winter walking: June 2022

An icy cold snap with lots of rain and bitterly south westerly winds hit the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia in late May/early June. It has been extremely cold when the sun has gone missing with the snap has lasted a fortnight or more. Though there have been the occasional days with sunshine the rain and cold winds usually return the next morning. Consequently, walking with poodles is walking in the bracing wind and the rain:–rain walks.

The daily poodlewalks in early June included walking Rosetta Head ( Kongkengguwar ) in Victor Harbor so that I could photograph the sky, rain, sea and light. These photographs have usually been seascapes (as distinct from coastal), though I sometimes I have been photographing the clouds themselves.

rain, Encounter Bay

We have been walking Rosetta Head in the early morning before sunrise, as the weather has usually cleared by the late afternoon, with this occasion on the last day of May being a notable exception. The walking and photography in low pre-sunrise light works well with a hand held digital camera.

It is much more difficult with the large format camera and tripod, especially when it is a 5×7 monorail. Much more organization and planning is required, as I need to check out both the cloud cover and the direction of the wind to see if it is worthwhile carrying the camera equipment up Rosetta Head. If it is, then it is a slow walk and climb.

an 8 x 10 poodlewalk

A recent afternoon poodlewalk in the local Waitpinga bushland in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula incorporated an 8×10 photo session. This session was a response to a disappointing one in the Spring Mount Conservation Park the previous day. Then I never even took the 8×10 out of the Forester. I had been hoping for misty conditions when I was driving there, only to encounter light rain when I was walking around.

Maleko + 8×10 Cambo, Waitpinga

It is more accurate to say that on the Waitpinga poodlewalk the photo session was first and the poodlewalk with Maleko came afterwards. I carried the camera equipment to the site, made the photo, returned the equipment to the Forester, then Maleko and I went on a walk through the bushland.

a quiet moment

Last week Kayla and I were walking along a dusty, unsealed Depledge Rd in the early morning prior to wandering around in the local patch of bushland in Waitpinga in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia.

A light, but cool, sou’ easterly wind was blowing across the field onto our bodies, the orange-brown Monarch butterflies were notable by their absence, and the yellow tailed cockatoos were watching us and sounding the alarm with their wailing calls. I could hear the laughing kookaburras in the distance.

The sun had just risen above the trees on the eastern horizon and its soft rays highlighted this grass tree (Xanthorrhoea) on the dusty roadside just as we were passing by. We stopped and I looked.

dusty Xanthorrhoea

The sun’s rays were quite weak at that moment since they were shining through the distant trees after rising above the horizon. It doesn’t stay like this for long as the rays find a gap in the trees.

rain + bushland colours

I have spent many an early morning during the late summer of 2022 wandering through the local bushland with Kayla. There are lots of smells for her (eg., foxes, rabbits, kangaroos) and there are some photographic possibilities for me.

wet bark

It had been raining during the previous day, which was very unusual for summer in the Fleurieu Peninsula. This was in early January during a cool summer. Summer is normally hot and dry with no rain for 5 or so months. The rains normally start in late April.

return to the sea

Winter on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula was wet and stormy with high tides on the coast, making it difficult to access the coastal rocks and to photograph along the littoral zone and continue making abstractions. During July walking the poodles was limited to walking along the paths on top of the coastal cliffs between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach.

This image of seaweed lying on the rocks was made in early June when the tide was low enough to walk in the littoral zone in June. It was during July that we experienced the very high tides.

seaweed + rocks

The photo was made just after we’d returned from the camel trek from Blinman to Lake Frome. I recall it being a joy to walk by the sea after 14 days in the arid Northern Flinders Ranges. Water there was scarce: the creeks were dry and there was just the odd water hole.

summer 2021

It has been a very cool summer so far. The days have been overcast and windy with occasional rain. We have only had the occasional hot summer day. Maybe a more normal summer will come during the months of February and March.

The picture below was snapped at 7am on a Sunday morning at Petrel Cove in January 24th). It is not a typical morning: it was humid, the temperature was in the high twenties, and there was no wind. It rained latter in the day.

at Petrel Cove

My energies in this last month have been renovating the Mallee Routes website, working on The Long Road to the North blog, and putting The Bowden Archives into some sort of order. My days have been spent sitting in front of a computer screen.

in training

An added dimension to the poodlewalks is that I am starting to train for the 14 day camel trek in late in May 2021 from Blinman to Lake Frome. This forthcoming camel trek is part of this project.

So I have started to walk to and over Rosetta Head, run up the steps twice at Petrel Cove, and increase the poodlewalks to 90 minutes. I’ve started doing the Rosetta Head route with Kayla on Sunday mornings when Suzanne is walking on her loop route. I really need to increase my cardio and to toughen up my feet.

look west from Rosetta Head

Building up my strength and cardio is going to be long and slow as, unlike Suzanne, I am currently not going to the gym. My exercise levels and muscle strength have dropped unfortunately. These need to be substantially increased.

coastal waterfall

I have moved away from walking in the local bushland or the back country roads. It is dry and dusty with brown snakes and the ground is full of grass seeds. I now walk along the coastline and the various beaches. This limits the possibilities that I have for film photograph.

Film photography has come to the fore now that Light Paths is up and running, and Thoughtfactory’s Newsletter #3 has finally gone out. I want to do some large format photography–using the 5×7 Cambo monorail–as I am tired of sitting in front of a computer screen all day.

waterfall, Waitpinga

The above coastal waterfall is one possibility that I have in mind. I checked the location out yesterday afternoon when I was walking with Maleko to Kings Beach. The water flow has eased now that the rains have stopped and the hot, dry weather is returning. That means it is now possible to stand on the rocks with a tripod—just.

a welcome break

Suzanne has been away in Brisbane this past week and so Kayla, Maleko and myself have been hanging out at Kings Beach and Kings Head. There is no one around here apart from the Heysen Trail walkers making their way back to their cars parked at the Kings Beach Rd lookout. That lockout has become a bit of a destination.

granite, Kings Head, Waitpinga

These afternoon poodlewalks are a welcome break from sitting in front of a computer during the day, working on the Abstraction: Different Interpretations exhibition at Encounters Gallery, building the Light Paths website, and writing the third Thoughtfactory newsletter and well as the introductory newsletter for Light Paths.

Waitpinga bushland

As part of building up some supplementary images as a background for the forthcoming online walking/photography exhibition at Encounters Gallery I have been photographing in a small patch of bushland in Waitpinga. I needed a contrast to the Littoral Zone images.

bushland, Depledge Rd, Waitpinga

The roadside vegetation that I see whilst walking the back country roads is limited in terms of photographic subject matter. So I have been wandering and exploring this bushland on both the early morning with Kayla and at the late afternoon poodlewalks with Maleko.