Sunday, April 29, 2018

Finally, fagus

Yesterday I walked the Tarn Shelf circuit in Mount Field National Park with a friend, in perfect autumn weather. This walk has been on my list since we moved to Tasmania. The time to go is in late April, in order to see the "turning of the fagus". Fagus, or deciduous beech, is the only native plant in Tasmania that loses its leaves for winter. Before the tiny crinkled leaves fall, they turn bright golden then red in a terrific autumn display. We were a couple of weeks too late and most of the trees were bare, but we saw enough to get the idea.

The walk would be spectacular any time of the year. From the Lake Dobson car park, you climb up to the ski fields then hike along the ridge or 'shelf', looking down on tarns. The vegetation is varied and we loved looking at the alpine plants in the early part of the walk and the fungi and pandani towards the end. Just stunning. All of this wilderness, little more than an hour from Hobart.

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