A big contrast to the summer photos of the last few posts. For the the last 48 hours or more a vast area of the outback has been inundated with heavy rains and there’s more to come.
I think it is safe to say that every road in the Flinders north of Hawker and Outback of South Australia is either closed, cut or in some way affected by the rain at the moment.
This is the Warrioota Creek near Beltana which is one of the streams that has isolated the town of Leigh Creek.
It was flowing a metre high and very fast for several hours yesterday then dropped so I could get home late in the afternoon.
However with more rain falling overnight and again today it cut the road once again.
Some very heavy falls have been recorded…perhaps the biggest at Depot Springs east of Leigh Creek where 270 millimetres (10.5 inches) have fallen in the last three days. That’s all of the station’s rainfall last year.
There always seems to be a good consolation though when caught at flooded creek crossing, and for me it’s an occupation hazard. Often there are interesting people to talk to who are also in the same boat (bad pun) as you are.
This scene is not far from the shores of Lake Torrens….which have featured in the last two photographs.
These are the famous sand dunes at Nilpena station which go on for kilometres.
The shapes are always changing as the winds blow the sand around.
The hardest thing about shooting dunes is locating a really good composition and finding that just recently, you had marched right through it.
I don’t know how they made the ‘Lawrence of Arabia” movie without having this problem.
As a photograph I like this image better than the previous one. It’s just about the same location and shot at the same time but I think the composition is better even though it perhaps doesn’t convey as well the feeling of a super hot day.
However I like the desolate feeling of the place, the fact that there’s nothing apparently living in the scene. The bush on the side of the bank is long dead from the salt and the heat.
It can’t always be grand landscapes that fill these pages.
The temperature goes up a few degrees here….like somewhere over 50C on the shores of Lake Torrens…that vast salt lake that covers over five and a half thousand square kilometres of my state. (And they say everything is big in Texas)
The temperatures here go so high they’re frightening in summer. About 15 to 20 minutes out on the lake and my black tripod was so hot I couldn’t pick it up with by bare hands and I was very apprehensive about damaging my Canon camera and lens too.
Perhaps this photograph doesn’t quite portray the real heat of the day but I can assure you it was a bit warm.
After posting the last photograph of the ruins at Black Rock I thought it would be a good idea to look for photographs I have made that illustrate the heat of summer in the Flinders Ranges and Outback.
It is generally very hot, many businesses close at least for part of the hottest months, visitors stay away and locals who are used to the heat, tailor their lives accordingly.
Usually the early morning or late afternoon is the time for photography, but using the harsh light of the middle of the day can illustrate the heat of summer.
Like here, where there is a hint of a mirage along the base of Bayley Range on Beltana station in the northern Flinders Ranges that helps tell the story.
I used an aperture of f5.6 to get a sharp foreground and a soft focus on the ranges behind. The shutter speed was 1/125 sec, ISO 100.
Heading home from Adelaide yesterday and it was a typical summer day…washed out colours across the land, the chance of a thunderstorm in the air, hot and dusty.
Passing through a little one horse town called Black Rock, one of the old ruins there fitted in real well with the rest of the scene.
Black Rock is between Peterborough and Orooroo in South Australia’s mid north. The old pub is the main feature lovingly restored and maintained as a gallery and tea rooms by local artist Bud Stephenson.
The ruins here are a bit far gone for a restoration but the raised dust near the wind mill added a bit of a pointer to how the day was heading.
With apologies to Snoopy……
Wilpena Pound, central Flinders Ranges with Rawnsley Bluff and Bonney pound the main features in the background.
From the small and insignificant branches of the previous image to the big picture where water channels are making their own distinctive marks on the desert floor.
Having spent quite a bit of time exploring what to many is a featureless land in the far north of South Australia I have been regularly amazed by the diversity of features that can be found by flying over the top.
This has been amply illustrated in previous posts where the colours and patterns of the Great Victoria Desert have provided a natural and beautiful art form.
This photograph was taken a number of kilometres (somewhere between 30 and 50) from the western shores of Lake Eyre from about 300 metres high.
The great thing about standing around waiting on the light to work its magic on on some big landscape is that quite often there will be something small or insignificant that’s going to make an interesting picture too
With plenty of time to play around with, you can get up to all sorts of mischief.
Over exposing the branches of a nearby acacia bush was one way of making something a little interesting out of what would otherwise be nothing at all.
This was shot on an old Canon D20 at f10, 1/250th sec, ISO 200, focal length 70mm