Sunday, 15 April 2007

North West Bay River - 14 April 2007

A nice walk, on a sunny day, is up the bed of the North West Bay River from Betts Rd near Leslie Vale. This is the same spot from which the Cathedral Rock walk starts. You can walk as far as you like, although there some tricky spots as you get higher up, and these become trickier or impassable if the water level is high. It isn't right now. Most of the water is collected at the weir below Wellington Falls for delivery to the Waterworks, so the river is usually quite low. Both sandstone cliffs and dolerite boulders make this an interesting walk, and sitting on a rock in the sun is very relaxing.

North West Bay River - 14 April 2007

North West Bay River - 14 April 2007

Sandstone cliff, North West Bay River - 14 April 2007

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Picton River - 9 April 2007

Took the kids for a walk from Tahune out to the Picton River. They're constructing a new walk, which I think is going to be a loop. There are stopping points a long the way, and at least one viewpoint over the Picton River. The new track terminates at a bridge-site, quite near the confluence of the Picton and Huon Rivers. Looks like they're building a suspension bridge across the Picton. If it's to be a loop walk, they'll need one across the Huon as well. Maybe it isn't a loop. There's a viewing platform already constructed across the Picton on the spit between the two rivers. Anyway, we continued past the bridge site, along the old Huon Track. This terminates, a little confusedly, at the site of the old Picton crossing (1949 walk to Federation described here). Quite picturesque here. Mind you, I don't think there's a lot of forest behind some of the strips of trees that often conceal clearfell from the tourists.Picton River at old crossing site - 11 April 2007

Alex at the Picton River - 9 April 2007

Monday, 9 April 2007

Forestry's belated Easter gift to Tasmanians

Easter Monday was a beautiful day, sunny, clear, warm, breezy. No work! Wonderful, let's go out, do a bit of easy bushwalking with the kids. But wouldn't you know it, FT have taken the opportunity to burn several coupes in the southern forests.

View from Port Huon, Forestry burns - 9 April 2007
The view from Port Huon was pretty ordinary - what was a nice sunny day further north, was dull and smoke-ravaged south of Geeveston. The stiff breeze was blowing the smoke eastwards, and the sky looked awful.

View towards Hartz Mts, obscured by Foresty burns - 9 April 2007
The Hartz Mountains, normally making an attractive view on the skyline were largely hidden by billowing smoke.

Forestry burn close by along Arve Rd - 9 April 2007
Along the Arve Rd towards the Arve River, a coupe was burning behind a fairly narrow band of trees. The smoke was very dense, and when the topmost branches of one of the tallest trees in this photo caught alight, we decided to leave, unsure where the blaze might head next. I'm not sure the trees surrounding "regeneration burns" are supposed to catch alight. It didn't seem to get out of control, but this is very close to the "storm damage" site where a previous burn did get out of control.

And here is Isaac's shot of the fire in the top of the trees. Well done Isaac. This is quite a zoom, sorry for the quality!

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Mt Wellington - 7 April 2007

Snow Berry, Gaultheria hispida - Milles Track, Mt Wellington, 7 Apr 2007

Snow Berry, Gaultheria hispida - Milles Track, Mt Wellington, 7 Apr 2007

South Arm and Cape Raoul from the Milles Track, Mt Wellington, 7 Apr 2007

Nice walk along the Milles track today. The snow berries are very attractive.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Difficulty finding a consultant?

Two of the main contenders for the pulpmill assessment job haven't applied for it. BECA Amec and AF Consulting have turned down the opportunity. They no doubt have their stated reasons, (see also the Mercury story and the one in the Examiner) but quite frankly, this one's a potential minefield for a consultant who cares about their reputation. Our government has shown that it will stop at nothing to approve this mill, and attempt to trash the reputation of anyone who gets in their way. What room might there be for a consultant to submit a report that recommends the mill NOT proceed? The Greens provided part of the wording of the consultants brief, showing how open to abuse of process this could be if the managers of the consultancy within government or the public service demand certain approaches from the consultant. This is a good "opportunity" for these consultants to be too busy doing something else.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

We knew this too...

Erica's finally come clean. The federal government has decided to break its promise to protect forests in the Florentine and Styx valleys, made during the last election campaign - acually they broke it a while ago and have been claiming they hadn't. Obviously it was a non-core promise. Trees don't vote, but workers do, so they've decided they would "save jobs" instead of saving old-growth forests. Now that's explicable at least, but I'm not sure these jobs are going to be saved in the long term, and the trees certainly aren't, once they're gone. On this matter, the government promised to do very little, and has done even less. Wilderness Society media release here.

Mt Wellington - 31 March 2007

Isaac and his new camera, Mt Wellington - 31 March 2007 Isaac and I went for a walk on Mt Wellington, mainly to try out his new camera. Nice sunny day, with a cold wind. Good walk and good views.

Dolerite boulders, Mt Wellington - 31 March 2007
The Rocking Stone, which no longer rocks, Mt Wellington - 31 March 2007 The Rocking Stone stopped rocking a while ago. The boulder forming the plinth is cracked and must have moved slightly. Best not to be on the wrong side of it when it collapses!

Lichens on dolerite,Mt Wellington - 31 March 2007
Dolerite boulders, Mt Wellington - 31 March 2007