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.
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Very large puddles and tall walls

On the Saturday of the Easter break, with the weather forecast suggesting the day would be the most settled of the Easter days, I convinced Mum and Dad to go for a drive to Strathgordon, in the wilds of the south-west. Of course, part-way through the trip the sky became overcast and as we climbed into the hills we hit mist as well, and it seemed we were in for a disappointing time. However, we noticed the faint light of the sun starting to pierce the mist, and gradually the shadows strengthened, until we emerged from the fog, to find blue skies above as well. There were some lovely effects over the now-revealed dramatic landscapes.

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The waters of the new Lake Pedder were still in the morning light, creating some lovely reflections, and although I bemoan the loss of the original jewelled lake, with its vast quartzite beach, I will concede that there is beauty and grandeur in the massive lake that took its place.

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The final two photos above were taken from the lookout just above what remains of the old hydro town of Strathgordon (there is an accommodation complex and a sports centre, but the school and original houses and other historic infrastructure are long gone). Also visible at the lookout was a fine specimen of Drimys lanceolata, the famous Tasmanian mountain pepper, with its characteristic red stems and peppery-tasting leaves, and lichen growing on a quartzite outcrop.

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Our next stop was the massive and impressive Gordon Dam (an amazing piece of engineering, which certainly changed the original landscape in a dramatic way). It is 140 metres high (460 feet) but to get a sense of scale you may appreciate the second and third photos below, showing a person abseiling down the face (except that the dam wall curves inward and so the descent is pretty much entirely in space). You can just make him out again in the third photo, just below the half-way mark, which gives you an idea of the size of the dam … and you can make your own judgement about the degree of lunacy involved in descending it this way! I confess I’d love to do it. I’m sure I’d be quite terrified — since dealing with heights is not a strength, although I’ve enjoyed abseiling on the occasions I have tried it — but it would be such a buzz once over the initial fear.

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The photo below shows some of the remnant trees drowned when the dam filled, while the other photo is of a native laurel on the banks of the Weld River.

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Our final stop for the day, after passing the Edgar Dam (shown in the first photo below), was the lookout on Red Knoll near Scotts Peak Dam,where the light effects and reflections over Lake Pedder were lovely (but I really must learn how to get my camera to take a series of bracketed photos when the lighting gets a little tricky).

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It was a good day, but I hadn’t fully appreciated that it was going to involve over 440km of driving, and so I was a bit surprised to find myself rather weary when I finally arrived home.

3 comments to Very large puddles and tall walls

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