^ Yellow Fagus
Another fagus week is over for another year. I can hardly believe how fast it went, how many shots I have taken that I absolutely look forward to sharing with the world.
What keeps me coming back is the people and the place. There is a mystical allure about Cradle that I just can't explain, a type of animal magnetism that cannot be put into words. She is beautiful, her peaks perfect and ever-present. The mountain walks are many and varying in their difficulty, you don't just walk cradle, you earn your stripes here. The wilderness is harsh and unforgiving for the unprepared, but still we keep coming back in search of clear cloudless days and the glassy perfect reflection.
The people that attend Fagus week are the best I have met on any photo tour thus far. They are selfless, without ego and always encouraging. The week attracts some of the best photographers in the country, and we all walk and shoot on an even playing field, as equals. Fagus week is not a photo tour, but a gathering of a wider network of photographers all here to see the deciduous beech tree do her thing.
^ Picnic hut looking towards cradle
The people make it though, the friendly faces I came back to see, and the new friends I have made. It'd be lying to say that I wasn't sad about leaving, or that there's no tears in my eyes that it's all over for another year. The week has flown, there has been many ups and downs, but after all that is said and done, these people I will now follow more on Facebook and keep in touch with. You can't buy that kind of support.
This year we've been treated to a wide range of conditions varying from rainy, cold and miserable to warmer, bursting sunrises and even snow. I have marked a major must-do off my list by seeing snow on cradle, and everywhere around the park. It has been truly remarkable for a Queenslander such as myself to get not one, but two days of this magnificent weather. It figures that, on the last day here, we leave with sunshine and blue skies.
There has been so many fun times. The beautiful tavern is forever embedded in my imagination, a place where days were ended, feet were rested and frowns were corrected into smiles. Friendships were made and many a drink was consumed in the process, but how lovely it was to always walk in and know someone.
^Red Fagus with falling snow
The nightly seminars that were chaired by Mark and spoken by Rob or Mieke were always great to listen to, and to contribute my knowledge on certain topics. I'll never forget the smell of the wood keep that is beyond the first door, it reminds me of the warmth within, the earthiness of the area. The wood fire was always so lovely, restoring the blood flow to my frozen limbs as so often was encountered.
I look forward to the big task ahead of processing all these pictures. Memories to keep for another year. To all those who made the week what it was, I thank you. I have marked Fagus week into my calendar for every year now on, whenever I can attend, I will.
You're all such amazing people.