Category Archives: Tree Sit Videos
Miranda Gibson has today reluctantly left her perch high up in the Observer Tree, after 449 days, as a bushfire burned to within a kilometre and it became clear that predicted hot weather early next week could precipitate an emergency situation in the remote forest.
Miranda, of Still Wild Still Threatened, has spent almost 15 months in the Observer Tree after she climbed up on 14th December 2011, vowing to remain as long as possible to defend the forests, including the World Heritage value area in which the tree is situated.
“Our campaign to stop the logging of these World Heritage nominated forests and of the proposed protected areas will continue despite my exit from the Observer Tree. Although it is disappointing to leave this forest whilst these precious places continue to fall to the chainsaw, I have a huge respect for the forces of nature that are in play. And I remain as dedicated as ever to standing up for Tasmania’s threatened forests. “
“I want to stress that magnificent forests are still in jeopardy, including places it has been agreed should be protected and become World Heritage listed, and that our will to see them safe remains as strong as ever. The campaign for these globally significant forests will now move into a new phase,” Ms Gibson concluded.
Thank you to Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens, and Peg Putt, CEO of Markets for Change who came up the tree to visit me today! Thank you for braving the 60 meter ascent into the upper canopy in order to celebrate with me in person, the remarkable milestone that we have achieved in Tasmania – the nomination of our world-class forests for World Heritage. While, of course, the fight is not over and there is more work we need to do, this is a huge step forward and great recognition for the values of these ancient forests. It was great to celebrate this moment with two very inspirational women who have spent many years of their lives dedicated to the protection of these spectacular forests. Check out the videos:
With all the love and support pouring in from around the globe on my anniversary in the tree – I was left feeling a sense of connection to the world. Yet, something was missing, a still had a feeling of loneliness. A strange mix of feeling intricately connected to the an international community and campaign, yet alone in the tree and disconnected from my own family and friends. And so when my Dad made the journey all the way to (and up) the Observer Tree – I was so happy! And what’s more… he came dressed as Santa Check it out:
I have already had my Mum and my sister visit in the tree. And I wondered if my Dad would get the chance to come up the tree. When he told me that he had some time off work before Christmas and was going to visit… I was so excited. He was worried about coming up the tree though… would we have enough to talk about to fill a few days? Usually when I spend time with my family, I don’t always get the chance to just sit down with my Dad and have the time to have long chats and get to know each other. So, being stuck on a small platform together for a few days, with nowhere else to go… it was a real gift! We had so much fun. I got to teach my Dad some card games. I got to tell him all about my tree top life (I think he was pretty impressed with my tree house structure). I will cherish the memories of those few days forever!
Last night I checked the comments on my blog, and my Dad had written this beautiful message about his visit to see me. I was so touched by this message, that I wanted to make sure you all read it, so I asked if I could re-post it here in this blog.
“Hi Miranda. I must say I am in total awe of you of your passion, conviction and courage to continue with your fight to save and protect the forest and the eco system that relies on it .
I have truly enjoyed the two days and two nights that I have had the privilege to spend with you in your tree top lookout. It is almost impossible to put into words the beauty that I witnessed, from the mist covered mountains in the early hours of the morning, to the changes in the whether, going though the four seasons in a very short time. One minute rain and wind with the tree swaying to and fro, to sunny and warm
One of the times I really felt at peace was during the night as I was wrapped in my sleeping bag listening to the sound of the rain in the canopy, waking in the morning and looking up at the blue sky.
It was beautiful to watch the birds come for a visit in the hope that they might snatch some food.
I loved, when we sat at the table and played uno or 500, with you winning the majority of the time I might add,or sitting having a chat and a laugh with a hot cup of chia tea and a tim tam while listening to the rain.
Being there is easy to see why you fight so hard to have these forests saved.
So Miranda I love you and support you in every aspect of the campaign as do the thousands of supporter around the globe, a big cheer for them,I don’t need to say keep up the good work because I know you will.
And I am so grateful that I have had the chance to have a visit from my Dad. I can’t wait till I get back to the ground and can continue on our card game and our conversation where we left off.
It was recently my Mum’s birthday. My sister sent me photos of the family celebration. With technology at our finger tips, it’s like you can be there without being there, right? Except, the instantaneous photos didn’t stop me from feeling that pang in my heart, that little stab of loneliness, of missing my family. Then I remembered the happy memories of when my Mum made the brave step to visit me. It was months ago now, but the happiness of those few days has kept me going through all of the challenges since then. Not just her presence and laughter in the tree, but something more than that – knowing how much she supports what I am doing, how proud she is of me and the stance I am making on behalf of these forests. And so my memories lead me to look over all the footage we had taken when she stayed here. And now… I have turned that footage into a short film for you. So that you too can enjoy those memories. And see what an adventure it was for my Mum to take her feet 60 meters above ground to visit her daughter. I hope you enjoy the video, and share it with your friends and family too!
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This time last week I celebrated my birthday in the tree sit. It was an amazing day with visits from people in the local community and from Hobart. Today I made this little film about the day. Hope you enjoy!
Who can complain about a day in the office with a view like this? What an amazing place to spend time writing about the forests, while looking out across snow-covered mountains! I must admit, I did get a little distracted taking all these photos instead of doing work on the computer! I hope you enjoy the slide show:
Wow! How bright is the moon tonight? It is spectacular. Tonight it is apparently a “super moon.” A natural phenomenon in which the moon is extra-large, the biggest it will be for the year. How special to get to view it from the upper canopy of the forest. I wasn’t sure how much I would get to see it. Early on in the evening the cloud cover was thick. And although the night was exceptionally bright, I could only see the moon itself in very quick glimpses, as the clouds faded for a moment. Now, however, it is shining brightly. A wispy thin layer of cloud rushes past, illuminated in the brilliant light of the moon. It’s a nice night to be in a tree!
Well, I have something very exciting to share with you tonight! I have decided to start a new video blog series for you. It’s called “Conversations with Miranda.” It is a talk show, Observer Tree style, featuring a different special guest each episode. Now, I don’t know how frequently the episodes will be, as it’s not all that often I get visitors to my place! But tonight I am launching the first episode, with special guest Lily Leahy. Lily is one of my best friends in the whole world. And as well as being a great friend Lily is also a great plant nerd, always identify plants where-ever she goes and sharing interesting little facts about them. Lily and I are co-authors of Flora and Fauna of the Upper Florentine Valley. And in this little film you get to learn all about the plants that grow in the forest around my tree. Plus some handy hints on getting started with becoming a plant nerd too! We even take you on a tour of my tree tops, to check out some of the life growing in the upper canopy of the Observer Tree. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as Lily and I enjoyed making it.
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Its 3 am and I can’t sleep. I’ve been laying away for awhile writing blogs in my head. I didn’t want to get out of my warm sleeping bag to get the computer. I thought maybe I’d remember what I wanted to say by the time the morning came. But really that’s just an excuse to stay warm. I knew it would be like those times I wake up from a dream in the middle of the night sure that I will remember it the next day. It’s so clear and vivid in my mind that it seems impossible to forget it. Then sure enough the next day it is nothing but a fuzzy blur that seems to disappear like smoke every time you try to grasp a hold of it. Well, I didn’t want that to happen to my blog.. so I forced myself up into the cold and now I’m sitting wrapped in my sleeping bag, my hands poking awkwardly out the gap, my fingers stinging a little with every tap of the keys, red and numb from the cold. Outside the wind is howling through the trees. Through the clear tarp above me the silhouettes of leaves are dancing a wild and frantic dance. The sway of the platform has become so natural that it is comforting to feel the tree moving gently with the wind. Though it is jolted violently out of rhythm every now and again by a sudden gust.
Why am I awake at 3 am? Well, it’s not really because I have something so important to tell you that it just couldn’t wait till the morning. So I’m sorry if you are waiting for the revealing of some spectacular mid night epiphany. In reality I just went to bed really early. I had planned to write you a blog last night, but I just wanted a little warmth in my cosy sleeping bag… and then it was just so nice and warm that I decided to stay.
Yesterday I woke up in the morning and it looked like it would be a lovely day. The sun was shining, the weather was mild, a slight breeze but nothing to worry about. I got a call from Bob Brown. He was on the midlands highway and was thinking of me up in the tree in such windy weather. Hmmm… didn’t seem that windy to me, but it gave me the feeling it might be coming.
The other day a gorgeous little pardalote came and sat on the branch right next to me. I really wanted to get my camera so I could film it and show you. But I thought if I move I will frighten it away. So I decided to just stay and appreciate the moment. And I thought you would forgive me for supplying no images, just a description of how lovely it was! Well, I tell you this now because as I was sitting there thinking about the looming possibility of gale force winds, watching dark clouds appear over the mountains, a pair of rosellas flew over to the tree nearby. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. I am always meaning to film Rosellas, but so often they seem to stay just below the canopy unless they are flying by quickly. They were so cute sitting there on the branches unfazed as they tree swayed in the wind. Take a look:
I was feeling super chirpy, the sun was still out, it was getting pretty windy but was still relatively mild, I had some cute Rosella footage for my blog… it was going to be a good day. Time for a spring clean, I thought. And I started to sort out all my boxes and bags of things. I have gathered a lot up here over the past four months. And some of the things people have sent up are not one hundred percent essential. You know those days when you decide to tidy the house, and then there comes a point where you have made it a lot messier…. the contents of the cupboards sprawled across the floor and you start to doubt whether it was a good idea? Well, that is what it was like, I had things laid out all over my swag. In fact it seemed a miracle that ALL of that stuff had actually fit into those bags and boxes that sat neatly at the end of the platform. And it was at this moment that it happened. The weather changed so quickly I hardly had time to react. The wind ripped through the valley with such violent force that I had to hold onto my ropes to keep steady. My tarp, getting a bit weathered now from so many days like this, submitted in one finally act of defeat as the eye lets ripped from their seams. My most beloved possession… my bio-snaky sprout garden was over the edge before I even realised it, only it’s lid remained teetering on the edge of the platform. I was grabbing wildly at things trying to keep them from going overboard, while the tarp convulsed madly and the wind spat fat drops of rain onto my swag.
What a relief when I finally sat down, cosy and dry surrounded by a make shift tarp and woolen blanket combo holding out the cold wind. My clothes were dripping wet so I decided it was time for a dry jumper. I did my usual spider-check of the clothing before putting it on. But I didn’t see the spider fall quietly out onto my shirt. It was when I had the jumper half suspended over my head, my arms sticking half out the sleeves that I saw him crawling up my shirt. Now, I am starting to get used to these little buddies. You kind of have to up here. But that being said, I am still not quiet over my fear of tem. So you can imagine the chaos that ensued. I panicked and tried to flick him away. He disappeared… where? Down in my harness? My jumper had somehow been liberated and tossed aside and I’m frantically checking the crevices of my harness. Then I see him. Or at least I think it is him, though I can’t be sure since there are a LOT of spiders here and they all look the same. He is curled up on the platform. He looks dead. Oh dear, for all my fear of spiders I still care about them and I feel awful that I may have accidentally flicked this spider to his death.
So, there I was feeling a bit miserable. I’d lost my biosnacky, inadvertently murdered an innocent spider and I was now shivering with cold (I was feeling a bit scared of putting my jumper back on, even though I’m pretty sure it was now clear of all spiders). And then it started to snow. Oh snow, my favourite thing! Well, I didn’t feel as enthusiastic about the snow as I did the last two times. And there was no soft gentle magic snow, just the slushy kind that plopped down with the rain. I thought about the time I’d been telling someone about the amazing experiences of it snowing at Camp Florentine, but instead of joy they expressed concern. I didn’t understand…. Don’t you like the snow? Well, yes. They said. But it’s nice to watch through the window from the comfort of your house! I didn’t understand this at the time. I thought that was crazy. Why wouldn’t you want to run outside and play in it? Well, I still want to run outside and play in the snow and (I hope) I always will. But sitting watching in plop plop plop onto my tarp, while the cold wind made its way through every available crack and gap in the tarp, I think I can sort of understand where they are coming from. I think I might just crawl back into my sleeping bag right now… my fingers are getting a bit icy typing on this keyboard!
Well, now it’s evening again. It was a beautiful day which started with an amazing sunrise. The snow-covered peaks of Mount Field glowing in a hazy golden halo as the sunlight sprawled into the mist. I sat enjoying the view, with my camera and binoculars by my side, waiting for my little pardelote friend to come back! It was perfect weather for birds to be out and about. They love the early morning sun. I could hear them in the distance. But you know how these things go; they’ll only come over to my tree the moment I give up and put the camera away!
I have some exciting news to tell you before I go though. I have a special visitor coming to visit tomorrow. From Warren Macdonald. Now, I wont tell you too much about him…. I don’t want to spoil the blog for you! But just giving a heads up to all the Hobart folk – Warren will be doing a talk on Tuesday night at The Lark distillery. Here is a little blurb about it: