“Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day”.
W. Earl Hall
And who am I to argue with that...
On a glorious perfect spring day, I found myself in the Blue Mountains on a photography workshop. Once the full day formalities of class were over, you take that step outside and realise the rest of the day is yours for the taking. The air is beautiful, the sun feels incredible on your skin, my camera is practically shouting at me to get going and snap some beauty.
Saturday late afternoon, we took a hike en route to the Wentworth falls lake. Hiking through beautiful vegetation, deep into the forest. Words could barely describe the wonders of nature. I couldn’t get over the smell of the earth, that beautiful deafening silence followed by the crunching of leaves. The array of green tones and textures and bark. My excitement probably something akin to a kid in a toy store, wanting to touch, inspect, smell, but sadly had to limit my explorations and keep up with the group.
Sunday morning, I decided to break away from the group and venture alone at my own pace to explore the town. First stop, the National Park for a 2 hour hike up to the Wentworth Falls. And it got off to an interesting start with about 150 stairs. Which took you to the first look out point (below). For a sneak peak looking out directly at the falls. Nothing spectacular by far. But the feeling of standing there looking out to amazing vastness was just incredible. And so the hike begins along the left side all the way to the falls.
Over boulders, under fallen tree trunks, squeezing through overgrown paths, fighting with spiderwebs. It was sublime. Painful, hot, tiring with all your camera equipment, but so wonderful. And that feeling when you arrive, standing above the falls, that elated gust of water that almost blows you over with such incredible force. That jolt of aliveness that kicks in was truly amazing. As you're standing there on the edge of the cliff taking photos, every few minutes, a vortex of wind would rise high above you and kick up a mass of water to come showering down on you. There's no where to hide and so you shield your camera into your body and brace yourself. And it's wonderful. Freezing cold, but wonderful.
Eventually I had to tear myself away and make my way back, so I never finished the hike that would essentially take you directly behind the falls. I had a whole town to still explore, but it was an amazing experience.
Next stop the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge in the lower Blue Mountains. I was told that the gardens are beautiful and defiitely worth a visit. And what better time to visit than Spring. Upon arrival, you feel like you're stepping back in time. It's a beautiful old estate, completely hidden by the main road. The old stone walls, immaculate gardens and a little path that takes you down to a cozy cafe and their delicious freshly baked scones.
After lunch I took a stroll through the gardens. You're in awe at the beauty around you. Lavender bushes stand out against the blue sky, the wisteria paths calling out to you, beautiful statues litter the grounds, wonderful old trees with wooden benches beneath them, inviting you to sit down and admire the scenery. It's perfectly picturesque.
I remember getting caught up near the lavender, mesmerised by the constant activity of bees. And naturally hoping to get a really good close up his face, hopefully looking at me, but no, this little bugger just wouldn’t hover long enough for me to zoom in and focus. Notice, he's never quite looking at me, the only constant view I kept getting was the beautiful rear end of this little one. Yes, he probably knew I was standing there all that time, with my lens practically shoved in his face, patiently waiting. Getting back ache in the process, bending over in a not so comfortable position.