I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Human Scale

Just as my friends now sometimes tell me about their own bluestone encounters  — send pictures! send paragraphs! send blogposts! — I am now also noticing different stones, and different dimensions of stones. As this very mild summer comes to an end here, shadows were long as I walked home last night and it was around 6.30 when I came to the roundabout where three streets in Fitzroy intersect. The central plantation is an irregular oval shape, but its bluestone edges give it aesthetic unity. But really, the central focus today is on these beautiful trees: eucalyptus citriodora, or lemon-scented gum trees. Their scent is best experienced after rain, but you can crush the leaves and get a whiff of the lemony oil.

I deliberately took a photo with my own shadow extending before me, wanting to catch a sense of the early evening light, and the light and shade of these trees: their white bark (the ones in our own garden also peel off their outer bark in early summer); and their lush growth (the summer has been so mild that the eucalypts have stayed bright green and the deciduous trees have only just now started to curl and dry). The cyclist is also a nice Fitzroy touch. In the background you can see the edge of the Edinburgh gardens (bowls club, tennis club, cricket/footy ground).

It's a lovely quiet spot and the atmospherics of early evening were just gorgeous. There's not much traffic at this point, even though it was peak hour. A few people having quiet drinks outside the pub, which I include here because its first level is made of sandstone, much better for reflecting light than bluestone. The scene is made of very familiar, but very beautiful things: local stone, local trees, local streets. I was going home.

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