Rock of Ages
|Category: Wendy's Wanderings||15 February 2016|
Over the last 6 months we have been lucky enough to walk and shoot amongst some of the world’s most dramatic ancient scenery. From the terraces of 23million year old Madeira with its 1860 m high mountainous centre to the 270million year old Dolomites near Cortina in Italy to the oldest rocks on earth at over 2.5billion years old in W Australia. At a time when Gondwana was still centre stage.
Having time to wait for David whilst he shoots the scene I can be indulgent and practise what is now trendily called 'mindfulness' and notice those visitors who appear to be totally disinterested in us.
Whilst waiting in Australia one morning a dragonfly flew past, for once the wind abated and I could actually hear the flitter of its wings. A kangaroo on the opposite bank balancing using its tail, searching for food. Soon after an Australian kestrel, at the time being chased by a crow skidded to a halt in mid-air in front of my face almost crashing into me. That experience kept me going all day. To see a wild bird of prey at such close quarters, something that cannot be predicted or repeated.
In Madeira we walked on the levada’s. Madeira’s ancient water channels built to take the water down to the warmer climes of the agricultural terraces below. On occasion the edge of the path fell 600 m below! The vegetation in the interior was not unlike a Brazilian rainforest. Everything was dripping in water, ferns cling on to the cliff edges where they are continually being watered from above, a microcosm a living wall. Agapanthus, crocosmia and nasturtiums grow wild and this was in January. Rainbows abound with rain at the centre of the Island and sun on the coast. A magical feast for the eyes.
I felt totally humbled whilst visiting Australia when we discovered we were visiting the earths birth place. In Kalbarri NP there are sand ripples from when the land was on the coast (but we are 40 km from the sea)! We also saw a 400million yr old arachnid sand pattern (like a lobster) apparently the origins of one of the planets first land creature’s, before this life was water based.
Alone at Hammersley Gorge in the same area the striations of the multi coloured rock with the buckling of the land in motion was totally spiritual. Trying to imagine what this would have been like 2.5 billion years ago was unfathomable. What’s a billion anyways?
Our planets diversity and beauty (and age) makes me feel totally insignificant. When we are all gone I hope it will continue to mind its own business and still be here with all its rhythms and visitors in the shape of birds, insects and mammals ever developing, ever changing to become the diverse planet that we are.