Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
January 2021
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Not exactly a summery set of strolls

With today being a holiday, and my reading of the weather forecast suggesting a cool but promising day, my brother and two of his older children joined me for a trip down to the Hartz area. As we travelled southward, the weather gave plenty of hints that it was going to make a liar of the forecasts, and by the time we reached the car park where we could choose some possible destinations it was obvious that (a) “cool” was overstating it (at about 7°C, and then throw in the wind chill factor), and (b) there was a definite dampness in the air. It was a strong reminder that you can’t afford to take Tasmania’s quick-changing wilderness weather lightly.

Fortunately I had a some odds and ends of excess protective clothing, making it possible to kit everyone out for a short venture out into the wilds and so we headed off to nearby Lake Osborne. There was mist on the hills, a stiff and chilly westerly breeze, and at least one moment when the showers turned into icy sleet. We made a quick dash for the lake shore, where the weather eased enough to get the cameras out for some photos (which I managed to underexpose).

 bLakeOsborneViewLake Osborne with the Devil’s Backbone behind.bLakeOsborneMistMist coming down over the hills south of Lake Osborne.

bPencilPinePencil pine on the shore of Lake Osborne.

With the wind behind us for the return journey we could enjoy the walk a little more, identifying some of the many different alpine plant species along the way, but there was still something exhilarating about the weather’s edginess and its effect on the environment.


bTrackAfter a lunch stop, and a small lowering of altitude resulting in slightly milder weather, we did another short walk, this time to the rather spectacular Arve Falls, which plunge steeply down a cliff. Unfortunately it is difficult to capture the full scope of its descent from the end of the track at the top. I was, however, able to get some reasonable time exposures of parts of the falls (although I must learn to give my neutral density filter at least an extra f-stop of exposure).






We also visited Keogh’s Falls, but they’re now almost invisible thanks to the steepness of the hill and the growth of the trees and shrubs since the viewing platform was built. Instead we had a view over the country to the north and the skeleton trees silhouetted against the hills.


There was a young echidna nearby, fossicking for ants without any of the hunker-down-in-the-presence-of-humans shyness that these creatures usually display. In fact, it was foraging with such fevered focus — and I hadn’t adjusted my ISO setting back to something a little faster after doing time exposures — that my photos were disappointingly blurry despite being able to get quite close to it. That little bit of pink at the end of its snout is its tongue.


The weather may not have been as good nor the length of the walks quite as long as I had hoped, but we still had a great day.

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