Lake Elizabeth in the Otway Ranges near Forrest; cool temperate rainforest and a dusky moorhen

Lake Elizabeth in the Otway Ranges (Victoria, Australia) was formed in mid-winter 1952 when the East Branch of the Barwon River was blocked by a landslide. 1952 was an unseasonably wet winter. When the river stopped flowing, a search party was sent upstream and the new naturally formed dam wall and lake were discovered.

It is a place of compelling stillness, coolness and beauty.

Cool temperate rainforest on east branch of the Barwon River
East Branch of the Barwon River downstream from Lake Elizabeth.
Cool temperate rainforest
The path to Lake Elizabeth winds through dense cool temperate rainforest.
Mountain Ash
Towering mountain ash and a variety of eucalypts rise above the dense ground storey of the forest.
The fertile banks of the East Branch of the Barwon River in the afternoon winter sun.
Grey shrike-thrush
Grey shrike-thrush (and a host of other bird species) are plentiful in the area.
Mountain ash
Natural pool near Lake Elizabeth
A quiet pool near (but not part of) Lake Elizabeth.
Mountain Ash
The top of the trunk of a large healthy tree fern.
Mountain Ash
The base of this giant tree is shown in the next photo.
Giant mountain ash
Lake Elizabeth
Mountain ash and climbing vine
Corner of Lake Elizabeth
Lake Elizabeth
Lake and Elizabeth.
Lake Elizabeth
Platypus live in the lake.
The lake has many dark shores and corners which never see direct sunlight.

The lake in the afternoon was a wonderland of intersecting planes and reflections and colours and light and dark. The circle with the arrows is a slider, to compare two versions of the one photo. The photo shows a dusky moorhen gliding across the mirrored surface of the lake. The image with the duck swimming to the right of frame to my eye seems to show the bird taking improbable flight as if air and water had become one.
Dusky moorhen
A dusky moorhen in the cold shadows.
Photographers often look for ‘lines’ in an image which draw the eye of the viewer to the centrepiece of the subject matter. Such lines are usually subtle, unlike the lines in this shot. I have never taken a photo with bolder lines than this one. First there is the clear black arrow on the left pointing towards the bird, which itself is sitting near the apex of a large arrowhead silhouette formed by a tree trunk and its reflection.
Late afternoon colours reflected on the water.
Pacific black duck on the lake
Pacific black duck.
These birds were obviously given clearances to land in line on the same runway. The second bird appeared to overshoot a little which required serious braking to avoid a collision with the bird ahead. While this deceleration caused the tail to rise, the nose stayed just above the runway surface. Both came to a full stop upright and undamaged.
Lake in the shadows
Darkness approaching.

2 thoughts on “Lake Elizabeth in the Otway Ranges near Forrest; cool temperate rainforest and a dusky moorhen

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