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.
Spring weather has arrived and the last few mornings have been sunny with minimal coastal wind. With Suzanne away in the Flinders Ranges finishing the last section of walking the Heysen Trail, my morning walks with Kayla and Maleko have been over and around Rosetta Head.
It has seen while since I have done this walk. Ari was no longer able to walk up, over, and down Rosetta Head. His last time was with Judith Crispin when she was staying with us in early 2017 to launch her Lumen Seed book at Atkins Photo Lab in Adelaide. The best that he could do after that was to slowly walk along the path on the western side of Rosetta Head.
Suzanne normally does this walk in the morning, and the poodles jumping up on the rocks at the top of Rosetta Head and surveying the lie of the land beneath is one of the rituals of their walks.
on Rosetta Head
The spring weather has meant that I no longer need to wear a coat when walking in the morning and I have been able to have my breakfast on the balcony in the sun. I have no doubt that the rains and gale force winds will return.
We–Suzanne, Kayla, Maleko and myself–went for an afternoon walk along Tugwell Rd in Waitpinga yesterday afternoon. It was a way to move on from Ari’s recent death. His vulnerabilities in his old age had restricted where we were able to go on our walks.
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.
Tugwell Rd, Waitpinga
I did a bit of photographic scoping whilst on the walk. I was looking for some possible subjects to photograph with my film cameras whilst Suzanne is away walking over the next ten days or so the last leg of the Heysen Trail in the Flinders Ranges. Continue reading
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.
I’m starting to slowly realize that the snapshot style photography that I do whilst I am on the poodle walks is about the moment. They are photos of fleeting moments that cannot be rephotographed:
Kayla, Halls Creek Rd
They are also about nothing much. Just everyday scenes that I am walking through, or walking past and that I wouldn’t pay much attention to, if I didn’t have a camera and we weren’t hanging about. It is through the ‘hanging about’ that I start to see the little things around me that I wouldn’t normally notice.
Ari is going on 16 years of age and he has slowed down a lot. His hearing and sight are limited, he has dementia, and he is wobbly on his back legs. The course of acupuncture is keeping him going as is the companionship with the younger poodles.
The morning walks have decreased in terms of the time spent we spend walking. We walk slowly along the road down to the beach, shuffle
Ari, am, Encounter Bay
The autumn mornings before sunrise are a great time to be walking. It is soft and gentle time. There a few walkers, runners and bikers but it is pretty quiet. So we can meander and hang out amongst the rocks along the beach . We are able to just enjoy the moments together and he still enjoys having his photo taken.