Nairne….an artistic afternoon

6 Oct

Nairne….an artistic afternoon

Despite a field that is full of lush green grass, a veritable cow paradise, the small herd of young bovines drifts down towards the fence where I am standing. Perhaps they are intent on providing me with the perfect ‘cow’ shot or they may be simply illustrating the old adage; ‘the grass is always greener….’


Taking a closer look


Classic South Aussie dirt track

 On this perfect spring day I am driving along Ironstone Range Road just off the Old Princes Highway, a few kilometres east of Nairne. Expansive, open woodland dominates one side of the unsealed track and rich pasture carpets the other. I am on my way to the Jonathan Art Centre to grab a bite to eat and make some inquiries about art classes.


Open woodland with massive eucalypts

 Five minutes later I am driving across an open paddock on a grass trail to a pitch roofed building set on the side of a gently sloping hillside. There are rosellas in the trees that line the driveway and a pair of crows raucously announces my arrival. The entrance hall is a combination studio and gallery displaying the owner’s work and opening on to a balcony which overlooks a cottage style garden.


Johnathan art centre


Work space and gallery


Another view from the property

A friend has recommended the fish pie, a classic British dish that I often enjoy in London’s Union Cafe. And this version does not disappoint; full of good South Aussie seafood and topped with a fluffy potato mash. Like the art on display, it is a credit to the proprietor, Liz’s, creative flair.


Fish pie and fresh garden salad

To my surprise and delight; while I am enjoying the meal a hare hops through the garden below the balcony, pauses, looks straight at me then heads off down the hillside. Now, though his blog has had more of an ‘afternoon drive in the country’ flavour about it than my usual wildlife emphasis; rest assured, the camera was well within reach and a short burst fired off at my visitor.


Waiter, there’s a hare in my garden

Art inquiries and meal complete, I ask permission to wander around the property. Behind a bushy hedge there are rows of colourful annuals and lavender that abut a small pond. I can hear the call of parrots and eventually spot a crimson rosella amongst the layers of blooms. Then, switching to macro, I zoom in on a honey bee feeding. Its legs are covered in pollen brushed from the abundant flowers as the little insect drinks in their various nectars.


Layers of colour and rosella


Bee at work

A great drive, wonderful meal and a few wild encounters…not a bad way to spend a day.



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