First sight of Potato Point sea for seven weeks
Beach runners and shadows
Around the weekend yard
It’s been a long time, probably two years, since I’ve seen my brother, although of course we’ve had contact. Mind you, it’s often because he’s accidentally pocket-dialled me! But here I am at last, at his coastal retreat on the shores of Burrill Lake, meeting Riley and Bundy for the first time: kelpies are a change from the usual wolfhounds.
We watch evening fall from deck and jetty, in the distance the tip of Pigeonhouse named by Captain Cook as he sailed up the coast of so-called terra nullius. The Aboriginal name is Didthul (breast) or Didhol (big mountain).
Once upon a time long ago I walked to its summit with my teenagers, up giant stairs and through waist-high heathland. I didn’t brave the ladders to the very top. I found a rocky perch and played “Down in the valley” on my recorder, while they cavorted dangerously above me.
This post is in response to DesleyJane’s weekly challenge. She asks us to photograph something, changing the light. I let the evening do that for me, and I obviously broke the rigid 5minutesnomore rule: I can’t pretend I didn’t. This week she features a charming cat and a blue flowers.
Finally, in homage to Sue and her Ones, two full frontal Ones. The man and his dog appeared in the frame just as I took the photo, aiming merely for an image of the track.
This One was captured in Warsaw. Concrete was raining down from the roof during renovations, and I whizzed down to take a photo of the debris. The man, presumably there to warn tenants before they got dinged on the head, didn’t want to be in the photo, and I caught him hopping the low fence to disappear somehow before I snapped.
With thanks to Kate who provided the many pleasures of this day.
It’s a perfect winter’s day, warm in the sun but a definite chill out of it. I meet my friend at the highway turnoff near Central Tilba, and head through farmland following signs to the cemetery, two enclosures on an empty hillside. We ramble round the one nearest the sea, noting local names; the age demographics of the dead; and the devotion of descendants who mark unmarked graves after locating them with cemetery records. Then we settle on a substantial and comfortable wooden bench amongst the graves to enjoy our picnic lunch.
A sandy track leads through dune growth to the beach. A lagoon reaches out from the sand towards majestic Mother Gulaga.
We skirt the water, amongst many footprints, human, dog and bird, and head towards the low cliffs on the south end of the part of the beach we can see. The beach actually stretches for five kilometres, but the tide interferes with any plans we don’t have to walk the length of it. The beach tilts towards the water, and is quite heavy going for someone who only likes the taut sand of low tide. However, I trudge my way along, stopping for desultory conversation with my companion.
I reach the rocks, and forget the human as I and my camera converse with them, different yet again from others I’ve seen along my coastline. The cliffs are listing under the impact of past – long past – upheavals.
The rock face below the cliffs has the appearance of bulbous blocks stacked neatly – or is it rounded tesselations? – and broken occasionally by diagonal lines and mini-gardens.
In other places the rock forms tiny caves with stalactites, or elegant swathes.
Then there are the blue rocks: some with stripes, others with more regular geometric shapes.
There is also honeycombing and wandering inserts, such as I’ve seen in slightly different forms elsewhere.
I acquire delusion of grandeur and decide I’ll play the role of a seismic shift and photographically tilt the rocks. Such power!
A lone seagull with a limp takes a fancy to us and follows us back along the beach, hoping for who knows what. Out at sea a faint haze resolves itself into a whale blow, and we pause to track and capture it as it moves slowly north. The sun is speeding down the sky, cars are spilling out dogs eager for an afternoon run, and we make our way to Central Tilba (remember it, Jude?) for a cuppa. The café clocks our age, and the music changes to the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and Elvis.
Wallaga Lake, south of the beach we’ve just walked along, is fading to pink in the late afternoon light.
This charmed day ends with a concert hosted by the Yuin Folk Club in Cobargo. Fiona Ross, singer of Scottish folk songs, has a voice unlike any I’ve heard before, and entertains us with an account of the unremittingly lugubrious nature of the songs she sings: you meet a girl and you die, or your mother puts a curse on you, or (less direly) the girl you want marries someone else.
However it is Tony McManus the guitar player who makes my evening. He is one of those musicians who is inseparable from his instrument. The music flows as the fingers move, and when he and his steel guitar play his arrangement of Sati my enchantment reaches its peak. It doesn’t hurt that his patter is laconic and amusing, but if you follow the link and just want the music it begins at 3.20.
And so to Kate’s place, and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.
I nip into Port Douglas, just to see, and am very glad I chose to camp at Mossman. The Port's a tourist mecca – cafes with clear plastic seats, T shirts emblazoned with all things Port Douglas (mind you I buy sharks and crocodiles for the twins), gift shops by the dozen and eateries everywhere. I don't see the tattoo parlour where my niece had her frangipani wedding tattoo, or I may have been tempted into a holiday mistake: a crocodile, maybe.
I book a cruise up the estuary aboard the Lady Douglas. I change into red sandals and black dress with red flowers and gold embroidery, as befits a sunset mangrove cruise with complementary … lemonade, in my case. I'm about to begin my love affair with mangroves: the patterns of their root-stilts, their flourishing green and the leggy reflections. There is a crocodile sighting: I follow the trajectory of eyes, binoculars and cameras, and fail to register more than the vague flat shape of a head, maybe.
The captain is informative: about mangroves and their salt-excluding mechanisms; about the sunken yacht, once a drug runner until the captain was arrested; about the ramming of another yacht when a huge catamaran failed to respond to instructions; about mooring leases, which cost next to nothing and are never given up; and about the bats, hoarding home as the light moves towards dusk. It takes a sharp eye to see them in my photo.