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 cold snap lasting 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.
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.
I have been going through my 2013 digital archives as we are planning a trip to Kangaroo Island in the autumn of 2022. I wanted to have a look at the photographs from the 2013 visit to the island. I I haven’t looked at these digital photos for nigh on seven years. I am in archival mode the moment, due to working on The Bowden Archives and Industrial Modernity book through 2021.
We –Suzanne , myself and Ari– stayed at American River in both January and November of that year. I recall that the easterlies in November blew non-stop and that some of the roads were still un-passable from the winter and spring rains. We spent a lot of time walking along the walking trail on the lagoon’s foreshore.
2013 was just after I’d made the switch to digital technology in a serious way. I’d acquired a compact digital Sony NEX-7 with its APS-C sensor, which I was using with an old 35mm Leica M lens. I was attracted by the promise of good image quality in a small, highly portable camera, with the ability to adapt almost any lens to fit.
My thinking was that this kind of camera would be the digital equivalent of 35mm rangefinder film photography, even though I knew that it was only a full-frame is sensor size that would be the same as old 35mm film. The technological simplicity of the Sony was equivalent to that of a Leica rangefinder, and so the emphasis was on the purity of the vision: the camera was the extension of the eye.
The shift to full frame digital came about 5 years latter. Embracing Sony’s digital technology was a no brainer, as I had the Leica lens from a film Leica M4. The latter’s body had gone missing whilst the range finder mechanism was being repaired, so the lens was sitting unused in a cupboard. Sony’s E-mount technology meant that I could use the lens with a Novoflex adaptor.
The Sony NEX-7 replaced the Leica M4-P film camera as my walk around, everyday camera. Digital was more versatile and it was cheaper to use. I continued to use film for medium and large format photography. Digital was definitely the future. The Leica M4-P and 35m colour film became a niche.
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.
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.
We arrived back from a 2-3 week holiday in the lower part of the South Island in New Zealand on Monday night (the 23rd March), and immediately began our mandatory 2 weeks of self-isolation. We just made it back to Australia before New Zealand locked down–a nationwide shutdown– on Wednesday, and Virgin had cancelled all its international flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
I walked Kayla along the coastal rocks the morning after our return before sunrise in order to avoid other people. There was one runner on the Heritage Trail, and the Green Car man was walking amongst on the rocks with his aggressive Australian Blue Heeler on a lead. I was able to keep a large distance from both of them. Other than that there was no one around and I entered no buildings.
It was a mild and overcast morning. The landscape looked so very dry compared to Fiordland or to Dunedin. Though it started to rain as we made our way back to the car at Petrel Cove, the rain didn’t last long and it was very light. It wasn’t enough to green a browned landscape.
South Australia was been battered by a violent storm from the south west during the last three days– from Thursday to Saturday. We experienced gale force winds, solid rain, high tides and surging seas along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula.
Our usual morning and evening poodlewalks were curtailed due to the water cutting off access to parts of the littoral zone. So I could not photograph the water flows. It was also too dangerous to venture around the rocks to Petrel Cove to do some macro due to the huge waves. Continue reading “stormy days”
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”
Many of the coastal morning poodlewalks with Kayla incorporate the return walk along the coastal rocks to the car park via Petrel-Cove. Incorporating Petrel Cove is more frequent in the early spring, due to my allergy to the rye grass growing along the side of the coastal path. It irritates my eyes and causes sneezing fits.
Occasionally there is a photographer on the beach or a surfer but more often than not, the only other person in Petrel Cove at that time of the morning is the odd fishing man:
Often it seem as if the fishing men standing on the edge of the sea with their lines are meditating in nature, and are not overly concerned if they don’t catch any fish. I can understand that as I often just sit on the rocks and watch the action of the waves. Continue reading “at Petrel-Cove”
I have been going through my old archives from a PC that died many years ago. The images had been backed up on Lacie hard disc which also crashed, and they were eventually recovered by a tech specialist. The 13,000 images are all jumbled up, there are many repetitions, others are jpegs, whilst large numbers are corrupted and so useless.
This is one rescued image from along the coast west of Petrel Cove, and it was made around 2008 when Suzanne and I were coming down to Encounter Bay for the weekends. We were living in Adelaide’s CBD then, and we were both working full time.
The noticeably warmer days during this last week in August suggest that spring is arriving. The sun now rises before 6.45am and it sets just before 6pm. It is also warmer and have started going on the early morning and late afternoon poodlewalks without a coat. I am also now able to enjoy breakfast on the balcony in the early morning sun. I am sure that the wet weather weather will soon return.