair with Mount Olympus spot-lit is a stunner. Now I wonder if the impetus for my walk along the Derwent began in that freezing Gallery all those years ago. How could I have known what my future held and where I would end up?
I relaxed with the sounds of the wash of the water onto the shore.
After one last look around this deserted Cove and across the glorious Derwent Harbour, I turned toward the path and walked back uphill. Slowly. Very slowly. I swear the incline on that hill had steepened. I found each blade of grass and each leaf on the path infinitely interesting and worthy of stopping for closer inspection. Often.
For blog readers who live in Hobart, give yourself a treat, take a picnic with you and enjoy a visit to this wonderful Cove.
I delighted in the multitude of fossils everywhere around Fossil Cove.
And seeing the blue shells of tiny new mussels clustering in rock crevices, and the deep purple shells of sea urchins cast up on the rocky beach, reminded me of the way water continues to bring life to our shores.
Most particularly I loved the water views. The Derwent River presented a stunning vista during my visit.
I admired the rock formations around Fossil Cove and wished I had walked with a geological expert.
The rock formation in the photos below could variously be described as a ‘hole in the wall’ or an arch.
I just had to explore what was through that ‘hole in the wall’.
Seeing these photos again reminds me that the day of my visit to Fossil Cove was so gloriously sunny, that the sea and the sky were shades of heavenly blue, and that the gentle on shore breeze was so soft and pleasant. So many mainland Australians who have never visited Tasmania have the idea this is a cold miserable place, so I am glad that my experiences walking the Derwent have been able to show this is a wonderfully beautiful place. And it is a place very much worth a visit (or even a relocation to live here!).
On the day when I walked from Blackman’s Bay to Point Pearson near Tinderbox, then retraced my steps to catch a return bus from Blackman’s Bay, I omitted to walk via Fossil Cove. The pathway to this secluded rock strewn cove required a detour of over 2 kilometres. Since my day’s walk to the mouth of the Derwent River on the western shore and return was expected to be over 20 kms, I resolved at the time to return on another occasion to walk this section.
I was delighted when I finally ‘discovered’ what locals and others have known for a long while.
A couple of kilometres along Tinderbox Road after leaving suburban Blackmans Bay, Fossil Cove Drive is clearly marked. Around a kilometre down that road, a sign indicates the way to the beach.
A further sign declares this area to be a public reserve and a site of national geological significance.
The steep descent to the Cove was controlled by steps and dirt pathways.
I was dazzled by views across to Opossum Bay and Gellibrand Point on the eastern shore of the Derwent River.