summer-time + impermanence

The Xmas break  is over for this summer-time.  The holiday crowds have left vacationing  along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula  during the extended school holidays,  and  returned to work in Adelaide.  The schools are back and  the photographers have gone.

The hot days came and went  during January,   with  the minimium/maximium  temperatures rising.  The warming trend   means that Australian summers are becoming hotter and the heatwaves more intense.  Sadly, the sand has been disappearing  from  Dep’s Beach and Petrel Cove ever since the big storm in December,    and these  two beaches are now looking  desolate.

Over the Xmas break I  continued to  photograph in the early morning  whilst walking with Kayla.  I focused on  low key macro photography before the light became too bright and contrasty. The photography  is hand held and quick. The conditions are not suitable for slow  large format photography.

quartz + salt, Petrel Cove

Currently, the mornings start cool,   the days heat up and reach their zenith around 5 pm but, unlike drought damaged inland regions,  the temperature usually  drops at night. With the crowds gone,  the beaches along the coast are  quiet during the week,  and we often have them to ourselves in the early morning around dawn and sunrise. We now have the space to be in the moment and see the  transient and ephemeral nature of life on the coast.  

A different approach to nature can be seen in the  recreational boaties hunt for the tuna, which   are migrating with the Leeuwin Current across the Great Australian Bight past South Australia to Tasmania. The hunt   is on in earnest at Victor Harbor.  There are traffic jams at the Bluff boat ramp at dawn on the weekends as   the recreational boaties are out in force chasing the tuna off shore . The Coast 2 Coast Tuna Tournament  for the biggest tuna is about  to happen.

seaweed + granite

I  walk with the poodles along the coast taking photos of the humble ephemera in the constantly changing  landscape –eg., photographing  the elegant simplicity of  transient seaweed  in the early morning light, just after sunrise.    These are fleeting moments  in a world of incompleteness and imperfection away from the regional society premised  on an economy geared to  exploiting nature.

The place  around me is being shaped by the powers that be in Victor Harbor –eg., the  Council. They  say  about their approach to placemaking that recreational tuna fishing is  important economically to the coastal region,   with thousands of dollars being spent on fishing gear, boats, trailers, 4 wheel drives  and fuel.

I understand that  South Australia has set an individual possession daily  limit on recreational fishers of 2,  but I don’t see this daily limit  being policed at the bar ramp.   It looks more like anything goes and who cares about sustainability.  It’s catching  the tuna that is all important.

seaweed + shells, Petrel Cove

This summer will probably continue  into March and the processes of  a coastal nature will continue to change the simple objects on the coast, thereby highlighting   the imperfection, withering  and decay of things. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi helps us to make  sense of life in the littoral zone.

The climate scientists are saying that we can expect summer temperatures to rise in the future due to human activity.  Australia is already experiencing climate change and what appears permanent on the coast–the sandhills– will become fragile and impermanent with the rising sea levels.  Impermanence becomes the pathos of things.

seaweed, shells + feather

The current conservative Coalition government denies it,  and its ministers continue to talk about  taxpayers  supporting or underwriting  the building of new coal fired power stations.   This government too will  be eventually blown  away, just like the  humble feathers that are washed  onto the  shore by the powerful tides.

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