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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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”
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:
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:
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.
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.
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”