Enroute to the Clare Valley recently and in search of the "compulsory" coffee stop, we came across this reminder of yesteryear's means of transportation. I wonder where it travelled and what items it carried to the home of its owner - food, building materials, grain for livestock, firewood....?
Here is a close-up of the figs forming on the Moreton Bay fig tree, which is common throughout the eastern states of Australia. This tree was one of many in the town of Mintaro (referred to in posts of last week) and behind the tree you can see the wall built from local slate.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the Moreton Bays are the extraordinary aboveground roots
Yesterday, as part of a small group, I had the pleasure of touring the home and studio of the wonderful Australian landscape artist, Sir Hans Heysen OBE (1877-1968). The home and studio is still maintained by members of his family today and it is a delightful environment.
He was born in Hamburg, Germany and migrated to Adelaide (South Australia) with his family at the age of 7. His artistic talent was extraordinary, covering a wide range of media, and he won the Wynne Prize for landscape painting a record 9 times!
If you are not familiar with his work, may I encourage you to "Google" his name and explore his beautiful paintings - you will not be disappointed.
Sadly (but understandably) we were unable to take photographs inside, but were given a free run outside..... this imaginative creation caught my eye after the tour was complete, so don't know it's background but thought it a clever piece of work anyway! (To avoid confusion, this is not representative of his painting style, which covered sweeping Australian landscapes, portraits, still life, etc. and his contemporaries included Frederick McCubbin and Tom Roberts)
Below is Sir Hans' studio - at the opposite end of the building were enormous windows covering the width and almost the height of the far wall. Light was a dominant feature of his paintings.
I can thoroughly recommend a visit to "The Cedars" (Sir Hans' home and studio) located at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills - whether you live in South Australila or are just passing through - your day will be all the richer for this glimpse into the life and talents of an amazing artist.
Have a "gander" at these two! On my way home yesterday lunchtime from a property near One Tree Hill in the northern Mt Lofty Ranges (locally often referred to as "the Adelaide Hills"), I spotted a gaggle of geese meandering through their owners' vineyard, but this pair stood out as they waddled in unison.
Last month I mentioned a visit to the wonderfully historic mid-north town of Mintaro. Here are some images which show the extensive use of slate which was gathered from the local quarry. What patience the builders must have possessed!
It wasn't until I had uploaded this image and was looking at it more critically, that I spotted the pale tiny spider and the little black bug on the leaves of this daisy - what a bonus! (In case you hadn't guessed, I am having SO much fun with my new Nikon P510 !)
On our way into the country for a specific photoshoot, we were keenly on the lookout for a bakery and coffee stop. Thought we'd found it here on a back country road, but sadly the cafe was temporarily closed, but we enjoyed stretching our legs and exploring the fascinating garden!
After several days of rain, biting winds and overcast skies, we were "just a tad" apprehensive about the photographic conditions for our planned trip to the country. We need not have worried - it was a gorgeous day; the clouds disappeared, the sun came out and it was a very pleasant temperature in the high 'teens.
This reflection was in the window of an old general store.
Being keen to try out my newly acquired camera - a Nikon Coolpix P510 - I had literally only just begun my journey to a local wetlands area some 15 minutes' drive away from my home in suburbia, when I looked to a large area of open land adjacent to a main road into town and couldn't believe my eyes - there were several kangaroos grazing and lazing in the grass!!
This adjacent road has high volume traffic, it was 10:30 in the morning and we are talking about a residential region some 15-20kms from Adelaide's CBD on the northern side - I have never seen wildlife in this area before, so it was an absolute treat, and gave me an opportunity to try out the new tripod as well! What a way to start the day!!
It looks like this 'roo has a baby joey in her pouch - another bonus!
Although this shot isn't as sharp as I would have liked, I couldn't resist posting it; there's nothing quite like a drive in the country to elevate one's awareness of the beauty that surrounds us. Here, at the southern end of the Clare Valley, we are looking across one of many vineyards that typefy the region - noted for its white wines.
A busy place - in more ways than one! There were many streets feeding into this famous landmark and, while there seemed to be no apparent road rules or lane markers, remarkably all the vehicles just made way for each other (and without much tooting of horns as I recall!). It was clearly also a popular meeting point for visitors.
Last Saturday was our first day of Spring, which called for an outing to the Patawalonga Marina - one of two exclusive mooring sites for the very expensive pleasure boats of Adelaide's wealthier residents.
It was mid-to late afternoon by the time we arrived (having first "detoured" further down the coast) and conditions were just perfect for the gentleman paddling his kayak on the river. People just relaxing on the lawns, beach, in cafes or bars weren't complaining either! Since then, we've experienced some wild, wet and "woolly" days, but now, a week later, another glorious Spring day presents itself.
Trusting whatever season you're in right now that you are able to find some joy in it.
These shots were taken last Winter in a local reserve. It was a somewhat grey day for our photo shoot outing, but then we came across this touch of gold in an otherwise rather colourless - yet still fascinating - environment.
Mintaro, in South Australia's mid-north, is an important region in the State's history. In the 1840's it was an early staging point for transferring Copper from the Burra mines to Port Wakefield. Then from 1860 onward it was South Australia's leading producer of high quality slate and there is much evidence of this around the town today where it has been used for roofing and walling.
Above, on the left, is the Wesleyan Methodist Church (later to become the Hall) built in 1854, with the larger Methodist Church on the right having been constructed in 1867.
This shot is part of a sad ruin, yet Heritage Listed site comprising a dwelling, store, and carpenter's shop which became Lathlean's Post Office and Store in 1862.
En route to Mintaro and some local wineries, our journey was temporarily interrupted as these sheep were being moved from one grazing area to another. We didn't mind in the least, being a rare opportunity to enjoy seeing the lambs up close.
This shot was taken at the beginning of the year, and is a sunset over the salt pans. Using Picasa I cropped out some superfluous sky and foreground and used the auto contrast feature, but otherwise it is "as taken".
Thank you to lorikart for the invitation to participate in Mandarin Orange Monday
Yesterday was our first day of Spring - and it was superb; gorgeous blue and cloudless skies accompanied by pleasantly warm temperatures. Although Brighton jetty here (looking back toward the Arch of Remembrance) seems deserted, on shore we were hard-pressed to find a car park and seating at outdoor cafes as couples, families and singles enjoyed the relief from cold, wet, blustery days. Dogs galore had also been brought out by their owners to appreciate the day!
August was apparently our wettest in 7 years and coldest in a decade, so you may understand our celebratory joy!
On my recent brief stay in the Clare Valley, the weather was quite stormy on our last night there, resulting in loss of power between 7pm and midnight. With trusty torches we found some candles & holders in a drawer, together with a pack of playing cards, so by candlelight and the glow from the open fire we entertained ourselves with games from our (long-past!) youth. It all added to a memorable 4 day trip away.