Summer means getting wet

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Unlike the northern hemisphere where it could be snowing at Christmas and New Year, in Australia we are usually at the beach during the festive season.

This year was no exception, with New Year’s being a particularly fine day to spend in the sun, sand and surf.

Potato Point Beach Potato Point Beach

At around this this time of year much of the population across Southeastern Australia heads for the coast. Even during summer the cold currents coming up from Antarctica can keep the water a touch cool on a hot day, but this doesn’t stop everyone from young to old trying to getting wet.

Father and baby: everyone gets wet on New Year’s Day Father and baby: everyone gets wet on New Year’s Day

When not in the water, there is plenty of time to play with new toys in the sand, have a nap out of the sun in a shade shelter, or under a beach umbrella.

New Year’s Day on the sand New Year’s Day on…

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Along the Nerriga Road

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While packing my camera bag for the weekend, I discovered that I had lost or misplaced a Grafmatic film holder. After trying to remember when I had it last, it occurred to me that I might have set it down on a rock by the Sholhaven River at Oallen Ford a week earlier.

It was a long shot, but I decided to head down to Nerriga and try to find it. Of course it rained heavily over the last week, so it could have been washed away, but nothing ventured..

In hindsight it was a feeble excuse for photography at some of my favourite places. The film holder was not found, so I instead went to the old ford at the Corang River, downstream from the new bridge, and made several photographs standing in the cool waters.

Driving back to Nerriga, I stopped at the old footbridge at Bindi Brook…

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Reflections at Stewarts Crossing

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Water finds its own course passing ever downwards.

Although it is easy enough to imagine that rivers and stream might have a spirit that guides water in its meanders, or path over falls and rapids, it is driven by gravity. Unlike individuals, or groups, that might try to find the path of least resistance, water has no such motive or even consciousness of an intention. When a river rises and falls, it might find the memory of tracks it had carved before, or discover new trajectories.

On a hot summer’s day, it is just fine standing momentarily absent from cares in cool waters, watching gentle ripples on the surface catch the glistening sun, or be refracted into patterns on the sand beneath.

Sometimes I wished on reflection for an absence of consciousness like water, or perhaps, an easier path to the sea.

Smooth flowing waters Smooth flowing waters

Soft summer reflections Soft summer reflections

Ripples, refractions and flares Ripples, refractions…

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After rain

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After rain rivers rise.

Sometimes it might be by a few inches, but at others, rivers will rise by feet.

It is not unusual along the south coast rainforest escarpments of New South Wales for a storm to dump a few inches of rain. Every so often a south coast low pressure system brings 10 to 12 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. Rivers swell, bursting their banks, dragging vulnerable trees and branches downstream.

Sometimes, flood waters will seek an alternate course creating islands, and when the water recedes billabongs are left behind.

It has been a wet summer. When we visited the Deua River was higher than usual. Huge rainfalls and flooding a few weeks ago earlier however had meant branches were deposited, creating mid-air sculptural installations on the bank, at least 6-8 feet above the normal water height.

After the rain After the rain

She-oaks and billabong She-oaks and billabong

Deposited Deposited

Balanced Balanced

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