This page has been superseded by my Flickr set Clare Valley.
Click on the pictures that have a bright border to see them full size. Then use the 'back' button to return to this page.
Also see photos of wildflowers in the Clare Valley in Wildflowers.
Photographs of other areas or subjects are available via the home page.
It is in the state of South Australia, about 150km north of the capital city, Adelaide.
From the Clare-Blyth road, at the top of the descent onto the Blyth
Plain. Unusually, the plain is hidden by the haze.
Condowie Plain On the western side of the Clare Valley, and at a couple hundred metres lower altitude, is the Condowie Plain, on which is the small town of Blyth. This is the view from the point where the road starts to wind down the hillside toward Blyth.
The summer grass is dry.
The Blyth Plain, winter
From further down the Blyth road
This is a beautiful view. On this day I took about eight photos. It was difficult to pick the best, I don't think any lived up to my best expectations. The back lighting makes imagining the result difficult.
Evening of 27th August 2003
Floyd and Margret Brookes kindly allowed this area to be developed as a reserve and lookout; I think in 2002.
Photo morning of 28th August 2003
On the 'big hill', Elysium.
The photo is taken into the light and there is a low mist.
From the 'big hill'
The camera is beneath a carrob tree. On Elysium.
Home dam, Elysium
Whether the dam filled in 2003 was a fairly close thing. It did finally fill about late August.
about 27th August 2003
This is a scene near the village of Armagh which is five kilometres from the town of Clare, South Australia. Both Clare and Armagh are named after their counterparts in Ireland.
This photo and many others scattered through this web site were taken on my property 'Elysium'.
The Clare Valley is one of the smaller wine growing areas in
Australia, but produces some of the highest quality wines.
One Clare wine
maker, Jeffrey Grossett, was rated top in the world a couple of
This view is from my shack on Elysium looking toward the north on
one early winter's morning.
Eucalyptus leucoxylon (South Australian bluegum) trees on Jacob's Range Road, south of Armagh. This is more a track than a road, it gets little motor traffic and is ideal for cycling.
Here are some more beautiful bluegums on Jacob's Range Road. These two photos were taken toward sunset.
In general I much prefer the light
when the sun is no more than about fifteen degrees above the horizon.
Advice sometimes given to photographers is:
When we bought Elysium in 1993 there was about a hectare of Pinus radiata on the place; these are in the background in this photo. Soon after we planted, among other species, quite a few redgums; these are the young trees in the foreground.
This photo breaks the rule about taking photos into the light. The result
is that the trees are almost silhouetted, one can see the rays of sunlight
coming through the thin mist, and the new leaves on the young gums show their
We planted a small (1.3ha) vineyard of Shiraz wine grapes in 1999 and expanded by another 0.7ha two years later.
Here is some of the first crop, ready to pick, in about February 2001.
Grape vines seem to suit the soils of the Clare Valley very well, while many
fruit trees need to be pampered to survive and produce.
The grass is dewy, but not covered with frost.
We pump some water for small-scale irrigation from the dam which has
been planted with native ground-covers, shrubs and small trees.
Elysium in the early morning again. The sheep were obliging enough to stand in the foreground. (Shortly later, a fox came out of hiding and sent the sheep running off.)
Sheep are a necessary evil at Elysium. They have done a huge amount
of damage to the trees that I've planted, but without them the grass
would grow so thick and tall that it would cause an unacceptable
Again, the sheep were being very obliging.
Always more beautiful
with the open horizons of the country than in the cluttered
This is the same sunset as the photo above; the light changing over a period of minutes, and the colours varying in different directions.
After the sun has gone you might see the Moon and Venus
From Elysium, a Hardenbergia violacia in the foreground.