In the In Memoriam post on poodlewalks about having to put Kayla down due to her having cancer of the lymph nodes I mentioned that her love of being in, and walking in the local bushland, helped me to photograph the local Waitpinga bushland in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia. Being-in-this-world with her helped me shift away from viewing nature (the local bushland) as simply natural beauty; or its re-enchantment (mythos) on offer in today’s tourist industry.
Kayla helped my photography in the sense that being with her enabled me to see the detail in the bushland, see the transience of nature, discover particular settings and individual trees, and to become attached to the earth beneath us. By seeing the changes in the bush I started seeing nature as history. Natural history as perishable nature refers to more than our evolving conceptions of nature because nature itself changes: bark breaks and falls to the ground, trees are uprooted, plants die, animals are killed, the earth’s water becomes polluted from the chemicals in the farm, and so on. Nature shares with human history a passing away or perishing. Walking each morning with Kayla helped me become aware of the subtle changes.
This particular tree in the Waitpinga bushland is one that I photographed in different weather conditions with different cameras and films. On this occasion I used a 5×7 Cambo S3 monorail. It had been raining during the night. The colours were strange and intense. My coming back to photograph the tree’s frequently hanging conditions meant that it became my favourite tree in this bushland.