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Vale of Belvoir

Vale of Belvoir

Sunday January 1, 2012

The Vale of Belvoir is a beautiful and environmentally significant region located a short distance from Cradle Mountain in Tasmania’s central north. It’s preservation was called “the Tasmanian conservation triumph of the 21st century” as the valley is filled with rare and endangered plant species and provides home to Tasmania’s dwindling population of Tasmanian Devil and other carnivorous marsupials such as quolls. Quolls used to be common on mainland Australia but now survive in Tasmania due largely to a lack of predators (such as dingoes and foxes) which are common on the mainland.

Eucalypt and Mist in Tasmania's Vale of Belvoir

Eucalypt and Mist in Tasmania’s Vale of Belvoir

The valley contains grassland and buttongrass fields, with patches of eucalypt woodland here and there; as well as dark patches of myrtle beech dominated rainforest.

Dew drops on grass - macro photography

Dew drops on grass – macro photography

As a general rule it is usually very hard and often not very rewarding at all to shoot inside the rainforest on clear sunny days. This morning I awoke early to visit the rainforest before the harsh light of day made shooting difficult and as I made my way back and forth through the forest, eventually the sun rose over a mist filled valley and started to enter the rainforest. This is usually when I decide to put the camera away and move on to discover what the day will bring next but today I lingered and photographed the soft morning light as it made its way into the rainforest. The scene was quite beautiful and it was good to linger and challenge myself to shoot in conditions which were not what I was expecting.

Morning sunlight streams into the Rainforest, Vale of Belvoir

Morning sunlight streams into the Rainforest, Vale of Belvoir

The forest itself was filled with magnificently gnarled old myrtles, the roots of some trees almost looking like a hand hanging on grimly to the earth. Given that it is now summer in Tasmania the area was quite dry, but nevertheless it was great to wander amongst the trees. The dryness meant leech encounters were also down – only 3 or 4 found their way onto my shoes in the hour or so in the rainforest. I am sure that number would explode in the wet months!

Gnarled old Myrtle trees in the Vale of Belvoir

Gnarled old Myrtle trees in the Vale of Belvoir

Back at the tent we were treated to a great late afternoon cloudcover and possibly the best sunset I have ever seen that I didn’t photograph.

Buttongrass fields in the Vale of Belvoir

Buttongrass fields in the Vale of Belvoir

For more information on the Vale of Belvoir see the Tasmanian Land Conservancy or the Nature Photographers of Tasmania.

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