her beauty and her terror

By: Kirsty

Apr 13 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: bush magic, Daily Photos


Focal Length:70mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS-1D Mark II


For those of you who live far away and may not know the poem that I have quoted in the title, here it is:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror —
The wide brown land for me!

– Dorothea MacKellar

This verse is known to almost all Australians. Interestingly it came to mind when I was photographing this beautiful waterfall at Ebor in New South Wales. It was only later that I discovered this was the area where MacKellar lived, and that her ragged mountain ranges probably looked just like this.

On a more personal note, I do ‘love a sunburnt country’. I am Aussie born and bred, many generations back on both sides of my family. One line goes all the way to the first fleet (although that is only seven generations). I don’t have the 40,000 year connection with the land that is the privilege of our indigenous people, but my heart belongs here more than anywhere else on earth. It is my place. I am continually amazed by the awesome beauty of the landscape. There is a long tradition of photographers whose work has helped to preserve wild and beautiful places. If I can make even a small contribution to it I will be very pleased indeed.

5 comments on “her beauty and her terror”

  1. Love the photo and the poem. You live in a very special place, that I hope one day to visit!

  2. Thanks Kate. I didn’t mention it in the post, but this forest is near the one that was bulldozed in my previous post ‘Madness’. It is a National Park, thank goodness. I plan to go back there with my camera for a more leisurely exploration.
    I wish for you that you get to visit Australia. I know you will love it.

  3. The first thing that hit me about the photograph was all the bright light. The second thing that I noticed were the beautiful blue to blue-green of the darks in what looks like rock leading to a cave? underneath and to the left. I love the abstract nature of all that.

    • thanks Leslie. It is actually looking down into a deep valley, the waterfall is massive and the drop is huge – made me quite giddy as I’m not great with heights.

  4. Very dramatic and free Kirsty! What ruggedness and beauty you have captured. I can see what inspired Dorothea Mackellar – and you!

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