After doing the weekly chores about the house there was little time to explore far from home this week. I decided that I could take walk along the southern end of Kewarra Beach and also spent a little time relaxing looking out over the back yard at the wild (and not so wild) life that frequents the place.
I camped up in this country a couple of years ago with my son and his partner. We drove up from Canberra and through the rolling landscape in the middle of summer. The grass was long and glistened in the wind as we drove by. In the distance, the hills took on a blueish tinge and the tarmac shimmered in the heat of the day. We stopped off at one of two slab timber huts that was built around the beginning of the twentieth century; a lonesome looking place where it’s the owner, a man named David Bradshaw, had lived alone for some twenty-eight years before succumbing to the elements at the ripe old age of seventy-nine
We pitched our tents high on a ridge above one of the many lakes that have been formed to provide water to the Snowy River Hydro Scheme. These are deep and cold and are stocked with trout from the trout hatcheries in the area. Clearly a draw for the many fly and spin fishermen keen to get away for a few days of fishing
Plants at this altitude suffer from the harsh conditions that they face all year round; in winter it is snow and ice while the summer brings high temperatures and little rain. As a result, the shrubs are scrubby low growing woody things and the trees that do grow here often have that tortured shape crafted by the wind and cold. Here in the national park the grasses had dried out and gone to seed. It seemed shorter than that which can be seen blowing in the wind as one drove up the Monaro Hiway. Lichens grow well in this climate, clinging as they do to a range of hosts from rocks to tree branches.
I woke early after a sleep interrupted by a squalling storm that threatened to flatten my tent, despite being tucked among large boulders. The sun had come up watery but soon had burned off any effects of the night before and the warmth was pleasant on my back as I took a walk around the hills behind the camp. It seems that the animal life that can be seen up here was made up of those that had been introduced as the only other species I saw was rabbits. Again these little guys have made the most of the wild country and have established large warrens all about the banks and mounds.
A flock of Yellow Crested Cockatoos, with their raucous calls, were checking out the ground for some early morning sustenance. As I came close they flew off with even louder calls as if in the indignation of my presence.
I came across several brumbies as I made my way across the hills. I also discovered a crisscrossing of trails all over the hills where the brumbies had created single file bare-earth tracks as they made their way to and from their favoured feeding grounds
Just a brief post to talk about what I saw in sky this morning. A friend sent me a link about a celestial event taking place in our skies at the moment. Well actually there are two events: one, the its Aquariid meteor shower and, two, the Comet Swan. This is the biggest comet we have had for some time and as it is unlikely to visit again for a few thousand years, I thought I’d get up and have a look.
After a restless night, I dragged myself out and down to the beach. There are few street lights in the village and so light pollution was never going to be an issue.
I set up the gear and watched and waited. At around 5:00am I noticed a fast moving light in the sky. Thinking that its was a satellite I aimed the camera around to pick up a shot. It was then that I noticed another, and another, and another. Pretty soon there were around ten or more all following the same trajectory across the heavens. Too high and fast for a plane, but too low to be on the same altitude as the space station.
To make it even more interesting, these lights seemed to just pop out of the night sky at exactly the same place like emerging from a worm hole in the sky. WEIRD!!!
By the time it was all over, there must have been almost fifty of these lights which headed north by north east and disappeared from view far to the north.
As the sun began to taint the darkness of the sky with a dirty orange haze, the temperature dropped what seemed a dozen degrees. The dawn arrives very slowly at the lower latitudes and the sky took on a golden hue at a snail pace while the cold began to seep into every joint. I had decided to take a time lapse of the day’s awakening but as time dragged on I soon came to regret the decision. My feet were the first to suffer as they quietly stopped letting me know they were still attached. Next came the shins with feeling that a slight tap with a hammer would shatter them like glass. I took to jumping up and down on the sand until I noticed a watcher on the lookout above the beach, no doubt wondering if she should call for the men in white coats.
The answer came later that day after talking with my son. We ruled out planes and space stations and were reluctant to go down the road of UFO’s but with the lack of other evidence there were few other options.
Then a breakthrough in a post from a news outlet in South Carolina who had also seen a photo in a similar vein. It turns out that Space Ex have a huge number of satellites racing around the world bringing us all a broadband service. This morning they just happened across my patch of sky
Another week of self-isolation here in what is likely one of the better places to be if one has to self isolate. It does have it’s limitations though, as it is some distance from anywhere and so the local walks tend to follow the same path. There are only so many kangaroos and sunsets that can be photographed.
That said, I am trying to make sure that I can capture something of interest every day which has two distinct benefits.
1. It gets me out of the house and doing some useful exercise.
2. It gives me an excuse to practice using my new XT-3 camera.
With all of its bell and whistles, it is quite a different beast to the Canon range that I am familiar with. I was sorry that I had to leave Canon but their offering just didn’t stack up in the good, but light mirrorless range. The M50 was close but in low light, it showed too much noise to be able to eliminate enough, and it was just a tad too small for my big hands.
These few photos we’re all I managed for this evening. I hope you enjoy them
Til next time…