The black surface of the water in the sinkhole makes me pay particular attention to where I’m placing my feet. On a cool day like this I fear falling in would make my body shut down and I’d sink to the bottom. This is my first time in the Tarkine Forest and I’m not naturally comfortable in this environment. The buzzing and clicking of insects are unfamiliar and having grown up in dryer areas I’m not used to the musty smell of decaying wood and vegetation. There could be creatures I’ve never heard of in the water – surely there would at least be leeches. Maybe if I stand still I can enjoy the beauty.
A flash of laser blue catches my eye. There is a fairy wren bounding around nearby shurbs. It leaps onto a branch, waves its tail and bobs its head, and then moves quickly to another. These birds never seem to stay still, as if they want to be noticed but not caught. I know because I’ve tried to photograph them before with little success. However, this time I have new information that can help. Last week my partner bought a photo of a scarlet robin from a photographer in Hobart. I had asked him how he managed to capture such an evasive bird and he said he predicts where they are going to land, rather than try to follow them with his lens.
As I watch the wren to see if it has a pattern to its movements, I notice there is also a female wren. She is moving in similarly elusive way while watching the male.They are engaged in their mating ritual and it’s not obvious who is trying to impress who – they both seem as eager as each other. It looks like the beginnings of a strong relationship.