We were stunned at how dry, brown and bleak the South Australian landscape was when we were driving down to Encounter Bay from Adelaide. We had just flown into Adelaide from spending a couple of weeks travelling, walking and photographing in New Zealand.
It was a real shock after experiencing the greenness and lushness of the New Zealand landscape in both the North and the South Islands. After experiencing frequent rain, flowing streams and rivers, and lush green bush, we were taken back by the dryness. Hell, we thought, we live in this dry, bleak landscape.
I had noticed the brown landscape as we flew across Victoria and South Australia on route from Melbourne to Adelaide, but up close and walking in this landscape was a shock.
Yesterday afternoon, when I walked along the coastal path and the rocks on a late afternoon walk with Maleko, I didn’t even bother to take a camera with me. I couldn’t see the point. Continue reading “such a bleak landscape”
Whilst Suzanne was away walking the Wilderness Trail on Kangaroo Island with her walking friends, I looked after, and walked, the two standard poodles twice a day. That’s the daily routine with hunting dogs.
These portraits of Maleko and Kayla was made whilst we were on an early morning walk up, over and down Rosetta Head (or The Bluff). Ari had just died a few days earlier, before Suzanne went walking on Kangaroo Island.
We were hanging about on the top of The Bluff having a bit of fun as it had been the first time I’d walked up Rosetta Head in the early morning for ages
Kayla recently injured her back legs when she racing down the side of Rosetta Head.Then she and Maleko spotted a kangaroo and off she went. Her knees are quite sore, and she is on a weeks course of anti-inflammatories and restricted walks along the local coast. She walks solo with me in the morning and then solo with Suzanne in the evening.
We move slowly along the coastal foreshore in the morning–usually along the Encounter Bay beach. It reminds me of walking with Ari along this beach in the last month of his life.
The spring weather has been its usual turbulent normal along the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast of South Australia. Cold south-westerlies and showers one day, sunshine, shorts and t-shirt the following day, then back to cold, overcast weather the next. My afternoon walks amongst the coastal rocks with Kayla and Maleko are a welcome and enjoyable break from sitting in front of the computer during the day working on the text for the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book.
I have been taking advantage of these coastal walks to look out for, and find, some safe location amongst the rock formations so that I can explore different ways of making abstracts of the swirling sea:
These sea abstracts are a break from the usual rock and quartz abstracts that I usually do when photographing the present on these walks. This should become writing the present as well.
In its place are cool southerly winds, blue skies, calmer seas and lots of bright sunshine. The winter grasses are drying out, grass seeds are attaching themselves to the coats of the poodles as we walk along the cliff top path, and I have itchy eyes and a running nose from my allergies to grass seeds.
Mornings like this are now a memory:
Early morning scenes like this are momentary. They are there one minute gone the next. The light is constantly changing, as are the waves.They are impossible to photograph with a medium or large format camera on a tripod.
The glorious spring weather disappeared completley on the weekend just past. Since Sunday morning strong south-westerly winds and rain have pounded the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast. The wind has been bitterly cold. Fortunately, it was no superstorm, as they experience with the Atlantic basin hurricanes. I cannot imagine what winds of 180 mph or higher would be like. The winds of category 5 hurricanes must be life threatening.
The local storm caused large waves to roll in from the southern ocean, and these have made it very difficult for us to walk around the coastal rocks on our poodle walks. We haven’t been able to go very far around the rocks at all.
It has just been too dangerous for us to walk around the rocks as the huge waves were coupled with high tides. The seventh wave–a storm surge?–has generally been monstrous.
Suzanne returned from Cuba and Mexico last week, and the dog walking has returned to normal, with each of us taking us taking turns in walking Ari separately and Kayla and Maleko together. Though the walking has has become easier, the weather has changed. The bright, sunny days that existed during the four weeks whilst Suzanne was overseas have gone, to be replaced by days of low rainfall and overcast conditions. However, there is still very little wind, even though we live on the southern coast.
The roadside vegetation photos that I had been scoping for a reshoot with my film cameras have yet to result in any reshooting. The problem has been the lack of early morning sunlight around 8am. I am waiting for some clear, sunny mornings to reappear.
There is a sense that these humble photos refer to inhabiting this place on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. How can this ‘inhabiting a place’ be unpacked?
I’m starting to slowly realize that the snapshot style photography that I do whilst I am on the poodle walks is about the moment. They are photos of fleeting moments that cannot be rephotographed:
They are also about nothing much. Just everyday scenes that I am walking through, or walking past and that I wouldn’t pay much attention to, if I didn’t have a camera and we weren’t hanging about. It is through the ‘hanging about’ that I start to see the little things around me that I wouldn’t normally notice. Continue reading “about the moment”
I am fortunate that Madeline, our temporary next door neighbour at Encounter Bay, has kindly offered to walk Ari on the late afternoon poodlewalk several times a week. That frees me up to venture along the coastal rocks on the late afternoon poodlewalks with Kayla and Maleko. I have even been able to use the opportunity to make a couple of photos of the coastal rocks with my Rolleiflex SL66 film camera.
This does make for a welcome change from the routine of walking along the back country roads on the morning walk and the Heysen Trail for the afternoon walk. That routine grinds me down. Continue reading “a helping hand”
Suzanne has left Cuba and is now staying in Oaxaca in Mexico for 12 days or so before she and Lariane return to Australia.
In the meantime the household chugs along with its daily routines in the balmy autumn weather, with its still, sunny days.We are usually up before sunrise walking along the back country roads:
With the walk over I have time to take some photos with the Linhof film cameras as the sun starts peeping through the trees and lightens up bits of the roadside vegetation. The images have been scoped on earlier walks and the time when the sun lightens up the trees duly noted. So it is just a matter of setting things up and waiting.