From 2009 until now, I have posted many series of wide-ranging photo essays. A total of 72 of these essays - surreal and otherwise, and consisting of just over 1,000 photographs - were devoted to Western Australia. Another 58 photo photo essays - surreal and non-surreal, and comprised of some 1,800 images - focused on America.
I reckoned that for a while people have seen enough of my take on slivers of experiencing life in Western Australia and North America. As a complete change, therefore, 18 photo essays - consisting of some 634 images - then engaged in what I somewhat loosely termed the Surreal English & French experience.
A consequence is that it has been quite some time since I have posted anything at all about Western Australia - too, long, perhaps. So methinks it timely to post ten new photo essays, entitled Western Australia Surreal, comprised of 358 photographs. Each image has been altered, mainly accomplished by using Picasa but sometimes by also using Microsoft Paint as well to manipulate the images. Not a single image is as the eye would ordinarily see it.
Do bear with me - my dreadful drivel is almost over and henceforth I promise to do my best to keep my pathetic remarks to the bare minimum. However, I really must point out a few facts. Let's try the following for size. Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, which occupies approximately one-third of the whole of Australia - an island and a continent in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the fabled Land Down Under where the seasons are opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere and where it is broad daylight when night grips north of the equator.
Here is another fact, according to doddering Professor Wikipedia: Oz is some 7,741,220 square kilometers, whereas the total area of the US is 9,629,630 square kilometers. The good professor also reckons that Kings Park, the destination of our very first excursion, is some 4.06-square-kilometre (1,003-acre) in size,making it arguably the largest inner city park in the world. In comparison, New York's Central Park is only 3.41 square kilometers.
But what the hell! Our outing to Kings Park was followed by a relaxed meandering through parts of the Darling Range of hills that hem in Perth on the coastal plain. What is officially called the Perth Hills is just known as The Hills by locals. Our third outing was an exploration of the urban scene - of Fremantle, located just a very short drive from Perth. This port city fronts the Indian Ocean, and straddles the mouth of the Swan River as it empties into the sea. For many years Fremantle was the gateway of Western Australia, and it still is for much of the shipping.
And since we were already right near the Indian Ocean, on the following excursion we took the opportunity to check out a few of the beaches that attract families residing in the greater Perth metropolitan area. Given that we were already seaside, we also took the opportunity to check out the once per year event, Sculpture by the Sea. It is held at one of Western Australia's long-time favourite beaches: Cottesloe Beach.
After that we decided to give the seaside a miss for a while to go and meander through leafy Hyde Park, located within the inner city. That was followed by an excursion requiring a relaxed ninety minutes or so drive out of the metropolitan area to the Avon Valley. In the first instance we had a look at the historic town of York, the oldest inland town in Western Australia. It was first settled in 1831, a mere two years after Perth, at the time known as the Swan River Settlement. Then we meandered along country roads to Toodyay, another early inland town.
Yet that journey into the countryside was but a curtain raiser for a nine hour road trip to way down south ... and eastwards to the coastal town of Esperance. It is located in what has been romantically dubbed The Bay of Isles, named after the plethora of islands in the area. It is a delight: there are miles and miles of sugar white beaches lapped by brilliant blue seas in pristine condition. And there is a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Let's go check it out!
The real and the unreal wildlife together near the middle of town.
Got it figured out?
Playtime ... with light on the water.
Cape Barren geese on dawn patrol.
There's something about tug boats that appeal to me. I want one.
Fishing for solitude.
Sport on the rocks.
Traffic jam on the water.
Life savers on surf boat patrol - but they are unheeded by Bob strolling by.
Fishing by moonlight?
Sea lion and friend.
A fishing line robber - the poor thing is hooked.
Sailor man with wooden heart.
On the beach, just off the Great Ocean Drive.
Surf fishing in blue.
The loneliness of the long distance beach walkers.
But I don't wanna wait for my turn on the surfboard, Mum!
Come on, stand up!
Art from the top.
Be careful, Bob! It's one heck of a long drop.
Banksias in bloom.
The way we once were.
Ent art? Ask Treebeard!
Let's colour the black and white of it all.
A stroll down Psychedelic Lane.
This makes more sense of the historic village replica.
Kangaroos and emu near the entrance to Cape Le Grande National Park.
Camp site kitchen - inverted.
No where else in the world will you see this.
Patient Bob awaits a wallaby moment.
Impatient Bob chasing a wallaby moment.
Wallabies grazing amid the kelp - a rare sight even in Australia.
Mother and joey sunbathing on the beach - a sight I'd never seen before.
Western Australia Surreal
001 Kings Park Views
002 The Perth Hills
004 Perth Beaches