Artist-as-geographer

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Historical plantings

A visit to the Waite Arboretum brought unexpected finds. This garden was planted during the early years of Adelaide's settlement, to test for the suitabilty of imported trees in Adelaide's hot summers.

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/waite-historic/arboretum/

We found a phenomenological approach was worthwhile. All senses were used. The bird's chatter, buzz of bees, distant kicking of a football, crunching of leaves underfoot, and perfumed breeze was noted. All pre-conceived plans were put to the side, and unexpected treasures from the natural world, instead, were noted.  Fallen logs could be observed for the wood worms patterning, bleached magpie skulls were found, large feathers glistening in the sun and leaves of every size could be traced. Even a simple gesture of holding paper behind branches allowed a collection of variously shaped shadows to be photographed, made even more interesting when the wind created havoc/blur. This place held great calmness and quiet joy for us.

 Unexpected treasures found.

Unexpected treasures found.

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Sue Michael