The Group Settlement schemes of the 1920s and 1930s were an economic and social disaster. There are many stories of hardship from this era. In these days where false advertising is not permitted it is hard to understand how a government could advertise in British papers offering working farms and entice migrants to Australia where they were given an axe and taken into the karri forest to clear their own land! Many walked off the land.
The Cape to Cape region is one area where group settlement schemes were established. Small communities sprang up everywhere, and facilities such as schools were established. Here is a shot of the Yallingup Siding school that is still standing today (although in pretty poor condition).
There is a front coming in tonight. Over at Yallingup this is what it looked like. 10 minutes later it was bucketing down with individual raindrops that you could feel each one as it hit you.
I went down to the mouth of the Willyabrup River Saturday afternoon. The walk from the carpark where the cliff climbers park down to the cliffs, and then north up to the mouth of the river is stunning with superb views opening up all the way. I even met a group of tourists on a wine tour, and the tour operator brings them down here by 4WD, just to take photos. In summer the river mouth is closed over by a sandbar and the water is stagnant. Not very interesting. Once the river starts flowing it is a different story. You can see in this shot the level where the sand builds up to over summer – the river has cut away a new channel and exposed these rocks. The water dammed up over summer is still draining, and so the water in the river is still dirty. A long exposure gives it a grey appearance. Later in winter the water will be crystal clear, and more of the sand will erode, leaving behind black streaks of mineral sands (ilmenite). You can see some of the ilmenite in the sand at the edges of the water, but there is not a lot to see just yet.
Along the Cape to Cape trail the river mouths all offer good photo opportunities over winter.
This is a beautiful beach, and in winter there are never very many people here. Just a few surfers usually. At the moment it is school holidays and there are a few families around. In the near future this will all change as the Smith’s Beach development proceeds.
Another Wyadup shot. There were a couple of surfers out tonight. Also there was a whale breaching offshore and the porpoises were catching some waves. Pretty nice all round.
A second shot looking north from nearly the same spot.
At the beginning of the month I went over to Nannup and drove along the road to Balingup. This road winds along the banks of the Blackwood River and is a very pretty drive. I turned off the main road thinking I was going on a side road but it quickly became a forestry track. They were clearing the pine plantations in the area, and the road climbed rapidly until I was high above the Blackwood River. The rain, and spectacular scenery were worth the effort. Once up at the top I did see a sign saying I wasn’t supposed to be there as they were clearing the area, but that was hardly the place to put the sign!
This was taken last Thursday evening. Normally these rocks are covered with water. It was a pity that the sunset didn’t happen because of clouds low on the horizon.
I visited the Yarloop steam workshops Sunday. Although they are open daily, on the second Sunday of every month they have a steam day, that is they operate the old steam engines and machinery on that day. It is a fascinating place, and an incredible part of West Australian history.
I went to Wyadup yesterday afternoon. I am always amazed by the extent of erosion of the sandy beach at the northern end of Injidup beach. I posted shots earlier of this section of beach in February. The sand was built up so much you could walk between these rocks and the water. After the winter storms there is no sand left. All the sand, right down to the rocks underneath, has gone. The water is now quite deep where once there was sand. This cycle is repeated every year, and has been doing so as long as I can remember. Over summer the sand will gradually return again. I wonder where it all goes?
There is another photographer in this shot if you look closely.
This was taken at Yallingup beach this evening. I was set up to take a shot of the beams of light coming from the setting sun when I saw the dinghy approaching. The dinghy was on its way back to the Canal Rocks boat ramp.
I went down to Castle Rock Bay yesterday hoping to catch a rainbow. The rain stopped soon after I arrived and the sky began to clear, so there was no chance of a rainbow. So I went across to Castle Rock. The wind was coming gently from the east, so the water in the little bay in front of the rock was smooth. The green moss on the rocks at the waters edge attracted me to this shot. (A 22 image stitch, but there was a lot of overlap).
This is another example of why winter is a great time for photography in this area, in spite of cold weather and rain.
I think the winter is the best time for photography in this area (except for photographing vines which are boring at the moment). The clouds are more interesting, the area is green, the streams are running, and the sunsets and sunrises are better. Importantly sunrise is 7:15am not 5:15am! Also as the sun rises in winter further north, it will light up the coast in Geographe Bay, whereas in summer it rises inland.
Here is shot of a stormy day at Bunker Bay.
We live on 5 acres outside Dunsborough. Much of our block is natural bush, and closer to the house there are plantings of trees and shrubs that attract birds. We also feed them, and consequently we have an endless stream of beautiful birds visiting. I have been browsing through my archives and picked out these photos which show some of them.