Australia · Mount Warning · photography · sunset · Tweed Valley · winter

Musings Over a Mountain

Photo taken 13th July 2020 at 1:15 pm

Just over twenty-six years ago when we built the home where we live, one of the main attractions was the imposing views we would have across the Tweed Valley and specifically the view of Mount Warning. Over the years I must have taken hundreds, perhaps thousands, of photos of the mountain and I never tire of my view, even after all these years.

Some people said we would forget about our view eventually. According to some, water views are far more impressive than views across inland scenery. Water views are constantly changing and are therefore far more interesting, we were told. Views across the land, they said, never change. We would become bored of our view. How wrong those people were.

Close up taken 1:15 pm today

I’ve always spent a lot of time at home. I love spending my days here, working from home, studying from home, and working in my garden. During the COVID-19 restrictions when we were all urged to stay at home as much as possible, I have been the typical example of one of the memes seen on Facebook. I’m the quintessential person who hasn’t noticed much change in my life as I stay close to home regardless. And while I’ve been at home, I have been noticing and photographing Mount Warning more than ever before.

Every day, the mountain looks different than it did the day before. Every hour of the day, the light cast across the mountain changes its appearance. Cloud formations over the mountain present a different appearance yet again. The sun changes the mountain; the rain changes its appearance even more. As the sun rises each morning, the top of Mount Warning is the first place that the sun hits Australian earth. If I catch the sun rising at just the right time, the top of the mountain glows.

Sugar cane fields in the valley provide a beautiful background for a lone kookaburra. Photo taken today.

The mountain is to the south-west of where I live, and some afternoons the sun sets without incident. Other days, however, the sky about the mountain lights up. I have possibly seen every colour imaginable lighting up the sky above our magnificent mountain over the years. Recently, I have taken photos of the mountain at sunset more than ever before, and seeing a multitude of different images from day to day has got me thinking, maybe I should take a photo of Mount Warning every day for a year. How great would it be to have a journal of photos of the mountain taken every day, throughout the seasons, to show how versatile and magnificent a view across land can be?

Sun setting over the mountain yesterday at 5:15 pm

The obvious place to add a photo of Mount Warning each day is here, on my blog. Today though, I begin a new semester of university study, online of course so I can study at home. I took a break from uni earlier this year to help my husband get his elderly parents settled into aged care, so now that’s sorted I can begin working on the final five units of my Bachelor of Arts. There have been times in the past during semester, particularly when assignments are due, I have become chained to my computer and I’m not looking forward to that situation again now I’m back at uni. The trouble is, I know it will happen. How can I commit to adding a photo a day, when some days I hardly have time for anything other than reading and assignments?

Mount Warning from Tumbulgum, a small village beside the Tweed River. Photo taken Wednesday last week.

I think I’ve worked out a solution. Even if all I do is take a photo of Mount Warning while I’m eating breakfast, it will only take five minutes to add it to my blog page. If I have time, I can add a few words to my post. If I’m too busy, I can just add a “wordless” or “silent” image. As it is, most days I hand write a few words in my journal while I eat, with each entry beginning with a description of the morning view across the valley, and specifically a description of Mount Warning. I’m sure I can manage to find a minute to take a photo each day as well.

Lets see how my plan goes. Hopefully by mid-July next year I will have a year long blog-journal-record of my ever changing view across the picturesque Tweed Valley and magnificent Mount Warning.


Australia · Mount Warning · photography · Tweed Valley

Visions of Winter in the Valley

rising smoke

The back of my house overlooks the Tweed Valley, and the floor of the valley is covered in acre upon acre of sugar cane fields. Sugar production is one of the major industries in the area, just as it has been for many years, and during the winter, when the cane is ready for harvesting, fires are lit in the scrubby undergrowth, making way for a clear harvest run for the heavy machinery.

cane fire

Usually, we see the bright orange glow of the cane fires after night fall, when a strip of the valley can be seen first of all smoldering, slowly transforming into orange flames, and as the fire takes hold we often hear the crackling sounds in the stillness of the dark night. It’s a magical sight, and one which we never tire of seeing.

dancing flames

I’ve tried so often to take photos of the cane fires, but with the surrounding darkness of the night, rarely do the photos do justice to the sight we see. Recently however, I spotted a swirl of smoke in the valley, late in the afternoon, before nightfall. And it eventually developed into a doozy of a fire too!

blanket of smoke

As you can see in the final photo, at the peak of the blaze, the density of the smoke almost completely hid majestic Mount Warning, the extinct volcanic mountain, and overseer of the Tweed Valley.

I may complain ad-nauseum about the sweltering heat during the summer, but it is winter still, and all things considered, I do live in a beautiful part of Australia.

“Out on the patio we’d sit,
And the humidity we’d breathe,
We’d watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.” ~ This is Australia, Gangajang.