June 1 dawned with cold, blustery south westerly winds, dark clouds, driving rain and big seas. Winter had arrived on cue.
This cloud formation is what greeted Kayla and myself on the early morning poodlewalk on June 1. We hugged the northern edge of Rosetta Head to escape the 50 km south-westerly wind. I was looking across Encounter Bay to Goolwa and to the Coorong.
The weather was too wild to continue to the top of Rosetta Head and down the southern side, so we turned away from the coast, which is where we normally walk and photograph, jumped in the car and drove inland to seek some protection from the gusty, driving wind. We walked up and down Depledge Rd for about 30-40 minutes before I decided to return to exploring the bush “reserve” that ran adjacent to the western side of Depledge Rd in Waitpinga. We had had walked within this “reserve” a few days before.
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.
In the last week or so I have returned to walking along the Waitpinga section of the Heysen Trail in the morning with Kayla and in the afternoon with Maleko. This section of the Heysen Trail is a narrow strip of scrub or bush that runs between two roads, and it is bounded by two grazing paddocks (cattle and sheep). The narrow strip is a corridor that is quite dense in parts.
The mornings and afternoons have been overcast with minimal wind, and this has allowed me to do some black and white film photography of tree subjects that I had photographed in colour a couple of years ago. I started the scoping here.
Whilst walking to and from the photo sites on both the morning and the afternoon poodlewalks I made some exploratory/scoping studies of different subject matter in the scrub/bush for some future film photography. This is an example:
I would have walked past this branch on the edge of the path of the Heysen Trail many times without ever having seen it. I only saw it this time because Kayla went exploring in the undergrowth behind the branch. I quickly made a snap and moved on.
After the wildness of the stormy days, which stripped the local beaches of their sand we experienced several days of humid weather and gentle misty rain. Then the cold front rolled in from the south west and the temperature dropped dramatically.
I spent my time on the morning and evening poodlewalks exploring the nooks and crannies amongst the rocks, looking to do some handheld macro photography of seaweed. I quickly discovered that the piles of seaweed that had been thrown onto the rocks by the storm were mostly seagrass and not suitable.
The poodles in the afternoon would spend their time look for golf balls among the granite rocks, whilst I looked for subject matter for macro photography. We moved slowly across the rocks on our way beyond Kings Head finding what shelter we could when there was a bit of rain. Continue reading “close-ups”
The rocky outcrop is near the foot of the Waitpinga Cliffs, and it is not possible to continue walking much further around the bottom of the cliffs. The Coastal Cliff walking trail from Waitpinga Beach to Kings Beach is along the top of the Waitpinga cliffs. Continue reading “at Kings-Head and beyond”
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”
During the recent January weekend heatwave in South Australia after our roadtrip to, and holiday in, Melbourne I ventured to Kings Head in Waitpinga for the afternoon walk with Maleko.
We did so to find shade and shelter from the hot, burning sun. We usually walk between 6-7pm, and there is little by way of shade along the southern coast when there is no late afternoon cloud cover.
At one stage on the walk we just sat on some rocks in the shade at Kings Head and watched the waves roll in around our feet. It was a section of rocks where the surfers jumped off into the sea when the waves were rolling in between Kings Head and West Island. Continue reading “photographing during the heatwave”
Cold, wet weather that came in from the south-west replaced the few days of hot weather after my Sonex flight along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula earlier in the week. The temperature is now roughly half of what it was during that hot spell.
Suzanne and I got very wet on a couple of occasions on our walks — we were caught in the fast moving rain that swept in from the southern ocean whilst out walking with the poodles.
There is little shelter along the coast west of Petrel Cove. On an afternoon walk Maleko and I had little choice but to continue walking and to get wet in the process. At least it was not as cold as it would have been in winter. Continue reading “wet weather”