A beautiful winter’s day in Canberra

I must say, last Saturday was a most stunningly beautiful winter’s day in Canberra. The very epitomy of a Canberra winter’s day. Quite chilly overnight (my system said -2oC); but when the sun came out, it was a glorious clear sunny day. The sun was gloriously warm, even if the air wasn’t so much. The wind, which has been a bit more of a feature this winter than I would like, was quite gentle. A fantastic day for getting out. And I did.

Cristy and her bugs!

Friend and fellow photographer (but actually good!) Cristy Froehlich has an exhibition of some of her photographic artworks out at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve entrance building. Her exhibition “World of Water Bugs” started on 7 June, and runs until 16 July. Cristy advertised on her Facebook page that the exhibition was on. A number of people responded suggested she do an unofficial opening; so she announced she would be there on Saturday for those who wanted to come out and visit. So, I did!

Cristy and two of her exhibition pieces

Cristy’s work is fabulous. Very different to anything I could ever imagine to produce. She’s lately been doing quite a bit of macro photography (that’s extreme close-up photography, for those that don’t know). Cristy explains that with the lockdowns, she wasn’t as able to get out and do other types of photography for the last couple of years. She discovered macrophotography and she described it as a “life saver” during COVID. So many things to discover and photograph in her yard, or within allowable walking areas. Cristy volunteered for water quality testing at the Nature Reserve during 2021, and the photographs in this exhibition came from that work.

The exhibition space is quite small, but I understand Cristy has a few more works on her website for you to purchase, if you prefer. I encourage you to head out there and take a look. The feedback is that the exhibition continues to be popular, and runs until 16 July 2022. She is also starting some courses on macro photography if you are interested. Details are on her Facebook page.

While macro photography is the focus of this exhibition, Cristy has done some pretty incredible and atmospheric shots of other subjects too. One of my favourites of hers was an early morning shot of some rowers out on the lake in the fog. She caught the atmospherics and the movement incredibly.

Just a reminder – you can find Cristy on Facebook here.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

This was a nice Saturday morning drive. The roads weren’t too busy, which was nice. I got out to Tidbinbilla and was delighted to discover that the Nature Reserve people were run off their feet! In years past it has been a moderately popular location for people going out for walks. I admit, however, that I wouldn’t have expected this particular Saturday to be that popular. It was the Queens Birthday long weekend, when many Canberran’s go away. While the weather on Saturday was pretty fantastic, the weather lately has been very windy and wet and I would not have expected many people to be out at the reserve. However, there had been a big influx of people Saturday morning. I don’t think I am overstating it to say that a very large proportion of them were actually out there to say hello to Cristy and admire her work.

The Brindabella Ranges behind Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Snow can still be seen along the tops to prove it was a Canberra winter’s day.

If you do make the drive out to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, I do encourage you to look around. There is a driving loop which will take you to the various places of interest around the Reserve. If the weather is nice (like it was on Saturday), I encourage you to actually get out and go for a walk. I didn’t this time, as there was a distinct shortage of food I could eat at the cafe, but it is worthwhile. The Reserve supports work to reintroduce native Rock Wallaby populations to the ACT, as well as a number of other environmental projects.

The area itself has some history, having been (in part) the site of former farming attempts in the Canberra Region. There is an old homestead on the grounds that used to be the house of the farming family. It is hard to imagine people making a living off that land. The Nature Reserve is fronted along the road by a still active farm, and indeed the whole bottom of the valley still supports a number of farms. However, the Nature Reserve is further back against the hills, and the land back there is significantly poorer. It must have been a hard life.

Support the Nature Reserve as well, and buy a coffee from the cafe. I understand that the cafe is staffed by volunteers and that proceeds go to support the Nature Reserve. Many years ago, and only for a very brief time, I ran a cafe in that building, although that was in a part of the building now closed off.

The drive

This was a little bit of an experiment for me with the EV. Driving out to Tidbinbilla and back felt like I was pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. That was completely illogical. It is only marginally further to drive there than it is for the drive I do to take my daughter to school. Some days I do that twice, as I mentioned last week. It was largely rural driving, but a large chunk of the drive to my daughter’s school is also rural so that doesn’t really make sense either.

So what was the cause of my anxiety? I’m not entirely sure. It was “undeveloped” rural driving, in the most part, and significantly hilly, which was new. Maybe that contributed to a fear that the extra hillyness would drastically impact on efficiency? Or maybe it was just that driving out that way was just new and different, and triggered off latent uncertainties in my mind about driving the EV out of town. I really don’t know. Unsurprisingly, the EV did everything that logic said it would. It wasn’t any less efficient than my school drop-off drive – in fact it was significantly more efficient, although that would in part have been attributable ot not needing to have the heating on.

Anyway, it was a nice drive, and on the way home I stopped at a few other spots along the road and took some more photos. More from those in a future post.

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