I have spent six days in the village completely alone. I can’t remember the last time I was this isolated. The days have been sunny though the air brisk. Dampness falls late afternoon as the sun ducks behind the mountains. Being alone makes you acutely aware of your surroundings. The quiet allows you to notice what would normally go unnoticed. At 16:55 everyday (except of course the day I wanted to point it out to Madelynne) a rumble moves through the village. It sounds like a long haul flight taking off in the distance. The windows rattle ever so lightly. It travels through quickly and lasts for only a minute. I suspect it is the large underground turbines pushing water through the tunnels. The sudden disturbance opposes the sedate rhythms of the filming I’ve been doing and would make for an interesting audio track.
When Madelynne returned she brought news with her about the possibility of seeing Aurora Australis in the early hours of Friday morning. We drove up to the top of Falls Creek at 3am and waited for an hour or so hoping to see it. We did not. Being up there by the lake was beautiful anyway. I rested the camera on top of the car, using it as a crude tripod, and photographed the night sky and our surrounds. It was so cold my fingers began to suffer and I couldn’t keep my hands out of my pockets long enough to operate the camera properly, as a result the images were less than perfect.
Madelynne mentioned last week how she often witnessed a mist rising from a tree into the sky, like they were breathing. I have now seen it myself, a tree amongst so many others with a beautiful mist emanating from its branches, usually at sunset. It recalls a work by the artist Robert Montgomery where he writes ‘the trees as sentinels…trying to stand there still…it’s the trees standing there, trying not to give the game away, breathing, like horses, all night.’