Suzanne returned from Cuba and Mexico last week, and the dog walking has returned to normal, with each of us taking us taking turns in walking Ari separately and Kayla and Maleko together. Though the walking has has become easier, the weather has changed. The bright, sunny days that existed during the four weeks whilst Suzanne was overseas have gone, to be replaced by days of low rainfall and overcast conditions. However, there is still very little wind, even though we live on the southern coast.
The roadside vegetation photos that I had been scoping for a reshoot with my film cameras have yet to result in any reshooting. The problem has been the lack of early morning sunlight around 8am. I am waiting for some clear, sunny mornings to reappear.
grass tree+ wattle, Waitpinga
There is a sense that these humble photos refer to inhabiting this place on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. How can this ‘inhabiting a place’ be unpacked?
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.
I returned from my quick but fruitful trip to Melbourne to solo household duties. Suzanne left the day after I returned from Melbourne to continue with her walking the Heysen Trail in the Flinders Ranges for 9 days or so. She is based at Quorn then Hawker. I am minding the standard poodles, walking 3 of them in the morning and the evening.
The places that I can walk are limited because Ari is nearing 16 and the Maleko and Kayla are 2-3 years old. So I mostly walk along the back country roads where Ari is able to walk and the other two can check the smells and hunt amongst the roadside vegetation. So my photographic options are rather limited:
trees, Jagger Rd, Waitpinga
I am pretty much limited to photographing the roadside vegetation whilst on the poodlewalks. The problem is that there aren’t many suitable quiet roads with limited or no traffic. So I end up walking the same roads in the morning and the evening.
With walking along the rocky foreshore of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula out for an Ari, who is unsteady on his legs, I have shifted to walking on sandy beaches and country roads for his morning walk. He now walks on his own with me in the morning and with Suzanne in the afternoon. Kayla and Maleko walk together with Suzanne in the morning and with me in the afternoon. They are becoming easier to handle together.
This picture of roadside grasses– phalaris— was made on an early morning walk inbetween the trips to New Zealand and Tasmania in mid-February:
It had been grey and the light was flat and drab as we walked along the dusty, country road. Then the sun came out from behind the cloud cover for several minutes.
Due to the ongoing kitchen renovations and the tradespeople turning up at 8am to start work on the kitchen and the laundry, the morning poodle walks along the cliff top or the back country roads are before dawn. As they are over just on sunrise so there has been little opportunity for photography on the morning walks.
The photos that I have taken on the poodle walks have been on the afternoon walks when the weather has not been stormy:
pink gum trunk
The afternoon walks in the odd day with the quieter winter weather have been moments of calm away from living in the chaos of the ongoing kitchen renovations.
Hall Creek Rd is a back country road in Waitpinga, on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia. We have been walking along it in the late afternoon during the recent stormy weather whilst Suzanne has been away walking the Heysen Trail around Laura in the mid-north.
The road is part of the Heysen Trail, and so it is quiet. It is protected from the winds, has the afternoon sun, is reasonably dry, and the fences on both sides of the road are in good condition. The latter is crucial because there are often kangaroos in the fields:
Hall Creek Rd, Waitpinga
The fences prevent the standard poodles from entering the fields to chase the kangaroos. If the kangaroos are grazing amongst the road side vegetation, which they sometimes do, they are able to jump the fences into the fields.
Suzanne is currently away walking the Heysen Trail around Burra and Spalding region for a week. I’m at Encounter Bay minding the standard poodles and scanning negatives from local poodlewalks and from the Coorong and previous Mallee Highway trips.
I’m also doing the curation administration for two group exhibitions in September–an abstraction one at the Light Gallery and one entitled Weltraum at Magpie Springs for the Shimmer Photographic Biennale.
roadside vegetation, Jagger Rd
This is one of the images from the local poodle walks along Jagger Rd in Waitpinga earlier this year. It’s a scoping image that I re-photographed with the 5×4 Linhof Technika the following day.
It was Easter time, as I remember a male sleeping rough nearby. He’d been tossed out of his home by his wife and he was missing his kids. He spun me a story about how he had decided to travel around Australia on the cheap cos he wanted freedom. He added that being disconnected from the digital world—a digital detox?— meant that he could reclaim a sense of self, freedom and creativity and so lead a more authentic and fulfilling life. I wished him luck in his quest.