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“The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:7-8)
This picturesque waterfall, Horseshoe Falls, is located within Mt. Field National Park in Tasmania, Australia, about an hour from Hobart. Its much bigger and popular brother, Russell Falls, is located about 100 m (330 ft) downstream. (See, “Russell Falls” (Tasmanian Wilderness Landscape Photography Series)).
When I shot this photo of Horseshoe Falls I was still shaking from a startling yet comical event down at Russell Falls:
I was crouching near a quiet eddy off to the side of Russell Falls, balancing precariously on a mossy, wet rock. I was looking through the view finder on my camera, setting up a shot, when all of a sudden a giant Tasmanian water python (or so I thought) erupted through the calm water just inches away from my feet. Before I could even think, adrenalin shot through me and I sprang backwards.
As I slipped and fell in slow motion (as you do), the following four options went through my head:
A) Stay where I am and get eaten by the giant Tasmanian water python.
B) Baptize myself by full immersion and then abandon my photography trip and go home because I had no change of clothes.
C) Crack my camera on the rocks behind me and then baptize both it and myself by full immersion.
D) Break a bone on the rocks.
I chose option D.
Thankfully God must have sent his angels to catch me because none of the above happened. Somehow I fell perfectly and landed comfortably on the rocks behind me instead of in the water. Miraculously, I didn’t break anything or even hurt myself, nor did I baptize anything except 1 cm of my backside.
As I laid there on my back, completely spread eagled and totally freaked out, I looked between my feet and there was a large platypus sticking his head out of the water, staring straight at me, chewing some mud. (Aussies do love a good practical joke–especially if it’s on a Yank.)
My mind was racing, still trying to catch up on everything that had just happened, so I didn’t know what else to do except just stare back at him, my heart still pounding. After he’d had a good, long laugh at me he went back under to sift beneath the rock I had formerly been perching on. He stayed near me for at least 30 more seconds before slowly making his way back toward Russell Falls.
He was quite a bold little guy because even as I stood back up (knees knocking) to get a photo of him, he hung around so close I could have reached out and touched him. Though he wasn’t as deadly as my imaginary Tasmanian water python, the males still have venomous spurs on their hind feet, so I decided to keep my hands to myself.
I thank and praise God that I didn’t strike my foot (and especially my camera) against a stone, because if I had, you wouldn’t be looking at this photograph of Horseshoe Falls.
“If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the LORD, who is my refuge–then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:9-12)
(This photo is what Mt. Field looked like at the bottom, but to see what it looked like at the summit, please see “Snowy Florentine Peak: Mt. Field National Park, Tasmania, Australia” . These photos were taken a day apart.)