And So She Walked On, Into The Mist….

arthurs seat

Living on the Mornington Peninsula, in south-eastern Victoria, Winter can descend upon us mortals in varying degrees of coldness, none of which I am particularly fond of.  Non-the-less, as part of my life-philosophy I do my best to find the good in each and every situation I find myself in; the cold and dampness of Winter not withstanding.  In a complete about-face, today I found myself embracing my least favourite time of the year, as my little piece of the wild was shrouded in a thick white fog that completely transformed it into a mystical wonderland.

 

My usual walk through the forest woodland at Arthurs Seat has been my mainstay this Winter, due to a combination of being busy at work, and limited by unfavourable weather conditions on my days off that have not encouraged me to venture further afield.  Mostly, I have donned the wet-weather gear regardless, waterproofed my day-pack and endured temperatures below 5 degrees to get my dose of the wild.  This has enabled me to merrily slosh my way through the wet, soggy conditions that nature has provided at this time of year, reasonably unscathed.

arthurs seat

Despite my attempts to weatherproof myself, my camera is usually not up for the riggers of wet weather conditions, and opts to stay home where it’s warm and dry.  Can’t say I blame it.  The day before I took these photos it was equally foggy, but also raining for most of my walk, which had me somewhat frustrated as I was capturing photo after photo in my minds eye, instead of with the camera.

arthurs seat

So I was extremely happy today when I observed a huge blanket of fog suspended above the summit of Arthurs Seat, and it wasn’t raining!  I grabbed my camera and almost ran to the trail-head, so eager was I to start snapping away at the amazing scenery laid out before me.  It was a while before I managed to slow myself down to a reasonable pace so that I could appreciate just how magical every vista appeared as it was shrouded into varying shades of grey and green.

arthurs seat  on the mornington peninsula

Gone were the rich velvety greens in every shade from dark to light.  Blacks and browns were mellowed into grey and greyer.  Trees loomed tall and sinister along the track verge as I descended into the depths of the forest woodland.  They seemed to huddle together as though in some sort of conspiracy, and as the light did its best to penetrate through the overhead canopy, their trunks appeared dense and dark, broody even, as they were backlit against the whiteness of the fog.

arthurs seat dromana

And as I walked I pondered the symbolism of fog.  I wondered what it was about a misty landscape that managed to captivate me every step of the way.  Was it just the romantic beauty that a soft-focus effect provides on an otherwise ‘standard’ view?  Much like the way a photographer could manipulate a standard image on Photoshop to produce a special effect that would evoke a particular emotion from the viewer.  Well, to some extent it was that, but I felt the reason was more significant given that it was a completely natural phenomenon that was being played out in real time, and real life.

arthurs seat

Despite having walked this trail a hundred times or more, because of the low visibility due to the fog, I felt like I was walking on a track that I had never been on before.  I felt as though I was heading into the unknown, and because of this, I realised that the presence of the fog had significantly heightened my sense of adventure.  I was, in a sense, exploring a new land, the depths of which I was walking into, I could not even see.

arthurs seat

But while the landscape may have been partially hidden, I felt as though something else had been revealed.  It was as though a presence that is normally not seen, was itself being made visible in the form of this white fog that floated magically through the forest like a finely woven veil of silk.  And of course, I realised that the fog itself symbolised the presence of the spiritual realm, which, when unleashed in this beautiful and natural environment felt as though it had emanated from the very source of creation.

arthurs seat

Not every creature in the wild seemed as in awe of the foggy conditions as I was though.  As I wound my way up to the grassy plateau, small patches of sun were breaking through the fog, and it was business as usual for the kangaroos…

arthurs seat

Although I have taken hundreds of photos in this section of Arthurs Seat State Park, with my camera at the ready I couldn’t help but take a few more shots of things that grabbed my attention.  Gone in an instant was the self-imposed ban on adding more images to the already over-loaded hard-drive.  Tree trunks were on the agenda today….

arthurs seat

arthurs seat

arthurs seat

The colours and textures of the bark and lichen seem so much more intense in the light of Winter.

arthurs seat

Things that don’t always catch my eye in other seasons were on display today, perhaps because my eyes were viewing things in such a different way because of the magical fog.

arthurs seat

arthurs seat

By the time I had returned to the start of the track, at Seawinds Gardens the fog had begun to lift a little, and yes, there was  a little more clarity, both within and without.

arthurs seat

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “And So She Walked On, Into The Mist….

  1. Beautiful writing again, Leah. I love a good fog! It certainly transforms a well-walked path into a completely different experience. Mystical is definitely the word to describe it. You’ve taken some gorgeous shots here, Leah. I love the tree trunk colours and patterns in particular. I don’t know why but your quote also reminds me of one I read by Jean-Paul-Sartre recently: “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” I hope so! Winter is my favourite season as I don’t cope well with the heat but I can imagine that after days of rain you’d be looking forward to some sunshine again. Our winters are usually dry up here. I’m glad you are still getting out to enjoy your regular dose of “wild” though. Thanks for sharing another great walking experience. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Jane! I must say that Winter down here is so different to Winter ‘up there’; rendering me wishing Spring would come upon us in a hurry! My sister lives in QLD, in Dalby, and likes Winter for the relief from the heat that it offers, but I can understand that because Summer there is so long, and HOT. It is hard to please us all :). I like the quote, and agree that it must be hinting at obtaining clarity. I tend to agree with his sentiments, especially as age seems to offer us the bonus of receiving more clarity as we go along. Leah 🙂

  2. Lovely piece, Leah! I really got the feel for the tick cool damp air and the droplets that form on everything (including my glasses!). I always treasured the misty mornings of autumn and winter back in the UK. I’m in New York now where winter is beautiful in its own way but at minus 22 it isn’t in a way that it is possible to enjoy 🙂 Thanks for reminding me of the time that I used to tell people that winter was my favourite season. 🙂

  3. Thanks David for your lovely feedback 🙂 Well I know for sure that I would not be a fan of minus 22 if I don’t even enjoy temperatures around 5 degrees or less! And even though I can say for sure that Winter is not my favourite season, it’s nice to experience the magic of a foggy morning that only comes with a chilly start to the day. I guess your days at the moment are a lot warmer, considering you are in Summer. How I long for the warmth and the long daylight hours! Cheers, Leah

  4. Misty-rious! I love scenes like this – fog, mist cloud – turning our attention closer towards us. These photographs are great and your writing even better! Looking forward to the next read Leah 🙂

  5. Thanks Danny for your comments. Although I love a good fog, I am glad that we have just about left them behind for a while, as Spring is slowly making its way to the mountain, bringing sunshine and wildflowers! Could be an upcoming post…? 🙂 Leah

  6. I haven’t seen any new post from you in a while. Hoping all is well. I authentically miss your content, the difference in your terrain is intriguing, and your insights are very refreshing. Hoping to see a post from you soon.

    1. Thankyou Curt, for touching base. It’s nice to hear from you, and thankyou for your comments about my blog posts :). Um, all is well, despite the lack of posts lately :). There are several reasons: (1) busy with work & now school holidays, (2) winter left me in a blogging slump and I got sick of reading and writing posts, and now that Spring is here I am outside so much more, and not quite so keen to be indoors typing up a blog post, (3) I am working hard on creating a book to self-publish about my love of the wild, and that is where my writing/computer time is going, and (4) sometimes I wonder if the energy required to produce a post is actually worth it (outside of personal accomplishment, that is). So there you go! Hopefully I will feel compelled to do something in the next few weeks though so I don’t fall through the gap altogether 🙂 Regards, Leah

      1. I too question the value of my post. Its heart breaking to spend so much time and see other bloggers getting a ton of traffic because they write about sex, or drugs, etc… I have to remind myself that I don’t write for attention. I write to raise awareness, inspire, and open eyes. I often wonder if I’m making an impact.Yet all of my hero’s did the same. Ansel Adams took photos because he wasn’t happy unless he was behind a camera. John Meir wrote and petitioned for preservation his entire life, no one acknowledged him until he was an old man. I can only say that your writing has influenced me, softened a few of my rougher edges. For that I thank you form the other side of the world.
        On a side note I would buy what ever you publish.

      2. Thankyou for your heartfelt response! It is enough to inspire me to do another post :). You are right about not posting just to get attention: I write to record what I see and hear, feel and smell, and to further enrich the experiences that I have when I venture into the wild. It’s a means of understanding not only the outer environment, but of becoming more aware of who I am on the inside. If I manage to inspire others at the same time, I am happy indeed 🙂 Many thanks for your comments and feedback, it is much appreciated. Cheers, Leah.

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