Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It sure rains in the wilderness

We blame the weather for many things but it is the weather – a temperate climate and high rainfall which has resulted in the luxuriant growth of this virtually impenetrable area of wilderness.
The West Coast Wilderness area of Tasmania records 2 to 3 meters of rain a year. In winter there is snow on the surounding mountains but on some days in summer the temperature can soar to 100 degrees.
When you walk through the wilderness forests on the banks of the Gordon River, you only have to touch the trees or ferns to realise that they are perpetually wet. The ground is never dry and the water in the gurgling streams is golden brown from the plant tannins.
The undergrowth is a tangle of ferns and bushes and canopy above is made up of tall straight-growing trees, blackwood sassafras and myrtle, their trunks encrusted in strange plate-like fungi.
It’s is no wonder few convicts escaped from Sarah Island and those who did never made it out of this unforgiving wilderness.
Pics: Tannin stained streams. Impenetrable undergrowth

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