As reality takes strange turns of late and the news of it becomes at times unbearable, I like to take breaks to walk alone in the woods, my favorite kind of meditation and coping mechanism, focusing my senses on wildness. When the weather is foul, as it has been frequently of late, I rest occasionally from absurd headlines by reviewing digital photographs of beautiful landscapes captured while traveling. This brings a smile to my face and a glow to my psyche. I heal from the troubling developments for a while, as the images from felicitous trips bring back the heightened awareness I experienced when taking the picture. (I give thanks to my trusty Fujifilm Finepix S1 for reproducing precious moments.)
So in hopes you might feel refreshed by the vistas as well, I’m sharing with you today some landscapes from the island state of Tasmania, 240 km (150 mi) southeast of the Commonwealth of Australia. My husband and I were invited by gracious and very compatible friends to travel with them for the month of April of 2016 to both Borneo and Australia. We didn’t need to be pushed very hard to accept their immensely kind invitation! The time together turned out to be thrilling on most days, educational every day, and beyond stimulating to people who enjoy each other’s individuality while valuing exposure to a wide diversity of cultures, plants and animals.
Tasmania is known for its rugged and vast protected wilderness. At 26,410 sq. miles in area, Tasmania is about the size of the state of West Virginia and a bit bigger than Costa Rica (19,730 sq. miles), where we reside. More than six million acres (2.5 million ha) are under protected status in Tasmania; it is one of the last true wilderness regions on Earth. Because it is an island distant from the mainland, there is a great deal of endemism–unique flora and fauna.
Led by Tonia Cochran, our superbly knowledgeable naturalist guide from Bruny Island in “Tassie”, we two couples covered as much of the countryside as we could in seven days, always enjoying birds, but also going out of our way to learn about plants and to see endemic animals. I will devote another post to them soon.
May these pictures, most with clear, clean water—ever present in and around Tasmania—be a portal of peace for you, too. And may we all strive to protect the last wild places on earth.