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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 World Heritage Area 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)).
I had the rare blessing of having this popular waterfall all to myself one weeknight in late winter, so I was able to take my time to compose this shot. The water levels for Horseshoe Falls were perfect because they were beginning to rise from the late winter snow melt.
(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.)
When I shot this photo of Horseshoe Falls I was still shaking from a startling and quite comical event at Russell Falls:
I was crouching near a quiet eddy off to the side of Russell Falls, precariously balancing on a wet, mossy rock. I was looking through the view finder on my camera, trying to set up a composition, when all of a sudden a giant Tasmanian water python (or so I thought) erupted through the crystal calm water just inches from my feet. Before I could even think, my adrenalin kicked me into “fight or flight”mode, and I sprang back to run for my life.
As I was slipping on the wet rock and falling backwards 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, as 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 staring straight at me, chewing some mud. (Aussies always 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. After he’d had a hearty, long laugh at me he went back under to sift beneath the rock I had formerly been perching on. All up, he hung around me for at least 30 seconds before slowly making his way back toward Russell Falls.
He was quite a bold little guy because even as I stood back up with my knees knocking and tried to get a photo of him, he hung around so close I could’ve reached out and touched him. Though he wasn’t as deadly as the 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 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)