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Autumn in Tasmania: Fagus Mt Field

Autumn in Tasmania means one thing – the turning of the fagus. Mt Field is the most accessible place to view the autumn display of Tasmania’s Fagus (Nothofagus gunii) which is a Tasmanian endemic tree, and Australia’s only native deciduous tree – meaning unlike the eucalypts and rainforest species which keep their leaves green all year round, the mountains of Western Tasmania are ablaze with shades of orange and yellow each autumn.

Autumn in Tasmania: Fagus at Lake Fenton, Mt Field National Park

A fagus bush on the shore of Lake Fenton, Mt Field

It is a great tree to photograph, not just in a landscape setting, but as a subject for abstract and macro images as the brightly coloured and tiny leaves contrast with the grey branchlets, many of which may have already dropped their leaves.

Fagus at Lake Fenton, Mt Field National Park

Autumn fagus, Mt Field

Mt Field National Park has two main viewing areas – one is on the Tarn Shelf , and the other is in the Lake Fenton & “Woodland Walk” area, around half way from the park entrance to Lake Dobson. At Lake Fenton last week the fagus was well on the turn, although there were still a fair amount of green leaves, meaning the colour will probably last at least another week or so.

Fagus at Lake Fenton, Mt Field National Park

Frosted fagus leaves at Lake Fenton

Fagus really is a great subject to photograph with a shallow depth of field, as the layers of coloured leaves, or stark grey branchlets make for a beautiful backdrop to the fine details of the “folded” or even “potato chip” appearance of the leaf. I visited very early in the morning one day last week, arriving just on sunrise, and caught a minor frost before it melted, which made macro images even more fascinating, as the detail in the ice became apparent.

Frosted fagus, macro detail

Frosted fagus, macro detail

Photography Tours and Workshops Tasmania

I run a one day photography tour to Mt Field National Park. It is a full day outing which also includes a visit to the giant trees of the Styx Valley. Full details are on my photography tours page.

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About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.