We had the pleasure of doing a group camping trip over Easter on the Nunniong Plains, ostensibly just vegetating around a nice campsite and enjoying the company of our friends. It was one of those weekends where you didn’t want to do anything and made no real effort to do anything. But I can’t ever leave my camera gear behind, as I know that I’ll invariably miss having it and curse myself when I find things that I could have photographed. Taking photos of the group is a given, but I also like to take in the bush life around us on such camping trips, if there’s anything of interest and, quite often, I try to make something interesting from the potentially uninteresting. So, as I took our hounds on some daily walks (the most effort of the weekend), I always had my camera with me.
As the world becomes ever smaller, due to the ease of travel and the ever pervasive internet, I’ve sometimes wondered whether there are any ‘relatively’ accessible places that have yet to be done to death by photography. Other than some extremely remote and distant places, where it may be very expensive, difficult or risky to venture, there would hardly be a unique place on earth today that hasn’t been photographed to such an extent that the scenes have effectively become clichés. Antelope Canyon in the US, Iceland (one of the newly saturated photography destinations), African Safari Parks, Ayers Rock in Australia, Machu Picchu in Peru, Cambodia, the Antarctic and many other places all come to mind. While these locations are naturally wonderful places to visit, I’m not sure that they offer as much for a photographer looking for something new, as they did decades ago.
While taking my hounds for another run at Mossvale Park, I came upon remains from what appeared to be an unnatural battle between mythical beings. I don’t watch Game of Thrones (GoT) and I’ve never even seen one episode; however, as it’s almost constantly reported in just about every online news and other site known to World + Dog (that’s every man and his dog) it’s not difficult to be aware of what it’s about, as I impertinently satirised last year. So when I came across these remains, I immediately thought of GoT and the dragons that feature in the show. After a quick Google, the evidence was compelling.
While we’ve had some warm days this Autumn, which is nothing unusual, there’s no doubt that Winter’s tendrils are slowing creeping upon us. And no where is this more evident than with the deciduous trees that decorate the region and especially those at Mossvale Park. The leaves have rapidly changed colour and fallen away from their hosts, carpeting the land with all the colours of Autumn. I’m not sure if the leaf Diaspora is happening faster or slower this year, but the mass migration from tree to ground is certainly happening apace.
While taking our hounds for a run at Mossvale Park over the last few weeks, I’ve been having a closer look at an unfolding story, a budding tale, being revealed by the trees in the park as Spring approaches. It’s the time of year when buds begin to shoot out as the trees emerge from their Winter slumber and the change is very evident. I’ve never really taken that much notice of trees when they start budding, but the variety in Mossvale Park caught my eye and then simply couldn’t be further ignored.
Pun on words again and this is another of my irreverent posts on photography, just because I can. I was going through photographs that I’d taken over a number of weeks this year during Autumn and Winter at Mossvale Park, while taking our hounds for a morning run, and I kind of liked some of the results and explored them in more detail. I often take photographs of things that catch my eye, but don’t always do anything with them immediately and that means photographs can sometimes sit in a folder for quite some time before I revisit them. When I do revisit them, things can coalesce and thus arose this post. It’s all about leaves and the character they bring to the landscape.
Summer has once again closed its doors and Autumn has opened its in turn. Autumn doesn’t necessarily mean a return to slumber for plants and wildlife in preparation for Winter, indeed, Autumn has brought to life any number of hitherto quiet things. Black Cockatoos are one notable aspect of Autumn, as they return from wherever they’ve hidden themselves during most of the summer months and have started making themselves known to all and sundry. A number of our trees are a favourite source of food for these cockatoos and they make the biggest mess possible while eating the nuts from the trees. It’s not enough that they discard the husks of the nuts, but they also cut branches from the trees in the process, tripling the mess.
Now this post may be of very little interest to many, but it’s something that I’ve always noticed and which always captivates me, and I find it a bit of fun to write about. It’s a feature of nature that we see all the time, but it often just doesn’t register, unless it’s quite dramatic or pointed out. So following on from some earlier articles about trees, there’s an aspect that is unique when it comes to trees and that’s their essential integument, the bark.
Every year, Mossvale Park is host to at least one music festival and the first one for this year was the Summer of Soul. The Summer of Soul was organised by the Lyrebird Arts Council Inc and is one of many events that they organise each year in South Gippsland. Acts this year included The Cat Empire, Paul Kelly, Dan Sultan, Clairy Browne, Kira Puru, Vika and Linda Bull, and many others. Mossvale Park is an idyllic location for such music festivals, nestled in a pleasant valley surrounded by historic trees that provide shade on the hottest of days (and some shelter on a wet day) and with a sound stage that is what you could call a micro Sidney Myer Music Bowl (sort of).
On the other side of the wildlife spectrum, all types of flowers are out and about at this time of year, well and truly past the Spring-time frenzy. Some simply burst out for a short period of time, often for just one day, and then they are gone for another year. Such was the case of the unusual Christmas flower that was near our campsite, which burst its pods and made a show for a day or so and then was gone. Other flowers kept popping out blossoms as earlier ones withered away, to keep a show of colour for a brief while at least.