A Rural Spirit

In a way, I find the spirit of rural Australia is reflected in the forms of the landscape. Over time, our story is inscribed on the land and absorbed by all passing by.

A gum in a paddock speaks of an era before the land was tilled, a weathered fence line of order and division, a necessity shaping our modern way of life. Rains bring life, well most of the time anyway, we never quite know what will happen next. We are shaped by the past and prepare for the future. Our character is found in the smallest of details and the largest of spaces. Our life in the landscape, reflected in the landscape itself.

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Two Gums

2021, Milawa, Victoria

Two Gums
At dawn, the gums appeared a cool shadowy blue.  I watched as the sun struck and slowly crept down the tree. Before long, the fog had dissipated and light enveloped the scene, the magic was over.

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Yarra Valley Mists

2015, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Yarra Valley Mists
I sometimes wonder if the cows appreciate a view as much as I do! So cheers to another gorgeous morning in the Yarra Valley as a waking sun illuminates the early mists.

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Tree in Colour

2020, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Tree in Colour
I can’t help thinking of trees in paddocks as the remnants of our past. Sheep on the other hand couldn’t care less about pondering history and my woolly friend here looked up at just the right time. This photo was taken one year after ‘Tree in Black and White’.

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Tree in Black and White

2019, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Tree in Black and White
Photographing the landscape has become a way to self-reflect, away from the everyday. A theme I often come back to is time. When I look at Tree in Black and White, I think of memories which begin to fade as details morph into something else with time. But don’t mind me, you’re welcome to see whatever you like!

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a little tribute…

A picture of a dead tree
The tree in early 2021

Unfortunately age has its way with us all. I hadn’t been able to visit for a while because of the lockdowns, so was saddened to find this scene in early 2021. I had been half expecting the inevitable for some time though, as a sister tree near by had already fallen and I knew time was ticking. In a way, it’s a fitting end to the short series which speaks of time at its heart.

As far as I know, I am the only one to have photographed this beautiful tree and that’s the joy of photography in the landscape. A chance to discover and be part of the land. If I’m lucky, I may find another picture or two hiding in my collections which will eventually be shown here in tribute. Although I’m saddened, at least she has remained graceful to the end.

Milawa Moo

2021, Milawa, Victoria

Milawa Moo
A beautiful misty morning in Milawa where a strange sloping tree first captured my attention and a cow turned up at just the right time.

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Murrindindi Mob

2016, Murrindindi, Victoria

Murrindindi Mob
If Australia was built on the sheep’s back, this must be Australia!

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Five Cows Near Bacchus Marsh

2016, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria

Five cows near Bacchus Marsh
The hot day caused a shimmering effect in the fields near Bacchus Marsh.

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Out West

2015, Balliang, Victoria

Out West, Balliang
I’ve passed this field in Balliang many times over the years, but this was the first time I felt compelled to stop. Everything came together as a couple of clouds entered from stage right and sunlight danced across the field.

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Red Earth Under A Blue Sky

2016, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Red Earth Under A Blue Sky
A patchy blue sky illuminates the red earth.

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Lone Windmill

2016, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Lone Windmill
The fog soon dissipated as sunshine filled the valley.

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Lovicks Hut

2019, Victorian High Country

Lovicks Hut
A reminder of the cattle grazing days in Victoria’s High Country.

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Cattle Yards

2018, High Camp, Victoria

Cattle Yards
Melbourne’s outer suburbs are gradually swallowing up rural life on the fringe as the concrete parade moves slowly outwards. I hope these cattle yards will remain for a while yet.

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A Moment of Warmth

2018

Five Minute Morning
As I approached these hills just before sunrise I was convinced the sun wouldn’t shine. A layer of cloud had settled overnight and stretched as far as I could see. Fortunately, a small gap on the eastern horizon was enough to let the warmth pour through.

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