Weekend Wanderings – National Parks Lighting Up
Last Sunday while I was still in the Mallee I was taken out by my friend Ted, who introduced me to a new friend, Lyn. It is always good to go out with friends and take photos. We had originally planned to go to a particular spot, but there were too many fires there, so we decided to give it a miss this time and head to Patchewollock and the Wyperfeld National Park and to see some of Ted’s friends at the Pine Plains Lodge in the Park.
We had heard that there had been fires there, but as we drove in could see no sign of them. We stopped at the lodge and spoke to Susan who told us that the fires had got very close to them, but were all around the west and north of them. She said Snowdrift, a massive sand dune near them had been affected by the fires. We decided to head there first.
I showed some photos of this once before, click here if you want to see what it did look like. The first time I was went was very different to this time. We did climb up to the top, but the view was a little different to the last time I was there.
This time there was black every where, and you could see smoke in the distance where fires were still burning. It was really shocking to see. You can see smoke from two separate fires there, and there was another one with a lot more smoke burning just west of us.
You really shouldn’t go into parks just after this happens, and it is not something I would normally do, but I I had to get some photos for someone, so it was important. I made sure that I was with someone who knew where they were and wouldn’t take risks. Though as I was taking the following photo Adrian from Pine Plains Lodge drove up.
I know you have seen that image before, but I was trying to get this when Adrian showed up and offered to drive us around to see the devastation. Adrian lives there and knows the area really well, so it was great to get shown around.
If you look carefully you can see a Kangaroo jumping away from us in this image. We saw so many of them. They are disoriented from the fires, and no doubt hungry and thirsty.
We tend to think of only human homes that get destroyed, but many birds and animals lose their homes in fires too. An Eagle’s nest, that has been destroyed when the tree fell.
I have spoken of this before, how it can burn some things, but not others, look above and the golden untouched strip in between the areas that were burned.
Adrian was a fantastic tour guide and you got so much more than just information about the fires. I love meeting people who love and respect the land that they inhabit. Adrian has done a lot of research, even back to the indigenous people who once roamed over the land. We heard about a lake there that hasn’t had water in it since 1853, and how near the lake was a gathering place for the indigenous people, and how they would all meet up there. I would like to thank Adrian from Pine Plains Lodge for showing us around. I know I enjoyed it.
Taking photos was easy, really, it was just a matter of pointing somewhere, because everywhere there were shots. I had my camera set on a low ISO and the aperture was pretty much on f/9 the whole time. I used my 24-70mm lens on the Nikon D800. The only real problem I had taking photos was the flies. There were millions of them, really. I don’t think I have ever seen flies that bad before, I hated that part. and in many of my images there are blurred little black things, yes, flies who flew in front of the camera. Kind of annoying.
I have some more photos for you now and will put them in a gallery. No words with them, silence really, that is how it is after a fire, there seems to be a silence. Though see if you can spot the Eagle sitting high in a tree.