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Peter Quinton
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Paths

Upon a time, once, when the world was young...

Hecuba was restless. She and her horse left home to find her fortune and adventure.

On the first day, she knifed a drink vendor for shortchanging her.

On the second day, she trampled a swineherd when he muttered under his breath.

Hecuba came to a fork in the road, and she asked the horse which way they should go. The horse was annoyed about leaving home, and did not answer. Overcome by doubt, Hecuba jumped down and sat in the middle of the road. The trouble with forks in the road is that you cannot poke them with a knife for information. And chasing them doesn't work either.

As she sat, Hecuba became convinced that she would never come this way again, and that the direction she took would change her life forever.

On the left fork, she saw a young good looking man approach. He was carrying a bottle of wine and was not wearing a shirt. She called to him, intending to drink his wine, "Come here. Tell me where you have been."

He stopped and said, "You are the most exquisite creature I have seen for hours. My name is Vice. Come with me, for this road leads my father's city called Pleasure. On the path are many taverns, and we can drink and dance at all of them."

Hecuba looked at him and briefly wondered where he had lost his shirt and why he was walking away from the city called Pleasure.

Just then, she saw a second person approaching from the right fork. This youth was wearing a shirt, but looked a little thin, had some piercings on his lips and gave the impression he might stutter.

Hecuba pursed her lips, and called out to him, "Come here Goth Boy. Tell me who you are and where you have come from."

The young Goth stopped and said, "My name is Virtue. The path I come from is cruel beyond description. At every turn, dangers abound. And, if you take this road, I will teach you how to write in Greek."

Hecuba sighed loudly and said to both young men, "Tell me something useful. Tell me if my horse and I will survive your roads?"

Vice says, "Your horse most certainly will survive. We will paint it pink. You and I will live in alcohol-fueled heaven."

She looked at Virtue, who shrugged and said, a little uncertainly, "We might have to eat your horse... But I can promise you that, at the end of the path, you will have 19 children, and become the most famous woman in the world."

Which path will you choose?

Thank you for all the wonderful moments we have shared. I am here. You will still be able to find me on my blog at http://www.silenttheory.net/ I will keep writing and taking photos - things you taught me to enjoy :)

#FarewellG+

(Image, Montague Island)
(text adapted from Letters, http://www.silenttheory.net/2017/02/letters.html a novel i am finishing this year :) )
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Majors Creek Falls

Majors Creek runs through a rain forest of vine covered gums and casuarina.

I went to the Conservation Area to recce two large waterfalls that the authorities are trying to rub off the public record.

Nearest the town of Majors Creek, at little downstream from where Wilson Street intersects Majors Creek, are cascades and a 10m chute which the locals call Major Creek Falls (call into the pub for directions, or better still, ask a local to walk with you - you will need to park your car well before the intersection). To the east, along Sawyers Ridge Road is the inaccessible and dangerous 120m Bell Creek Falls which has never been photographed - a long dangerous cascade fall which should be avoided at all costs.

Running through one of the richest gold fields ever found, the cascades and falls of Majors Creek escaped the miners through a precipitous drop into the Araluen Valley. As the creek runs through mining country, the water should be treated cautiously.

The pretty cascades above the chute are a fractal of the falls. For millennia the people living on the edge of the world have come to watch Majors Creek race down a precipitous drop into the Araluen Valley. In total the creek's falls dance 240 m (790 feet) to the valley floor below. Only 15-20 meters of the main race from a chute fall is visible from adjoining cliff edges.

While this fall was once well known, the lookout for the fall is in ruins and the area is quietly fading back into the wilderness.

At the chute exit, beyond the reach of human hand, are an intriguing set of images. Are these carvings, or is this just happenstance? The place from which i took the picture is on the edge of a second waterfall, dry at the time the photo was taken, but it is the only close place from which a view of the waterfall can be safely had. Here, coincidentally are also a couple of flat rocks on which you can sit and watch the chute. I wondered if the strange markings were made by a gun shot, but it seems too far away for that. So the sensible conclusion is probably that this is just the effect of natural exfoliation. The location is beyond human reach unless perhaps a tree has become wedged in place, affording a brief opportunity to send a message into the distant future. I guess there are lots of possibilities. i came back here to ponder those, and in different light saw different shapes and structures. These are unlike the stone tool scrapings or carving on the Tuross River. I came away perplexed.

Some distance downstream, the creek reaches Araluen valley. It is once again possible to wander along the creek and there is a park closer to Araluen.

You can adventure through South East Australia with me at:
website: www.silenttheory.net or
GoogleMaps: https://goo.gl/maps/r2CtN5y38XJ2
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Carrington Falls, Budderoo NP

I am experimenting in moving part of this collection to Google Maps - (you can follow these places at https://goo.gl/maps/pFxhmjMuiPQ2 ). More images of SE Australian falls are at: www.silenttheory.net

Image, this year at the reopened falls, through mist - lightly vignetted

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Beth

"I was born near the great meandering river.
The old Wiradjuri called it the Wambool. These days it is called the Macquarie River.
The river turns in great lazy circles on the plains. It floods some years and then slows to a trickle joining deep waterholes in others.
This is my story."

I spent a little of last year writing this new book. This is now available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KPDJM3R

Details at my publishing site: http://www.silenttheory.net/2017/07/twilight.html

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Desolation of Coopracambra

Hundreds of falls and rapids dot the desolation of the red sandstone gullies of the upper Cann River. More pictures at: http://www.silenttheory.net/

Image: recent shots of an unnamed fall while exploring the WB Line track into Coopracambra. Toned for depth.
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Tumbarumba

On the western fall of the Australian Alps is the little bush town of Tumbarumba where they still muster cattle on horses. I grew up here exploring the mountains on Sam, my stock horse, and reading Tolkien. Here, i imagined i had found Tolkien's secret gate into the old dwarven Kingdom under the Mountain. Not at far Erebor, but closer. I dreamed that one day i would come back, and open the hidden gate.

More images of SE Australian falls at www.silenttheory.net.

Image: earlier this month, one evening at falls on a totem wall along Paddys River. Toned for depth.

Thank you for all the wonderful moments we have shared. I am here. You will still be able to find me on my blog at http://www.silenttheory.net/ I will keep writing and taking photos - things you taught me to enjoy :)

#FarewellG+
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Carrington Falls, Budderoo NP

More recent pictures of the fall and other SE Australian falls at: http://www.silenttheory.net/

After burning a couple of years ago (even waterfalls burn in Australia),
this 150m plunge of the Kangaroo River has just been reopened. The scale of the fall can be judged by the two men walking along the top of the fall. (Note that while some of the walking trails have been reopened, the steep metal stairs from the Falls to Nellies Glen remain closed and the descent of Missingham Steps remains a dangerous venture).

Image: 9 handheld shots stitched and lightly toned for structure. As with all shots in this collection, this is a much reduced version of the original. Note that there is a curtain wall to the bottom right of the fall - this is a natural feature, not a film artifact.
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Little River Falls

Little River, plunges down 600 meters over about 5kms to eventually reach the Snowy River north of Gelantipy. Some more pics of Gippsland at: http://www.silenttheory.net/

Happy holiday season to all! (At the top right of this fall, nature has placed an image of peace. May the coming year be a peaceful one for you and your friends.)
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Wulgulmerang Creek Falls mid-basin, Little River Gorge, near McKillops Bridge

Heavy rain in the highlands has finally started the remote falls in East Gippsland - here a tributary of the Snowy River north of Gelantipy. More Gippsland pics at: http://www.silenttheory.net/

I also want to record a vote of thanks to all those who have helped me out over the past month while photographing the falls of East Gippsland: those who have helped get me back from tricky places, those who quietly work to keep the remote trails, waterways and roads safe, and the many others who have stayed to chat and contribute yarns, secret falls and personal stories about growing up in this amazing place. Thanks!

Image: today, processed on the fly

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Neville Falls, Thurra River

To the north-east of the town of Cann River, on the nearby Thurra River, an access road once crossed the top of a waterfall called 'Neville'. Old photos of Neville show a vehicle driving across the top of the rock wall comprising the falls.

The fall is surprisingly well-named.

All of us once had an acquaintance called Neville: the distant friend who invites you to a party with the promise of great music and awesome drinks, but the directions are a bit vague and while looking for the place you run foul of the local policeman and get booked for not wearing a seatbelt. The waterfall of Neville is true to type. While marked optimistically accessible on a flat map, the terrain turns out unexpectedly vertical, there are fallen trees (and black snakes) across the road at regular intervals, and you are finally stopped by an old bridge with the decking rotted out. To add injury to insult, the sharp road will pierce your tyres, and when you start to change them, the jack will gradually sink into the ground.
Today the temperature was 106 F.
Access to the falls is impossible from the west of Thurra river - good luck to anyone trying the east routes, but perhaps it would be better to hunt for a more reliable party.

Image: an unnamed bridge across an unnamed creek, high in the mountains north of Cann River, looking for Neville.

Waterfalls with water can be found on my blog at:
http://www.silenttheory.net/

(Apologies to anyone here called Neville.)
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