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Mood swings of the Lake

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The lake at Dumaresq Dam is almost menopausal in its changing moods.

The Dumaresq Lake in a peaceful mood

The Dumaresq Lake in a peaceful mood

Although always beautiful it changes almost hourly.

When canopied by a clear blue sky the sun creates explosions of yellow amid the deep greens of the surrounding bush covered hills. When there’s no breeze this colourful mood incorporates deep reflections on the lake surface broken only by a swimming Duck or a diving Cormorant. The reflections perfectly mirror the colour explosions in the surrounding bush on the still water and if it’s very early in the day this mood is set to a symphony of sound created by thousands of birds.


It’s this mood I like best. It’s as if the lake is in a selfish “It’s all about me” mood, because there are no humans yet awake and the lake can be itself. I am a solitary intruder, a silent onlooker, not creating voice or using the banks for walking, or casting a line or sailing a vessel. Not creating smoke or smell from a BBQ or batting a ball. The lake loves these human interventions, but not at this time of the day. Yes, the lake is itself at this time and it seems to love the experience.

The weather can change quickly up here in the New South Wales highlands and it’s the weather changes that influence the lake’s moods the most.

Late yesterday the mood became sombre and brooding. As a heavy rain storm advanced toward the lake the surrounding hills became enshrouded in low cloud and the darkness of the higher storm clouds prevented the explosions of colour from appearing, instead leaving the dark greens to dominate.

The lake’s surface became dark, reflectionless and a little angry as the rain poured down. The torrents of water from a thousand streams birthed in the high hills burst into the lake from every corner and from every bank causing a roaring cascade of water over the dam wall. All the wildlife had gone, seeking shelter in branch and vine, reed, log and burrow.

Human intervention is again rare when the lake is in this dark mood. All but the foolhardy soul desperate for a glimpse at the scene are secure and dry in their warm little mobile homes.

In the very early morning when the darkness is deepest and the natural symphony is at its quietest, the rain clouds briefly dissipate and allow the lights of a billion stars to cast sparkles on the now perfectly still lake surface. The moon’s glow picks out the dark shapes of the surrounding hills and trees until a cloud passes in front of it, erasing the bluish hue of this momentary illumination.

Morning again brings the tranquillity but this time the sun and clear blue sky mingle with a gentle breeze that creates tiny wavelets on the lake surface the delicate crests of which capture the sun creating a sparkling blanket of glistening diamonds across the surface.

Then the smell of morning coffee and breakfast wafts through the air and the occasional door is opened. A voice is heard here and there and this signals that the lake is no longer alone, it is has a human dynamic. The addition of people seems to usher in a different mood on the lake. It’s as if it is willing and proud to offer itself for the enjoyment of countless souls through the ages.

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