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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Dead Island

Up near the summit of Mt Wellington there are two interesting features — well, several, actually, but we’ll just focus on two of them, seen on today’s little stroll. The first is the world’s smallest and most ineffective ice-skating rink. It was built in the late 1930s, but apparently on the rare occasions that it froze for long enough to be useful for skating the raging winds gave it a decidedly uneven surface making it close to useless. (Ummm, it’s also small. Very small. Every time I come I swear it is smaller than the last time I visited. I can’t imagine how anyone would have found it big enough to actually skate on.)


The North-West Bay River rises in the open boggy moorland to the west of the summit, and in traipsing south past the tarns and over the pineapple grass and stunted alpine plants it was inevitable that I would get damp feet. Actually it was inevitable that I would get absolutely saturated feet. As we tried to find the least damaging route (to us and to the alpine vegetation) we were somewhat bemused by what sounded like the bleating of distant goats. It turns out that the Tasmanian froglet (Ranidella tasmaniensis) makes just such a noise, and so it is pleasing to know that there were a few of them around. We also thought we’d come across some rare pencil pines, which would have been a big surprise since I hadn’t heard of them being on the mountain, but they weren’t. It is pity there aren’t a few of them around.

Our destination was a curious feature about 1km from the road: a large rocky hill covered in snowgums rising out of the plain, known as “Dead Island”.


The terrain within is even more awkward to navigate than the soggy moor that surrounds it, with boulders, and scrub and dense snow gums; to me it is a good match for my mental image of parts of “Hell” in John Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began. There was a cache to be found (an incentive to get me to visit a place I’d been meaning to visit for a while), and there were some lovely landscape features to enjoy, such as lichens on old logs and rocks, and the distant dolerite rock outcrops on South Mt Wellington.


bIMG_4530  bIMG_4539


We were just about to have lunch, but all of a sudden it clouded over and threatened rain, so we squelched our way back to the car. Unfortunately the extra photos I took were either over- or under-exposed due to the contrasting light conditions … but it was a good trip.

I love Mt Wellington.

1 comment to Dead Island

  • looking from over the pond

    Love the rugged look and the scenery is wonderful and by the loooks of it, warm to cool to cold? Nevertheless , Happy Birthday to you! Enjoy every one of them, you are never going to get any of them back, aahahahahahahahahaha!

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