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.
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”
These clouds and early morning light are what I saw on early on Friday morning when Kayla and I were walking along the Heritage-Trail through a familiar coastal landscape. It was so very still that morning.
These are the kind of conditions that indicate that a dramatic change in the weather is about to happen; usually, they mean that the hot weather is coming to an end, and a big storm will be sweeping into the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula from the south west.
It was the morning of the 13th April, which is when the cold front with its wild winds and driving rain, hit the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the late afternoon.
And so it was on one fine summer morning that Kayla and I set out just after sunrise to walk along the Heritage Trail to Dep’s Beach and beyond. The sun was popping in and out of the morning cloud cover, the coastal wind was still light, and the Nankeen kestrels were keeping us company.
We hadn’t explored this part of Waitpinga for a couple of years. The last times was when Suzanne had walked some of these back country roads in the first year of walking the Heysen Trail. We were fortunate weather wise as the cold wind had dropped, and though rain from the south west was threatening, there was some late afternoon sunshine. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable hour of walking.
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:
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:
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.
The Fleurieuscapes exhibition at Magpie Springs opened on Sunday 17th January.We had a picnic lunch in the grounds of Magpie Springs with friends before the exhibition opening. A good crowd was in attendance for the opening and the atmosphere was convivial and summery. However, as I don’t expect to sell much work from the exhibition, I will be paying off my photography master card for most of this year.
Whilst preparing for the exhibition Kayla and Ari and I walked along the Heysen Trail in the morning to avoid the crowds on the beach. Then Ari and Maleko and I walked along the beach in the afternoon. We stayed away from the Heysen trail in the late afternoon because of the prevalence of the black snakes. Continue reading “early summer morning walks”