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Exploring the grounds

Tuesday 13th

Waking up at just after 6, I found it was still absolute dark outside, so enjoyed my first coffee in my warm bedroom. As the day dawned, I lifted the curtain in the lounge room to expose the vista as I packed for my day. Sketchbook, camera notes, a large bag for gathering treasures, ziplock bags for icky ones, and water all went into my satchel, and I rugged up in jeans, fully closed coat, boots and earwarmers to hit the track. I was surprised to find so many buildings, which, deserted amongst the trees were actually quite spooky. You won’t be finding me out there at night!

I followed along Coles Track, then found my way onto the beach, and trudged along in the sand to Observatory Point, where there was a collection of beautifully wave-sculpted wood at the old cattle jetty. It was totally worth it – not only did I find this beautiful dead bird – look at those flippers! – but I scored half a bird wing, some sponges, and this pufferfish air bladder, apparently a very rare find. I threw it to Facebook to identify – thanks Jamie Smith for doing the research! Also unexpected along the edge of the scrub were these two decaying mushrooms.

I turned back at this point as I realised I should have put on two pairs of socks in order to not get blisters from my boots, but it was probably a good idea not to overdo it on my first day, still only a few weeks since surgery. The slow, slightly ginger walk back along the road also held a reward – a little echidna paddling along at the Quarantine Station. I was absolutely thrilled – I have never seen one before. He seemed completely unbothered by my presence.

After returning with my finds and putting them in the studio, I set off to do my first gym session since surgery. I used the backroad to travel to Rye, and enjoyed training at the Beach House Gym, but it sure did tire me out. On my way home I stopped for some more supplies and settled in to catching up on all this documentation of what I’ve been up to, and start to play in the studio, as well as photographing a few of the things I had brought back, such as this almost wing-like, translucent frond of leaves. I took the opportunity to peruse the guestbook left here by other artists in residence, and got a great recommendation to go to Bushrangers Bay, so if the weather is good I might head there, or perhaps on my next training day. I might need a rest tomorrow!

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