On a sunny Sunday afternoon in winter, we went to Hall’s Gap and, for a change, took the walk to Silverband Falls instead of our usual Venus Baths. The actual walk is roughly the same distance, but we had to drive south of Hall’s gap to reach it. There are not many flowers in July, but plenty of mosses, lichens and fungi. We spotted a dead tree that looks like a funny/monster face, which was definitely a bonus!
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.
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.
When I saw that this week’s challenge is textures, my first thoughts were of roughness and bumpiness although lack of bumps is also a texture.
One of the attractions of taking pics of my daughter’s three cats on the bed is the contrasting textures of their fur and the bedding.
I made an Elizabethan style smocked and embroidered baby gown for my middle son 36 years ago. Last week I had my 7 week old grandson, Banjo, model it for me – the stitches on the fabric have lovely texture – so do his squooshy cheeks!
The white Japonica is beautiful, but last summer it was overrun by Cleavers/Goosegrass, which is now silvery grey and a nice contrast with the blossom. It’s also covered in seeds, unfortunately…
Grampians Textures is also the name of the annual textile workshop-fest that takes place in Halls Gap in March. I don’t get to do a course every year, but I did do four days of mixed media with Kieth Lo Bue this year – lots of textures in these pieces I made.
I’m in Halls Gap this week, doing a workshop with Keith Lo Bue as part of Grampians Texture 2017. 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday is spent in the classroom learning what to make of Precious Little, the rest I aim to spend enjoying some solitude and the beauty of the place.
The Gap is, unsurprisingly, in a valley. The challenge this week is Atop, so I am showing you what is “atop” the surrounding hills (mountains, officially…) – rocks, trees, and this afternoon, a few wisps of cloud to remind us that autumn really is coming, even though the daytime temperatures are still reaching 30C.
The last thing I made today is a neckpiece with lichen atop an empty (and now artfully mangled) mints tin. The assignment was to use only three things (one from a nature walk, one from an exchange of “stuff” and one we’d brought along). No glue, no extra elements…but whatever techniques we liked. We had no idea we’d be trying to wear the stuff we picked up, from the walk or the exchange table, so there were some extraordinary and quite lovely creations by the end of the class today. Tomorrow…something completely different!
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!
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!
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).
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!
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.
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!