Not having an off-road 4×4 vehicle to smash through BF Goodrich shaped mud-holes television advertisement style, meant I had to begin the Allambee Beek Falls circuit walk on the corner of Curtis Track and Benwerrin-Mt Sabine Rd. I worked my way through the mud-holes along the Curtis Track until I found the pink ribbons marking the entry point into the dank Otway undergrowth with a false forest floor of fallen mountain ash bark, clammy head-high spider webs that are easily torn with a outwardly held forearm and abrasive fern fronds that have the potential to rip skin from elbow joints. On this circuit I stumbled upon two tiger snakes; one was coiled on the centre of the trail (easy to spot but as soon as I took my eyes off it, it silently disappeared), the other was suspended in the grass across the trail (not so easy to spot with the banding of its skin).
I first reached Staircase Falls which had a large tree extending back up over the waterfall from a log jam at its base adding an altered sense of scale to the scene. After a couple of slippery creek crossings I then reached Allambee Beek Falls, taking a photograph away from the plunge pool at its base for context. On the banal return ascent along Curtis Track I was rewarded with some Jesus Beams. Amen to that…
As a housewarming gift for my parents’ beach house, I made a series of (what I consider to be luscious) black and white photographic prints of nearby scenes to adorn their walls. Clockwise from top left: Oren/Mousetrap Falls, Macuahuitl of Shelf Fungi, Apollo Bay Craypots, Hordern Vale Hay, Port Campbell Cliffs and Mt Sabine Bower.
All negatives were produced with my medium format Pentax 67 camera and diffusion enlarged using a Rodenstock Rodagon 80 mm lens to a 12″ x 16″ print on Ilford multigrade IV fiber FB paper. The prints aren’t perfect but I figure they can always be updated if I continue to practice and develop my skills.
The negative is similar to a musician’s score, and the print to the performance of that score. The negative comes to life only when “performed” as a print. Ansel Adams – The Print
With a fading post-war dream of lifetime employment as a corporate samurai, millions of twenty-something grass-eating Japanese men are remaining at home as parasitic singles. After working some of the longest hours in the developed world, all that’s able to be done on the weekends is sleep. The innate desire to find a partner has been subdued by high-speed internet and the accessibility of porn, sex toys and virtual sex from bedroom computers. Even those who opt for conventional marriage find that their old role of a macho and sexist breadwinner is no longer acceptable. The loss in masculine identity means that more men are sitting down to pee and freeing their hands to adjust the straps of their WishRoom manziers. It has even reached the point where frustrated parents have been taking the intitiative to evict their herbivorous children through secret matchmaking conventions. But what is the merit in marrying off a grass-eater who inherently fears commitment? What do they evolve into once the foundation from the marriage ceremony is removed from their supple cheeks? Further Reading
Despite being located in an isolated mountainous region unsuitable for rice cultivation, the Japanese Shirakawa-go village residents were able to survive tending to small fields of buckwheat and millet. The villagers cultivated mulberry trees for paper, produced calcium nitrate for gunpowder and reared silkworms in the attics of their large Gassho-style farmhouses. The steeply pitched thatched roofs of the houses are the only examples of their kind in Japan. The kumi system of mutual cooperation between neighbouring households ensured that maintenance and re-thatching of a roof could easily be completed in preparation for the several metres of snow that could fall during winter. After surviving economic upheavals, relocation for hydroelectric dams and military rule, the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are now working hard to maintain their traditional way of life for the touristic trade. Source
You’ve been given a rare opportunity – you’ve been reborn into human form where you have the best chance of achieving enlightenment, of transmigrating to Nirvana. You’ve escaped from the clutches of the tortured beings and hungry ghosts of hell. You’ve escaped from the stupid servitudinal nature of the animals and the crossfire of the warring demigods. But it’s only now that you’ve come to the realisation that you are stuck in this human realm, utterly blinded and consumed by your desires. You wish for rebirth, to start fresh in another (hopefully higher) realm but Karma is yet to have its way with you, to ream you for the despicable things you may have said and the unforgivable pain you may have caused. So how might you deal with it?
You retreat of course, taking several steps backward. You take a breath. You take several. You’re going to wish you took more for the old you must cease to exist if you are to be reborn again.