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Cape York Peninsula

In early June four of us completed another long bushwalk on Cape York Peninsula, traversing 200 km of diverse and mostly remote country south-west and south of Cooktown over 18 days.

Keith climbing onto the Mount Windsor Tableland

This took in sandstone country of the Battle Camp Range, a belt of metamorphics and a high granite tableland, over an altitude range of 1100 metres – a lot of very beautiful country, but also some sadness with the destructive combination of cattle, weeds and too much fire in evidence.  The Cooktown Orchids were out in force and the gnarled trees along the creeklines were magnificent.  We all agreed the wonderful Mount Windsor Tableland was the highlight, with its superb forests, granite tors, cascading creeks and a remarkable environmental gradient from upland rainforest to spinifex and Cypress Pines in just a few kilometres.  The tableland is in a National Park, but very remote with little active management.

A selection of photographs from this journey will be added to the New Images page shortly.

Short-listed for ANZANG Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The edge, Govetts Leap

I heard today that one of my images has been short-listed in this prestigious comp, in the Wilderness section. Its the image on the cover of the 2013 Wild Blue Mountains Calendar, of The edge, Govetts Leap, Blue Mountains National Park.  So the photograph will be included in the 2013 Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition and the full-colour book published by the CSIRO.  Its now in the running for the major awards, which will be announced in the September-October 2013 edition of Australian Geographic.

 

This image is available in a Limited Edition of 30, in a size of 40 x 53 cm (16 x 21 inches), as a Lambda print on polyester.  Price is A$330 plus postage.

You can check out the competition at http://www.anzang.samuseum.sa.gov.au

New exhibition – Atmospheres at Blackheath

I’m collaborating with Len Metcalf and Mike Stacey to put on a new show of nature photographs at Blackheath in April.  Atmospheres explores the more subtle aspects of the Blue Mountains, in fog and mist, as the weather changes and at the ends of the day.  We hope that anyone who loves the mountains will enjoy this exhibition.

Atmospheres will be in the Gallery in the Park, Blue Mountains Heritage Centre (the national park centre), end of Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath.  It will be launched by local conservationist and heritage consultant Joan Domicelj, at 2 pm on Saturday 6 April, and will run until 30 April (open every day, 9 am to 4.30 pm).  Everyone is welcome!

South West Tasmania

Evening at The Shank

In early January I went to Tasmania to take part in an annual ‘adventure volunteering’ project to remove invading weeds from the remote coastline of the Southwest wilderness.  After seven years of the project, the results are looking very good.  Our team of five walked about 50 km of coast about halfway between Macquarie Harbour and Port Davey and found (and removed) only 133 new sea spurge plants and 20 marram grass.  There will always be new invasions because seeds travel by sea from big populations north of Macquarie Harbour, but the large infestations south of there are now largely beaten.

Jenny and Colin digging out marram grass

Very satisfying to be doing something practical for wilderness!  The logic of ‘adventure volunteering’ is that people enjoy themselves between working, so I had time for photography.  Alas, I could only carry a digital system for the nine-day walk due to the ruggedness of the terrain.  I’m now processing the results and will upload some more Tasmania images as soon as I can.

We saw the big South West fire blow up to the south of us on 4 January – the same day of extreme temperatures and fierce winds that the Dunalley fire did so much damage (as we found out later).  We had seen the lightning on 3 January.  Massive pyrocumulus clouds were billowing up from over the horizon, so I knew it was bad.  The fire now covers 49,000 ha of the World Heritage Area – the biggest fire in the South West since the 1930s.

On the inland plains

As I write, the fire is still burning on both sides of the famed Western Arthur range – which could be threatened if it blows up again.  We’re all hoping for rain, which is the only way it will end.  With climate change, Tasmania’s amazing and unique rainforests and alpine vegetation are facing a potentially tragic future.

A coastal excursion

Before Christmas we spent a couple of days at Bouddi National Park, just north of Sydney.    Its a wonderful haven in the midst of suburbia, and although photography wasn’t my reason for being there, I did find a few nice digital images.  I love the coast and its always great to explore new environments.