Friday, July 15, 2011

Tasmania Mt.Field's Tarn shelf.

Looking down on a mountain tarn

Rocky outcrops

Mountains as far as the eye can see

Ideal spot for lunch

Alpine vegetation

Deep water tarn

Wind swept alpine tree

Fagus leaves

Alpine growth a fairy meeting place!

Striding out across the plateau in Mt Field National Park in autumn can be an accelerating experience. Whether stride is the right word or clamber closer to the truth is a matter of opinion. The climb to the snowfields after an hour of rock hopping and odd slide down on your backside encourages a sense of anticipation of what may lie ahead. The gray figures of dead trees trusting  out between the crevice and rocky outcrops bears witness to the harshness of the climate here.

Cabbage plant

Our family has made many pilgrimages to these mountains and tarn shelf, viewing the fagus forest and alpine plants, this is the world of Tasmania's highlands rarely visited by the short term tourist. Try to visit in the autumn when the fagus trees are dressed at their best in soft fading colours. I have  visit in  the depths of winter when the rocky crevices are filled with snow. Once I took a Jamaican artist studying here up there in deep winter, he felt compelled to experience trudging through deep snow. He was so concerned about dying in the cold that he dress himself in my daughter's antarctic all weather suit. I don't know if you have ever seen a black man go red, but I did that day the sight was very amusing especially when he unzipped his jacket and let out enough steam to drive Watt's steam engine.

"Wrapped Landscape"
acrylic on board  Peter Kreet
Now days you are able to walk out on duck boarding with only minor rock  climbing events. The fagus tree is to my knowledge the only deciduous tree in Australia and the walk is well worth the effort. Take your lunch and enjoy the view sitting beside a tarn in this high country. All the plant life up here is very stunted and bent against the wind, so think how lucky you are to be beside a tarn and gazing out across one of the roofs of the world. Finally if you feel like swimming be quick the water is very cold. Once in British Colombia my wife decided to go swimming in a Rocky Mountain lake, she jumped in and out in one movement not unlike a silent movie being played backwards.But  I promise it will freshen you up! I have included the painting above "Wrapped Landscape" so that you can see the relationship between my mountain hikes and visual work.

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