Sunday, 12 April 2009

The stockman's camp


At the National Folk Festival in Canberra on Friday, there were many Australian country folk from the classic mould: jovial workers with nary a pretension to their name. Dave here was one of them. He hails from Lockhart, down Wagga Wagga way, the sun and the smoke, the poverty and the toil ageing his body but not his soul. The poverty was in name only: his life holding a richnness few can comprehend. He is the stockyard cook, tending the billy, stirring the stew and bedding the damper in the fiery coals. Biting off chunks of damper steaming from the fire and sipping sweet, black tea, I listened as Australian ballards from bands like Paverty told of a yesteryear in the bush, the milling throng including the likes of bush music legends John Warner and Margaret Walters.

12 comments:

brattcat said...

Julie this is a rich, rich meal of a posting. Delicious words, savory shots. Well done, you.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

This reminds me of our cookout in Alice Springs. We had an Australian outback barbeque and ballads by the very hospitable and colorful characters who swore they loved the outback and would never want to live in the city. I believed them.

Virginia said...

Julie,
I am just speechless. Your words have always amazed me and made me long for better ways to express myself, but today.... the words and the rich images are a magical combination. Whew! In my humble opinion, this is some of your very best work. How do you feel about my friend????
V

Jilly said...

You have really captured such an atmosphere here. I feel I'm there. The pot cooking and that steam and the fire. Just wonderful. The portrait is superb, down to every detail on his skin. Just love these two photographs, Julie. Well done.

freefalling said...

that second shot is a beaut.

Per Stromsjo said...

I can almost hear the stew and the fire. Must have been one special day.

Dina said...

This is great.
Wish I could be there.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Julie, all those photos of strangers are paying of wonderfully ... the light, the pose, the subject matter. This pair of photos is simply magnificent.

JM said...

Great portrait! Such a warm light!

altadenahiker said...

I don't just see this picture, I can hear it and smell it. Found Paverty on youtube -- reminds me of our bluegrass or hillbilly bands.

J Bar said...

Great seeing and hearing about the billy and the damper.

cara said...

That light is just perfect. Particularly how it catches the hairs on Dave's arms, illuminates the steam coming out of the cooking pot and gives both scenes a warming glow. Sounds like a great time!