Sub Alpine series

Bago State Forest

Bago State Forest is close to Phil's home at Kunama, south of Batlow. He became very attached to the area while working there for CSIRO.

Bago plateau is an extension of the Kosciuszko plateau, to the west of the Tumut River. The plateau, formed from a granodiorite batholith, is mostly at an elevation of 1000m although there are several ridges and mountains protruding to 1400m. Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegetensis) forests are a feature of this sub alpine landscape but there are also extensive areas of Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), Mountain Gum (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa) and Black Sally (Eucalyptus stellulata).

Storm Lookout is a high rocky bluff, 1300m, on the western edge of Bago that has numerous large granitic tors and Alpine Ash. Early goldminers constructed a makeshift wooden lookout on this bluff to spot for potentially deadly sudden storms and fires coming in from the south west. The high elevation of Storm Lookout produces high rainfall and snow, as a result the tors are covered in lichens and mosses resulting in rock surfaces with complex of colour, texture, and shape.

Storm Lookout 1, Storm Lookout 2, Storm Lookout 3 and Storm Lookout 4 depicts the intimate association between rocks and trees at this location:

Burra Ridge is near Storm Lookout, and is the location of Burra Ridge Tor and Ash on the Rocks:

Burra Ridge Tor focuses on a single small granite tor draped with eucalypt bark. It shows the variety and beauty that can be seen with close observation of the simple and mundane. The rock has an interesting structure and pattern, and is covered in a host of mosses and lichens. It is a small ecology on its own.

Ash on the Rocks depicts one of the local silvicultural oddities; a fully grown Alpine Ash growing out of a seeming solid granite tor.

Granite Mountain is the highest peak on the Bago plateau reaching 1400m. It is the location of one the numerous conifer arboreta planted by the then Forestry Commission of NSW in the early 20th century to determine what softwood species would be best suited for Australian conditions. These arboreta were located across eastern NSW, and the one located on Granite Mountain is the extreme in elevation. The extreme climate and elevation has meant that many of the confer species in this arboretum have either not survived, suffered snow and wind damage, or just grown very slowly. Two stands in the later class that have distinctly different form are the Western White Pine and Ponderosa Pine depicted in Granite Mountain Arboretum: Western White Pine and Granite Mountain Arboretum: Ponderosa Pine:

Dog Creek and Paddys River are typical of the high elevation streams on the Bago plateau:

There are also man made dams constructed by gold miner for sawmilling purposes, such as Paddys River Dam:

Namadgi National Park

While he still lived in Canberra, Phil spent time exploring the Namadgi National Park in the Brindabella Mountains another sub alpine landscape.

The open snow grass plains and streams of the Orroral Valley were the subject of Trouting Dreaming for Neil Trilogy:

While the granitic outcrops featured in Tidbinbilla Tors 1, Tidbinbilla Tors 2 and Booroomba Rocks:

Find out more about Phil's art: