Sunday 27 June 2021

Misty Mornings & Aurora Magic- Poolburn Dam; Part 3


Continued on from Part 2

The next two blogs from Poolburn will be more of a photofest than anything as I have so many lovely photos I want to share with you. The photo opportunities were endless from one end of the day until the other and beyond! Misty sunrises, stunning night skies and I was even lucky enough to have Lady Aurora dancing for me.

Best viewed on a large screen, click on the photos to enlarge & scroll through them from there.

Looking like something from Mulan (a movie based on Chinese folklore); it was a misty sunrise over the Poolburn cribs this morning (I have never seen Mulan so I have no idea why I think this, it just looks Asian)

Half an hour later and the dusty pink had bleached from the sky.

With no wind to disperse the mist, it hung low over the dam and clung to the rocky tors, swirling in and around the cribs & rock stacks for much of the morning.

Two early morning photos of the generously sized crib near our campsite, taken five days apart & on my way back home after less than stunning sunrises. 

Poolburn famous; That Bus

Take a seat...either to catch sunset or wait to use the longdrop.

Another misty sunrise with thick cloud cover.

This is sunrise at the shepherds hut (one of my favourite cribs), high up on a rocky knoll overlooking the range to the east (and the dam in the other direction) it was a good place to shoot the sunrise. Except that it's was quite a haul up there in the pre-dawn gloom and after experiencing mediocre sunrises for three mornings in a row I gave up climbing & stuck to the cribs around the dam. 

Sunset on another day. Always look behind you when shooting a sunset often the scene is just as stunning with syrupy tones of pink and coral coloured clouds. You'll have to wait until the next blog to see the actual sunset that I'd raced across to the otherside of the dam to capture, it was spectacular!

With no light pollution and stunningly clear night skies I had a great time shooting the stars, in fact such a great time on this particular night I didn't make it to bed until 4am! That's airglow (aka nightglow) above the horizon.

'Out There' under the Milky Way

What is airglow? "Airglow is the faint luminescence of Earth's upper atmosphere which is caused by air molecules' & atoms' selective absorption of solar ultraviolet & X-radiation"

My 'on my way home from sunrise' crib features again during the night.

The airglow is strong in the following photo taken looking south. The two white 'clouds' are the Large & Small Magellanic Clouds, they are dwarf galaxies & orbit the Milky Way galaxy; the LMC is approx. 163,000 light years away, the SMC 206,000kms.  

In the opposite direction to the rising Milky Way, the star constellation Orion, better known to me and many others Downunder as the Iron Pot (or The Pot) can be seen in the following photos. Named after Orion, a hunter in Greek Mythology, Orion is upside down to us here in the in the Southern Hemisphere hence it looking more like a pot.  

I had no idea of the names of the other stars around the Orion but thanks to some experts on my Aurora Facebook page I now know that the bright star top left is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky and the yellow one down on the horizon and to the right of Orion is Betelgeuse. 

The bright one to the left of The Pot is Rigel, a star that is 863 light-years away from us, 120,000 times more luminous than the sun, 79 times the diameter and twice as hot at 11,600 degrees Celsius. Can you tell I had fun reading all the interesting facts about the stars? 

Another photo of the magnificent Milky Way, a last one before I returned to the van just before 4am. 

There's the  'on my way home from sunrise' crib again

Two nights later and I was lucky enough to capture the Aurora Australis and with not a soul about to share it with either. Not surprising that everyone else (all half a dozen of them) were tucked up in bed, these were taken between 2-3am. The aurora didn't last too long and it wasn't very strong but I was perfectly positioned to capture the reflection in the dam. 

And I was finally able to photograph 'Out There' parked up with the Southern Lights playing in the background. Usually I've had to drive to the best viewing sites to see an Aurora or we've been parked in the wrong place to have the rig in the shot.

The morning sunrise crib makes another 'star' appearance... does the next door neighbour's longdrop.

And finally a couple of sunrise photos (to whet your appetite for the next blog), these ones taken from the rock stack beside our camp. The rocks provide great elevation and a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape. They also have 'easy to navigate in the dark' stepping stones to reach the top. 

Although I have to clap & shout at the rock stack before I attempt the ascent. I saw possum poo up there this time...hmm, I wonder if he was our midnight visitor.

To be continued... Sunrises & Sunsets Part 4


  1. The beauty you have captured throughout th time you spent in the area leaves meopen-mouthed and speechless! Thank you.

  2. Lorraine Swinburne28 June 2021 at 05:51

    Stunning photos

  3. Incredible who new how beautiful the night could be and no drugs required. What time of the year was this.

  4. Absolutely magic what a beautiful photos


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