Turning of the Fagus
It is normally about this time of year we find ourselves asking the question, which will come first the first snow fall of the year or the turning of the Fagus. Since we have already had our first fall of snow in February (a few falls in fact) I’m not eagerly awaiting the autumn spectacle that is the turning of the Fagus.
The Fagus, Nothofagus Gunii, is only found in Tasmania and in some of the most stunning alpine regions. Australia’s only winter deciduous tree, growing to no more than about 2 metres, when the Fagus turns it is truly a sight to behold.
From glossy green to brilliant golds and reds, the Fagus turns on mass. The best place to view the Fagus is in Mt Field National Park (where I live). The stunning colours reflected in the tarns on Tarn Shelf or around Lake Fenton. My favourite place to find the Fagus colours though is in the boulder fields. Big boulders created by glaciers long ago, their grey and black a stark contrast to the red leaves of the Fagus as it snakes between them.
I possibly say this about every season but I absolutely love Autumn and the colours it brings. Just driving around our valley you often find yourself in the yellow tunnels of turning trees. The Derwent River is bordered by autumn colours making the entire drive to take my children to school an absolute pleasure. The crisp clear mornings often throwing a blanket of misty fog that twists and turns it way through the valley with the mountains above just struck with the morning light.
Arriving home is always a delight, greeted by The Avenue as you drive into the National Park. It’s just starting to change, the tall trees that stand guard at either side of the road are showing colours as they too herald in the beautiful season that Autumn is in my patch of paradise.