Thoughtfactory: The Rhizome blog

trees, roads, bushland


 From a early morning  poodlewalk in local bushland in Waitpinga with Kayla during the middle of winter 2021.  

It has been 3-4months  since I've walked through the local bushland. I went back yesterday morning to avoid the gale force  south westerly winds. I noticed that the native orchids   were in flower.  During this time I have been reading Photography and Place:  Australian landscape Photography 1970 untill now , which is a pdf of an exhibition curated by Judy Annear, Art Gallery NSW in 2011. 

pink gum branch

Kayla and I made a  brief return the local  patch of bush in Waitpinga last week.   We had not walked around  there since late spring. We had stayed away  over the summer months because of the brown snakes. In early autumn I  decided that it would be safe early in the morning around sunrise as the early morning temperatures was cool.  

So Kayla and I had a  quick poodlewalk one morning when it wasn't heavily overcast to check things out. It is quite dark in this patch of bush early in the morning,  and the heavily overcast skies make it difficult to  take photos handheld. It was safe. We haven't been back since because of the heavy cloud cover in the morning. 

Waitpinga: roadside vegetation Baum Rd #5

I have just come across  this current  exhibition of trees at the Monash University Museum of Art entitled Tree Story. I do not know much about the exhibition, or the narrative that is implied in the word 'story'.  The information on the MUMA website is very minimal. It says that the  exhibition's:

"creative practices "create a ‘forest’ of ideas relating to critical environmental and sustainability issues. At its foundation—or roots—are Indigenous ways of knowing and a recognition of trees as our ancestors and family...Tree Story takes inspiration from the underground networks, information sharing and mutual support understood to exist within tree communities, and poses the question: what can we learn from trees and the importance of Country?" 

There are no links to the Tree Story podcast, or to The Tree School publication on the website.  So we don't  have  access to the fleshing  out of the above ideas by the curators. This minimal online approach to an exhibition is standard art gallery practice .The art galleries  continue to assume that exhibitions are about people  physically visiting the gallery, even after a year of living with  the Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions on people movement. 

Does the  use of 'school' suggest that trees  have the capacity to learn?  Or does tree school  refer to  a place where people can gather for communal learning and the production of knowledge grounded in lived experience and connection to communities? I have no idea. 

From a recent poodlewalk in January 2021:

 It is roadside vegetation along Baum Rd in Waitpinga.  Sadly this vegetation is not regenerating,  and the strip of roadside vegetation along this  road is gradually lessening as the plants and trees slowly  continue to die. This is common in this part of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. There is no caring for this roadside vegetation. 

tree abstract

The macro photo  below was made on a  recent, early morning  poodlewalk with Kayla along Depledge Road  in Waitpinga on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. It was  sometime during  the 2020 Xmas/New Year period. 

 I have generally been walking  along the  back country road in the morning or afternoon to avoid the strong, gusty coastal winds;  or  for some  shade from the late afternoon summer  sun.  The rhizomes photography has been rather limited this summer. 

pink gum, branch

This branch of a pink gum ( Eucalyptus fasciculosa) is in the local bushland in Waitpinga  adjacent to Depledge Rd on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. 

The picture  was made in the early morning in  mid-Spring (ie., October)  about 15 minutes  after sunrise. I often walk down Depledge Rd on a poodlewalk to avoid the strong,  south-westerly winds off the southern ocean. The bush on the west side of the road provides us with protection from the wind. 

branches, Waitpinga

It has been a cold,  wet, windy,   spring so far. We have had so much rain along the southern coast fo the Fleurieu Peninsula.   However, there were  a few days of fine weather between the days of steady rain in early October,  and so we were able to wander  around the local bushland in Waitpinga. 

This  picture was made  in the early morning inbetween  the rains sweeping across the coast:    

It  is a  grounded  branch of a pink gum in local bushland in Waitpinga.  The tree  is growing along the ground. 

trunk + bark

This picture of  roadside vegetation was made on a recent  early morning poodlewalk with Kayla along Depledge Rd in Waitpinga  during the recent stormy conditions. Recent as in late September. 

We chose to walk along this road as the adjacent bushland provided us with some shelter  from  the  strong, gale force  south westerly winds battering the coast.   There was no traffic along the road,  and so we had it  to ourselves; apart from the usual rabbits, kangaroos  and foxes criss crossing Depledge  road.  

a foggy morning

The morning of 2nd August was foggy and, after the  poodlewalk along Depledge Road  in Waitpinga with Kayla we  ended up  slowly walking around the local bushland

Foggy mornings like this are rare in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. We have  only  had two such mornings this winter. 

bushland + neo-Romanticism

In the last week or so I  have been spending the early morning poodlewalks  with Kayla exploring a small patch of bushland as a contrast to the coastal rocks.  The bush  runs alongside Depledge Rd in Waitpinga,  and  I am assuming this patch has been put aside as a result of  the  Landcare moment in the late 20th century.  

On these bush walks I am using a handheld digital camera to build up some supplementary material for the forthcoming online walking /photography exhibition at Encounters Gallery.   This will  open in August as  a  part of the SALA Festival.  I am also using these walks to find some suitable subject matter for a 5x4 photo session. This is one session that has been done. In the first instance the  5x4 photos are for an upcoming online exhibition for the Friends of Photography Group in August.

When walking in the  bush reserve  I  follow the trails that have laid down by the kangaroos who crewe regular visitors to the bushland.    If I didn't walk their trails  iIwould be walking around in circles with no sense of where I was.  

winter solstice

I made the photo below in the late afternoon of June 20--winter solstice--when I was on a poodlewalk with Maleko. As we were wandering back to the car through the bushland reserve in Waitpinga after a photo session with a medium format film camera  I made the photo in passing just before dusk.

 I didn't think much of it at the time, and I forgot all about it--until I uploaded the photos to check  what the possibilities there were for  from my  recent scoping for another film-based  photoshoot.  This looked to be a good possibility--one worth checking out more consciously.   

Even though it had been rain all day  I decided to go  looking  for the 2 trees this afternoon.  It took me 2 hours of wandering around amongst the passing showers  before I  finally found these 2 trees.  I judged that the subject matter was an afternoon photo session rather than a morning one and that it  needed soft afternoon light and a  blueish sky,  rather than dull light and overcast skies.