camping

Last week Slabs, Juniordwarf and I went camping at Mt Field National Park.

We really love going there, and it’s been the subject of several previous posts (examples here and  here). It’s wonderful to be so close to such a beautiful place, so peaceful and so far removed from the rest of our lives.

I’ve already told the story of how Zoe went swimming on our walk to Russell Falls. Here are some photos to tell the rest of the story.

Slabs and Junordwarf did some fishing
Lake Fenton, where we had hoped to see a glorious sunset, but it wasn’t to be

The amazing colours of these trees almost made up for the lack of a sunset

They were beautiful trees
Pandani on the Urquhart Track near Lake Dobson
Eagle Tarn
Mt Field from Maydena

Russell Falls
A grateful Juniordwarf and Zoe after the great rescue
Juniordwarf is getting the hang of using the camera
Tyenna River, right where we camped
Tall trees at dusk. They really are massive!

We had only intended to stay for two days, so we weren’t too put out when we were told on the Thursday night we would have to leave by 9 am the next morning as they were closing the park due to the forecast high temperatures (forecast 39 degrees, it actually reached 41 in Hobart) and strong winds, combined with the fact that there was a bushfire relatively nearby.

It seemed impossible to imagine, in the cool and still of the evening, that such conditions could eventuate. But eventuate they did, and not long after we got home, the sun came out, the clouds disappeared and Tasmania sweltered and burned.

Late on Friday afternoon, the sky around town looked like this

from the fire that had prompted the precautionary closure of the park. It was nowhere near us, but it was still a fearsome sight. In the following days we heard of heartbreaking losses from communities around the state, especially around the Tasman Peninsula.

Today it is a lot cooler, even though the rest of Australia had its turn for record temperatures, but the fires are still burning and everyone is hoping for some relief very soon.

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Trout Weekend

 We’ve just returned from a weekend at Liawenee in Tasmania’s Central Plateau. Apparently it is the coldest place in Tasmania. Clearly somewhere you really want to go heading into winter . . .

We went for the Inland Fisheries’ annual Trout Weekend, which is held at IFS’ Field Station, near Great Lake. We decided that rather than drive up and back in a day, we’d stay up there overnight, so it was a nice weekend getaway.

Among the things to see and do was the angling pool, where kids could catch trout; watching trout being stripped of eggs (a very strange thing to see); and helicopter rides, which we decided at the last minute to do, because it’s not an opportunity that you get every day.

It was a fun weekend and, although it was cold and there was some snow on the ground, it wasn’t as freezing as we’d expected. Today was a beautiful, clear sunny day, perfect for our helicopter ride.

Juniordwarf was very excited to catch a fish from the trout pool, and was even more excited when he got a certificate (he’s highly motivated by certificates at the moment). He thought it was great to catch a fish that he could eat for dinner – only once it was on his plate, he said he didn’t like it and filled up on carrots instead.

For the record, the trout was 35 cm long and weighed 600 grams. Not a huge trophy fish, but perfect for the three of us.

On the way home, we stopped to have a look at the Steppes Stones, which are some wonderful sculptures by Stephen Walker in the middle of the bush.

Great Lake at Miena – trying out the AutoStitch Panorama app on my phone

Great Lake at Miena

Great Lake Hotel, where we stayed

Juniordwarf was fascinated by the egg stripping

IFS officer talking about egg stripping

Juniordwarf and his fish

Near Liawenee

Helicopter ride

Helicopter ride

View of Great Lake from the helicopter

Helicopter ride

We stopped to look at the fantastic Steppes Stones on the way home

The Steppes Stones by Stephen Walker

The Steppes Stones

Country road, take me home . . .  (outside Bothwell)

Week in review

So I’m not doing a photo and a post a day, but I still need to keep track of what’s been happening so that I can keep up to date with my 2012 Project Life album and don’t get five months behind like I did in 2011. The main point of me doing that project is so I can remember what all the photos I take are of, and why I took them.
Having said that, one thing I want to do this year is put the camera away sometimes. I think know there have been times when I’ve been so focused on taking the perfect photo of something that I’ve missed out on fully experiencing the moment at the time.
That seems a little ridiculous – if the moment is that fantastic it will live on in my memory without a photo (or at least without the perfect photo, and certainly without 10 or 20 photos), and what point is the photo if I didn’t really experience the event?*
So . . . I need to give myself permission to not capture everything and to not feel guilty about not doing it. I don’t need a picture of every little thing Juniordwarf does, I don’t need to record everything I do. I need to do it.
The photo a day concept is great, and it provides a time capsule of what my life was like over a relatively short time, which I think will be cool to look back on in years to come. But it is incredibly time consuming – even with the simple approach in Project Life – and I don’t want to spend my whole life catching up on recording things, rather than actually doing things.
One of my friends suggested a weekly approach, rather than a daily approach, might work well for this year.
I’m going to give that a go and just do one post with highlights of the week. That doesn’t mean I won’t post at other times during the week on other things, like Project Life or my struggle to beat my demons (because we all know that you love reading that stuff), but for the stuff that caught my eye during the week, I’m going to try and stick to one post.
So, here’s a selection of photos for the week:
(Monday) We went to Russell Falls.
This will make good topic for Sunday Selections on Sunday. (I think Kim is still running it. I haven’t done one of those posts for a while.)
(Tuesday) Juniordwarf made a person out of his salad – cucumber slices for the body and head, carrot sticks for the arms, legs and ears, and lettuce for the hair. He then ate the person piece by piece, from the bottom up, and every time he picked up a piece, he said ‘looking at the person now!’
I lied. There isn’t a photo for this moment.
(Wednesday) I went back to work. I was dreading it because the previous two days had been really hot and I don’t own any hot weather work clothing. Fortunately a cool change came through and I didn’t need it. There was a stunning rainbow over the mountain on my first day back.
(Thursday) The bus got stuck in roadworks at Granton. This is the scene from the window.
(Thursday) Juniordwarf had been asking for a Harry Potter book for ages and he was really expecting to get one for Xmas. I suggested it might be better to get it from the library so he could see if he really wanted it before he went out and bought it. It arrived at the library and he was so excited about it he couldn’t wait until Slabs came back to the car to start reading it. 
Slabs and I started reading it to him but he didn’t want to hear it. When I put him to bed he said he’d read the book to his teddy after I turned out the light. It seems like he tried to do exactly that.
(Thursday) Slabs and Juniordwarf picked me up from the bus stop and we went down to the Esplanade so they could go fishing and we could have dinner outside. It’s a shame the weather wasn’t particularly pleasant (what a change earlier in the week), but still it was a lovely thought from Slabs for us to do something a bit different, and it was a really nice way to spend the rest of the afternoon.
(Today) We went for a drive on a road we’ve never been on before.
* This the point where the camera addict acknowledges that her husband has said this to her on more than one occasion.

P365 – Day 294 – camping day 2 (21/10/2011)

After a night of very little sleep, courtesy of a range of factors, including the ever-so-comfortable single air mattress, the party music and late night outbursts from our fellow campers and, quite possibly, some members of our party being rabid snorers*, it was nice to wake up in the fresh air to the sounds of happy birds.

Slabs suggested that at least one of these factors could be eliminated by camping** in the actual bush. (Reference to yesterday’s post.)

Coffee was necessary.

Serious camp coffee!

Today was a day of packing up and fishing before heading home. We decided that it really would have been better to have stayed the extra night. It’s a lot of trouble to go all that way and set up the tents only to have to take it all apart again the very next day.

We went back to the same spot we were in yesterday, and had as much luck as we had yesterday.

Nive River near Wayatinah

Power line – hydro country

Wayatinah Lagoon
Wayatinah Lagoon
Juniordwarf had fun. He fished


 He paddled




And he practised blowing bubbles like he does at swimming. 

Interesting.
By the time we’d had enough of fishing, we were too late to get any lunch on the way home.
We’d planned on going to the Two Metre Tall Farm Bar later in the afternoon anyway, so we ended up going there for a very late lunch and a few ales.

Forester!


Jack fell down and broke his crown . . .


Picking up the spent spelt


Off to feed the spent spelt to the beef.
Does anyone else see the Pied Piper resemblence?
A lovely end to a great couple of days.
*Lil Sis has often recommended that I adopt the practice of using ear plugs at night since I find it so hard to get to sleep when it’s noisy. I’ve constantly rejected the idea because I find them so uncomfortable that I can’t get to sleep anyway. She tells me that it’s easier to get used to the discomfort than it is to get used to the noise. I have a feeling I might have to give in . . .

** We’ve decided that “camping” is what you do when you are in the bush and there are no actual facilities. So what we did was “tenting”.

P365 – Day 293 camping day 1 (20/10/2011)

Slabs and I had been talking about going camping* for a while, but we weren’t sure when we wanted to go or where.

Today was Hobart Show Day holiday, and like a lot of other people, we decided to take advantage of this by taking tomorrow off work as well to give ourselves an extra long weekend.

Since the weather has warmed up, we thought it would be a good time to go on the much-discussed camping trip. We asked Lil Sis and Mr Tall if they wanted to come, and they were keen to try out their new tent, so they were in too.

Originally we’d thought we’d go for two nights, but then we did the nappy calculation and realised that tonight was going to be Juniordwarf’s last nappy. The thought of dealing with a wet sleeping bag in the middle of nowhere if he had any accidents filled us with enough dread to make us opt for only one night.

We decided to go to Wayatinah, which is about half-way between Ouse and Tarraleah on the Lyell Highway. It’s the site of the Wayatinah Power Station, and the caravan park and camp ground  is right next to the Wayatinah Lagoon on the River Derwent.

The camp site is a lovely big area, bordered by the bush, and we picked a relatively secluded spot right at the end.

Much entertainment was to be had as the tents were erected, with Juniordwarf attempting to go inside at every opportunity before the tent was actually up. He was very excited about the whole deal, as it was only his second time in a tent, the first time being last year when we ‘camped’ in our friend’s backyard.

He decided that he was going to sleep in between me and Slabs, so the only decision to be made was who was going to sleep on the queen airbed with Juniordwarf and who was going to sleep on the single one. Hmmm, I wonder who drew that short straw?

Can you guess which is the three-person tent and which is the two-person tent?

Once the tents were up, we settled into the serious business of cooking lunch – only to find we’d left the gas bottle at home, so we needed to find a public BBQ to use. Luckily there were a couple near the lagoon, so while lunch was being prepared Juniordwarf headed off to make friends with a local dog and her owner.

 The lady insisted that Juniordwarf wasn’t being any bother, but I hate to think what she made of his stories about various previous budgies staying in the cage when the door was left open, dying, flying away and dying yet again. ‘You haven’t had much luck with them,’ was her comment at one point.

Indeed.



After lunch the boys went off to get a new gas bottle – as Lil Sis and Mr Tall needed one anyway, they figured they might as well get one now and then they’d have one for themselves.  They ended up having to go back to Ouse. Lil Sis and I stayed at the campground in the rain.

Once that had been sorted, and we’d played the obligatory game of Qwirkle (which I lost), we went for a drive to the other side of the lagoon for a fish, which was the main purpose of the trip. 







We had no luck, although I understand a stick was caught, which Juniordwarf was very excited about, because he thought he heard someone say that they’d caught a fish.

Never mind. There’s always tomorrow.
* I am yet to be convinced of the merits of camping in the actual bush where there are no ‘facilites’, so our discussions focused on which campgrounds had which facilities and how much it was all going to cost.