Celebration of "the turning of the fagus (Nothofagus gunnii)", is a pretty special and unique Tasmanian event. Each year these deciduous beech trees put on a spectacular colour change and shed their leaves, a trait that is unlike most other southern hemisphere trees.
The timing of the change is dependent upon a range of conditions, making it unpredictable and just that little bit more exciting, wondering what you're going to find when you go the effort to climb a mountain and photograph them.
This is the first time I've gone out on a dedicated 'pilgrimage' to photograph the fagus in the past I've witnessed it while I've been on some other mission. I took a drive up to Cradle Mountain, taking the anti-clock wise route to Hanson's Peak, then across the face track and down into Wilks Lake, to get as many interesting images as I could.
The weather was predictably unpredictable as can only be expected at this time of year, fortunately I managed to get a little bit of sun to help bring out the colours of the leaves and the beautiful scenery.
Over the Easter break of 2017, I joined a group of artists and conservationist to spend time on the western coastline of Tasmania, a place known to the indigenous people as takayna. Our small contingent walked the coast north of the Pieman River, exploring both the physical and cultural features of this place. Evidence of Aboriginal occupation was visible continually along our walk.
Over the few days that I spent there, I traversed a range of emotion from awe to grief; in the end my overwhelming sense of these places is hard to express, it's a mixture of emptiness, longing and homeness- the land is a home to people who have gone, the home is almost empty - but the land has a longing for people. This is a living place and it wants people. For me, this is why people of all walks of life are drawn to it. We now have a responsibility to care for and sustain this place, to preserve the history, culture and environment.
This weekend I had the chance to drive south and visit the massive water body now known as Lake Pedder, the site of a lost battle for the conservation movement of Tasmania, I guess this visit was a type of battle field tourism.
The result of flooding these valleys has produced a stunning place to visit, but I can't help feeling sorrow and loss for the unique landscape feature that was the original Lake Pedder.
In a couple of weeks I'm going to participate in a contemporary conservation action, to highlight and share the special aspect sof another part of Tasmania, through the art and creativity of many people, during Tarkine in Motion hosted by The Bob Brown Foundation. http://www.bobbrown.org.au/tarkine_in_motion_updates
If you're interested in helping out with funding to support the artists and organisers who are producing this generations iconic images of Tasmania's remote and significant places follow this Link.
Tasmanian based, New Zealand born