Editor

The Editor of Tasmanian Geographic is a shadowy and mysterious figure who often found deep underground, in the treetop branches, on coastal beaches, or high in the mountains.

TG #49

TG #49 : 1958 Aerial Mapping + Australian Pelicans + H20 in Freefall + Shutterbug kunanyi

Hello!

Yes, it has been a while, and it has been an eventful time since our last issue. A daughter has arrived, and consequently it seems that the entire summer sped by faster than could be imagined.

In this issue, we fly back to the 1950s and over Tasmania with stereographic cameras and learn about the cartography behind our topographic maps. You may be familiar with the contour lines and neat hand-writing on our state maps, but it is quite the revelation to see the actual process. The machinery and skill sets have changed beyond imagining. When “Modern Mapping” was filmed, Sputnik had been circling Earth for only a few months, and today we have the ability to flip between satellite maps with a few flicks of a thumb.

We’ll also read one of Sarah Lloyd’s excellent ecology pieces from the Disjunct Naturalists site, in which the glorious pelican is introduced. We have excellent images alongside provided by Dr. Eric Woehlor and Birdlife Australia….these are majestic birds and always worthy of our appreciation.

A bit of surreal whimsy will amuse you for five minutes with perhaps the most impressive bubble you’ll ever see – this one floating in free-fall on the International Space Station. Enjoy!

We also travel into Hobart’s backyard with regular contributor Roy Vieth from Shutterbug Walkabouts and enjoy several views of kunanyi/Mt Wellington. For a mountain that is so familiar in its presence, it has an unlimited number of secret vistas to reveal.

And it appears that the next issue will mark a milestone of sorts – fifty issues, and more than two hundred articles and resources posted online for you. I hope you enjoy exploring TG as much as I do.

Enjoy!

 

All the best,

The Editor


TG #48

TG #48 : Expedition Class: Treehouse Challenge + Shipwrecks + Dr. Kirkpatrick Online+ Penguin Jasper

 

Hello!

Yes it has been a while, but surely we’ve all found wonderful new places to explore since then. It’s been deeply rewarding to see all the traffic clicking over on the website and that older articles are being found within the archives.

There’s an excellent quartet of articles coming your way, and embedded within them are several notable books, a primary school curriculum, and a fair bit more.

You can go deep in the oceans exploring shipwrecks – Mike Nash of DPIPWE has kindly shared the page outlining management and conservation of Tassie’s remarkably numerous wrecks.

You could fossick on the beaches – Miguel at Apple Isle Prospector has shared his knowledge of yet another unknown Tasmanian treasure – the jasper found on the north coast beaches at Penguin.

You can also climb high into the trees and camp out in a portable treehouse on Expedition Class – recently we’ve been climbing giant trees across the state with the Bookend Trust’s Andrew Hughes and beaming curriculum-linked educational programs to primary schools across the island. I’ve included some photosnaps from the adventure but do take a moment to view some of the video lessons posted by Andrew Hughes.

The Bookend Trust is also very soon hosting the Tasmanian Premiere if the multi-award-winning Sixteen Legs documentary film, in which we meet the ancient Tasmanian cave spiders. Narrated by and produced with the fantasy author Neil Gaiman, it’s been earning accolades at film festivals globally. It’ll be a pretty magical event, so do come along!

You can also enjoy the strange environments in the alpine zone and read the  introduction to Dr. Jamie Kirkpatrick’s classic guide to our montane vegetation, Alpine Tasmania. You can also read the full text of this and three of his other books here at Tasmanian Geographic – Conservation Worrier, The Ecologies of Paradise, and A Continent Transformed. They’re all good reads – the first two bring a more personal touch to an ecologist’s story, and the last, a large-scale overview of geologically recent Australia. Jamie’s been a key inspiration for Tasmanian Geographic since before it even began – we’re especially glad to help share these excellent works in a new digital format.

If you’d like to download any of the books, they’re available by honesty-box donation to to help with ever-growing server costs.

Enjoy!

All the best,

The Editor


Alpine Tasmania – An Introduction

  • Photographs by P. Dombrovskis
  • Illustrations by Georgina Davis and Jo Eberhard.

Tasmania is renowned for its natural beauty and wild landscapes. Some of the best of both wild and settled Tasmania is its high country. This high country cannot rival the mountains of most other lands for elevation. Even Mount Kosciusko (2229 m), the highest point in the flamess of the vast island of Australia, exceeds Mount Ossa by 611 metres, and comparisons with Mount Cook, Mount Whitney, the Swiss Alps or Mount Everest are best avoided in the company of those addicted to relative relief.

However, the Tasmanian mountains have an intimacy of scale, and a variety of colour and texture, that more than compensates for their lack of stature. They possess an unusual alpine vegetation, largely dominated by floriferous or coniferous shrubs. The flora has strong affinities with those of the other southern lands, yet about half the alpine flora species are confined to Tasmania.

This book celebrates the Tasmanian high country in three ways. It provides an account of contemporary knowledge of the ecology, focusing on those areas in which tree growth is absent. It provides a guide to the major plant communities of the vegetation type and, finally, it helps to identify the vascular plant species of the alpine zone, which number more than four hundred.

View or purchase e-book edition

 

View or purchase e-book edition

TG #47

TG 47 : Patagonian Beeches. Giant’s Graveyard. A Humbling Beauty. Wanderer Monarchs.

Hello!

Yes, it has been a while, but it’s been a good summer busy with good projects. We’ve been especially delighted to see the good press and progress from the Tasmanian chapter of The Tree Projects – have a look and you can see an ultra-high resolution image of one of the world’s largest flowering plants.

Here enclosed please find a quartet of remarkable pieces from four remarkable contributors – all of them friends whose manuscripts have been sitting awaiting attention for several months now.

From the southernmost to the northernmost:

We venture into the dagger-peaks and snowfields of Southern Chile with Cara McGary on a quest for the Patagonian Antarctic Beech tree. These are some of the southernmost trees in the world, and exist in some of the most jaw-dropping wilderness scenery on the planet.

Dan Broun treks off into the wilds of the Southwest into perhaps the most jagged of Tasmania’s quartzite mountains: the Eastern half of the Arthur Range. He brings back a selection of stunning photographs that will, of course, make you look longingly at your bushwalking shoes.

A bit north, in the “Hydro Lake”, we paddle out with solo-kayak-surf-legend-docco-filmmaker Mick Lawrence and have an eerie look at the dead trees in the flooded lands. Last I heard, Mick was out in the wilds of Bathurst Harbour in the farthest Southwest, so perhaps we’ll soon see some footage of that distant land.

And, the well-known natural history writer Don Knowler shares a personal memory of an urban naturalist friend, and describes how a wandering animal reminded him of a suddenly.

We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we enjoyed compiling them!

Enjoy!

All the best,

The Editor


TG #46

TG #46: Threads! Recycling! Seabirds! Tree Hollow Carving!

Hello!

From the treetops to the seashore, and from the recycling plant to the handmade treasure, there’s some interesting stuff in this here issue #46.

We’re always on the lookout for new ways of recording and understanding our environment. Photos, illustration, audio recording – all help us document the real world. But what about needle and thread? We were amazed to discover Nostalgia Tasmania’s wonderful imagery of Tasmanian landmarks – beautiful images in just a few pixels of thread and colour.

Peter Vaughan contributes his first photo gallery with a shorebird collection. Those albatrosses are simply wonderful, and he has a definite eye for these feathered friends. Maria Grist sends in another excellent historical piece, this time on the recycling plant set up on Hobart’s Eastern Shore. It’s no longer there – it exploded – but you’ll have to read her story to learn more.

Last but not least, we join an expedition of Victorian arborists in the beautiful forests of Bruny Island, where they apply their skills with rope and chainsaw to a novel use: carving habitat hollows for the endangered swift parrot. (Special thanks to Grant at Ironbark Environmental Arboriculture for the lead on this story).

By the time you read this I’ll be on a kayaking trip into the Southwest to finally see Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey. Wish me luck!

We’ll be at Issue Fifty before you know it. Should we have a party now, or save it until One Hundred?

Enjoy!

All the best,

The Editor


TG #45

TG 45 : The Native Insects + The Bees + The Blackberries + The Spires

 

Finally, Issue 45 is ready, and as it arrives may it bring the sunshine and cheer of a spring day. We’ve been staying busy with off-line projects here, and we are delighted to finally have the time to get online and share some lovely stories with you. There are honeycombs on airplanes, close-up photos of terrifying bugs, mountains, thorny blackberries, and of course, more mountains.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed finding them!

Enjoy!

All the best,

The Editor


TG #44

TG #44 : Botanical Printing ~ Wildlife Spotters ~ Wombat Warriors ~ Comets in History

Hello!

Hope all is well with you as we progress through the winter. It’s been a busy season planting seeds for other projects, but we are finally delighted to be able to share this issue Forty Four with you. Thank you for your patience – you’ll find it has been worth the wait.

The issue begins with fine art botanical prints from Deborah Wace – take a very close look and you can see just how much detail this technique captures.

There are two wildlife projects there for all those who are charmed by vertebrates. The ABC Wildlife Spotter project with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy is a fun and engaging way to help identify animals captured by remote cameras…and for more “boots on the ground” involvement, you can check out the Conservation Volunteers’ Wombat Warriors fieldwork.

We’ll wrap up by looking up into the sky and deep into the past with a piece on comets through history, illustrated with marvellous images produced by keen observers of earlier years.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed compiling them!

All the best,

The Editor

TG #43

TG #43: Picturesque Atlas + Woodworking + Gateway to Charm + Mount Geryon

It’s been a while, but finally we are delighted to be preparing issue #43 on one of the very shortest days of the year. The fog is rolling down the Derwent with a damp chill and we’ll probably have snow on the mountain soon enough  It’s a good set of articles for you as you curl up with a blanket and a cuppa tea – from craftwork in Europe to an 1898 British Empire encyclopedia, and from holidays in the Northwest to the summit of a forbidding mountaintop. You may as well dive right on in…

Enjoy!

All the best,

The Editor


TG #42

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In This Issue :

The Lake of Fire + Solo Southwestern Skiing + Winter Customs + Vintage  Space Tourism Posters

 
The first snows have fallen on the Mountain and the days are shortening fast. The season of calm is almost upon us. Technically, it’s autumn, but it does feel like winter is creeping up.
 
There’s some fantastic articles coming at you in this issue – two from other worlds and two from right here on the island. We’re about to experience very hot and very cold.  In perhaps one of the most remarkable bits of on-ropes adventuring I’ve yet heard of it, Geoff Mackley takes us with him as he descends into the crater of a live volcano to stand at the edge of one of the world’s only liquid lava pools. It’s a bit surreal, but spectacularly so.
 
We’ll also clip into the skis and head up into the dominant dolerite mountains of the southwest during the last seasons memorable snowfall in August. This year’s El Nino will probably preclude any such snow masses, but it’ s nice to dream. Special thanks to Mark Oates for producing and sharing this excellent film.

Storyteller Spinks chimes in with a meditation on the habits and comforts of the winter season, and finally, there’s some beautiful public domain work out of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: vintage travel posters from an imaginary age of Space Tourism.

Enjoy!

All the best,

The Editor

 


 

TG #41

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In This Issue :

TG #41  : Aerial Odyssey + Scorched Tarkine+ 1903 Ultramarathon + Inala

 
Well hello dear friends,

It has indeed been a long time, and it’s been a real pleasure to finally put together TG issue 41. Since our last issue there have been catastrophic bushfires on the island, hints of federal election, a leap day on February 29th, the end of summer season, a few treetop adventures, and more. It has been eventful in many ways.

With all that excitement in the air, here then is a firecracker of an issue, filled with adventures near and far.

After more than a year of anticipation, we’ve finally arranged to share some of Simon Bischoff’s spectacular mountain aerial footage. Now filming as Video Compass, Simon’s a keen rock climber of Tasmania’s vertical cliffs. With the new skills and technology of the aerial cameras, he’s put together a surreal and spectacular celebration of Tasmanian geology – Their Land. Watch it in full screen!

Now that the smoke is clearing, that devoted explorer-of-the-Tarkine Dr. Nicole Anderson has sent in a photodocumentation of a scorched region. There are the colors you would expect – bright green against powdery black – but there is also an unexpected texture and depth to the imagery.

Maria Grist then spins us a tragic and educational historical tale about an early ultra-marathon on Mount Wellington – the 1903 Go-As-You-Please. More than a hundred years ago, a blizzard landed on the day of a scheduled race and conditions quickly went from bad to worse. Hobart’s favourite chunk of dolerite is renowned for extreme weather changes, and walkers on even the sunniest day should plan the potential snowstorm.

And then, we’re back to Bruny Island to check in on the endangered 40-spotted pardalotes, and Andrew Hingston tells us a bit about the work happening at Inala Bird Sanctuary to protect these rare birds.

It’s another fine collection of stories and it’s been a true pleasure to compile them. If you like reading them, do tell a friend and spread the word.

 

  Enjoy! All the best, The Editor