I was awake before sparrow’s fart Saturday morning. I was on the road before those little birds opened their little eyes, shook their little wings and snapped one off. You might like to read this well articulated piece, “Do Sparrow’s Fart?“, composed by the proprietor of a bed and breakfast in South Africa.

Darcy (@Darcy1968) and I had organised this trip to Carrington Falls in Budderoo National Park to take some photographs. The Carrington Falls are quite impressive. I first saw them in 1973 and once more years later. My wife and I went to the falls for a recce a few weeks back to check the roads and walking track possibilities.

Darcy wondered if I could make it to his home by 4.00AM. I was close.

Twitters from @darcy1968

Darcy likes to capture the light at dawn so it was an early start. A couple of our previous excursions are documented here and there. Amazing that all of these wonderful places are within a 40 minute or so drive from our homes.

My alarm went off at 3.00AM. I brewed coffee, had a shower, dressed in the clothes I had neatly arranged before I went to sleep so I would not be fumbling for them in the dark, ate some yoghurt, fed Sootie, drank the coffee, grabbed a couple of bananas, applied some blockout cream on my face and neck, whispered goodbye to Shao Ping, and set off in our little car.

I left home about 3.32AM and arrived at Darcy’s home at 4.03AM. Not many cars on the road at that time. A fisherman towing a boat and a newspaper delivery truck. That was about it. I observed speed limits. Losing your driver’s license is not an option in my town as decent public transport is almost non-existent. You cannot rely on it.

Collected Darcy and we drove west from his home up Jamberoo Mountain Pass. Going up is fine. Going down is hairy. It is a single lane road in a couple of sections as parts of the outer lane have slipped down the mountain side and are no more. I street viewed the journey the night before and the street view is interrupted at the half way point. I am not surprised. It is a dangerous road.

We reached Carrington Falls and drove into the camping area, probably waking the few campers there, and then decided to head over to the Falls. We had a look at the Falls and agreed that the light was not good. We did not take any photographs at the Falls themselves. It was overcast and misty. We headed over to a site called Nellies Glen. It was good. The light was improving although the lack of blue sky was an annoyance. Video footage of Nellies Glen.

Darcy unpacked his workhorse Nikon camera and lenses and I whipped out my Canon SX20. Darcy really enjoys photography. He appreciates great photography and is always on the lookout for opportunities to capture that defining moment.

Nellies Glen in Budderoo National Park

We took photographs, experimenting with all that photography stuff… ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc. Darcy also experimented with different lenses. The overcast skies made photography challenging. I used a little cheat for a number of photographs. I used the “Sunset” preset on the camera as it enhances the colour of the scene.

We walked from one spot to the next. We walked over to Warris Chair Lookout and we attempted to make it to Missingham Steps however there were two obstacles. One was a gut feeling that I had that we had missed a path as we were walking away from the Kangaroo Valley and tracking alongside farming properties in a northerly direction. I was proved wrong as a map later showed that the path eventually did a 180 degree turn. Secondly, we reached a spot which was completely flooded due to the incessant rain during this rather wintry summer. We turned back. The Missingham Steps can be saved for another day.

Darcy Moore by termite mound Budderoo National Park

We talked about photography, the essence of the image,Darcy’s recent trip to Denmark, turning students around, Christopher Hitchins, religion, Peter Fitzsimmons, HSC results, populations, my fear of edges (not heights ~ I have jumped out of aircraft), growing up, and much, much more. Darcy is a prolific reader. Truly prolific. I need to read more. Books, that is. Darcy often punctuated our conversation with questions prefixed by “Have you read…” and more often than not my reply was “no.” Tsk.

We decided to go for a drive and explore more. We stopped by Robertson Pie Shop to buy some pies to take home and we had a couple of pies for breakfast/lunch. Not long after that we started making our way back to Darcy’s home. We shared a coffee at Darcy’s home. Darcy conjures a nice brew. We sat and sieved through our images to see which we would publish. I took 200+ photographs and picked out the ones in the gallery added below. Darcy took a couple of photographs of yours truly as well. I flared them and they appear thus.

John Larkin at Budderoo National Park as taken by Darcy Moore

Darcy published some of his excellent photographs to his account with Flickr: Nellies Glen 1 | Nellies Glen 2 | Live Wire | Resting |

Two words that drew our conversational attention during the walk were “concatenate” and “ornery“. Are they part of your vocabulary?

How lucky am I? Many of you access Darcy virtually via his mindful Twitter feed and award winning blog. I have Darcy on tap each time we share a brew, visit our homes, go out and take photographs. Extraordinary really. I consider myself most fortunate. Thank you Darcy.