Weekly Photography Challenge: Sunset

Sun up, or sun down, that is the challenge…I’m not a morning person, I prefer to avoid dawn, except in winter when the sun also gets up later…

So here are some late-in-the-day spectacular skies. The street scene is in Horsham – not a colourful event, but I liked the quality of the light. The three on the right are all of the same evening, an apocalyptic looking cloud-scape over Ararat. We came out from a movie at the Astor Cinema, to find the light weirdly yellow, as it sometimes is with a storm brewing .The last is taken from the car on the way home – sunset over the Grampians, not that you can tell! It reminds me of a Tim Storrier painting, though.

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Weekly Photography Challenge: Travel Guide

The challenge this week is to share some of the attractions of ones home town and play Travel Guide. Our town is tiny – hamlet might be a better word for it – but we do have a lovely old Hall, recently upgraded with nice new toilets and a storeroom, which houses a collection of photos of district pioneers.

I was walking down that dusty road this afternoon when I noticed that the neighbours were out and about at the bottom of the lane. There were two kookaburras also, but by the time I’d hurried home and back with a camera, there was only one.

For seven long years we were without a shop, and had to remember what we needed in Ararat, or do without. Now we have it back, and it has transformed into a cafe with excellent coffee and above average food. The deck was built several years ago, and I for one have been waiting (as patiently as possible…) for the Saturday morning when I could walk a couple of blocks for coffee and the paper out there, overlooking the oval and the passing traffic. coffee time

Science tells us that coffee taken before exercise is a good thing, and if you are going to the Gramps, obviously you’ll be taking a walk or two, maybe climbing some rocks. So, if you are on your way through here to Halls Gap and the Grampians, I advise you to stop at our shop (Moyston General Store) and enjoy a leisurely coffee first, for your own good.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Weathered

I had thought of looking for some nice weathered timber for this challenge, but I’m going with landscape, after visiting this wind-swept lake recently. Time and the elements have ground down the mountains in the background, and filled the shallow lake with whatever it is that water birds like to eat. It was the brolgas we were looking for (they weren’t so keen to see us), but there are Black swans, pelicans, spoonbills, sandpipers, stilts, marsh harriers, marsh terns, both glossy and white ibis and various ducks.

 

There are windturbines on the hills nearby, taking advantage of the winds that sweep across the plains east of the Grampians – known locally as Pleurisy Plains because that wind can be bitter and unrelenting in winter. Even in summer, it was pretty chilly with the wind off the lake!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Fun!

Fun! Isn’t that the favourite photography subject of nearly everyone with a camera?! This week’s challenge theme is both very broad, and very personal, because one person’s idea of fun can be another’s idea of hell-on-earth…

We had a family day out in the Grampians on the weekend, which was extra fun because we had Matilda with us – and at nearly-eight months, she finds everything fascinating and strange, from the water rushing over the rocks, to Grandpa’s ginger ice cream.

The walk to Venus Baths, near Halls Gap, is pretty easy, even with a pram (apart from steps nearer the Baths). It’s popular in summer, a big rocky water slide for the young and adventurous. On a nippy winter afternoon, the water is only for looking at and listening to. Alex really wanted to let Tilly touch the water, but couldn’t find a safe enough spot, so she’ll have to wait until she’s much bigger. The same goes for ginger ice cream – vanilla might have been more fun for her!

Friday Poem:Grampians

I’ve gone into the back catalog for my poem today, but the photos are fresh from this afternoon. We glimpsed spectacular cloud hanging over the mountains as we drove home, so I pulled the phone/camera out of my pocket and shot through the rainy windscreen.Gramps crop

Little, old mountains,
Ancient bones of an ancient land
Lie sprawled across the boundary of the plains;
Jagged and crumbling peaks
Are cloaked in vegetation
Scarcely younger than the rocks themselves.
The ancient crone
Hugs secrets to her breast.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Landscape

Landscape seems like a really simple subject – almost anyone would know immediately what “landscape” means. However, almost any photographer has probably got a lot to choose from, maybe thousands of images of many kinds of landscape, so choosing what to share is a problem once again!march 2011 041 (Large)

Just south of where I live, there is a view of the ancient Grampians (Gariwerd) Range in Western Victoria. On the evening on which I took this photo, the mountains were almost obscured by smoke from farmers burning stubble (a practice that has surely had it’s day).march 2012 100 (Large)

The tourist village of Hall’s Gap huddles between the ranges with their rock-piled peaks. The landscape in there is wild yet intimate, no less spectacular for the constriction of space.DSCF5112 (Large)

We like to visit this spot for it’s view of the Grampians (which are invisible from our house). The mound of earth is man-made and a challenge to scramble to the top, but well worth the effort.IMG_1278 (Large)

North of the Gramps, the landscape becomes very flat, with vast paddocks sown to crops such as this canola field. A blooming field of acid-yellow flowers is irresistible to a person with a camera, which is why we stopped on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for me to take pictures!sept 2011 1246 (Large)

And now for something completely different, as they used to say on Monty Python – a riverine landscape with a lot of built elements, taken from a bridge over the Hoquaim River in Washington State several years ago.sept 2011 680 (Large)

On the same trip, we went to Johnson’s Ridge to see Mt St Helens, which even after she blew her top off is much, much higher than our Grampians, and the whole landscape up there is on a vast scale. I hope we get back there again before we a too old and creaky to explore some of the trails we didn’t have time for last trip!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Descent

descent 1I wasn’t at all sure what I could find for this weeks Photography Challenge – I don’t think I’ve got many photos of “Descent” in my files, although I did think that if only I was in Melbourne I could go to Parliament Station, and take a photo down the horrendously long and steep escalators…But I wasn’t. So I didn’t. However, Bryan decided a day out was in order, and we went to Hall’s Gap in the Grampians National Park on Sunday, and I found some decent descents along a walking track. The photo above shows the long scar down a steep hillside resulting from extremely heavy rain in the area some years ago – water and rocks descended with great force.

The town was packed with visitors, thanks to Cup Day’s long weekend, but the visitor centre at Brambuk, where we had lunch at the cafe, was quieter.

From there, we set off around a walking track, which went down to the creek, then up and around through bushland, and then down and across the creek again before looping back to the carpark. It’s an easy walk, and we enjoyed spotting wildflowers in bloom and seeing some birds, even though there was nothing new or unusual to be found. Except this….IMG657 (Medium)