Since the unprecedented firestorm that swept through the High Country on Black Saturday, leaving utter desolation and despair in its path, my place is the sub-alpine plateau at Lake Mountain, east of Marysville. I first visited the area in the 1970s, for the spectacular flowering of the alpine spring. Returning 11 months after the fire caused a profound sense of shock. A landscape of scorched earth, shattered granite boulders and charred tree trunks lay before me.
Nevertheless, already small green shoots were visible. I made a commitment to photograph and record the natural environment's response to the catastrophe. My pilgrimage has taken me along every trail on the plateau. Each visit contributes to a life-changing journey of discovery. In November the Mountain Hovea spreads a deep purple haze, while delicate alpine orchids appear as if by magic as the air warms. Sky Lilies spangle the ground in December. Drifts of magenta-hued trigger-plants proliferate in January. March brings white clusters of Mountain Gentians, streaked with violet.
As the complex web of life re-establishes itself, brightly coloured butterflies decorate the mountain breezes. Snowgums, Alpine ash and Antarctic beech will take decades to regain their former height and maturity. The landscape has been altered forever for our generation.
However, the power of nature to heal itself is undeniable and offers a priceless legacy to everyone struggling to come to terms with what it means to live in a fire-prone country such as ours.