Location: Manning Valley NSW
Date: August 2009
August 10, 2009. I've visited Mt George and Killawarra
a couple of times, but for various reasons, mostly camera problems, I failed
to get the pics I really wanted. These days, thanks to my experience on
Red Bubble, I appreciate the value of high-resolution images. So yesterday,
I visited those places again armed with my Fuji Finepix.
This time, I noticed an old abandoned running shoe placed on top of
a post near the Killawarra Bridge. What was it doing there? I have no idea,
but it seemed to be a fortuitous opportunity for an unusual photograph.
On the way to the bridge, west of Wingham, I spotted an idyllic
scene - a grazing horse, a pond with ducks, and a rotunda thingy, and thought
I must take a pic or two of that on my return, which I did. While I was
there, I heard a voice from the farmhouse some distance away. "Can I help
you with anything?" It took a while for me to figure out where the voice
was coming from. I answered by saying that I was a hobby photographer taking
pretty pictures. As it turned out, "Can I help you with anything" was what
the lady asked but not what she meant. What she meant was, "What the bloody
hell do you think you're doing taking photographs of my property?" Eventually,
she met me at the front gate and expressed her displeasure at my intrusion,
even though I was outside her property. I explained again what I was doing.
"Have you got a card or something?" she demanded. A card? I'm a hobby photographer
and I'm supposed to have a card? The fact that I do have a card, Aussie
Odyssey, and handed her one is not the point. There are 20 million people
in Oz and I doubt that the majority of them have cards hehe.
Anyway, she seemed satisfied that I wasn't a member of the paparazzi
or some media person poking my lens in people's faces, and toddled back
to the farmhouse, leaving me to continue my journey. I suppose you can't
blame people for being suspicious of photographers. We see scenes of media
hounds and paparazzi on TV all the time, sticking their unwelcome noses
into other people's private affairs.
The situation would have been far more sensitive for this particular
lady because she's a breeder of expensive thoroughbred stallions whose
'services' undoubtedly command a small fortune. I suspect she mixes with
the hoi polloi of the racing and breeding fraternity as opposed to lower-class
rabble like me.
As it happens, the photographs didn't turn out well because it was the
wrong time of day. The sun was high in the sky and caused too much contrast,
such as a washed-out sky. I wasn't too crazy about the electric fence either.
After that, I proceeded to Mt George and my favorite old leaning shed.
You'll notice that I experimented with a couple of black & white versions
of the shed pics. I think they're rather interesting, but I'll let you
be the judge of that. Click
here for the photo album.
August 6, 2009. My regular mechanic knows zip about tuning Bluey's
carburetor, so I booked her into the Nissan service center this morning.
It's a few miles out of Taree CBD, so I took the camera with me
and walked back along the banks of the Manning River. Silly me!
I spent almost 3 hours on these tired old legs. But it was worth it because
there's so much more you see on foot.
south, back to Taree, I came across the old and derelict dairy farmer's
co-op that I visited a few days ago. From there, I found an disused railway
line which I investigated, and then took a wander along the adjacent river
bank. I spotted a blue tongue lizard sunbaking. He was eyeing me carefully
in case I posed a threat. Who me? Those little guys are everywhere around
here, and are perfectly harmless.
Nearby is a disused pumping station. People I've spoken to on the phone
are unsure of its original purpose but my guess is that it pumped fuel
(probably diesel) from ship to shore to supply the local industrial complex.
That would have been back in the days when the Pacific Hwy was inadequate
for very large trucks, and when coastal shipping was used to transport
heavy goods and bulk loads.
Further along, closer to town, I came across a pontoon near the rowing
club and a boat ramp. There were a few pelicans hanging about hoping for
a handout from fishermen so I stopped to take a few pics. Some of them
are wonderful images, the best of which I'll save for Red Bubble. But I'll
post all of them here. I sat on the pontoon for quite a while hoping to
catch a pelican landing... with its feet skimming across the surface of
the water. I wasn't in luck, dammit. They were either too far away, or
the camera couldn't focus quickly enough, or I spotted them too late or
whatever. Never mind, one of these days I'll get the perfect shot of a
pelican landing... as well as a few of them taking off. They sort of run
across the surface of the water in a rather comical fashion before they
eventually get liftoff.
I also noticed two wild geese... at least that's what I assume they
Closer to town, near the sailing club and Sailor's Restaurant, I saw
a rusting iron hulk. Actually, I saw it some years ago but it's since been
covered by mangroves, hiding it from the river side view. I was walking
along the bank in an area not frequented by most people. I'm not sure what
it was, perhaps a trawler or a river cargo ship. It's about 60 or 70 feet
long so it was quite a substantial boat in its day. Anyway, there it sits
on the bank of the Manning, rusting away in its final resting place. I
imagine the reason for leaving it there is because it serves as a breeding
nursery for local fish, together with the mangroves. Click
here for the photo album.
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