Tag Archives: forest

Tarraleah Canal No 1 walk – signs to side roads along the way

Around the Mossy Marsh Creek area and elsewhere, many short roads intersected with the Hydro road. These are pathways to assist Hydro Tas with monitoring and managing various aspects of the water flow.  They allowed me to continue to follow the Canal and be near the original river bed. Enjoy the glorious bush in the photos below.

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Blog readers will have seen signs before, however the lovely things about these photos include the colours of the adjacent bush, the depth of soft looking leaf mulch beneath the tall trees and the sense of a rich wilderness all around.  The environment was truly splendid. Having a road to walk on was such a boon – manoeuvring through that bush would have been a major trial and perhaps not nearly as pleasant.

Lake Repulse Dam to Catagunya Dam – posting 6 of 13

I have been asked why I chose to walk on the eastern/northern side of the River.  Quite simply, that side looked easier.  Once on the walk I had grand views to the other side, and felt vindicated in my decision.  On the western/southern side dense virgin bush with no tracks or plantation forests covered the steep hills.

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Even when the forests opened out, the terrain was rocky and treacherous on the other side of the water.

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Nevertheless the landscape was richly beautiful even when tampered with by mankind.  All the photos above remind me of the steepness of the terrain on ‘my’ side of the river, and the impossibility of accessing the waters of Lake Repulse.

Lake Repulse Dam to Catagunya Dam – posting 5 of 13

 

The forested areas gave me the greatest amount of work.

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Clambering up or down through the forests with a backpack changing my centre of gravity and catching on vegetation, swinging a stick in front all the while to relocate spiders, imagining tracks through the undergrowth and finding the cattle had created hundreds of intermeshed occasional pathways to and from nowhere useful for me, and the day’s temperature rising and passing 30 degrees all contributed to produce a constant world of challenge. Where I chose to walk, I struggled and strained yet I can see that my photos make the ground look smooth and trouble free.

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My photographs show me how beautiful the forests were. Usually I focused on a small shrub, the trunk of a tree or a clump of grass as I walked but now that I am looking at my photos I can see the way the object of my attention fitted into a larger environment. In addition, I love seeing the way the light splits through the bush.

How to draw a forest

Many posts ago, I referred readers to the excellent online magazine Tasmanian Geographic.

The most recent issue contains an article which surprised me – a new topic for me, offering a new way of visualising the bush.  Paula Peeters has considered ‘How to Draw a Forest’. Her article made me realise that because of our perspective as we walk we never see ‘a forest’ at close range and we only ever see parts of the trees.  Of course this was obvious once it was pointed out. Now I am re-evaluating the way I look and think about our Tasmanian bush.

Trackless under the powerlines

My map of the Lake King William area showed the 4WD vehicle Switchyard Track restarting on the northern side of the plain on the far side of the power line ‘clearway’.  I believed if I walked westwards under the powerlines then eventually I would see clearings through the trees and locate the track.

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In my previous post I introduced the deeply compressible mossy plant that prevented rhythmic walking.  All the pale green vegetation in the photo above is that soft spongy moss.  Admirably beautiful to behold but challenging to walk across.

Our world is full of thoughts about ‘mindfulness’ and ‘being present’.  Walking this section required 100% concentration. I was forever present as I focused on the ground checking where my next step might be placed. I stumbled along for seemingly ages until I noticed a row of rocks unnaturally placed at the tree line.  That had to be a marker for the track.  It was. Relieved, I was soon following the track westwards.  I remember taking many photos of the dense forests either side of that track, but obviously I did not properly make the click because there are no photographs. I remember the air was clean and cool. Delightfully fresh. Eventually the track emerged from the forest and continued for a short distance next to the plain. The photo below which looks back inland, clearly shows the extensive depth of that plain.

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Still parallel to the plain, the track ran westwards towards the water of Lake King William.

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Soon I was surrounded by forest which, in normal climate conditions, would be a wet forest.

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Occasionally I could look southwards and see out over the plain to Lake King William.

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Eventually I found great vantage points to look back inland.  I suspect that had I been able to walk across the plain to this point, I would not have needed to battle through the button grass, moss and spiky plants.  But I remembered this spacious landscape might, on other days and after considerable rain, be a sheet of water.

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A while later I could see the Derwent River flowing into the northern end of Lake King William.

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Then I began the uphill climb on, what the maps marked as, an incline topping 800 metres. I realise that the Lake and river would not be at sea level, but in my mind I wanted the exaggeration because it made me feel like I had achieved a major climb once I reached the top.  Silly, I know.  But these are some of my inconsequential mind games.

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On the way up I deviated through a complex rain forest. Gentle. Beautiful. In the second photo below the Derwent River can be seen as a washed out blue line through the trees – my tablet camera cannot cope with lighting extremes.

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Majestic tall straight trees amazed me at every turn.

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By placing one foot over the other and enjoying the bush sounds, the top of the hill was gained.  What an extraordinary morning had passed: from starting the day packing up the tent and collecting fresh Lake water to drink, to battling my way across challenging vegetation, farewelling Lake King William, reuniting with the undammed Derwent River, to climbing a relentless hill with all the unexpected visual pleasures that provided.  I felt clean of mind and spirit. Refreshed. Alive. And grateful.

From Hinsby Beach to Blackmans Bay accomplished on Stage 12 yesterday

The goal of my walk along the Derwent River for Stage 12 was to start at my last stopping point, Bus Stop 30 on the Channel Highway at Taroona on the western shore of the Derwent River, and continue to Blackmans Bay in the local government area of Kingborough.  I did not get as far as expected, but I was satisfied when I finished 2/3 of the way along the Blackman’s Bay Beach.

Over future posts, I will write up the stories of the walk, what I saw and what I experienced, but for now it’s enough to say that I am continuing with this massive project to walk both sides of the Derwent between the mouth and Bridgewater, and then onwards to Lake St Clair.

Yesterday I covered 5 ¾ kilometres of the length of the Derwent River on the western shore (making 35 3/4 kms in total on the western shore), and walked approximately 11 kilometres (making a total of 154 kms to date) to achieve that distance; there were a lot of steep ascents and descents.

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This distance also takes in the streets and paths on which I walked that led to dead ends so that I needed to retrace my footsteps.

The highlights of the walk include finding a way through some of the early part of the almost untracked Alum Cliffs, the delightful walk along the tracked part of the Alum Cliffs, meeting some friendly people along the way, the unusual snake sign at Tyndall Beach, stopping for a long cup of tea in Kingston with a friend, my discovery of another tucked away beach – Boronia Beach, and the Blackmans Bay Blowhole.

There are many memorable images but my favourite for today is one of my photos of mussels growing on the rocks at Boronia Beach.  I have already made it my desktop background image. When enlarged, the blues glow.

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Fundamentally the Stage 12 walk was about forest and water.

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The day started with my being roughly opposite Gellibrand Point at the northern tip of South Arm and finishing opposite the long South Arm Beach.

I intend my next walk will start from where I left off at Blackmans Bay and then continue into the Tinderbox area to Fossil Cove.  But before then I need to record the details of yesterday’s walk.  So Stage 13 will be a while away.