Foggy Morning At The Wetlands

One thing I have always wanted to do is go for a walk in a fog. Some people think I’m weird for wanting to do that, but I think fog is mysterious and very atmospheric. Fog even makes great moody photos.

Launceston can get pretty foggy during winter, but the best fogs are always on days I have to work. Finally I had the opportunity one Sunday morning last winter. I was up early and headed off down to the Tamar Island Wetlands despite it being only 3 degrees.

It didn’t turn out to be thick fog like I was hoping, but it was good enough to have an eerie experience. I only came across one other lone walker, and didn’t see many birds, but I reckon I managed to get some interesting photos.

A feather sitting on top of the water, the river was very still

 

 

 

The only other walker appearing out of the gloom on the jetty

 

 

It was a bonus getting to see a few pademelons!

 

 

Cradle Mountain Day 4 Part 2 – Wombats and Waldheim

Hi everyone, I’m back! 😀

After my last post 6 months ago, I decided to take a break from blogging as I had some issues that required dealing with concerning work as well as a few other personal issues, but I didn’t expect to be away for so long.  But now things are going well again and I feel more motivated to get back into my blog and share my Tasmanian experiences with you.

Even though it has been some time, I thought I would pick up where I left off, continuing my adventure to Cradle Mountain last year.

On this fourth day at Cradle Mountain, I had walked the Cradle Valley Boardwalk (see my last post about that walk here) and then decided to walk from Ronny Creek to Waldheim, and I am so glad that I did!

The short walk to Waldheim led me to the historic Waldheim chalet.

This is a rebuilt chalet originally built by Gustav and Kate Weindorfer in 1912. The Weindorfers are famous for promoting and opening up the Cradle Mountain area for tourists.

Next to the chalet was the Weindorfers Forest walk, a short but enchanting nature trail with lots of tall trees and bright green moss.

 

 

The view at the end of the walk.

By the time I had returned to the Waldheim Chalet, it started to snow!

A bit of snow wasn’t going to stop this waddling wombat I spied from the shelter of the chalet!

I managed to get a good photo of that wombat too, I dashed over to take a photo before it disappeared. How cute is it!!

As I walked back along the track to Ronny Creek to catch the shuttle bus, I saw more wombats!

When I reached my cabin late in the afternoon after a very tiring but enjoyable long walk today, there were a few pademelons hanging around wanting a feed. This one seemed to be pretty hungry! 😀

Not long afterwards, it snowed at my cabin!

I also spotted this cute pademelon sitting out the front of my cabin getting snowed on.

Well, this was such a wonderful day I didn’t think it could get any better. Little did I know what was in store for me the next day! 😉

Cradle Mountain Day 4 – Blissful Solitude

Continuing on with my adventure at Cradle Mountain recently, this day was a great one for walking.

I decided to do the Cradle Valley Boardwalk starting from the Ranger Station and finishing at Ronny Creek seeing as I had already done the last section via Lake Lilla the day before, making it about a 5.5 km walk.

The boardwalk started out in a beautiful mossy green forest then opened up to big skies and wide landscapes.

 

It was raining on and off but it was so quiet. It was really pleasant listening to the occasional bird call and the sound of rain falling softly. It felt like I was in another world.

Every now and then, there would be a short path to a kind of lookout area with a seat to rest on.

There was even a sun shower!

Someone’s home by the boardwalk.

I spent a bit of time at this next spot. I tried to find the source of the unfamiliar birdcalls, but the rain and grey skies made it quite difficult.

I did get a quick video of one bird, but can’t make out what it could be. Anyone got any ideas what it might be?

Back on the main track again and it started snowing! You can even hear a black currawong calling at the end of the video.

I saw quite a few black currawongs along this track today. Here’s just one.

This next bit of the track felt like I was in a ghostly tree graveyard.

 

The track then became more closed in with forest.

Just after I spied a sign saying I was at a spot called Snake Hill (and looking around me wondering if it was appropriately named!) I saw a wombat run across the track in front of me and hide like a statue in the bushes near the track!

And just a few metres on, I saw a very casual Bennett’s wallaby munching grass.

Here he is enjoying his grass.

Not long after, the sun came out and some blue sky appeared. It was amazing how the landscape looked so different.

I crossed a bridge over a river and saw some interesting fungi.

And then I came across an obstacle – a huge tree had fallen on the boardwalk and damaged it quite a bit.

I was only minutes away from my destination of Ronny Creek, so luckily I was able to squeeze under the fallen tree trunk and scramble to the other side. Although, now that I think about it, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea in case the tree moved and fell on me.  🤔

And here’s another black currawong I saw coming in to Ronny Creek. I love the look on his face!

At Ronny Creek, the sun disappeared and it became cold and bleak again.

I really enjoyed trekking the Cradle Valley Boardwalk. There was lots to see, different wildlife, little tracks detouring to the river, it rained, it snowed and was sunny for awhile. It was so peaceful walking on this path, it was blissful solitude. I never saw another person the entire time.

As this is quite a long post, I’ll continue my day’s walking in my next post. I decided to continue the walk from Ronny Creek to Waldheim and finally check out what was there. And it was definitely worth it!

Cradle Mountain Day 3 – Up For A Challenge

Another cold and rainy day at Cradle Mountain, but when you’re on holidays, you still get out there among it and do the things you came to do.

On this day, I decided to do the track to Lake Lilla. My day’s walking involved a start from Ronny Creek to follow the track to Lake Lilla, about 3 km, and then I took the turn off to Wombat Pool, another 1 km, then walked on to Dove Lake, a further 2.7 km.

Walker registration at the Ronny Creek bus stop

I started off from the boardwalk at Ronny Creek revisiting part of the same route I took yesterday, even spying a lone wombat close to the track.

Wombat by the boardwalk at Ronny Creek

I even saw some turbo chooks (native hens). They really do remind me of chickens!

Then I took the turn off to Lake Lilla.

There’s always someone wanting to joke around with signs ….

I spotted this interesting bush along the way, but I don’t know what it is. If anyone knows, let me know.

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As rain showers came and went, the scenery changed along the way. At first, there was lots of button grass along the boardwalk.

Button grass is endemic to south eastern Australia and grows in tussocks in peat, and Tasmania has the largest peatlands in the southern hemisphere (another thing I learnt while on holiday!).

Button grass moorlands

Then suddenly, the boardwalk ended and a track appeared. It became quite narrow. Here it’s less than half a metre wide.

I spotted the occasional banksia tree. One tree had a pair of green rosellas but they took off just as I got my camera out.

This path was not only narrow it was unforgiving. With all the rain, the track was wet and sometimes slippery, and occasionally a tree branch had fallen across the track which required clambering over, very carefully. I was so thankful I had good waterproof walking boots! It was incredibly quiet, just the sound of the rain and the occasional bird call, and the gusts of wind blowing the tops of the trees.

There was plenty of this interesting coral lichen around.

Another type of lichen often seen on trees.

I was beginning to feel this track would never end!

While walking along this track, I was very conscious of the fact that I was out there by myself. There was no internet or mobile phone reception out here. And as I had been walking for ages and still had not come across another person, it could be a very long wait for help if needed. I went slower than usual so I didn’t slip and fall or twist an ankle – didn’t want to ruin my holiday!  I’m glad I registered my walk in the log book at the bus stop. I can see why it’s important to do this, as you never know what can happen.

Finally, I made it to Lake Lilla. I couldn’t see the lake yet but I could hear people’s voices so I started to feel relieved I made it all that way in one piece.

I decided to push on to see Wombat Pool, even though I cringed when I saw this – stairs, and many of them, going up, up  and up!

Just a small section of the never ending steps to Wombat Pool. The rope rail was only for a short section.

I don’t like stairs at the best of times, especially when there are no handrails, so it was a great effort on my part to continue on. The rain kept on coming in waves, and the further on I went, the colder and windier it became.

Looking down from the top onto Lake Lilla.

But I’m sure you’ll agree that view of Lake Lilla was worth the climb!

Wombat Pool. Must be the same joker mucking around with the signs …..

Made it to Wombat Pool! Now to get to Dove Lake and get the shuttle bus back to the cabin for a well earned rest.

I thought going down the stairs would be easy, but it wasn’t, especially with the rain coming down. I stopped to chat with an elderly English gentleman who had walked from Marion’s Lookout, and he had the right idea using walking poles. Note to self – get walking poles before my next trip to Cradle Mountain!

The descent from Wombat Pool

Last look at Lake Lilla just before getting to the Dove Lake car park for the shuttle bus.

Lake Lilla from the walking track to Dove Lake car park

Spotted some pinky-red berries along the way back to the bus. Not sure what they are exactly.

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When I finally made it back to my holiday cabin, I was more than ready to put my feet up and have a rest, but then I heard some birds twittering right out of the front so of course I had to go and have a looksee. There were several tiny little birds flitting about under the bushes right outside the cabin. They moved so fast I couldn’t get any photos, so took some video.

The first one is, I think, a thornbill of some kind. If anyone can identify it for me, it would be appreciated.

And this one is of a different little bird, not sure what this one is, maybe a scrubtit? If you can identify this bird as well for me, that would be great.

Well, this was quite an adventurous day!

Keep an eye out for my next post for more Cradle Mountain adventures! 🙂

 

Random Photos

I recently purchased a new camera, a bridge camera, and I’m really happy with the results I’ve been getting so far, especially as it is more advanced than cameras I’ve used before. So here are some random shots I’ve taken.

Looking up at paperbark trees
Female superb fairy wren – with an attitude!
A male superb fairy wren proving that the early bird does indeed get the worm!
A blackbird – perhaps with a broken beak. Just as he flew off ……
Another one took his place!
Black swans in flight
A silver gull having a sit down
Eurasian coots making a beeline for me!
Random ducks
A peaceful country setting by the river (zoom from my house)
Look Mum – I can walk on water!
Ducks in flight

Black swans are always beautiful to watch.

In a week’s time I am going away on holiday to Cradle Mountain and I’m hoping to get some great photos with my new camera of the wilderness and wildlife there. My work friends have guaranteed I will see plenty of pademelons and wombats! It might even snow!! 🙂

 

Murmurations of Starlings

I’m excited to share a short video I took recently of the amazing flying patterns of starlings known as murmurations.

I only happened upon it by accident one evening as I was near the end of my walk at the Tamar Island Wetlands.  It was totally unexpected, and since then, I have taken my camera with me and tried to get some video of the starlings incredible flying formation. However, it’s difficult because they don’t seem to fly like this all the time, and now as winter approaches, I can’t get there early enough.

 

Amazing isn’t it! I could watch this all day! 🙂

There has to be hundreds of starlings coming in to settle for the night at the Wetlands. It certainly sounded like it when I walked past them! I wonder what they were saying to each other?

 

The European starling (also known as the Common starling) is an introduced and invasive bird here in Australia, but even so, it is a very pretty bird when the sun shines on them exposing their metallic rainbow of colours, and they also have a beautiful song.

European starling (not my photo)

Have you ever seen a murmuration of starlings or any other bird?

 

 

 

A Day With Seahorses, Platypuses and Echidnas

I recently went out to a lovely spot called Beauty Point about 40 minutes drive from Launceston in Tasmania and visited Seahorse World and Platypus House.

Seahorse World was quite interesting and had plenty of seahorses to watch and discover.

There were a number of tanks full of baby seahorses. These were only a few centimetres big.

This is a White’s Seahorse, found in Sydney in Australia.

Here are two expectant fathers.

Here are some Pot Bellied Seahorses being fed brine shrimp.

This is the beautiful Weedy Sea Dragon.

Recently it was news headlines when Seahorse World announced a rare feat – a successful transfer of eggs from the female to the male. This has only been accomplished in captivity a handful of times.

Right next door to Seahorse World is Platypus House.

After a short video on platypuses and an introduction on the animal, we went into a room with a big tank where we got to watch Jupiter, the only male platypus there. He is 11 years old.  The guide fed him some food, including a yabby. Here is a video of Jupiter feeding and swimming around.

We were then ushered into another room where there were 3 tanks, each having a female platypus. The guide fed all three so we could watch the platypus feed and swim around. Here is a video of a female called Poppy.

I could watch her all day, it was so relaxing.

The last leg of the tour was a visit to the Echidna Garden, where three echidnas roamed the garden amongst our feet. What a treat!

Here is a video of an echidna eating. Check out their long pink tongue!

Here is a cute moment with the guide.

And here is a video of the echidnas wandering around among us.

This was a great day out and I recommend a visit to Seahorse World and Platypus House if you ever visit Tasmania. It gives you the opportunity to view some unique animals up close and learn about them.