walking country roads

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.

From a local beach to a carpark

On my morning poodle walks with Ari I have noticed how the Bluff Boat Ramp car park extension at the western end of Encounter Bay is taking out a beach to construct a carpark for boaties, which will they only use during the peak summer Xmas season.

The extension allows for an additional 34 parking spaces to accommodate 14 boat trailers and 20 cars. Currently there are 34 parking spaces for boaies at the Bluff Boat Ramp car park, and this only overflows 4 days a year around Xmas with the summer influx of boaties. The extension costs $548,300 with the Victor Harbor Council receiving funding of $242,150 from the state government for the project.The extension has State Agency (DPTI) support of the project and it was approved by the Development Assessment Commission.

Bluff carpark extension

The current parking area in front of Whalers is used by boaties, school buses, paddlers and sightseers and there is space for approximately 60 cars. But with the boat ramp expansion the parking area will be reduced to only 20 with the rest of area being used strictly for boaties and their cars and trailers. So half a million is being spent for the current car park for boaties and their trailers that will be used for 4 days a year.

A beach goes in the name of car parks to foster tourism.

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field, sea, sky

I have started to walk along the back country roads looking for photographic subjects whilst  on  the afternoon poodle walks with Kayla and Maleko.  I have become tired of sitting in front of the computer screen working on the texts of The Bowden Archives book and I am looking for a break.

This is an example of my recent scoping,   from  an afternoon last week when we were walking along the road to the old Victor Harbor dump:

Waitpingafieldsea

After the dump shifted to Goolwa the ‘no through’ road now leads to the Kings Beach Retreats. There is not much traffic during the week so it is a good back road to walk along with the standard poodles.

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Ari

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.

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summer light

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:

Grasses, Waitpinga

Grasses, Waitpinga

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.

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cream brick

One of my options in our restricted poodlewalks during the current grass seed season is to park the Forester in Kent Reserve, walk west along the Encounter Bay beach towards Rosetta Head, then back along Franklin Parade to the Forester. That way I can see some of the seaside architecture along Franklin Parade that runs alongside the beach and the reef. It is a popular walking spot.

The seaside architecture is very varied and the built environment along the foreshore is undergoing change. The modest, older style beach-side shacks are being replaced by two story McMansions that take up the whole block. Some of the older architecture is at odds with the coastal environment as it is mass produced, suburban architecture from the 1950s and 1960s that has just been dumped into a coastal environment:

cream brick, Franklin Parade

cream brick, Franklin Parade

These kind of cream brick seaside houses do have a certain kind of historical charm and they have shown themselves to be resilient in the salty coastal environment, but I personally don’t find them very attractive.
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restricted walks

The morning and evening poodlewalks have become limited in scope and diversity. Ari is now 15 years old. He has slowed down and he is unsteady on his back legs. He can no longer walk over rocks, and so we are limited to walking along the beach. That limits the walk for the other standard poodle (Kayla the morning and Maleko in the afternoon) and it restricts my photography severely.

One option that I have explored has been to make a return to Petrel Cove:

Petrel Cove

Petrel Cove

Another reason why we havre limited to the beach is the grass seeds among the roadside vegetation of the back country roads or the costal reserves. The grass seeds are drying out and, as they cling to the poodle’s woollen coats and feet, the back country roads are becoming increasingly becoming out of bounds.
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