Burnt Out Pines: framing the majestic

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Recently I took a few photos in this small burnt out pine forest about fifteen kilometers from where I live which was burned around the new year – it was a little grim, but also quite interesting. As I walked into the stand of blackened trees I was struck by the starkness of the orderly rows ahead; I turned, and my eye was immediately led out and back to an unharmed gum tree, back at the road’s edge.

Last weekend I attended basic bushfire skills training in my hometown, something I probably ought to have done years ago. In small, remote communities, having more helpers directly affects the greater our ability to “get the job done”. While I’m not looking forward to there being fire threats to the surrounding land in future, I do feel just a little less helpless.

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Out and About: Dunolly, Victoria

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A misunderstanding took me to Dunolly, in the Victorian Goldfields Region, recently: I had been led to believe there would be a Swap Meet held there, as some signs along a wayside said so.

Unfortunately, upon arrival it became clear there was no Swap Meet, and the signs had been up from the previous year’s event – more fool me, for not noticing the date was one day out of plumb.

Anyway, the lack of Swap Meet didn’t dampen things, as Dunolly is a very interesting town to wander about, and for a Sunday in the country it was surprisingly busy. It is also home to the most amazing building materials salvage yard, and well-worth the visit if that’s your thing.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, STARTING AT TOP:

  1. Help the what of the what?
  2. Fantastical garden decor
  3. i cannot find you but there is a face on the moon it looks like you
  4. P. McBride 1852, Ironmonger
  5. Dunolly welcomes you…
  6. Established in the Goldrush days
  7. G.S. Williams
  8. Lan-choo tea for your teapot
  9. Eagle Star Insurance
  10. Groceries Hardware
  11. The absent Swap Meet, advertised in a shop window
  12. Town Hall, porthole to the balcony
  13. Town Hall, where the wild things grow
  14. Bet Bet Shire, 1864
  15. Huge, creamy yellow roses for the bees
  16. CLOSED sign on old sheet music
  17. Pick the living critter…
  18. Beautiful crackled paint
  19. Dereliction in the Billiards Hall
  20. Corner garage, closed

Lonely, I Stand: the reliability of chimneys

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Chimneys have always had the most reliable longevity of above-ground structures in houses, and I have always been intrigued by the presence of a chimney that has held its ground long after the rest of the house has crumbled to the ground.

I was pleased to have been able to enhance the sun in this photo, which shows how this place really felt on the day – a bit lonely and eerie.

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The Trees Below: Toolondo Reservoir in winter

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Many years ago, before a decade of drought hit the Wimmera hard, Toolondo Reservoir was a popular lake for boating, fishing, and camping. A friend remembers skiing only a few feet above the top branches of trees that had been flooded decades earlier to create the reservoir – a surreal experience, no doubt. This photo – rotated 180 degrees from the original – made me think of that tale, and of the unsettled feeling I get whenever I think of an area being flooded (remember the scene in O Brother Where Art Thou where the valley is flooded to become a dam?)

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Rusty Car Door: colourfully derelict

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The rich hues of rusted and lichen-encrusted car panels is a thing of joy to me – sure, a car that’s been fully restored with impeccable paintwork is lovely, but there’s something so softly beautiful about the ravages of time.

Another thing that has always intrigued me (ever since there was a busted-up Land Rover in my childhood back yard) is the pebbling of smashed automotive glass.

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