Two completely unrelated photos, the only connection is that they are of the natural world.
Some Egg and Bacon Pea flowers besides the walking track at Mount Ettalong on the Central Coast last spring. Drought or not, the show must go on.
And this is a sight that most of us won’t forget in a hurry – the sight of a blood-red bushfire sunset in the middle of the autumn bushfires last year, as seen from my backyard. This scene was repeated for weeks. Spectacular but not one I really would like to see repeated.
The final stanza of Degenerate leads on from line to architecture and homes, particular the homes of those on the margins. What do these homes say about our society?
The third stanza of Degenerate is about light and line, and how an odd beauty can be found in the humblest of street scenes.
The final week saw us delve into the world of street photography. It’s not a genre that I’ve had lots of practice in, and I found photographing the street a confronting and at times frustrating experience. Opportunities can emerge from anywhere and disappears as quickly as they come, and it’s difficult to be always ready to capture them. Hence, I admire the work of photographers who are masters at it: check out the work of Trent Parke, Martin Parr, and classic photographers Eugene Atget and Vivian Maier. Such work must demand years of practice on the street.
Part of the assignment was to spend two hours on a cold winter’s night photographing Taylor Square. I contrasted these shots with photos taken in an hour one afternoon in the Central Coast suburb of Ettalong. Surprisingly, there is a definite thread running through it – one of social decay – hence the series title, Degenerate.
Before the wet weather set in, we took a late afternoon walk at Umina Beach to enjoy the clear views across Broken Bay to Lion Island.
The water was warm but had a bit too much weed and jelly blubbers for my liking for swimming.
The wind was certainly up that day, so it was a parasailer’s paradise.
Of course, every day is a good day for dog walking. Once again, fur children of all shapes and sizes were in force along the beach, and generally getting on quite well together.
Well after the scorching summer we had we’re now into a rather rainy phase. It makes venturing into the city a bit of a task.
But stand still for long enough, and I notice some wondrous things amongst the everyday.
The changeable weather also brings great clouds as well as rain.
And seeing a patch of blue after a grey day, I begin to understand why those in colder, greyer climes are so ecstatic when the sun comes out.
The trees on the Girrakool Loop had some interesting details. This one had stripes on it.
And this log had bark that was as red as the outback sands.
There were some wildflowers out, the most striking being this mountain devil.
Eventually, the track met up with Leask and Piles Creeks. These waterways run into the Hawkesbury.
As we made our way back uphill towards the picnic area, we encountered a few little cascades and cool patches of rainforest.
A nice little walk through the Sydney Basin bush.
We discovered a new little walk not too far from Umina – the Girrakool Loop. It’s in the Brisbane Waters National park near Kariong, very close to the freeway, but so well-hidden that only the locals know of this spot.
There is a picnic area and car park at the start of the track, so the walk might be a good way to start/end a day out.
The track winds its way through the bush, across rock platforms with mature grass trees.
And under great Sydney Red Gums.
It was shedding time, so the scribbly trunks were well exposed on some trees.
While on other trees the blood-coloured sap was flowing.
It’s been several years since we visited the village of Wollombi, so it was high time that we made a day trip up from Umina. The hour-long drive along the Central Coast hinterland back-roads is always a pretty one, and Bridie was up for it, keeping her nose out the window for most of the trip.
At the end of it was Wollombi Wines, a little winery selling some quaffable wines. The light shiraz was particularly tasty. The winery were also hosting the Sculpture in the Vineyards exhibition.
It’s an exhibition that’s exclusive to the wineries around Wollombi, and there were some interesting entries.
Bridie however, didn’t know quite what to think of it all.
A quiet winter beach was the perfect place to contemplate the expanse of sky.
It really takes an overseas trip or two to realise how lucky I am to be able to see the big blue so often here. Even to see the moon.