Sunday, January 26, 2014

Is There Life After Death?

When topiarists turn...

Tree sculpture at East Beach
If the George Town/Low Head area is anything to go by, there certainly is.

This is my second Australia Day back in Northern Tasmania and as I enjoyed the experience at the Low Head Pilot Station last year, I decided to do it again. [Click on the Australia Day label on the right to read.]

Sadly, despite the weather being near perfect, the event fell far short of last year's, in almost every respect. I did one quick circuit of the precinct and left - the problem was probably the result of the present depressed nature of the region.

Discovering East Beach

East  Beach overlooking the Low Head Lighthouse
Rather than waste an outing, even though it is only a few kilometre drive, I took a left turn on the way home to look at a beach.

I can be a bit slack and although it is only a longish walk from the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage, I had not seen it.

The beach sweeps east, from the point that houses the Low Head Lighthouse, in a 1.5 km crescent fronting the Bass Straight.

The quite attractive beach is backed by a narrow strip of scrub, then the road and is served by a reasonable toilet block.

In 1869 a submarine telegraph cable ran from Low Head, Tasmania to Western Port, Victoria and the foundations of its wooden test house lies beside the short track from the road to the beach.

New life for these dead trees

The cafe and sculpture

Driving a little further, I came across this amazing sight in front of a cafe.

Six old pine trees had been beautifully converted to this tree sculptured, nautical scene.

Sailors join a whale, dolphin, sword-fish, a surfer, a lighthouse and birds in a seriously attention grabbing display.

I really should pop back and try out their coffee and fish & chips soon.

More life from death

The Eddie Freeman sculpture in George Town
As I was looking at the sculpture I remembered that I had not checked on the progress of the work in George Town lately, so I headed off to take a look.

With a chainsaw and chisel, Tasmanian sculptor, Eddie Freeman has breathed new life into an aging Macrocarpa Pine Tree on the site of the old Cable House for the Tasmania to Victoria telegraph link.

The sculpture features a mother whale and her baby, five penguins and cable men pulling in the telegraph cable.

The telegraph cable

The artist's credit
A telegraph line connecting Hobart and Launceston was completed in 1857 in 1869 a submarine telegraph cable ran from Low Head, Tasmania to Western Port, Victoria.

The key to future growth in trade and commerce was a connection to the other state capitals.

There were 117 miles of cable at a final contract cost of £53,000 laid and made operational. Unfortunately the cable was constantly out of service due to faults undersea and by January 1861 it was abandoned.

An enduring cable link was established between Cape Otway on the Victorian mid-south coast, through to King Island and, ultimately, Launceston, Tasmania, the £70000 cost paid fully by the Tasmanian Government and it was opened in 1869.

 And then - there is the Pet Rock

The pet rock catching some sun
Several weeks ago I noticed a pet rock sunning itself on a rock in my front yard.

It was very red and looked quite healthy, but as I didn't know if it was a wild one or had just strayed and become lost, I just left it and kept an eye on it for a few weeks.

Despite looking healthy, the pet rock never seemed to move.
I am not sure if it was the rock or a crazy wallaby  that kept digging up the driveway, so I finally decided to adopt it and give it a new life.

And then - there is the Pet Rock

The lost pet rock now shares a hand-built pet rock house - Mr. Log, actually - with my old, bearded pet rock.

Reflecting on this 'life after death' theme, I began to wonder what I would like to be in the improbable event that I should die.

Easy peasy, that one.

I would like to become a part of a weeping-willow.

I really could cope with sitting by the creek with my toes in the water for the next few hundred years.

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pet rock..I can't imagine dipping my toes in anything in this weather..Brrr.