“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I steal From all I may be, or have been before, To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”―Byron,
Deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii), or fagus as it is best-known, a humble tree, usually growing to 2 metres or less. You find it in places most would describe as inhospitable. And one of its other names – tanglefoot – is ruefully confirmed by bushwalkers caught up in its twisted, ground-hugging branches. Yet this small Tasmanian tree can claim something few other Australian plants can. It is Australia’s only cold climate winter-deciduous tree, and you will find it nowhere else in the world except Tasmania.
And its autumn display is superb. Fagus turns a spectacular range of autumn colours, from rust red through to brilliant gold, during late April and May.
Pure, icy cold mountain stream. Styx Valley, Tasmania. This part of Tasmania was home to the last of the, now extinct, Thylaccines. It was close to this spot, that these beautiful creatures were hunted for their bounty and also captured and sent to zoos and exhibits around the world. I dream that some thylacines still live in this wild country.