November: am

During the first two weeks in November the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula has been buffeted by strong westerly winds. Only the odd days here and there have been without the wind. It is only in this third week of November that I have returned to walking along the beach around the mouth of the Inman River in the early morning or amongst the rocks west of Petrel Cove in the late afternoon.

Kayla, Esplanade Beach, Victor Harbor

It is usually quiet on the Esplanade Beach early in the morning. There are not very many people walking along this beach—just the odd local person walking their dog. So Kayla and I have the beach pretty much to ourselves.

Agricultural landscapes

As mentioned in this post on my Encounter Studio blog I have started to explore the back country roads and the agricultural landscape in and around Waitpinga whilst on our afternoon poodlewalks. The Fleurieuscapes project needs to include the rural landscape in order to have some balance to the coastal images in the littoral zone. Most of the space of the Fleurieu Peninsula is an agricultural landscape consisting of dairy farms, grazing land for sheep and cattle, and the rapidly expanding vineyards.

I do struggle with photographing this subject matter, and most of what I see and then scope with a digital camera on our poodlewalks is boring and uninteresting, especially when I look at the digital files on the iMac’s computer screen. I am finding it to be a depressing and disheartening process.

One exception is this picture of pink gum, with a farm shed, silo and water tank along Pitkin Rd in Waitpinga that I came across on an exploratory afternoon poodlewalk with Kayla and Maleko:

Pitkin Rd, Waitpinga

This scoping picture was made in the autumn, when I first started to consciously explore the back country roads in Waitpinga. This picture of a dry, agricultural landscape works much better for me in black and white. The initial colour image looks too pretty and touristy–the photos would be what you would see in a feature in the glossy Fleurieu Living Magazine.

a cold snap

Temperatures have dropped with winters cold snap since I have returned to Encounter Bay from the brief Murray Mallee photo trip to Claypans and beyond. It is now quite chilly in the morning and in the early evening. Though the days are still, there is little warmth in the sun due to the cloud cover.

I have started to walk the back country roads through the various agricultural landscapes on the early morning poodlewalks with Kayla:

Tugwell + Wilson Hill Rds

Surprisingly, I am encountering people who are running and walking along these back roads before sunrise. They, like me, are out walking and running around 6.30 am, which is roughly an hour before sunrise.

After the rains

As mentioned in an earlier post it is very quiet along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula these days, even after the rains. Despite the atmospheric conditions it’s only the locals who are out and about in the early morning before sunrise.

When I parked the Forester at the Petrel Cove carpark before dawn this morning (May 20th) it looked as if the ‘after the rains’ scenario was a misreading of the weather. The cloud cover was heavy, the clouds were dark, and there was rain out at sea. So I put a rain coat on, left the tripod and Rolleiflex SL66 in the boot of the Forester and went walking.

Kings Head, Waitpinga

As we walked along the Heritage Trail to Deps Beach and the rocks beyond the beach Kayla and I encountered an echinda making its way along the Trail. I saw a couple of seals and a pod of dolphins hunting in the sea along the edge of the coastal rocks. There was the odd speckled Pacific Gull sitting on the rocks and some seagulls. Apart from that we had the coast to ourselves as we made to the rocks past Deps Beach.

returning to Kings-Head

I took advantage of a heavily overcast morning on Wednesday (18/4/2019) to walk with Kayla along the Heysen Trail to the rocky outcrop on the western edge of Kings Head. This outcrop is down from the Kings Beach Retreats that are on top of Kings Head, and is at the foot of the Waitpinga Cliffs.

I had visited the outcrop earlier –on the 9/4/2019. This was in the late afternoon when Suzanne was in China, but combination of a south -westerly wind, wild seas and the high tide that afternoon meant that we could not gain access to the outcrop. I had to stay on the edge of the hill side of the littoral zone.

foam

For the return visit in the morning we left just after dawn, so that we had time to reach the rocky outcrop just after sunrise. This, I hoped, would gave me some time to photograph around the rocky outcrop before the cloud cover broke up and the light became too contrasty.

sea-mist

The sea-mist doesn’t happen that often along the southern coast of  the Fleurieu Peninsula. It happens maybe about once or twice a year,  and it can be quite localised.

The sea mist  briefly appeared early one morning  late last week on the coast:

sea mist, Petrel Cove

When I saw it I hoped  the it was thick  enough for me to photograph some of the granite rocks amongst the seamiest,  as  had happened on a previous occasion.       Continue reading “sea-mist”

squalls

During the winter of 2018 the southern coast of  the Fleurieu Peninsula has  been battered by king tides squalls and gusty, cold  northwesterly winds  off and on for a couple of weeks at a time.  It is off and on because in -between  these intense,  northerly winds we have the winter’s standard south westerly winds bringing  rain in from  Western Australia.

rain + sun, Waitpinga

The rain eventually clears after a couple of days,  we have a fine day,  then we are back to the gusty northerlies again. Sometimes these changes in the weather  can be quite  atmospheric.

On the days of rain it is a matter of trying to  go on the poodlewalks inbetween the passing showers,  and then  hoping that we don’t get caught in a squall out in the open.  Often we see a lone surfer, and on other days there are groups of people standing on the cliffs look out to sea, presumably whale watching.  Continue reading “squalls”

King-tides

The recent king-tides along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula  made it difficult for us  to walk  amongst the coastal rocks  both in the early morning and the late afternoon on  many occasions. We stayed on the clifftop heritage trail and looked down on the wild seas crashing over the rocks  we would usually walk amongst.

Kayla and  I  were able to venture  to walk along the  littoral zone one morning between my return from  photographing in Melbourne  for the SALA exhibition   and before I left to go on the  photocamp at Balranald  for the Mallee Routes project.

quartz+granite, am

It was one of those infrequent lovely winter mornings— cloud,  sunshine  and very  little wind–that allowed time for wander around, look at  how things had changed due to the king tides and  to do some photography.    Continue reading “King-tides”

at Kuitpo Forest Reserve

We usually visit the  Kuitpo Forest Reserve for the afternoon  poodlewalk when we are on our return journey  to Encounter Bay after  the poodles have spent the day at  the  Mt Barker dog groomers. These  occasions are once every six weeks–poodles are high maintenance— and we when we are walking in the forest we routinely avoid walking in  the pinus radiata  plantation areas .

We prefer   to  wander  within the small sparse areas of eucalyptus in the forest reserve:

Kuitpo Forest

All goes smoothly on the walk, if we  avoid the campers, the campsite foreplaces   and the various kangaroos in this part of Kuitpo Forest.

I usually walk around with a digital camera. The light in the forest after  4pm during the winter is often too low  to be able to use  hand held film cameras:

Kuitpo Forest

And during summer months  the light at 4pm is very bright and contrasty. The gates are closed around 4pm during the fire season  to prevent any camping.

So winter is the time for photography Kuitpo Forest Reserve as the sun in the late afternoon is low enough to gently lighten up the trees.

 

At American River

Suzanne, the 2 standard  poodles and I,   spent several  days at American River on Kangaroo Island with Suzanne’s sister, (Barbara Heath) and her husband (Malcolm Enright) who had flown down from Brisbane.

The days on the island  were gentle,  balmy  late autumn ones.  A storm hit the island  just  as  I was leaving on the late Sealink ferry on Wednesday evening.

erosion, Redbanks

On Saturday    I arrived on the island   on Saturday   on the 10am  ferry from Cape Jervis   with the  poodles to  open up the cottage.   That early morning arrival  gave me time to go  exploring American River with the poodles.  I  started with places that I was familiar with from previous trips.  The last trip with friends was 4 years ago in 2014, whilst the last photo trip was in 2013.  Continue reading “At American River”