Thursday, June 29, 2006

View from a friends house

Today I drove over to my friend Wendy's place, she also lives on a dairy farm and this is the view from her front garden across the valley and down to their entrance track. I didnt exactly do this while walking, but when I got home I had escaped pugs to round up and a normal, boring. walk at home so I hope this counts.
We had a lovely day, lunch,a couple of her friends and some sewing to catch up on.
Nice to escape and talk to someone else for a while.
I rather liked the broken windmill. The round things are cement troughs and the small round things near the other house are wrapped silage bales.
Done with pen and watercolour pencils

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cup gum

I love these gums, they have the largest of our local eucalypt flowers and flower during winter. I have explained on my Back valley seasons blog how I got them.
I had an interrupted day, visitors, my pug bitch came home from having her puppies, they are gorgeous but I am not having any more, I feel that I am at an age to try and stop having too many animals. I think this feezing cold weather is telling me that age is certainly creeping up as I am stiff and ache in the morning and again at night. I must not feel sorry for myself, but when my oldest grandson will be 21 on Saturday you wonder where the years have gone.
Any way I had a morning walk this morning which was just as well as the dogs had a quick walk around the orchard again tonight, cows in the house paddock again, and I was late with a phone call. No walking in the dark around here, I might fall over and there are no street lights!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Burning heaps

John has been waiting for weeks for some wind so he could burn the heap but of course when we had the wind he got rain as well. So we have a very black and soggy heap with the odd paddy melon still showing, some blackened sticks and some not so black leaves and branches and lots of smoke and very few flames.
I was blocked in tonight for my walk as the cows are in the house paddock so we walked around the orchard and garden instead.
Thank you Julie for telling me what you use for your wonderful drawings, this is her one mile from home blogspot, bother I dont seem to be able to get a clickable site up, there is so much about this computer business that I dont know.
I must look for the Pitt pens, I have a feeling I have seen them, but not locally. I will have to wait until I go to Adelaide.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Same scene slight differences

I have put both of these up because I did the first one without filling in the trees and wasnt sure if it was I wanted to do so then filled in the trees and scanned that one. I think it looks a bit more finished. I walked up the house paddock track and was rather taken with these long shadows. I really want to use colour but am finding it hard to get to. I am managing about an hour to half an hour a day walking, but have so much to do in the house. Then my other blog, Back Valley seasons had a huge hiccup today and when I finally re did it the bit I thought I had lost and couldnt find anywhere suddenly appeared as well. Sometimes the mysteries of the computer are totally out of my ken. I wasted so much time.
I have had a disturbing day, problems with my mother and I would like them resolved but could be a waiting game for a while. I dont seem to be able to settle and do anything, so did the ironing!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

trees at the zoo

I am home from Melbourne, had a lovely time with children and grand children. On Thursday we baby sat so took them to the zoo, at 6 and 9 they are pretty full on! So not really any time to sit and sketch but at lunch time it rained so we had lunch in an indoor bistro and I got out my paints and big sketch book which they used and I pulled out my tiny moleskine and using a pencil sketched in the trees in a garden bed I could just see through the rain and across the room. So one evergreen conifer and some deciduous trees, I have no idea what they were, and the hedges that surrounded them. Remember it is mid winter here.
I walked everyday, but walking with the children was an excercise in itself so lots of photos from which I hope to do a few things that look like the beach and area. A lovely area with the beach just at the end of the block and an interesting back way through with very exclusive houses.
It was school holidays so no rest for grandparents! Now I am home not much rest either as the house was a mess when I left and I couldnt bear it when I got home so I have been cleaning and washing.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bullaparinga cemetery

Today John and I drove over to the other side of the peninsula and walked up the hill to the historic Bullaparinga cemetery at Delamere. We have often meant to look at it but never seem to get there. Some very old graves are here and most of the inhabitants seemed to live for quite a long time in a difficult age.
I sketched this headstone as it says that she was a "colonist of 51 years" so came out very early when
South Australia was first settled. My sketching isnt very good but it gives an idea of what it looked like. Up on the side of a hill, the cypressus were very old, some lovely huge gums around and the ground at this time of the year a lovely tapestry of colour from the tiny little oxalis bulbs that seemed to be planted around all the old churches and cemetery's here, they came in the ballast soil from South Africa in the empty sailing ships coming up to fill up with wheat. We dug up a couple as a momento from along the track outside the gates.
we spent quite a long time wandering around looking at headstones, I hope it counts as a walk.
We leave for Melbourne tomorrow for almost a week I will get in lots of walking as it is school holidays there and it will be fun to see those grandchildren, they always keep us on our toes. Maybe I will get in some urban sketches!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


A very quick walk today again, because I had an all day painting class and by the time I came home it was getting dark, and I was tired, I tend to stand for most of the day.
I nearly walked on these toadstools in the house paddock as they were getting covered in grass but I picked them and brought them home to sketch, first upside down and then the right way, placed in a fancy small dish. I dont think I would like to eat them. Done with watercolour pencils, dry, in my tiny sketch book.
I have put up a painting we did on my other blog, was rather pleased with them, no sketching, all sone with the brush and learning how to use whites.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I am afraid this is a bit of a scrappy sketch but it was raining and I didnt have much time to get it down, this is the poplar in the house paddock in its winter dress. My sketchbook really isnt big enough to do it justice and I must re do it in a larger one. The dogs and I went straight up the house paddock and into the fern paddock did a quick turn around it and home with a fantastic sunset showing through the rain clouds, yes we had rain and no frost and got hot in bed last night!
I have put a flower painting on my Back Valley Seasons blog which I was quite pleased about.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

bits and pieces of junk

Today I decided to walk in the neighbours paddock, it is no where near as cultivated as ours and the land doesnt get much fertilizer and their swamp is not fenced. Much easier walking for me but of course we put up some kangaroos and the dogs were not very co operative. I walked much further and longer this evening and found these bits of junk, an old wheel and I think the other is wheel rims that have been welded to form a barbeque. I rather liked their odd form and sketched for a while. It was so pleasant I thoroughly enjoyed my walk for a change and may do it more often during winter, a bit snakey looking for summer walks.
Another very frosty morning, pipes are frozen and damage in the garden, but I did at least get a shower by about 9 am this morning!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

flowering she oak

This morning was so cold we had a frost right u p to the top of the hill opposite and the water didnt come through the pipes from the header tank until about 9.30 am. We havent had frosts like this for quite a long time. so far I cant see too much damage done to the garden.
I walked earlier today as I knew it would be cold again tonight and as I walked through one of the gates noticed that the she oak I planted there, I dont know how long ago, was in flower, I dont think I had really noticed their flowers before thay are so small, tiny little dusky red ones which then turn into quite large nots, well compared to the size of the flower. So I sketched it then and there and coloured it with watercolour pencils when I got home.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Unexpected trip to Pt Adelaide

Today I went with John to navigate through the Adelaide hills to a meeting he had and then went down to call on a friend in Adelaide(after getting lost due to a detour and getting car sick even if I was driving!). Any way my friend decided that we would drive down to Pt Adelaide and look at the new developments going on, once more I didnt have my camera, we belted along the docks, saw the dolphins and I was allowed a few minutes to sketch these bollards, poles whatever in a backwater of the river and the shags(cormorants) that were sitting on them. This was a very quick sketch as we had very little time and most of it was spent walking, yes I did manage to walk. I am sorry this is a bit light in places but I had to prove I had walked today and we got home late and tired.
My adventures didnt end as I then had to get back to John and work out where I went wrong with the detours, this is all very narrow windy roads. I would hate to live there during a bush fire. Not only that I was still in Adelaide when he rang to ask where I was! Oh dear.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sea to the vines festival

Gosh its that time of the day again. I have to confess that today I didnt get a huge amount of walking done, mostly from the car to wineries and back. The sea to the vines is a festival put on by the McLaren Vale wineries and as we fish with some of the winery owners and know others we usually go, mostly with friends but today we were on our own for one reason or other, and I was the designated driver, which meant I didnt drink but was given free coffee's at various places. The food is mostly seafood and we had a wonderful bouillabaise at one winery, the best prawns ever and fresh oysters at another and john had dessert at the third one. This sketch is what I hope will be a work in progress, it was done out of the window at d'Arenberg winery, d'Arry is an old and very dear friend and we spent a lot of the day with him, he will be 80 in December but looks about 60ish and fit! He and John are old fishing mates. The vines in some areas are the most wonderful gold and the leaves are still on them, in other places they have dropped and all yu can see are the outlines of the vines. I would love to draw on this sketch and turn it into a larger watercolour, we will see.
Along day and I am really not sure if it warrants being a walk but I did have to feed ponies this morning and walk at times quite some distance to the car, trouble is it was nearly dark by about 5pm as it was also overcast and cold.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Kings Beach sketches

We had a lovely day today. I did housework and got that out of the way, made soup for lunch and did a bit on my embroidery, then after lunch we drove in near Victor Harbor to Kings Beach. This is one of my most favorite walks and over the years I have documented it with photos. Of course today I forgot the camera and the waves were most spectacular, the tide very high. You walk for some way along the cliff top and the steps I drew take you out of one of the gullies you cross and then finally down to the beach and along to the headland, this is part of the Heysen trail which starts near here and goes all the way up through the Adelaide Hills and ends in the Flinders Ranges.
The other sketch is me trying to give an impression of the damp sand the waves coming in, the Island in the distance and the granite boulders everywhere. Wish I could do sea but these were very quick sketches, John tends not to wait! We walked for over an hour and then drove a short distance to a cafe that looks over the town and had a coffee.
When I got home the dogs had a very quick run around the house paddock with me throwing sticks for Jake. You can see I am feeling better and my back has stopped hurting.
I am loving the discipline this blog is giving me but not the fact that I have not had much time to put some colour on or sketch more accurately.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The winter vegetable garden

It was freezing cold this afternoon when John and I went for a walk, a brisk southerly off the not so distant ocean (about 5 miles as the crow flies), and that meant the antartic, there is nothing between us and there.
So today I thought I would do the vegetable garden as I pass this everyday to get to the back gate into the house paddock. it actually looks worse than this as the nettles have grown, again, everytime we spray them they pop up again. I do have flowers in my veg patch, the red are cannas and the pink is a very bright daisy bush, then the fig tree with a few leaves, onions, broad beans and silver beet, a few late potatoes, not quite frosted off and the big leaves are verbascum which quietly seeds around my garden. I got a bit carried away with "darks" under the onions.
I dont know if anything really looks like what it is, but I had fun doing it.
We walked fairly quickly around the house paddock looking for weeds and seeing how the grass was growing, farmers delight in doing this.
I raced in to feed the dogs and put them away, John is trying to get some ground ready for the new lot of onions. Nearly 5pm and it is getting dark already.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The creek culvert under our road

I did walk yesterday, but it was in Adelaide and I really didnt do any sketching as I didnt have time. Then I couldnt get onto the net when I got home, nor again this morning so you will just have to believe me.
dAlthough we did see a lovely exhibition at the art gallery, but that is on my other blog Back Valley seasons.
I had a late afternoon appointment with the physio today so walked the dogs after lunch and went down through the paddocks, nearly losing a rubber boot in a very boggy patch, to sketch the pipe that takes the creek through under the road, its not quite a bridge but I rather like the stome work that was done on it. No one sees it but I thought it would make a change from trees!
One of the good things about living on a farm is that you can let the dogs run, although I dont go near the road very much as the pug has absolutely no road sense what ever.
Thank you Julie for adding me to the walking list. I am finding that this is fun and really does make me go looking for something different. I would like a few more urban scenes but I will get around to that eventually.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The dam with ducks!

I reversed the way I walk tonight,and lost the black kelpie Jake but he knows how to get home so I didnt worry too much about him. The black dots are the ducks, I find it very difficult to do water and my track looks as if it is going up hill, I was quite high up on the hill. Oh well it was a 5 minute sketch and I thought I needed a bit of colour so used my derwent watercolour pencils to fill in a bit. I found one of the yearling fillies was out but she was way across in another paddock and wasnt going to get into trouble so left her. I think I am going to be sketching an awful lot of trees, as you can see our country is rolling with a lot of trees and at the moment lots of lovely green grass.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

One of my favorite views

This is where, if I ever built a house, and we had lots of money and water was available I would build a house, faces north with a lovely view over the valley and you cant see the road, or the neighbours, just some sheds and a bit of our house. Actually I put it in as our house but then I wondered if it wasnt a shed a bit further along.My eyes from that distance are not brilliant. Any way I cimbed to the top of the hill and found a nice rock to sit on and the dogs stayed with me this time. I was going to do the view from the other way but the sun was in my eyes, I need to go a bit earlier, it is getting dark very quickly at the moment. There were very long shadows and it was getting very cold as I came Home.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Gum trees on the hill

Todays walk was a replica of yesterday, rubber boots, cap, parka and dogs, except that I had been to the physio as my back had finally got to the almost unable to move stage, so I thought a nice gentle walk, but the dogs had other ideas and headed up the hill. I love this group of trees and thought I would do a quick sketch and perhaps tomorrow if the weather holds I will sit on one of the lower branches and sketch the view. Quick sketch done, one dog (who else but the Pug) missing. so I called I whistled, I searched up and down only finally to see far down the hill a little fawn dot wandering in circles. He had obviously suddenly missed me, thought he knew his way home but couldnt find me, is fairly blind and only hears you when he wants to, so down the hill Jake and I galloped (not good for the back) to rescue him before he wandered into the weaned foals paddock, they were only too excited to see this strange apparition and probably would have stomped on him. So my exciting walk and fairly boring sketch done for the day.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Well I nearly didnt get a walk in at all today as I have a sore foot but into the trusty rubber boots, called the dogs, one fawn male pug and one black kelpie cross and out the back gate we went up around the race and up the hill and there is a lovely group of these Yakka's on the top of the hill these are a native plant, NOT a yukka and once upon a time we called them blackboys that is a no no now. They have very long sharp lance like leaves and throw up these huge long flower heads, they look a bit like someone in a skirt. When the flowers come out the small honeyeaters love them. They used to make varnish from the stumps, some can grow to about 15 feet tall here. Of course I had not taken a very good pen, it was very scratchy but sort of did the job.
I spent most of yesterday and today trying to get links to work, I have got the one on my other blog for here, now to get this one on.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Walking to see the Duyfken

Today was very wet after lunch and I thought we would not be able to do our planned walk in Victor Harbor to see the Replica of the Dutch ship the Duyfken which was anchored in the bay. But the skies cleared and we were in and walking across the Granite Island causeway around 3 pm and there she was, tiny, with three masts, the original was the first to record mapping on the Australian coast in 1606. From what I can gather athe replica was built in Freemantle Western Australia in 1993 to make people aware of that part of our early history.
Sketching her was not easy as she kept swinging at her moorings, I took photos as well as a slightly better record.
We also had a cup of coffee on the Island and while we were having that a seal came swimming almost underneath us. Not the easiest to take sketches of either, always on the move.
So I managed some sketching and a walk (needed after the oysters rockefeller John made for lunch!)

Friday, June 02, 2006

A new blog and a funeral

Today was wet, we walked about 1/2 a mile to and from the car to the church to day for the funeral of a very modest man who we used to buy sheep from, he was a brilliant sheep breeder. I think they bought their first pony from me too. A huge number of people were ther and it was a lovely celebration of his life.
My sketch is done from memory and is a bit skew wiff as it was raining heavily.
This is my first post to a blog which I hope will record my daily walking and sketching, although I can see that it might be a bit awkward with the amount of rain we keep having.
The little church I must investigate more, I think it is the only one remaining of several that were built about the mid 1800's aroung the farming area. The others are all in ruins.