Leura falls is one of those areas that pops up in a photo once in a blue moon. I had been to these beautiful falls many years ago without a camera & decided it was high time that I went back and took some photos. It’s one of those locations that does require quite the walk out of the valley, so this keeps most people away. Recently I decided it was definitely time to go out and get a heap more waterfall photos, so I packed up and spent three days immersed in the creeks and streams in the beautiful Blue Mountains, Australia.
During the afternoon I was standing knee deep in water and I looked up to see a group of young tourists just standing there staring at me, obviously thinking, “this guys bloody mad”. It moments like these that I feel truly happy and content with my life…..As the afternoon light descended onto the sandstone cliffs, I tried finding some interesting angles of the falls and surrounding area. I always love the challenge of presenting an area with different and unique angles that I can come up with on the day…..
Cicadas are one of those things that tell us that summer must be on the way. I was completely amazed the other night when I went outside to see heaps of these little guys struggling to get to higher ground in order to shed their skin. Australia has some 237 species of cicadas and I reckon half of them were on my porch the other night. They live for at least a year underground feeding on sap from roots of trees. Upon emergence you can often hear that distinctive hum(some would call it a great racket) in the air….Cicadas tend to live for only a few weeks after years underground.
I can remember walking through different parts of the bush in summer to that almost deafening noise at times. As a young boy with my brothers and friends we would spend summer days trying to capture the elusive “black prince“, where apparently you could take it to the local chemist for money……..never did see any cash for our efforts…..another urban myth we believed. I don’t quite know what attracts me to these curious, noisey critters. Perhaps it’s the alien, like act of bursting out of their body and evolving into something different, or their attention seeking shrieks I hear when I’m walking, I’m just not sure. However I can tell you this, if I do find a black prince in the front yard this summer I’m going straight to the local chemist to get some of that cash……….lol
In Australia we live under the constant threat of bushfires & hence the need for controlled hazard reduction burning on a regular basis to help reduce bushfire severity. It has been a particularly dry winter period so the RFS has been out & about trying to burn as much fuel as possible. Now as a person who doesn’t suffer from asthma, I really enjoy the smokey skies and as a photographer it’s mood heaven for me. Every time I hear that they might be burning in my area I always try and head to some of my favourite spots to grab some of the smokey goodness in the skies & valley’s. Smoke is a really great infuser of colour & light and can really set a scene for some dramatic images come sunset.
I really do appreciate the great work that the RFS and all other departments do in order to keep our homes and livelihoods safer come fire season. The fires came close to where I live only a few years ago and the helicopters did a great job of controlling the blaze as it raced towards businesses and homesteads, via repeated water bombing from the air. So even though fires can wield a terrible destructive force, I also enjoy the beauty they can bring to a landscape as well. New life swiftly follows a burnt out area of vegetation with vibrant greens and reds as the environment quickly adapts after a fire. I hope that this season the fires will burn in habitats that can sustain and re-develop quickly and hopefully leave the smoke far from our doors…
Note: After writing this yesterday I came home today to learn that fires have been burning out of control in the lower Blue Mountains and western Sydney region. My thoughts go out to the people that have already been affected by this seemingly early start to bushfire season. Once again I take my hat off to the brave men & women who risk their own lives to keep the greater community safe. I dedicate this image to them…