The March 2024 Be Curious Photo Walk was a re-visit to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Cristy volunteers for various things at Tidbinbilla, so she knows the place quite well. Added bonus (for us) at the moment is that the visitor’s centre has been closed for health reasons, so entry to the Reserve is currently free!

We have done this walk previously, in April last year, and my blog of that walk is here. A very different day, weather-wise this time, and completely different things caught my eye.

Bob and his twin

Bob never understood why his twin always criticised his personal hygiene…

These two trees are practically twins. I’m not sure if they are actually two shoots from the same seed or not, as I did not look that closely. The things you think of after the event. However, the contrasts between them caught my eye. Bob, on the left, is almost completely shrouded in shed bark, whereas it’s “twin” next door, has very little. I presume it is probably due to prevailing wind direction or something like that…

Barking up a different tree

This tangle of bark displays a fantastic mix of textures, contrasting colours and shapes.

Not anywhere near Bob and his twin, but this tangle of bark caught on the tree provided an interesting mix of shades, textures and shapes. I took other shots from different angles, and showing more of the bark (there was a long tail of bark hanging from here). However, this shot was the one that spoke to me best. The tilted camera angle immediately distinguishes the image from more traditional vertical trees, while the bark itself forms a spiral shape entering from the lower left corner. Not quite a “golden spiral” or whatever it’s called, but … whatever. I liked it.

Tree adolescence?

A wattle leaf in transition between the juvenile and adult growth form, with bipinate leaf form at the tip, but a more traditional leaf form for the lower half.

This leaf originally caught my eye because of it was vivid green in a patch of sunlight, against the dark bark of the adjacent trees. It was only when processing the image later that I realised that the leaf is a little special in another way. The top part is bipinate leaf form, while the lower part is (I think) lancelolate (don’t quote me on the spelling, I don’t have my reference sheet with me). This happens when the tree transitions from it’s juvenile stage to it’s adult stage while growing the leaf. Yes, trees have juvenile and adult stages – the juvenile stage does not grow flowers. In many trees, there is very little distinguishable difference between the stages, but some wattles have bipinate leaf form in one stage, and “normal” leaves in the other. I don’t know which way around it usually goes – or even if there is a usual. My wattle I’m growing at home had bipinate juvenile leaves and lancelolate adult leaves, but that may not be the same with this one.

Anyway, I thought it was a nice image, whatever the botanical reasons behind it.

Reflections on a patchy day

The trees in bright sun on the opposite side of the lake contrast with the dark, cloud-shrouded mountain in the background.

I also tried several landscape shots, with very mixed success. I liked the way the patchy sun highlighted certain bits of the landscape, leaving others in shadow. In the first (above), the sun is on the foreground, highlighting the lake shore and getting progressively darker going back into the image. It culminates in the cloud-shrouded mountain at the back.

In the second image (below), I caught the sunlight in the mid-ground, which created a quite unusual lighting scheme for a landscape photograph where the mid-ground of the photo is highlighted. The angle unfortunately loses most of the mountains in the background. Still, it was an interesting shot. Despite similarities, it is not actually just a zoomed-in version of the above. It was taken over a different lake (or a different part of the same lake, I’m not sure).

Light and Shadow. The foreground in shadow, with the hill behind in sunlight, and what little you can see of the cloud-shrouded mountain in the background.

Sleeping koala

Over the road from the Ribbon Gum Carpark is the Eucalypt Forest Carpark and walk, and just inside the gate is a koala enclosure. There were two koala’s in the enclosure, but this one was at a good height for photographing.

Over the road from the carpark we used to enter the wetlands walk is the carpark and entrance for the Eucalypt Forest walk. There is a koala enclosure just inside the entrance to that walk where two koalas live. This one was enjoying a snooze at about eye height and was in the perfect spot for a photograph.


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