Saturday, 12 September 2009

Johnson Creek canal


Entering what I have realised is Rozelle Bay, Johnson's Creek is a facade: the front is beautiful but what lies behind is tawdry, as this series of images atests. This Labrador and his human have an early morning ritual. The dog fords to the centre of the canal just before it enters the bay then, with his guardian walking the "tow path" he dog-paddles around to the next set of steps which would have to be a good 200m!

Over there, across the bay, is the start of the ship-building neighbourhood. More of that next week. In the early morning light, the higgledy-piggedly yards are drop-dead gorgeous. Twizzle on my heel, looking up the creek/canal, there is the pedestrian bridge from which I took photos of the viaduct mid-week.


These two areas of greensward aren't contiguous, as these images might imply but they do give a good feel for the first third of my morning walk around Glebe. I walk for about 15 minutes through this type of terrain and try to envisage the geography when the First Fleet arrived. Richard Johnson came over on the First Fleet in 1788 and Governor Philip granted him land on which to build a church. This sort of land granted for ecclesiastic purposes is known as a "glebe". Johnson was a bit of an ineffectual minister and it was not until the arrival of the fire-breathing Samuel Marsden, that the life of the church in the new colony progressed.


Travelling further up the creek/canal, I look back toward the viaduct that I have been weaving in and out of all week. That white dribble is most definitely chemicals leaching from the mortar. And very ugly it is too! Look around to the south again and be confronted with the gruesome ugliness of the Harold Park Paceway which apparently needed more space for its circular track. This is the bit I most definitely would not want to walk at night.



These two images were taken from the Wigram Road bridge, the first looking north down the creek and the second looking south, up the creek. The graffiti is overwhelming. And ugly. And baffling. The entire area is owned and upkept (hah!) by the Water Board.


This was as far as I travelled: the Booth Street overpass in Annandale. Google Map tells me that Johnson Creek continues on up through Mallett Street Camperdown, until it is sourced somewhere in Stanmore. I suspect it is like the iconic Tank Stream in the CBD which only exists underground.

Richard Johnson's contribution to the fledling colony is commemorated in Johnson's Bay, Johnson's Creek and Johnson Street, the main thoroughfare through Annandale. Not bad for a bit of a loser ...

14 comments:

Carlos Lorenzo said...

Great shots. I love the first one. The man and the wading dog.

Eamon said...

You put so much effort into your photos and descriptions Julie, that I wish I had more time to appreciate them. It's always good to get words like contiguous in a post too ;)

Sean said...

Kinda like politics huh Julie. Mostly a facade . . . . .

Julie said...

Bingo with the comparison, Sean.

Leif Hagen said...

The last photo is my favorite with the mossy feel of the tunnel covered with old graffiti! Has a little gritty feeling, too! Great snap, Jules!

Jacob said...

Well, you start on a high note and it sort of goes downhill from there...

Love those first few shots...the one of the dog swimming is just excellent, with great lighting...

It is certainly too bad that some of the areas have not been kept up.

Virginia said...

Remember when you pointed out the need for the human element in my photograph once? Well your top photograph nailed it. Fantastic.
V

FA said...

What a great perspective of your city. Thanks for the text, too, it offer great explanation.

Thanks for stopping by Monastery Daily Photo.

diane said...

You have certainly captured a different perspective of Sydney than most photographers.Even though you show the ugly side the photos are great and make it look picturesque. The info is good too. I never realised where the name Glebe came from.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful and lovely shots !! Great..Unseen Rajasthan

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

gorgeous photos! Your blog is great!

J Bar said...

A interesting side of Sydney that I haven't explored much in my photographic expeditions.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Joan Elizabeth said...

Such a promising beginning and such a dingy little ditch later on ... it's such fun following along with the documentation of your new neighbourhood.

AB said...

Before I read the text, I thought some insane person was swimming there.