Earth Light - The Blue Mountains National Park.


When the Sydney basin sand stone rose from the sea floor all those millions of years ago (26 I heard) the rock developed more or less straight parallelish faults with another lesser set of parallel faults at right angles to these.† Naturally as the water fell on this landscape it formed watercourses in the easiest way and this was the fault lines.† Gradually over the eons these watercourses dug deeper and deeper into the faults hardly widening as they went because the sand stone was so hard.† The grinding action of water carrying sandy grit and rock is wonderful to see as it creates rounded rocks in cylindrical holes which eventually break leaving that beautiful water sculpture cliffs you see every where.† Eventually some of these cliffs collapsed with great jagged lumps of sandstone falling to form the bolder jambs you see, leaving the cliff face smooth and colourful depending on the type of sandstone.

Now the landform is dominated by high colourful sandstone cliffs in the open valleys that formed as the small streams came together to form rivers.† Gradually plants moved in to colonize these new areas, moss, lichen, ferns, tree ferns, orchids; rain forest plants and trees coachwood, strangler fig, Wollemi pine, out of sight in the smaller streams that still cut there way through the sandstone.† Because these are secret protected place they haven't changed much over the millions of years.† The wide-open places soon were colonized by the usual bush plant huge eucalyptus, rugged banksias and hakea.  Always in this sandstone country you have beautiful flowers all year round how can forget the wattles, the flowering gums, the flannel flower, a crimson waratah standing in a shaft of sunlight.† Strangely enough the soil is very poor with little nutrient in many places but that has lead to its beauty and its protection so close to a major centre of population.

The Blue Mountains are crisscrossed with these watercourses, the big ones every one has seen the Megalong Valley, the Gross Valley.† But tucked away out of sight because they are so narrow and deep are the canyons of the Blue Mountains.† You can wander along in these canyons in more or less straight lines and suddenly come to a right angle bend that then goes straight for a while before making another right angle bend.† Some times you come to water falls too deep and slippery for most to climb.† Occasionally the top of the canyon is no more than a slit you can step across while hundreds of feet below is a place that people walk.† Some times the rock has fallen and blocked the way eventually the water wears away under so you are in a cave, or your walking in a creek bed with no water while unbeknown to you there is a cave below (until you come to the end and there is a drop before you).† The floor of the creek can be sand and gravel to walk over, long pools to swim, holes in the wall to climb through, small round pools to dip in, or jumbled rocks to climb over round through any which way.† Some of the walks or swims are dark and mysterious with glow worms to light the walls and roof like a night sky, others are bright and sunny in prehistoric gardens, others are subdued and cool like a cathedral on a hot day.

Rocky Creek Canyon

is a long vaulted chamber near its end where it opens out into the creek.† Subdued lighting despite the bright sunshine outside.† Itís nice to walk in a place that you know is timeless (in human terms).† 2000 years ago it would have looked much the same.† Narrow wavy slit of an opening up high where the rock is harder and the fault line softer.† You can't see the sky in most places because the ancient water course waves as it rises higher and higher out of sight and a delightful range of prehistoric looking plants perched where they can hold, ferns and mosses and lichen and other rain forest plants, the odd rock orchid the purple hooded flower common in this area.† Below this it opens out where the fault wasn't so pronounced relying on water born grit and rock to wear the floor away leaving walls in that wonderful water sculptured way.† 8 to 10 tall men high to where it narrows, no more than 2 tall men wide, straight as a river can be just a little wavy till it bends in the distance at each end.† Some places in the bush are called the green room the light here in this chamber has the same cool green friendly aura.

As we swam back along the canyon in the green chamber revealing the freedom of no backpack and enjoying the over arm stroke, I look ahead and see Earth Fire on the sandy floor.† A brilliant white puddle of light bubbling up from the floor of the cavern.† A perfectly straight sharp column of light cutting straight up through the roof high above no more than the ring made by both my hands and fingers together.† As we near the pool becomes brighter and brighter till it hurts the eyes to look but you cannot look away.† The light is whiter and clearer than any man made cauldron or furnace, little bubbles of light burst up into the air to fall back to earth in arcs.† Quite close now we can see that the light is in the bed of the little stream bouncing and bubbling over the rocks as it heads for the bigger pools just along there where we swam.

© Copyright 1999 Dug Floyd