Tasmania's journal of discovery

Wild Tasmania 2007

Wild Tasmania 2007
Calendar 34.5cm wide x 29cm deep
Photographs by Rob Blakers, Grant Dixon and Dennis Harding

Online Galleries: www.robblakers.com, www.view.com.au/dixon, www.dennisharding.com.au

It’s that time of year again to turn to thoughts of the next, and here a trio of photographers specialising in Tasmania’s wilderness have combined their talents to produce a magnificent calendar.

The month-at-a glance large format gives enough space to keep track of important dates, while each month’s photograph is a reminder of what you’re missing when not out bush-walking.

Enjoy, however, even at a distance, because each photograph is a gem and covers subjects as delicate as wildflowers in the Heemskirk Range or as striking as the panorama from North Sister down to the headwaters of the Scamander River, as eerie as mist wreathing the rainforest canopy above Dove River or as bold as the upthrust of South Cape in the Southwest National Park.

Wilderness Tasmania 2007 calendar

Wilderness Tasmania 2007
Calendar 16.75 wide x 23 cm deep
Produced and published by Rob Blakers - Wilderness Photo
Online Gallery: www.robblakers.com

A mini calendar but none the less enchanting for its smaller size.

Photographer Rob Blakers has produced another inimitable tribute to the wilder parts of our island. In some places this fragile beauty is disappearing — for example, September shows lush green tree ferns in the Upper Florentine Valley that the caption notes have now been destroyed by forestry operations.

But luckily for our heritage, the remaining months (turn each page for a month at a glance) reveal the timeless grandeur of other scenic spots — the red-gold of rocks at sunset in Freycinet National Park, towering sunlit myrtles in Granite Tor in the western wilderness, and the golden glow of deciduous beech at Cradle Mountain.

Wllderness Tasmania 2007 diary

Wllderness Tasmania 2007
Ring-bound diary 14.5cm wide x 16.5cm deep
Produced and published by Rob Blakers - Wilderness Photo
Online Gallery: www.robblakers.com

In the experience of many of us, friends and relatives who come to visit and to explore Tasmania leave our shores with a common complaint — “we wish we’d allowed more time here.”

This diary, richly illustrated with Rob Blakers’ superb landscape photography (plus a portrait by Grant Dixon of a moulting King Penguin — looking for all the world as if it is wearing a handknitted sweater with an occasional trim of artificial fur), will give them further insight into what they are missing and underline to Tassie dwellers that we live in the best place of all.

In other words, it’s a neat little end-of-year gift for others and a must-buy for yourself.

A week-per-page gives a deal of room for notes, appointments, telephone numbers etc and most weeks come opposite an enticing photograph to spirit you away from the workaday world to remote and wonderful places.

Interlaced throughout the diary are double-page spreads that allow the photograph in question to present the greatest drama.

Tasmania’s Recherche Bay

Tasmania’s Recherche Bay
By Bob Brown
Published by The Green Institute
Paperback, 56pp, colour
ISBN 0 646 44899-4
rrp $17.50

Picture the scene when the last tree on Easter Island was to be felled. The technocrats would have said “Don’t worry — science will find an even better substitute.” The religious would have assured everyone that God would continue to provide, while the bureaucrats would report that since research was incomplete, a ban on logging might be premature. The landowner would have asserted his right to do as he wished with his own property, while the man with the axe would be saying “What about my job?”

That’s not an original thought; in fact, I pinched it from Jared Diamond. It’s a forceful image and one we have just enough time left to learn from. 

Continued …

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
By Jamie Kirkpatrick
Photographs by Chris Bell, Rob Blakers, Grant Dixon, Peter Dombrovskis, Dennis Harding, Craig Johnson, Geoff Murray, David Noble, Dave Watts, David Ziegler
Produced and published by Rob Blakers – Wilderness Photo
ISBN 0-9579744-0-X
rrp $24.95

A portrait of our most beloved iconic mountain and surrounds, a tribute to our most popular national park, and a breathtaking collection of photographs by names that are a wilderness roll call of honour.

This slender softcover book is ravishing. The photographs cover the seasons, commencing with autumn when the slopes of the mountains and the hillsides sliding into glacial lakes are covered with the rich russet of fagus.

Seasonal canvas

Winter brings snow, with pandani and delicate plumes of poa grass frosted with ice. High-hung tarns are frozen to sheets of glass.

Continued …

Ferreting out the truth

imageCheeky: Confessions of a Ferret Salesman
By Bob Cheek
Published by Pipeclay Publishing
Paperback, 398pp, illustrated
ISBN 0 9758303 0 9
rrp $29.95

Your man with a thin skin, a vehement ambition, a scrupulous conscience, and a sanguine desire for rapid improvement, is never a happy, and seldom a fortunate politician.

Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister (1875)

When I decided to migrate from Sydney to Tasmania ten years ago, people questioned my sanity. “You’ll freeze,” they said. “They’re all throwbacks down there,” they warned. “But it’d be a nice place if it had an economy.”

Weary of big-city journalism and the pressures of living with four million go-getters, I wanted to be free of the clamour of the chattering classes and the endless knockabout of politics. I made the move anyway, and for the last decade I’ve paid little attention to what passes for political life on this self-absorbed island, being too preoccupied with doing the best I can, a very overcrowded profession in these parts.

Continued …

The Literary Lunch

The Literary Lunch
Selected stories
By Geoffrey Dean
Published by Roaring Forties Press
ISBN 0 9756797 0 8

Geoffrey Dean is a Tasmanian who has been in print for five decades — ever since his first short story ‘The Last Page’ won a short-story competition run by The Mercury and made Dean the richer by a couple of pounds.

He was overseas at the time, doing what was becoming a pilgrimage in post-WWII years for young Australians, working their way around Europe and Canada. His brother Graeme had found the story and entered it without Dean knowing.

Continued …

Mary: Crown Princess of Denmark

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
By Karin Palshoj & Gitte Redder,
translated by Zanne Jappe Mallett
Published in Australia by Allen & Unwin
ISBN 1 74114 749 2

By LIA VAUGHN | Once upon a time, in a land far away … This pleasant book, written by two Danes and translated by a third, doesn’t quite start that way. However, it does begin with the birth in Hobart, Tasmania, of Mary Donaldson on February 5, 1972.

On the same day, the writers point out, it was at freezing point in Denmark, 16,202 kilometres away to be exact, and three-year-old Frederik was yet to learn what it was like to have a mother who was a queen, as Margrethe II had succeeded to the throne just three weeks earlier.

That Frederik and Mary would meet in a Sydney pub 32 years later and fall in love is usually called a fairytale. Fairytale, of course not, but greatly against the odds and so very romantic — which is where the hype and media hysteria began.

Continued …

Midland Morsels

Midlands Morsels
Favourite recipes from the heart of Tasmania (mostly)
By Susan Butler
Published by Starr Ink

This is an utterly delightful book.

You can read it like a novel. The plot is simple: intrepid reporter contacts a great many people who live in the Midlands asking for their never-fail family recipes and reproduces them in a simple spiral bound book that commemorates the spirit of our island, our pioneers and our fantastic home cooks.

Along the way you meet interesting characters, are tuned into some local gossip, and help a good cause.

Continued …

Art works

Art Works
By George Callaghan
Published by Larkfield Press
ISBN 0-646-42985-X

George Callaghan is a consummate artist in many fields — painting, jewellery making and playing beautiful harps, sculptures of found industrial objects, highly individual figurines and furniture. He exhibits regularly in Tasmania and Ireland.

But given his beginnings in the harsh industrial landscape of Belfast, where he was expected to follow family tradition in the clamour of the shipyards, it could have been otherwise.

Continued …

When we eat

When we eat
A seasonal guide to Tasmania’s fine food and drink
By Liz McLeod and Bernard Lloyd
Photography by Paul County
Published by The Culinary Historians of Tasmania 2004
ISBN 0-646-44132-9

Here we have the main course, so to speak, following the delicious and tantalising entree that was the first book by the Culinary Historians of Tasmania — Before we eat.

Where Before we eat talked about Tassie foodstuffs and the people who grow, prepare and serve them, When we eat presents recipe after recipe that will have the armchair chef salivating and the earnest cook out in the kitchen sharpening up the knives.

As the authors say “its 328 pages lay out the journey of food and drink in Tasmania, from the wild to the table, and from the remotest past to the present”. The high priestess of good Aussie tucker, Maggie Beer, wrote the foreword.

Continued …

Wild Tasmania 2006

Wild Tasmania 2006
(34cm wide x 30cm deep)
A calendar by Rob Blakers and Grant Dixon
Published by Rob Blakers — Wilderness Photo

Two of our best-known wilderness photographers have joined forces in this calendar which features amazing views in heritage and national park areas captured with great sensitivity. As the months go by, each new aspect of the incomparable Tasmanian wilderness gives a lift to the spirits.

Crisply printed and luxuriously glossy, this would be a fabulous gift to send overseas, too.

Wilderness Tasmania 2006
(17cm wide x 23cm deep)
Produced and published by Rob Blakers — Wilderness Photo

In contrast to the large format calendar above, and the diary that follows, this smaller version is illustrated with photographs only by Rob Blakers.

Again there is that quality of light that is the Blakers’ signature — stealing over flowering heath and scoparia in Ben Lomond National Park in the early morning, or reflecting off the peaks and undulations of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park blanketed with winter snow, or the last dramatic moments of a purple-red sky over Federation Peak, itself glowing mysteriously orange.

The calendar doesn’t have the space to keep many details of a busy life, it’s a month at a view — but would be a neat reference to hang in a study or a workshop, or simply to moon over when you’d rather be in the great outdoors. There’s enough room for each day to write at least a reminder of birthdays and other anniversaries or more prosaically, a date with the dentist or doctor.

Wilderness Tasmania 2006 Diary
Published by Rob Blakers — Wilderness Photo

Landscape images by Rob Blakers are teamed with wildlife images by Jon Bryan and Loic le Guilly in this really attractive, and very useful, diary. A week at a view per page, interspersed with full-page photographs or occasionally, a double-page extravaganza, means you won’t get bored with having it sit around on your desk or in your study or kitchen.

While it wouldn’t be suitable for keeping details of many appointments or complicated financial notations, its format allows you to keep quite an extensive amount of information within its pages. Spiral bound, so opens quite flat.

And those photographs … some you might recognise in the Rob Blakers portfolio, here; they are complemented beautifully by Jon Bryan’s shot of a self-important cuttlefish cruising along among kelp and Loic le Guilly’s shy little Bennett’s wallaby. Patsy Hollis

Visit his web site for more stunning imagery.

Antarctica 2006

Antarctica 2006
(48cm deep x 34cm wide)
A calendar by Andy Townsend & Lyn Irvine
Published by Images of Antarctica
ISBN 0-9752041-2-2

It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to the next and how to keep track of time. A calendar for 2006 is what is needed, and intrepid Antarctic recorders have done it again.

Lyn Irvine is a marine biologist, and Andy Townsend is a freelance photographer and computer programmer. Together they have captured serene and awesome moments of the frozen continent, unparalled for its purity, beauty and (for the most part) inaccessibility.

Continued …

Antarctica 2006

Antarctica 2006
(17cm deep x 23cm wide)
A calendar by Andy Townsend & Lyn Irvine
Published by Images of Antarctica
ISBN 0-9752041-1-4

Another offering from the indomitable Antarctic duo, Andy Townsend and Lyn Irvine, here is a small calendar to hang where you don’t have as much room.

Size simply doesn’t matter when you see the ice-crisp photography marking each month, cast with that beautiful and eerie blue light that only snow and ice creates.

Continued …

Dancing on the Edge of the World

Dancing on the Edge of the World
Essays on Birds and the Lighter Side of Life
Donald Knowler
Published by Donald Knowler
ISBN 0 646 42882 9

Once a prominent literary form, the essay has declined in status as our collective attention span has been truncated by the quick, the slick and the superficial; the six-word sound-bite, the snarling shock-jock, the second-by-second editing that makes most television so enervating to watch and the near-universal rule, imposed by half-educated newspaper editors, that journalists should write for those with a reading age of twelve, have drowned out the quiet and the contemplative.

Continued …

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