Spring time: explorations

During the recent couple of days of warm, sub tropical Spring weather on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast I was able to go on longer, coastal poodlewalks with Kayla and Maleko as well as scoping in the various cthat I would usually walk past, and photographing in my makeshift open air studio.

One of these longer walks was a return to exploring around the mouth of the Inmam River near Kent Reserve with Kayla to re-connect with the Fleurieuscapes project that I am working on.

Inman River, Victor Harbor

I was interested in scoping a way to photograph the site of the Ramindejeri’s burial ground in the sand dunes near the Inman River’s mouth. The SA Museum states that the Ramindejeri were a local group of the Ngarrindjeri but the public information the Museum has is pretty minimal

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By Thursday the cold south westerly and easterly winds that had been blowing for the past week had dropped away. By the late afternoon on Thursday it was very still and warm. There was cloud cover and soft light, the tide was very low, and there were no small flies. These were lovely conditions for both a late afternoon walk with Maleko and for me to do a bit of scoping about this place.


I went back on Friday afternoon at the same time of the day to this particular spot with a film camera and tripod. The weather conditions were very similar but I was dismayed to discover that the tide was much higher, and that it was impossible to gain access to this gap in the rocks.
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Kayla is still on restricted walks. Though the courses of anti-inflammatories has finished, she continues to be walked on her own both morning and afternoon to allow the ligaments around her knees to heal. I walk her in the morning and Maleko in the afternoon. Suzanne does the opposite. We are playing it safe. No rough chasing games.

This allows me time to continue to work on The Littoral Zone project. Some recent examples:– an abstraction; a rockpool granite rocks along the coast; and an open air studio images.

A portrait of Kayla at Petrel Cove:


These solo walks will change tomorrow as I am off on a photo trip to the South Australia Mallee for 5 days, and so Suzanne will have to walk both dogs together. She will need to exercise her skills to prevent them from playing their mad chasing games, or chasing kangaroos.

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a photowalk with Heather Petty

We–Kayla, Maleko and myself–went for a photowalk with Heather Petty on Saturday afternoon–the last day of September. The photowalk was our poodlewalk, as the emphasis was on taking photos rather than walking the poodles. The sun was out, there was some cloud cover, and though a cold south-westerly wind was blowing across the coast, it was pleasant conditions for photography. We did not see the white belly sea eagle, dolphins or seals.


I carried some seaweed around with me whilst we were walking amongst the rocks towards Dep’s Beach from where we had parked the Subaru Forester at Kings Beach Rd. We moved slowly as I was placing the seaweed amongst different rocks. I was able to take a number of photos.

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swirling seas

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:

sea abstract

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.

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a spring morning

The stormy weather has gone.

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:

waves, Depp’s Beach

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.

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With Suzanne is away enjoying her walks and the wild flowers in the south west of Kangaroo Island I am taking the opportunity of walking Kayla and Maleko in both the morning and evening to start to return to some of old haunts along the coast that I haven’t visited for a couple of years. Have things changed along the coast? Do I see the rocks and sea differently now?

Yesterday we walked along the coastal cliff top path to Kings Beach. Instead of going along the beach and around to Kings Head, or over to the base of the Newland Cliffs, we made our way back along the coastal rocks in the direction of Rosetta Head.

lichen near Kings Beach

It is not possible to walk all the way along the coastal rocks from Kings Beach to Rosetta Head, even when the weather is fine and the tide is low.

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still life

Suzanne returned home to Encounter Bay late today after finishing walking the Heysen Trail. It was a 3 year commitment. A major achievement. She is home for 3 days then she is off on Saturday to walk the new Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail for several days.

Whilst she was away I have been working on this photobook project: selecting images from the archives of the digital photos that I have made on the various coastal poodle walks over the last 4 years. I noted that the photos improved in the latter years.

I guess I was becoming more confident in the type of photos that I wanted to make–details of the coastal landscape. During that time I had lots of nagging doubts about the nature of the Fleurieuscapes project, and where I wanted it to go.

seaweed+quartz still life

My initial selection produced around 150 photos.So there is going to have to be a big cull. Or a volume 2. The next step after the cull is to have Atkins Photo Lab make 6×4 prints of the images and then sort them into a sequence. Once that is done I can then put them into a notebook with blank pages and ring binding to give me a dummy book which I can show people.

Vale Ari

We had to put Ari down this afternoon.

He was suffering from paralysed nerves in his larynx which made breathing for him very difficult. He overheated at the dog groomers yesterday, collapsed with a panic attack, and had to be rushed to the Mt Barker Veterinary Clinic to be sedated.

Today he could barely walk up our drive. He was very weak and he could not balance on the tiles in the laundry–his back legs just slide underneath him and he would lie spreadeagled on the floor unable to get up. He was a month shy of being 16 years old. He lived a full life with lots of walks.

This is one of the last photos that I took of Ari. It was in autumn in 2017 on an early morning poodlewalk along Encounter Bay. The photo is from this session in March:

Ari, Encounter Bay

I didn’t take any more after this.

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Rosetta Head

This is the coastal landscape that I walk with Kayla and Maleko on our afternoon poodlewalks. We weave amongst the rocks on the foreshore whilst making our way to Petrel Cove and Rosetta Head:

Rosetta Head

It is where a lot of my exploratory abstract snaps and those for the modest Littoral Zone project are done whilst I am making my slowly through the slippery rocks. Sometimes the tide is so high and the seas so wild that we are unable to walk amongst the rocks to Petrel Cove.

Suzanne’s favourite walk in the morning is going from Encounter Bay, up Rosetta Head, down to Petrel Cove, then return to Encounter Bay. This is the view of Encounter Bay from the side of Rosetta Head on one of the walks with Ari from the car park:

Encounter Bay

We live just outside the left of the frame of the picture. We are a few minutes walk to the beach. It took us a while to adjust to living the coast after a decade or more of being in Adelaide’s CBD.