The Fitzgerald River National Park near Hopetoun is one of my favourite places in the South West of WA. The Hammersley Inlet is an important estuary in the park. Shallow near the ocean but deeper upstream where it winds through a valley of schist and quartzite rock. In summer 2020 the Hammersley Inlet dried up to a salt lake and although saddened by this change I noticed a stark and strange beauty. Its waters receded revealing hidden rocks and roots and the sun burnt the saltbush ruby red. I was particularly taken by the stoic paperbark trees that were clinging stubbornly to life on the edge of the blazing sand and their reflection in the briny ochre puddles that remained.
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