Hellyer Tributary Falls ii C-E 2019

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.

Hellyer Amphitheatre Falls (= Hellyer Tributary Falls C)

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.

Hellyer Tributary Falls D and E

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.

Hellyer Tributary Falls D and E

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.

Mycena interrupta (from first visit)

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.

Hellyer Tributary Falls i D-F 2019

As I set out for home heading west, the Hellyer Tributary Falls were only one of several options in my mind, but somewhere along my journey, I decided it was the one for the day. I had researched these falls a short while ago, and thought I had the information in my phone.

Hellyer River Tributary

Alas, when I parked and went to retrieve the exact location of these falls, I discovered the area has no mobile coverage, and that I thus couldn’t open the message that contained their whereabouts. I was faced with three little tributaries, any one of which could contain the object of my quest.

Hellyer Tributary Lower Cascades (Falls F)

I thought I remembered them being on the right hand one, but was not at all confident. Off I set through magically lush forest. At first there was a pad, and some pink ribbons, but I got dumped by both, and forged my own way along the creek. After 14 minutes, I came to a nice little cascade, which I photographed (now called retrospectively, Falls F in the group, just for those counting), and another few minutes beyond that, reached the double waterfall (that I have now labelled “falls D and E”), depicted below. I loved the second of this duo-drop.

Hellyer Tributary Falls D and E

Were they the falls I was actually seeking? They didn’t really quite fit my memory, so I was unsure and pushed on. The river became very choked at this stage. I went to where I had a bit of a view ahead, which contained no falls, so decided that either what I had photographed was my goal, or that the falls lay on the right fork of the other offshoot. I took a higher route through the forest to go a bit further, and explored for a bit, but that creek was very cluttered with fallen rubbish, so turned around at that point.

mycena interrupta having a family Easter gathering

I had seen lots of fungi, so decided I would prefer to photograph fungi in my remaining time than flounder around searching for something when I had insufficient information. The fungi were fabulous: my favourites: mycena interrupta. But oh, they are so winzy small that they are very challenging to shoot. Ini the mud I rolled, providing excellent fodder for investigative leeches.

mycena epipterygia
mycena interrupta

After I finished and had set out for home, I once more entered mobile land, and was able to see my original hunch was correct, but that I hadn’t, in fact, gone far enough, and that the falls I really wanted were higher up: hence my label of the ones I did find as “D, E and F”. At that stage I felt satisfied with my catch for the day and continued the drive home. I have saved other treats for a later occasion. (Obviously, from the lettering, you can see that I found  lot more later.)