Category Archives: photography

Update from the Riverland

After spending the new year’s eve and day exploring around the Murray mouth, Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island, Coorong National Park, and Narrung, I arrived back at Waikerie in the Riverland region of South Australia shortly after dawn this morning. I need to slow down for a day or two in order to take stock of where I have been and gather my memories: in fact, I’m considering abandoning the next leg to the source of the Murray River in the Australian Alps. With only one week left to spare, I suspect it will be too much of a rush job. I’ve found a handy recharge point outside the Waikerie Library, so I’ll chill here for a bit while my devices recharge and see how the day develops.
 
We’ve had some extremely hot and windy days of late, making daytime photography both difficult and unpleasant. The opportunities for low light photography have been great though. It is a good thing I purchased a lens suited to that purpose before I began the journey.
 
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and looking forward to catching up with your blogs when I have returned home.
 

Lake Bonney, South Australia

Lake Bonney, South Australia

Lake Bonney, South Australia

Lake Bonney, South Australia


Update from The Outback

I parked Vincent overnight for a sleep at Tilpa Weir on the Tilpa floodplain, between Bourke and Wilcannia, Monday last week. It rained overnight and turned the road out next day into an impassable bog of river mud. We were stuck in the mud on a paddock for the day and the next night. My survival kit of food and water was in the boot of the car, which resulted in me getting pretty grimy in the process of bringing it back into the car. No phone reception or internet service available, and no-one was going to rescue us due to the remoteness of the place. I worked Vincent hard to get us out by the Wednesday morning and back to Tilpa Hotel, then had to remove the rear wheels to dig out the mud, which had basically acted like a handbrake during our race back to civilization. Also managed to bottom out and crack the sump oil tank.

That’s the short version of the story. When I arrived in Broken Hill on Christmas Eve I was fortunate indeed to find a NRMA mechanic who had us ready for the long journey ahead within about 4 hours.

I have spent the last few days in and around Broken Hill: Silverton, Mundi Mundi Plains, Lake Menindee. Now heading south for the Murray Mouth. Here’s a small sample of what I’ve been working on in the Broken Hill region.
 

Facing the Day and the Night _ Eduardo Nasta Luna

Facing the Day and the Night _ Eduardo Nasta Luna

Mundi Mundi Sunset

Mundi Mundi Sunset


 
Mundi Mundi Moonrise

Mundi Mundi Moonrise


Mays Bend, North Bourke

Arrived at Mays Bend in North Bourke later yesterday arvo. A very pleasant spot on the Darling River with pelicans, cormorants, and egrets. The sky was crispy clean and sparkling with milky way at 4am this morning; perfect conditions for me to try out some astrophotography. I used a little LED torch to paint the foreground during the exposure. The southern cross was also placed well for the event.

Mays Bend

Mays Bend _ 2


Peace lily

I have read that peace lilies are easy to care for, fond of heat and humidity, and that they require very little watering. My peace lily, however, has been refusing to behave in accordance with my readings. During the cooler months I found it would droop after 3 or 4 days, seemingly begging for water. I tried some tough love for a couple of weeks during winter and would give it nothing more than an occasional light spray to the leaves, but I am a soft touch and eventually reverted to soakings with a couple of tall glasses each week. Now that the summer has arrived, it has become even greedier. It took a glass of water last night, and now this is what I came home to today!
 
Peace lily
 
This is not what I would expect from a drought tolerant plant! The amazing thing about this peace lily is the speed with which it recovers. Here it is after 90 minutes with a glass of water.
 
Peace lily 2
 
And another hour later
 
Peace lily 3
 
I wonder if being easy to care for has always equated to requiring very little attention.
 


White-plumed honeyeaters and a treecreeper

I’ve added a couple of images to the Photography page. These were taken at Bushy Bend Reserve in Hay, NSW a couple of days into my Sydney-Ceduna trip last year. It was the first time I had seen the white-plumed honeyeater, and it took me a long while searching on google to put a name to them. Apparently they are common throughout mainland Australia, but I haven’t seen any more since that first encounter. There were about half a dozen of them whizzing about and calling out from the branches above me. Not sure if they were warning others of my approach: they are said to be extremely territorial and aggressive, and I was the only other creature of my type there, so maybe I spooked them. They were no less delightful to watch and listen to for all that.
 
Treecreepers are always fun to watch as they hop their little upward hops, peeking under flakes of bark, often turning circles around the trunk as they go. I have never seen a treecreeper creep down a tree. Treecreepers only creep up on trees.
 

Treecreeper

Treecreeper


 
White-plumed honeyeater

White-plumed honeyeater


Symmetries on the Murrumbidgee River

Murrumbidgee River, Hay NSW

Murrumbidgee River, Hay NSW

It’s amazing how often a beautiful sight, like this late evening Murrumbidgee River symmetry and light display, can blind you to other, less pleasing sights sitting right under your nose.

It was the Autumn of 2011. I paced along the shore taking photos and drinking beer until the light of day was all but gone. I returned to my car in the dark and was just about to drop off to sleep when I heard something scratching on the roof of the car. I reached for my torch and stepped outside to discover a field mouse. It must have been trying to nibble a way into my luggage. I chased it around the rooftop for a minute or so, eventually catching it with the back of my hand and sending it flying. Soon after I was fast asleep.

The following morning I was shocked to discover hundreds of tyre-flattened field mice pressed into the gravel and dirt all around me. They had clearly been there for days, if not weeks, baking in the sun.

It didn’t cross my mind to take photos of them that day. I’ve gained a lot more experience on the road since then, and had my eyes opened to all sorts of natural horrors and wonders alike. If I had that chance over again I wouldn’t be leaving for breakfast until I had captured their flat little bodies on camera. Perhaps I would turn them to butterfly art.


The fox on the lagoon

Rising before the sun this morning, I set out with Vincent for a 30 minute drive to Scheyville National Park to partake in some birdwatching. The entrance to Longneck Lagoon was gated shut, so I parked by the side of the road and slipped in through the pedestrian access.
 
I didn’t spot much in the way of birdlife, but there was plenty of singing and dancing in the leaves. The sun rose to greet me as I reached the lagoon, and a fine mist rose from the surface. Occasionally a large fish would emerge.
 
Longneck Lagoon
 
Having startled a few rabbits on my way in, I wondered if there might be foxes about. It wasn’t long before one appeared to set my wonder right.
 
Lagoon Fox
 
I imagined I had seen the figure of a lady wading in a misty shallow and wondered; was she laying flowers for a dear departed love, performing a baptism, or perhaps receiving alms? The fox was nowhere to be seen.
 
In the name of the Father