Yesterday morning I decided to be spontaneous and jump in the ute for a spin to Kangaroo Valley, approximately 2.5 hours from Canberra. After phoning a couple of mates and getting no reply, I decided to go alone. I tell you what, that place is amazing! You wouldn't know you were in Australia! It is so green, wet and hot. Everything there is alive and there is so much wildlife! The rugged terrain up the slopes of the valley are slippery and dangerous, daring me to rise to the challenge. I made blood brothers with some friendly leeches as they advanced up my boots and started latching on to my shins. They were sorry to see me go as their little heat-sensitive tails waved goodbye. The storm-conditions filled filled the valley with low,dark and thick cloud and heavy rain. I stayed wet most of the day as I slogged through thick jungle, up slippery, moss and fern-filled gullies and canyons in pursuit of hidden treasures. The noise from the laden creeks was deafening. The rocks and trees and even dead logs were covered in all manner of fungi, moss, lichen and other plant life. Strange alienesque palms were growing in the forks of the larger trees right up in the canopy, with beautiful twisted vines feeding them from the ground. Some of the vines had twisted together to form trunks as big as their host trees! As I leaped one fence, I landed next to an interesting pile of color and pattern, which turned out to be a lovely Python. I gently eased him from his bed, had a bit of intimate time with him, before returning him to his solitude. I found derelict cars down cliffs, abandoned and very old hoses overgrown and overcome with wild scrub and a beautiful old suspension bridge covered in greenery. A great little find was an old truck that had shed it's skin of paint to show it's true rust colours. It even had a tree growing out of the engine bay and a birds nest on the steering wheel. The local farmer was very kind to let me onto his property to shoot this beauty. After that, a turtle crossing the road appealed to my concern as I saw cars passing unawares. I must have looked a sight, laying face down in the middle of the road waiting for this shy creature to pull his head out of his....shell. Once we had chatted, I escorted him off the road in the direction he was headed. I checked out the famous Fitzroy falls twice during the day on the way in and the way out, but the fog made them impossible to shoot. I will have to return on a clear day. To close the day, I came across two very elusive Lyrebirds late in the evening. It was a hard job trying to stay upwind of them and sneak close enough for a back-lit silhouette shot. All in all, a day well spent in this beautiful valley. I will definitely return to explore it further. I will be posting all the lovely shots of the creeks on my new website very soon, so give me an hour or two and you can see them all on http://barryarmsteadphotography.webs.com/ Some of the snake shots are a bit blurry, but I was trying to handle the snake while shooting it... Baz.