LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > CRADLE MOUNTAIN – LAKE ST. CLAIR NATIONAL PARK AND THE OVERLAND TRACK – TASMANIA > Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake Sunset Reflections (Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park)
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Cradle Mountain rises 1545m (5069 ft) above Dove Lake and is home to precious endemic species such as endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles and 1000+ year old King Billy pines.Cardle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park World Heritage Area features a variety of different landscapes including buttongrass moorlands, temperate rainforests and untamed alpine areas and mountain peaks.
The Dove Lake Circuit takes walkers on a gentle tour of Cradle Mountain’s varied landscapes and past the renowned Dove Lake Boat Shed. Along the tracks near Ronny Creek walkers are nearly guaranteed to encounter wombats while more patient visitors will have a good chance of spotting platypus along the Enchanted Walk. The more adventurous can climb Marion’s Lookout and scale Cradle Mountain’s summit at 1545m (5069′) to gain fantastic views over Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, Walls of Jerusalem National Park and the Overland Track.
“It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…” (Psalm 92:1-2)
I had just finished a difficult backpacking trip and sat down by the edge of Dove Lake to photograph the sunset. Cradle Mountain is often obscured by cloud or precipitation since Dove Lake itself sits in an alpine depression at 900m (3000’) above sea level. Perfectly still days are also rare, for icy alpine winds often sweep down the mountains and make Dove Lake choppy.
To get a perfectly still Dove Lake sunset with a totally clear Cradle Mountain was a rare event indeed and truly an answer to my earnest prayers!
Even more wonderful was that God actually blessed me with 4 straight days of clear, calm weather, which only happens a few times a year.
Days before I took this shot I had been really struggling through some difficult trials, but the Lord, in his amazing ways, had deeply ministered to me and enabled me to enjoy this beautiful, peaceful evening with him.
Cradle Mountain becomes really popular during “fagus” season in late April and early May. Nothofagus gunnii, or Deciduous Beech, is Tasmania’s only native deciduous tree, and it turns the mountainsides deep yellow during autumn. Though photographers are abundant at this time, surprisingly, I was the only one there (aside from one other rushed photographer for a short time).
I sensed that God really wanted the alone time with me.
As I reflected upon my past backpacking trip, I could only see the love, faithfulness and kindness of God laced throughout the entire time. As I sat there I proclaimed, “…your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…” (Psalm 92:1-2).
As twilight approached an unexpected visitor interrupted my solitude. A very bold Eastern quoll, no doubt attracted by the smell of my empty tuna tin, came right up to me and examined me for awhile. I nearly could have reached out and touched him. To see him so up close was an extraordinary blessing, but there was an even better blessing still to come.
After I had photographed the night sky and was driving away at a snail’s pace to avoid harming any of Cradle Mountain’s abundant wildlife, all of a sudden a baby quoll froze in my headlights.
He was one of the cutest fuzzball babies I had ever seen!
He was so tiny, he easily could have fit within my hands, but he was such a baby, he had no idea what to make of this gigantic, bright, metal creature in front of him. He finally decided to run away down the road, but he was so little he hardly made it anywhere. In fact, he was such a baby that it never occurred to him to run into the bush. Instead, he continued to run down the road as I crawled along behind him. Every few metres he would stop and turn around to see if I was still following him. He did this again and again….for the next 100+ metres. Finally, just when I thought I should get out of my car and escort him into the bush myself, he scampered off the road. It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget.
This photo always brings me peace when I look at it, for it always reminds me of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness during an emotionally difficult time in my journey through trauma. It also reminds me of God’s good ending to my very difficult physical journey.
“Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:14:27)