Friday, September 18, 2020

from a distance


Recently, I have been slightly (or not so slightly) obsessed with the macro, with the small, hidden things found underground in wet and hidden places. 

However, there is a beauty in the views around us, when I lift my gaze from the details of spiders webs, dew drops, grass seeds caught in morning light. There is beauty in the rounded hills surrounding us, the bronze-gold grass and silvered trunks of gums. 

We hope and pray rain will come soon, and the golds and browns will soften into lusher greens, I hope these are the 'before' pictures. Even floods would be welcome to fill the dams and make the streams and rivers run freely again. 

However, there is beauty in the shades of gold and bronze, copper and bleached silver, and there are still pools to be found along dried out streams. In the morning as the mist veils the pools the sight makes me catch my breath.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Small Details in Gold


It seemed far too early to wake, and I knew I had already missed the sunrise, but when I opened reluctant eyes and noticed my firstborn stomping through the house, I suggested we take the dog for a walk. 

We stepped through the garden gate at 5.54 and headed downhill, across town and to the beginning of the rail trail on the far side. As we left the town outskirts I was already in raptures over the mist, the light, the early morning freshness. My son was already asking if we'd nearly walked an hour. 

Mist clouded in pale pockets on the plane between the low surrounding hills and as we rounded corners new views opened up. We had seen the land from different angles when driving along the highway that wound out of sight slightly above us, but walking slowly (very slowly as I stopped and started to take photos and our dog waited patiently and my son waited impatiently) it seemed entirely new. 

I don't think I ever noticed the beauty of grasses, or how many there are, until the last few years. Possibly because this region is so dry the grasses are more of a feature, and thus I focus more, possibly I was just exceptionally unobservant. The different curls and spikes, shivers and outfalls enchanted me. In the early morning golden light the added layer of the golden grasses seemed abundantly luxurious. 

I tried not to dwell on the fact that the season is presently spring - we are only just heading into Summer and our surrounds are already dry, the earth hard, the dams near empty. 

Instead, I observed, tried to capture, the way the light fell, caught, danced upon the dew, the spiders webs, the gold grass stalks, constantly changing as I moved, as the sun rose. 

The days now leave me battered, we lurch from one small, or not so small, drama to the next, but this golden morning, these captured moments of exuberant light, will help sustain. 

Monday, September 7, 2020

curlicue by sea (variations on a theme)


Recently, my Beloved and I were given twenty-four precious hours to recharge, child-free, and we fled to the sea. 

We have missed it so much. 

The sound of the surf and the scent of the brine, after so many long months in exile, was indescribable. 

At dusk we made our way to the shore, and sat at the high tide and listened, and smelt and felt. 

There was a random rootlet or twiglit, by my feet and I picked it up and began taking photos of it in the fading light. The camera found it hard to focus, as it was too close, the light fleeing, but I enjoyed the different way different parts were sharpened and softened. I loved it's lack of straight lines or symmetries. 

The way it looked to be in motion, when not. The way it almost looked like something other - a sea dragon, the prow of a viking ship, but didn't. 

In which you can just see the root/branch in the corner of the photo before I pick it up. And in which you see sand, pumice and impractical, child-free type shoes.

The sky and sea beyond, with one lone fishing light, of which my Beloved was very jealous. 

Fantastical Around Us


Recently, I became slightly obsessed with watching a documentary called Fantastic Fungi. It was difficult to find a way to watch it, and in the end I had to wait until it came onto Apple TV, but I watched the beautiful time lapse photography on trailers and became addicted. 

It is perhaps not surprising as we head into the harsh, dry, unrelenting Queensland Summer that I become particularly interested in something found most easily in cool, shadowy darkness. Memories of lush, deeply green moss, winter-chill waterfalls, scents of water, decay and damp assail me. 

But there is also something about this unheeded, largely subterranean, largely unseen, but ever-present and ancient entity that intrigues me. 

At my first opportunity when we visit a (slightly) wetter place, I look for fungi - and find lichen, which - according to wikipedia is - 'a composite organism that emerges from algae or cyanobacteria living among the filaments of the fungi'. 

The soft greens sooth me. The texture intrigues me. Looking for the lichen encourages me to look around at the other micro features surrounding us - pollen caught in spiders webs, busy ants, tiny flowers, beautiful coiling tendrils. 

I am unused to this type of focusing and it is entirely random what feature is sharp and what is blurred. I enjoy the unexpected. 

There is a world - a fantastical world the equal to any fantasy book I've read - to explore, and I am enchanted.