Bookends on 2013 ~ Summer in Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, AU

Sunburst through broken tree stumps. Charlotte

The Last Sun of 2013
Late afternoon at Charlotte’s Pass, in Australia’s Snowy Mountains (31 December 2013).

2013 was a big year in our house – with excitement and challenges; travel and change – but it ended much as it began for my husband and myself: with time out in the Snowy Mountains of Australia, communing with nature.

As visitors to this PhotoBlog know, this is something of a habit for me. I always book some quiet time into the schedule between Christmas and the early New Year; time to look back at jobs completed and things achieved, and to look forward to new goals and unfinished business.

When it is practical, I spend this time in Jindabyne and Kosciuszko National Park (e.g., Snowy Mountain High). We do make it into the mountains at other times of the year, whether it be just to walk or to enjoy the annual Thredbo Blues or Jazz Festivals, but December-January we make a point of visiting. The alpine flowers are out and the weather is beautiful; just the right environment to recharge ones batteries after a hectic year.

So, please join me for some quiet moments in the mountains.

Red berries on an evergreen bush, Bullocks Track, Kosciuszko National Park AU

Summer Berries
Bullocks Track (18 January 2013).

Kosciuszko Express Chair Riding up to the top of a misty Mt Crackenback (19 January 2013).

Kosciuszko Express Chair
Riding up to the top of a misty Mt Crackenback (19 January 2013).

Looking over the granite outcrops of  Mt Crackenback down towards Thredbo Village

Mt Crackenback
Looking over the granite outcrops back down towards Thredbo Village (19 January 2013).

People on a metal walkway above the treelike: Kosciuszko Lookout Trail, NSW AU

Kosciuszko Lookout Trail
Walking through the rocks and heath above the treeline towards Mt Kosciuszko, which is still hidden over the hill (19 January 2013).

Fading and dying Silver Snow Daisies, Kosciuszko National Park, AU

Silver Snow Daisies (Celmisia asteliifolia)
The season peaked early, and by mid January the snow daisies were already past their prime (19 January 2013).

Strings of Bark on a eucalyptus tree, Waterfall Track

Textured Bark
Eucalyptus forests are full of textures and colours: Waterfall Track (20 January 2013).

Large tree stump among greases, Waterfall Track, Kosciuszko NP

Stump of a Veteran
Waterfall Track (20 January 2013).

Dandelion head in seed.

Make a wish! (19 January 2013)

Yellow heads of Alpine Podolepsis flowers.

Alpine Podolepsis (Podolepsis Robusta)
At first glance, these can be mistaken for dandelions…

A cluster of Podolepsis Robusta - Alpine Podolepsis (Mountain Lettuce)

Alpine Podolepsis
… but a look at the leaves reveals why they are called “Mountain Lettuce”.

a person walking through a flat section of Waterfall Track, Kosciuszko NP

Waterfall Track
Just under 6km, this is a delightful walk through the lower eucalyptus forest.

Orange Everlasting Bracteantha Subundulata Rainbow Lake Walk, Kosciuszko NP

Orange Everlasting (Bracteantha Subundulata)
After the silver snow daisies, the everlastings are my favourites: Rainbow Lake Walk (22 January 2013).

Mass of Yellow Floating Hearts on their green lily-leaves, Rainbow Lake, Kosciuszko NP

Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides pelota)
Non-natives, the fringed lilies are none-the-less a delightful addition to Rainbow Lake.

Delicate purple Gunn

Gunn’s Willow-herb (Epilobium Gunnianum)
The delicate Gunn’s Willow-herb is easy to miss in the tall snow grass.

Native Bluebell (Walhenbergia), Kosciuszko NP

Native Bluebell (Walhenbergia)
There are at least three kinds of native bluebells in the park; I can never remember which one is which.

View over Rainbow Lake, Kosciuszko NP

Rainbow Lake
It is a short walk (3km round-trip) through snowgrass and snow gums to Rainbow Lake – originally a dam to supply water to nearby Hotel Kosciusko, which burnt down in 1951.

Close-up of a delicate blue- green Lichen on a eucalyptus.

More eucalyptus colours and textures (22 January 2013).

The delicate white blossoms of the Eucalyptus Pauciflora - Snow Gum.

Snow Gum (Eucalyptus Pauciflora) Blossoms
The blossoms of the snow gum are surprisingly delicate, considering the rugged conditions they live under (31 December 2013).

View over The Main Range from the Snow Gums Boardwalk, Kosciuszko NP

The Main Range
One of the first things we do on every visit to the High Country is walk up the short Snow Gums Boardwalk to have a look over the Main Range. There is very little snow remaining at the moment (31 December 2013).

Tall  Rice Flower against a granite rock, Kosciuszko NP

Tall Rice Flower (Pimelea Ligustrina)
There are delicate colours in every crevice..

Close-up: bunch of Tall  Rice Flower (Pimelea Ligustrina) blossoms.

Tall Rice Flower (Pimelea Ligustrina)
… and delicate flowers on every plant.

Delicate white and purple flowers on an Alpine Mint-Bush, Kosciuszko NP.

Alpine Mint-Bush (Prostanthera Cuneata)
The beautiful-smelling Mountain Mint tells me I have arrived (31 December 2013).

Text: Happy New YearI hope you have enjoyed your holiday season, and wish you all the best for a happy, healthy new year.

‘Till next time!

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