Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Wild forest


The pine forests give way to natural eucalypt forest spread in a great expanse of wilderness which is pretty much as it was when white man arrived.

In a comment yesterday AB was wondering what the view to the west of the mountains would have looked like to the first white explorers. Their journals say it was a mix of grassland and forest. In doing a little research I found these rather interesting paintings done by one of the people in the party that crossed the mountains with Governor Macquarie on the road built over the mountains within two years of the first crossing.

5 comments:

  1. The paintings are a fascinating record. I guess, in those days. you had to get out a paintbrush rather than a camera if you wanted to keep a visual memento.

    And today's view of the native forest is equally impressive

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  2. Magnificent scenery! I agree with AB as to the paintings. They look lovely indeed.

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  3. Not sure about each of those paintings. Some seem to be seeing a landscape through another lens, wishful thinking on their part perhaps. I find it hard to believe that so much land could be cleared in such a short time.

    The emu grazing painting is one such fanciful painting. Wonderful to see them, though.

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  4. Julie, that is our mistake thinking all of the land was forested, it wasn't. I've just taken a close look at each of those photos again and think he has it right. Down at the Nepean River (Emu Ford) the Eastern escarpment is heavily forested, as is Springwood and the distant views in the Mountains. Going down the western escarpment in Coxes Pass the forest is a lot more open. Looking down to the Valley Clywdd, over the mountains there is grassland dotted with trees. That's what the explorers said they saw. Evans Peak, heavily forested like it is today. Bathurst area back to grassland like I would expect.

    I agree that like all the early artists he didn't get the trees quite right but think the general concepts are right.

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