Friday, September 04, 2009

True Grid

John Wayne Might Have Liked To Ride Here

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I shot this series of images under moody, sullen skies last weekend – the final weekend of the Australian winter. I was just in my shirtsleeves, but it was not a sensible dress code, because the wind bit into me as it whistled down this exposed valley.

But I wanted to shoot this serene paddock, used for grazing horses, against the backdrop of a familiar sight in any countryside – towering pylons and power lines. Why? Just because of the symmetry of the scene, and the symbolism of power supply across rolling green paddocks.

A few months ago, this area was hit hard by a sudden, fierce bushfire that raced through on a savagely hot day when the howling north wind carried burning embers several hundred metres ahead of the real firefront, igniting the crowns of towering gum trees that seemed to explode in sudden combustion.


The fire stopped just short of this valley, as the water-bombing helicopters flew endless missions in support of the ground crews. Just at the crest of this hill, there is still a scarred landscape, with burnt trees that have not grown back.

But from where I stood, just beyond the fringe of where the fire was finally conquered, there is no evidence of Nature’s savage fury on that day, 30 January.

Down here, it’s lush and green, with plenty of grass for the horses that roam these undulating paddocks. There’s bales of hay in the back of the ute – and lots of water in the trough. Sorry, did I say "trough"? I meant to say "old, discarded bath tub".

There’s no end to inventiveness and innovation in the bush!


For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

22 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Terrific Sky Watch post as always, David! That scarred tree against the sky is a sad reminder of the fires. Love the "bathtub trough"!

Have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Moannie said...

You never fail to show us scenes that we would not have thought beautiful, but the blackened trees showing the depths of natures venom against the lush grass of the paddock give us hope that she is kind and has greater strength than us.

jinksy said...

Who left some of their washing draped on the edge of the bath again?! :)

darsden said...

great pictures and love the horses

darsden said...

I have skies on fire today...in reflection of California, I remember the fires in Australia from a blogger friend being there and very close to them!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I just love a bare winter tree set against dark skies. Wonderful!

Rudee said...

I love your beautiful Sky Watch photos.

Regina said...

Nice shots!
Happy weekend.

Hilary said...

You always find the unexpected in your shots. Thanks for that.

Maggie May said...

Stark pictures but works of art you have made of them! As you always do.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Those bathtubs are quite popular up here in Northumberland, we grow plants in them!!

Great picture, as always.

CJ xx

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great photos - looks like Texas land!

Suzanne said...

These are amazing photographs that have me singing Ani DeFranco's "Gray" in my head, which always inspires me to write, so... thanks!

TechnoBabe said...

My favorite photo is the one with the big empty drums and the tire on the ground in front and a bare tree. The shading and colors are excellent.

Julie said...

Good story David. I like the power lines swooping low all the time.

Janie said...

i like the bathtub trough!
Beautiful sky above the contrast of nature and modernization.

Tara R. said...

Nicely done! I like how the power lines draw the eye in.

Annie said...

Ah, very good David..they were lucky by the sound of it...

for a moment there those powerlines reminded me of the "serenity"..from the classic Australian movie The Castle !! But there would have been no serenity for them in January!

I have some Melbourne skies this week too! here for a family party again!

Susie of Arabia said...

I think John Wayne would have been very happy to ride there!

Linda said...

I was wondering where there were so many powerlines together. Do they go to the top of the hill in Kinglake, there are lots there I think.

Shadow said...

love those moody shots!

Enigma said...

Beautiful shot of those towers against the sky David. Wonderful image! Thanks for sharing!