Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Carrington Falls after heavy rain

The beauty of Carrington Falls is that it provides so many different views and points of interest. I went out there today with David to take some photos, and his girls came along to play, and spot interesting creatures. Aaah, that reminds me of when I had terrific eyes. You can see some of David's photographs over at today's post on his site.

Yesterday (after a morning of heavy rain, the light was very difficult, as there was heavy cloud, and the waterfall spray was creating mist everywhere below the falls. But there was a huge amount of water of going over the Falls (well, the Kangaroo River is a very small river, with only 6 km of catchment length above these falls - so you cannot expect too much).
These are the main falls - once again seen from the main lookout point, opposite the falls. This shot was taken today, on the second day after heavy rain. So the levels had dropped considerably from the day before.This is a detail shot of the water crashing over the rocks half-way down the falls.
It is a very compact waterfall, dropping into a narrow gorge, which is the absolute top end of the Upper Kangaroo Valley.
Above the Falls, the river is still known as the Kangaroo River, but there is no longer a valley (in the sense it is normally understood). So this is the very beginning of Kangaroo Valley. You can see a bright reflection of light from a pool about 600 metres away, down in the bottom of the Gorge. Here is a shot of the top of the falls, taken from the same lookout as where the gorge was viewed from (immediately above).Above the top of Carrington Falls, the Kangaroo River is transformed into a typical creek (or River, if you must) flowing over shallow sandstone bedrock. It also provides rock crevices for these Lizard Lovers to enjoy their view of the River - in safety. They must have been marvelling at the difference between the torrent of yesterday and the "heavy flow" of today.

A pair of "Wall Skinks" (Cryptoblepharus virgatus)
enjoying their view of the Kangaroo River,
just above the Carrington Falls.
Above the Falls, there are riffles, alternating with smooth flowing streams, small cascades, and pools for kids to safely swim in. Because of the recent high flows, and the cool weather, few people were swimming, but Rhiannon and Aeron could not resist the temptation to paddle their feet in the water, at least.Across the river, a small stream flows into the Kangaroo River. It drops over a sandstone rock wall, a ledge, forming what is known as Nellies Glen (forgive the ungrammatical title - it is a name steeped in local history. Apparently there is another place with the same name in the Blue Mountains as well). I know of several such formations in the district, but this is the most popular, and most accessible to the public.Adjacent to Nellies Glen, there is a long rock shelf which drips fresh water constantly into a carved our depression, a cave of sorts, with a small pool in its bottom. The rock shelf is not particularly high, or deep, but it is probably 50 metres in length. Underneath is an area which is constantly moist and shaded. Naturally it has a wonderful natural moss garden growing there.Just outside the rock ledge, there was a pool of rainwater, which today was occupied by a few Tadpoles and some small insects, and this very fine "Fishing Spider" (Dolomedes sp.)
I love the way these creatures create dimples in the water, showing that their feet actually spread over the surface of the water, supported by the "surface tension" of the water. Presumably their feet are coated in very fine hairs to spread their weight over as much surface as possible, and to prevent the feet puncturing the surface of the water. They are related to the Wolf Spider, and behave similarly, running after their prey, or waiting to pounce on it. They apparently eat water insects, but sometimes move away from water as well. This group of Spiders is distributed around the world.


David said...

Nice shots Denis....especially the Water spider. Amost enjoyable day :)

Gaye from the Hunter said...

Denis, I caught up with David's post and excellent photos earlier this morning and just knew that I would be in for a similar treat visiting your site too.

Waterfalls always have appeal and one just can't help but photograph them. These are particularly attractive falls, and it is interesting to note that when running fast from heavy or prolonged rains, the water is still clear. Whereas, here in the Hunter, rivers and creeks travel through farming country and are muddy and unattractive when running fast and full from rain.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi David and Gaye
Thanks for the link back, David. I also enjoyed the day very much.

Gaye, our streams are high in the catchment, with relatively little cleared land above the falls. So it is mostly natural bushland. Therefore, little erosion. There is some yellow/brown staining which comes from all the vegetation in the peat swamps. Very clean water, anyway. Not much cow poo, or even better. little muddy water created by cattle breaking down the banks of the streams with their feet.