To have the point of view of life in the forest. Pemberton and Walpole provide such a perspective better than anywhere else in Western Australia. When we think of the Earth, we tend to think of a two dimensional plane wrapped around a sphere. But life is much more deep than that. Whether it is from the depths of the ocean or the freedom of the skies, life on Earth has taken every chance it’s been given to find a home, a niche, and a chance for survival.
The Valley of the Giants finds it’s name in the soaring red tingle trees that populate the forest. Some of them are 400 years old. The competitive race for sunlight drives species of trees to grow taller in the hope of reaching above their peers. The dense mingling of branches has long provided a home amongst the canopy for a diverse range of creatures. Viewing the forest from the canopy is the only way to appreciate the scale of it.
The opportunity to do such a thing is made possible by the tree top walk that has been constructed there. The 600 meter platform takes you up into the canopy while never taking more than a comfortable stroll to achieve. I travelled there during the winter when the light was softened by overcast skies and the floor of the forest was lush green with new growth. It’s the best time for photography. The entire platform sways slightly in the breeze, making you feel one with the trees. As the leaves of the trees flare up with a gust of wind, so do you.
Looking down from up here can be disorientating. The trees always look taller when looking down than looking up. Our vision is accustomed to a perspective from the ground. It is always challenged when presented with a different height.
Watching birds fly above you, around you, and beneath you is captivating and exciting. You can imagine what it might be like for a creature who lives up here and wakes up to the sunrise from their branch. What a view.
What it might be like to be a bird of prey watching the forest floor movement.
When you begin to feel the appreciation for what this place is, you begin to feel a sadness for what this is merely the remains of. A look at satellite maps shows the deforestation in Western Australia to make way for farming. While we obviously need farming to survive, it’s a shame it had to come at the expense of this.
Travelling up towards Pemberton, the forest continues. The forest is interrupted by various ponds and streams. On a quiet day the reflection in the water is just beautiful and you are left wondering what might live beneath the surface.
Rivers naturally create a view of the sky. The trees that grow along the edge lean into the river to grasp at the available sunlight
As you walk along the river, following it’s twists and turns, you get glances at the rushing water between the trees and shrubs. It’s a view that becomes lost to us as we get adjusted to towns built around rivers that have been stripped of any sign of nature.
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