The purpose of this, my second trip to the Hellyer Gorge, was to add to my collection of waterfalls along the Hellyer Tributary, …. and, well, let’s face it, to revisit Hellyer Heaven – for that it is. This area is oozing green lushness in a prolific way. It feels as if you can see the tiny mycena and marasmius fungi growing as you watch, spreading sidewards as they multiply like flowing water. It was terribly hard to tread anywhere, as everywhere seemed to contain dozens of fungi. As it was, I kept apologising to moss and lichen if I thought I’d squashed them. I hate disturbing a single piece. Stephen, who had said he’d like to accompany me, must surely have thought me mad. Who apologises to plants? Me.
Where are my fungi photos? I didn’t take one!!! Time was limited, and I knew if I began lying on the wet ground to start photographing, I wouldn’t stop, and I would not see my waterfalls. (Even so – that is, even without lying on the ground to get fungi in focus – I felt nasty wet squelches whilst driving home, and had to stop now and then to remove a leech a toss it out the car window. Next morning, I found a desiccated one on my duvet cover!). The fungi are there in my mind, crowding the ground with their sweetness, causing my mind to be several steps behind my feet as it lingered longer than my body did in any one spot.
On on. This time, rather than following the river, I climbed almost to the top of the northern hill, and then dropped down east to here I had waymarked the presence of “Falls A”. It was very exciting to hear the waterfall, and then see its white splash through the trees. Bingo.
As I drew level with the first attractive fall, my attention was diverted by a huge drop lower down. Perhaps a little impetuously, I rushed to see what was hidden by that manifest disappearance of land into a huge space (thus completely ignoring a very beautiful waterfall). I followed the bank along and down, dropping steeply and markedly to the base of the mossy amphitheatre. I was like a Hamlin rat, mesmerised by the cozening tune of the Pied Piper, and dreamlike, didn’t stop until I had reached the marvellous base. Had I ever seen so much moss in one spot before? Top waterfall forgotten, I dug out my camera, tripod and filters from my bag, and began interacting creatively with the beautiful scene in my gaze.
This was an area that compelled me to sing. I sat and sang and photographed and was completely fulfilled. Tessa sat beside me and planted little kisses on my neck. She likes me singing. Stephen joined us, made his own shots, and on we moved to the next falls I could find, which possibly made better photos, but did not move me as much as the mossy amphitheatre.
Unfortunately, we overstayed our welcome here a little, and I missed my coffee treat at the conservatory outside LaTrobe that I had been looking forward to. Oh well. Next time. I have to go back yet again to photograph the waterfall I ignored as I rushed down to see what lay at the other end of that massive drop. It’s good to have an excuse to return.