Suzanne caught the zombie flu whilst she was walking on Kangaroo Island, and so I took Kayla and Maleko on yesterday’s afternoon walk. We walked along the Heysen Trail to Kings Beach, along the edge of the beach, over the top of Kings Head, and dropped down to a rocky outcrop at the base at the eastern end of the Newland Head cliffs.
It was a spring day: sunny, with no cloud cover and little wind. I was wanting to avoid the hot, dry blustery north-westerly wind that was on its way.
quartz, Newland Head cliffs
I haven’t been to this spot for ages. The last time I was there to photograph was several years ago, and I wanted to familiarise myself with the location. The last time I’d been there was in the early morning during the winter when the rocky outcrop was buffeted with wild waves, south westerly winds and passing showers.
It was much calmer yesterday as we walked around the site , but the rocks were very slippery underfoot. Not that it worried the four legged standard poodles. I remembered how I’d lost my footing the last time I was here, and tumbled over onto the rocks whilst trying to stop my Rolleiflex SL66 from falling onto the granite.
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.
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.
Suzanne has gone off to walk the Wilderness Trail on Kangaroo Island. She will be away for most of this week with her bush walking group.
While she is away Kayla, Maleko and I will have some fun, playing with light and shadows:
shadows, Rosetta Head
And I’ll try and do some local photography, start planning another Mallee Routes photo trip, read more about photobook making, continue to edit the essays for the Bowden Archives book and start getting the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book (with Moon Arrow Press) off the ground.
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.
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.
Recently we had a couple of fine days between the winter rains and the stormy conditions. I’d recovered enough from the flu to be able to take advantage of the fine weather to go exploring with Kayla and Maleko along the coastal rocks between Petrel Cove and Kings Head on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. This was on the late afternoon walk and I was well enough to take my digital camera to take some snaps and even to do a few scoping studies.
One such snap:
Kayla + Maleko
This abstract is an example of what I was scoping for my film cameras when I had more strength.