This is Living


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Published: August 21st 2015
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Caroline, froze her backside off for this photo and all its cost us is a new Canon Lens that she now wants
I checked my watch it was 3am on the nose, despite having set my alarm for 5am subconsciously I did not want to oversleep this morning as we were meeting Mark down at the Lodge to head up to Dove Lake for the Sunrise.



The weather conditions were meant to be a perfect high this morning, apparently they only get this specific weather pattern every couple of years, but this year it should be the second time.



Eventually my alarm went off, I set it to snooze, then 15 minutes later Andy got out of bed to put the kettle on. I stayed in bed a while longer before getting ready. I had prepared everything last night, including my clothes so I did not have to think.



Except we couldn't find the car keys and must have spent 15 minutes turning the cabin upside down looking for them, eventually we found them under one of our cases, I have no idea how they got there, but at least we found them!



At 6.15 we arrived at the Lodge, a few minutes later Mark arrived and we were soon on
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Mark and Caroline setting up their gear for an early morning photo shoot I set up my camera equipment, well I took it out of my pocket and turned it on!!
our way to Dove Lake, the roads were not too bad this morning, a bit icy in patches, we are sure that the roads will open up to 2 wheel drive later.



Arriving at the Lake it looked stunning as always with Cradle Mountain as the backdrop, a few cars were in the car park, they were fairly iced up so no doubt belonged to some walkers who were on the overland track.



The light was coming up fairly quickly, but we still had time for a cup of hot coffee before trudging through the now icy snow to the edge of the lake. Andy went for a wander hoping to see some wildlife, while Mark and myself set up, I took a series of photos and then moved to a better location, I was being picky because of the ice and I did not want to slip up, but found a great spot and carried on shooting (the only type of shooting I do is with a camera).



There is a cold wind (about 7kph) this morning, standing around this is going to get quite uncomfortable. I am wearing a
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Clouds over the Cradle
thermal long sleeve top, with a t-shirt, a fleece and a huge coat on over the top, but as we spent time looking for the car keys, I forgot to put on an extra pair of socks. My toes felt like solid blocks of ice, my fingers, despite my fleecy gloves were at dropping off point and fortunately I had a fleece headband which covered my mouth and nose.



Because of the wind, there were ripples on the lake, not the best of conditions, it would have been perfect if the water was still so that it acted as a mirror for Cradle Mountain, the cloud had also come in, not enough to cover the cradle but did cast some interesting light. The promised weather pattern was not happening.



I must mention that I think Mark Walsh (aka Tinnieopener) is an amazing photographer, he has been living on this mountain for near enough 7 years and every time I see one of his photos of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, they are awe inspiring, no words can describe how stunning and how perfectly he captures the moment, how many different photographs can you get
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Clouds over the Cradle
of the same scene? Mark and Clare run Fagus Week (I will explain Fagus later) up here every April, popular with photographers from all over the world, I make a promise to myself that we should come one year.



The sun was up, we were frozen, it was time to pack up and head back, for me and Andy we had a hearty breakfast in the warmth of the Lodge to look forward to, but for Mark it was back to work.



We had a chat with a fellow photographer (Laurie) back in the car park, he popped up from Ulverstone for a few shots and then to drive home again, about an hour each way. Now that's dedication for you.



Back in the car, the heater was on and we admired more stunning views on the way back, the snow was glinting in the sunshine of the new day, nothing short of spectacular.



Mark dropped us at the Lodge and then we headed in for breakfast, the waitress put us by the fire, we grabbed some hot coffee to hug but even that did not warm us
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Early, morning on Cradle Mountain
up straight away. Scrambled eggs, bacon and hash brown went down very well, then it was back to the cabin to look through some photos and an easy morning.



Earlier I had booked myself in for a massage in the Waldheim Spa, so at 12.00 I made my way down through the still snowy and icy paths, the sun was shining, the day was so beautiful. The massage was amazing a full hour of bliss



I had left Andy back in the cabin, I think he was really taking things easy today, he was in the same place as when I left him. But we are on holiday and all my suggestions of going for a walk didn't hit the mark, it was a day of doing nothing.



No matter because at 4.00 Mark called, him and Clare were heading out to the lake for the sunset, the conditions were meant to be better than this morning, I was ready in a few minutes but as it wouldn't be quite so exciting for Andy to stand around while the 3 of us took photos he stayed behind in the warmth of our cabin.



Driving down to the Lake the wombats seemed to be blotted around the snowy countryside, constantly in search of food, they don't really seem perturbed by the snow at all, but the button grass is showing through more now the snow is melting.



We arrive at the lake and set up, some cloud has formed so we may not get good results, but as for Dove Lake, there is not a ripple in sight! The reflection of Cradle Mountain is absolutely stunning. Both Mark and Clare also shoot with Canon and fortunately for me I actually learned something new about my camera which may go someway to improving my landscape pictures and how I use a tripod. I am very clumsy when it comes to the tripod so I tend not to use it much, but I feel I have a renewed interest. Not to mention that I now have another lens added to my shopping list.



Mark had leant me a different lens for my camera this morning, it was pretty amazing but he was using it himself this evening and I could really see the difference in
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Early, morning on Cradle Mountain
our landscapes. The wider angle lens at 16mm (my limit was 24mm) just drew your eyes into the picture where it had that much more depth.



There were a couple of other photographers around, and some young travellers, we were all waiting for the same thing, the onset of sunset and ever hopeful for an array of colours across the scenery, but one of their friends ran up and threw stones into the lake, a few angry voices were raised (including from their friend who was trying to take a decent photo) as an array of ripples were sent across the lake and ruining the pristine mirror image of the mountain. I think they would have ended up in the lake themselves had it not risked causing more ripples at the wrong moment!



Give them their due, they did apologise, obviously not realising how important a moment this was for some of us. But this is a difficult situation really it is a free country and Mark told me the story that one evening the conditions were perfect and a canoeist came down and plopped his canoe into the ripple free lake which changed everything and that upset a photographer, but like the canoeist said "It is a free country" and he was entitled to canoe in the lake.



I pondered for a while, how lovely it was to be standing here watching this sunset and this stunning view, "This is Living".



Well, we had sunset, it still produced reasonable results but not quite as expected, it was soon time to head back to the lodge and grab a glass of wine or two, I called Andy to let him know when we where pulling into the car park, he appeared 5 minutes later.




We discussed the possibility of coming back for Fagus Week 2016, Fagus is the Deciduous Beech, Australia's only cold climate deciduous tree. Fagus week relates to the spectacular array of colours they produce in the late Autumn, a good time of year for photographers to capture the amazing colours at Cradle Mountain.



We had a great catch up with Mark and Clare, but they had to leave to go and feed the dog and we grabbed some dinner then headed back up to the cabin, unfortunately 3 glasses of Merlot took its toll on me, along with the pre dawn alarm call and the massage, by 8.30 I was in bed and fast asleep. "That is Living!"

KJ


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Cradle mountain car park, not very exciting we accept !
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Cradle Mountain Lodge Spa, where Caroline had her pampering


26th September 2015
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Great shot of Cradle Mountain in winter...fortune favours those who brave the cold to catch this memory...who better than KJ!
27th September 2015
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Thank you for your lovely comments Dancing Dave. We do have fun making these opportunities. I can confirm, it was jolly cold out there taking photos, but the numb fingers and toes were worth it! KJ

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