sublime sassafras…

 This would be one of my personal favourites of all my rainforest images.

 For some time I had wanted to return to this area in what I thought would be the best conditions to experience and photograph it and that day.  To do this I had to trust my own knowledge and forecasts as this beautiful wilderness is up in the mountains in Gippsland’s remote east and is not covered by specific bureau forecasts. I wantesome light rain to bring out those gorgeous rainforest greens and browns and ideally some mist to bring some added ambience and mood to the potential shots. Too much rain would make the area inaccessible to get to or I’d get stuck up on the slippery mountain tracks which are dry weather only tracks not ideal 100km’s from the nearest town.

 A few years ago this opportunity came to fruition as condition that I thought would be ideal for this trip came along with some light rain overnight into the following morning with what I thought would generate mountain mist with increased surface moisture and orographic lifting following the passage of a weakening rainband. So I headed off and camped up at about 1200m that night with sound of lightrain on the roof by the wee hours of the morning – perfect !

 Dawn revealed the mist I’d hoped for was there in pure majestic glory and the light – patchy rain lingering brilliant !  So I had some brekky and geared up and headed off into the wilderness- literally ! After several hours of trekking through steep trackless rainforest I had followed a headwaters of a creek that began with nothing more than a soak or a bog. As it descended it began to form a beautiful rainforest creek. The rain continued for longer than I had thought it may but the place was incredible. Incredibly hard going as well ! drenched from head to toe and covered in mud from negotiating steep slippery banks I found what I was looking for – Remote wilderness isolation. And oh my god it was breathtaking in every sense.

 I continued along the now flowing creek, as it gathered momentum I noticed it was carving a bed and that the muddy bottom was being eroded to stones and before too long it had small cascades that were breathtaking. I had a plan to continue exploring until 11:30Am and that would leave me enough time to return before dark.

 The going was grueling at times with some sections around small waterfalls taking half an hour to navigate a way of about 50m through the virgin forest,steep steep sides and thick debri. The creek was now descending rapidly off an escarpment and it was time for me to turn back. I had only taken 1 photo to this point yet had a few spots in particular in mind to shoot on my return. Taking each frame was almost an ordeal with everything saturated and high humidity (though cold temperatures) fogging lenses in seconds. Finally I re-emerged with a feeling of elation to see my vehicle again after 12-15km’s of hard slog in extremely steep remote country with rain all day. I was physically drained and it was a bit of a psychological slog as well.

 I made my way cautiously down the slippery mountains tracks engaged in low 4WD having to stop several times to chainsaw fallen trees off the track to continue. I arrived home exhausted late that night with a total of 13 photographs but a very satisfied and clensed soul after being in such pristine remote country.

 In this image I love the stand of Southern Sassafras trees covered in moss and the tree fern reaching out into the mist and forest depths.

southern sassafras

‘ sublime sassafras – velvia 50 ’ 

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~ by Tony Middleton on August 4, 2009.

10 Responses to “sublime sassafras…”

  1. Fanatastic image–from the sound of your effort, I would say that you earned it.

    • I certainly did earn it but more importantly it was about the experience/adventure.

      cheers 🙂

  2. Gotta love the velvia and the greens it picks up, Great shot Tony yet again. 🙂

  3. That is sublime. Certainly has that wilderness feel about it. You are certainly coming up with some beautiful images mate.

  4. sorry havent read the post yet cause im in a lecture! haha
    but this is an awesome image! 🙂

  5. Like it Tony…a lot!!!

    Cheers,

    Mark

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