On the shores of the Southern Ocean

From the vantage point of having been to the same beach at this time of year for the past five years, I take the dirt road down to the shore.   It’s rained extremely heavily during the past week and now wide expanses of silvery water  lie across the paddocks.   Deep puddles framed each side of the road but the middle is solid enough to drive along – slowly.  

The car park is a maze of puddles so I park at the very edge.   I’m eager to see what changes the winter storms have wrought on the shore line  this year.  Usually at this beach there is a wide stretch of sand with the ocean on one side and the shallow waters of a river that doesn’t quite reach the sea on the other.

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In 2014 the river broke through to the sea during a wild storm.   The water was  shallow and it was easy to walk along the near side of the river. 

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Looking at my photos of the day I can still remember the calm,  dream-like feeling that came over as I wandered along the river’s edge.

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Within two weeks the river mouth had silted up again.   It wasn’t until last year that the river broke through the sand bar again.  Very shallow water flowed languidly over the sand.  

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Within a week the flow had all but ceased –  DSCN9958

Yesterday when I arrived at the same vantage point I had trouble believing what I was seeing.   Instead of gentle, dream-like mingling of river and ocean a raging torrent confronted me.

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The water had carved a deep channel through the sand dunes.   It was impossible to get down to the river’s edge for the water ate away at the base of a sand cliff that was at least two metres high.

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Walking down to ocean shore line I looked across a wide expanse of surging water.  

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This wide new river flows so powerfully it is hard to imagine it ever returning to the landlocked backwater it was just a few short months ago.  Perhaps the lonely stretch of sand on the far side will remain beyond reach of human foot prints.   Mother Nature fights back!

Linked to https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/thursdays-special-pick-a-word-in-september-y2/     I picked the word ‘vantage’ as the theme for this post.  

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July and August fugue

July and August passed in some kind of fugue for me.   A good part of the time was spent planning and working towards a community art project that fizzled out because of the actions of other people.    Somehow I always knew that would happen but all the same I invested a great deal of time and energy in the possibility.   Now that August has ended I am facing the fact that the project is completely kaput and it’s time to get on with other things.

Last night that I looked through the photos I’ve taken over the past two months and wondered why so few of them made it to my blog.   This morning I saw that Paula of https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/thursdays-special-july-august-recap/ has posted a prompt asking us to to look back on the photos we took in July and August.   It’s the perfect chance for me to post some of my backlog of photos.

20170820_070653-1  July and August are our coldest months here in southern Oz.   Although the wattle is flowering the temperature has been hovering around 11-14 deg. C for most of past two months.  Down here on the coast the wind blows  in off the Southern Ocean.   Some days it feels like it has blown straight off the ice of Antarctica.  Sticking my head out the back door is about as far as I get into the great outdoors sometimes.

2017-08-24 11.05.38-1-01  In the bush the ground is slick with mud and the shadows are long.

I rarely get out to the wild beaches further down the coast – 2017-08-24 10.10.11-01

When I do it’s impossible not to notice that the winter storms have eaten away more the dunes.   Each year since I’ve been living down here (I arrived in 2012) this particular beach has been getting more and more eroded.

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It is wonderful to get out and stretch the eyes though – my heart and mind expand as I walk along the deserted shore –

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Such days have been rare this winter.   Mostly the weather has been cold and drear – 2017-08-22 14.39.57-01

but yesterday there was a definite hint of spring in the air –

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and the month of August ended drenched in radiant light –    2017-08-31 16.47.47-01

Before and After

Once a month Paula of https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/black-white-sunday-after-and-before-y1-07/ asks us to post the same photo in Black and White and colour. I have been very slack about joining in photo challenges lately but when I saw this prompt last weekend it captured my imagination.   It took me most of the week to find a suitable subject but it made me get out and about looking for photo opportunities.   Yesterday I took these shots – 

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The shadows in the foreground of the photo have been cast by this footbridge – 2017-08-29 12.07.49-01

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Preserving an old building

 

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In Spain I saw numerous old buildings wrapped in green shade cloth.    I guess it’s to stop random bits of rubble falling on the heads of unsuspecting passerbys.  Maybe it’s also to keep the building relatively intact until the funds become available to renovate it. Converting a photo of such a building to black and white gives the structure a monumental look.  

prompt:    Paula’s Black and White Sunday photo challenge – structure