In a public lecture in 1861, he went so far as to declare that trees have rights (echoing, for me, the words of Goethe who wrote about “die Rechte der Natur” [the rights of nature] and Blake who opined that “everything that lives is Holy”). Further, he argued that trees are “a gift entrusted to us” during our short stay on earth and that we have a responsibility to pass them on to the next generation “as an unimpaired property”.
It is fitting that he has been given a mountain in Tasmania (he climbed Mt Wellington whilst here, no mean undertaking in those days). He also has mountains named after him in QLD, NT, WA and on an island in the north Atlantic, a mountain range in New Guinea, a glacier (and a lovely hut) in NZ and a waterfall in Brazil, as well as plants that bear his name, such as Boronia muelleri that grows in my garden.
There is a very visible track with pink ribbons leading from where the Abels book tells you to park. Said track is overgrown, requiring goose-stepping so as not to trip on horizontal arms of bauera, but it’s there, and marks the easiest way through the tangle. After 30 minutes of battling this (and mud), the vegetation changes, as does the gradient, and the remaining 30 mins to Fossil Lake are easier to travel. Don’t look forward too much to the lake. I can’t think of a lake that I find less attractive. Although natural, it resembles an artificial dam with the dead trees and mud around its circumference, legacy of a previously higher water level. (In terms of measured moving times, the lake represents the half-way mark to the western – real – summit).
After the lake, the pad becomes very narrow (a human foot wide), but still easily visible until you reach the eastern summit of the mountain. From there its presence is patchy, but you don’t need it: all you do is stay high and enjoy the views and the pleasant ramble along the tops of the eastern high section that curves around and then descends to a saddle, after which there is a final scramble (which has cairns every now and then – they’re not needed either) to the top.
The view from both summits was expansive with innumerable mountains and ridges and ranges to be admired. Unfortunately for photography, the day was rather hazy, outlines not sharp and the lighting was flat. I hadn’t even bothered taking up my full-frame camera, but that was mostly because I was expecting it to rain in the afternoon. It held off, a favour for which, considering my pet virus which is still an unwanted bodyguest, I am extremely grateful.
Mosley, Geoff, Natural for World Heritage, Appendix C