Junkyard Dogs of Stawell: carnival collage


This highly-coloured “carnival” collage of junkyard images was shot in Stawell this week.

Each photo has a place in my heart, but I’d like to particularly point out the amusing shot of the front half of a small vehicle on the back half of a wrecked utility, which was clearly not heading anywhere (bottom centre).

Also, I enjoyed the chumminess of the two Holden Commodores, being quietly overtaken by lichen (bottom left), and the two trucks – one appearing to be shyly tucked behind a small tree (top centre).

And the oddball trike (centre)… and the abandoned Ford camper (right centre). Well, really, all of them have something to offer!

Please click image to view full size.


Off-Season: Wombelano Recreation Reserve

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For once, I actually decided to get out of the house early this morning to take photos. Okay, alright, I’ll admit: 9am isn’t early by most people’s standards, but that’s my customary rising time!

The recreation reserve at Wombelano – a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it locality with a couple of houses around 15 kilometres north of Harrow, Victoria – was on my list of grounds to shoot for this series as it’s nearby and pretty much disused, although it looks like there may be a spot of cricket played there. I felt a bit odd, driving in, as the grounds appear to be on private property.

Everything was locked up tight, except for the toilet block, so naturally I took a couple of shots in there of the leaves trapped in the hand basin, and the windmill grass choking the cubicles.

The enclosed wood-burning heater with chimney (lower right) is a common sight at football grounds in Australia – it’s a place where people congregate to keep warm while they catch up with the locals on a cold winter’s day.

Please click image to view full size.


Off-Season: Pigeon Ponds Recreation Reserve

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The second recreation ground to be featured in my ongoing Off-Season series, which was kicked off last  month with a post about the Harrow Recreation Reserve, this afternoon I drove down to check out the Pigeon Ponds Recreation Reserve. Pigeon Ponds is a locality – just a hall and the Rec, which has the oval (still in use by the cricket club), cricket practise nets, tennis courts, plus the club rooms and various small buildings.

It’s a very peaceful location, and showed signs of recent use with the Australia Day flag bunting fluttering cheerily in the breeze. The grounds gave up some of the quirky details I had hoped for when I started this series, including the inside of the old score-keeper’s box crusted up with bird leavings, the lone chair (numbered 14) at the edge of the oval beside the ornate garden gate, which sports a memorial plaque dating from 1961, and the now-illegible score board.

I spent quite a long time at the reserve, soaking in the serenity.

Please click on the image to view full size and be able to zoom in.

Off-Season: a summer’s afternoon at Harrow Recreation Reserve

Set as a challenge in late 2012, one of my ongoing photography themes – and goals – of 2013 will be Off-Season, which will take me to sporting grounds around the area to capture some of the atmosphere when the players and crowds are absent. Despite the fact that My Good Man is an avid AFL footballer, I have never been comfortable about going to watch him play – don’t like crowds, don’t like loud noises, don’t like sports. Three strikes and I’m out, rarely to be seen again at a live game.

On the other hand, there is an appeal for me in the solitude and calm of a seasonally-abandoned oval, and I expect that I will really enjoy poking about, camera in hand, in many-a local oval off-season. Hopefully I’ll dig up some interesting things for you, while keeping my sights aimed for the sweet spot at the centre of my goal posts.

I started this series off today with a visit to my local footy oval in Harrow, which – midsummer – is looking dry and patchy. As soon as I drove through the gate, I knew I had a chance at getting a good shot, and am happy with this quick snap of native wood ducks foraging on the oval. Please click on the images to view full size.


The thing I had most in mind to shoot was the score-keeper’s box, though I didn’t really know what I’d find in there. Not much, as it happened; anyway, it was a breezy, shady place to sit for a while and ponder, do a little writing…

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Back at the main complex, I slipped into the Umpires room, where I was charmed by the incongruity of the vintage dressing-table mirror on the wall of the cement block room, with mismatched coat hooks along one wall.

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I had never before noticed the time-keeper’s box, above the changerooms, and was keen to mount the steep stair to investigate the tiny room; it wasn’t all that interesting either, though I had fun using the XZ-1’s super macro mode on the dead fly suspended in a web.

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Heading back to the oval in the evening to see how it looked with smoke from bushfires in the region passing a veil across the valley, I discovered the ducks had been joined by a family of Eastern grey kangaroos – our local footy team is the Southern Roos, so that was apt – but they bounded off at first sight of me, and the only action shot I got was of the sprinklers.


Archive Dive: a (good) man and his dog

This is Chubs: a kelpie Labrador cross belonging to My Good Man. His legs are a tad too short for his body, and he is too bossy for his own good. He loves to charge on ahead when out for a walk, and when I met him he still had his balls and no idea of how to heel. But he has a sweet nature, and is a very fast learner!

I took this photo a couple of years ago, on a track near our home. When MGM saw it, he actually commented on how much he liked it; at which point I think I fell over from shock, as I hadn’t heard those words uttered before!

I’m posting it here today as a congratulatory post to MGM, who was awarded hands-down Best & Fairest in the Reserves for our local AFL footy team, despite not having trained all season. Go, you good thing! He claims that this was his last season; I’ll believe that when I see it.

My Good Man: just your everyday hero

My Good Man has many wonderful qualities, including being thoughtful, a good provider, a much faster and better dishwasher and general cleaner than I, and an all-round handy and pleasant fellow to have about the place. It’s also his job to make me laugh every day, and he takes it quite seriously.

Despite not appreciating my photography, he supports me doing whatever makes me happy, and sometimes even pretends to listen when I start raving about why I think a particular photo does, or doesn’t, work. I, in turn, do not appreciate his favourite sport: Aussie Rules Football; nevertheless, I support his right to play it – despite the groaning I do about having to get used to being a “football widow” every season, my increasing reluctance to attend his games, and the annoyance I feel at having to give up watching something on TV because the footy’s (always)on.

I will be delighted when he decides to stop playing for good, even though I know I will then lose him immediately to fishing. But it was with pride that I sent him off last night to the presentation night for the league his team plays in, and he returned having been awarded Third Best and Fairest for the 2012 season. Congratulations, my hero!