Ruth, a friend of Peter and a human rights lawyer, was staying at Windgrove for a week and joked with the phrase “Extreme Gardening.” Living in Tasmania brings out the extreme in people or, more likely, it attracts people who take activities to the extreme: Extreme Sports, Extreme Outdoors, Extreme Survivalists, Extreme Cooking, etc. And so she added in Extreme Gardening. Its true. It is tough growing things here – especially organic. Continue reading Extreme Gardening: The Possum Wars.
I forgot a favorite Silver Peppermint of mine in the last post. This is in front of Lorne and Nel’s house in Hobart. Here it is.
It’s hard to take a photo here WITHOUT a Eucalyptus tree being in the shot.
So my sister wants a post about Eucalyptus Trees. Again, I am not the one to be giving solid info, but I am photographing them – its hard not to. There are so many kinds, shapes, colors, and sizes. Many are called Peppermint: Silver, Black, Swamp, White, Risdon. Then a favorite, Stringy Bark. And then the largest flowering plant in the world, the second largest tree in the world (second to the Redwood), around 300′ tall, is the Eucalyptus Regnans (King).
Click on to see the whole tree and many others. Continue reading From Peppermints to the Kings
This post is for Marsha who asked about the trees…. You can’t ignore them here. They struggle, they survive, they bend and roar with the wind, they are beautiful, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and types. However, the She-oak captures your attention before others – even before the spectacular Eucalypus. The She-oak is the tree that you first notice. This is the tree that Peter has planted the most – 60% of the 9000 trees he planted are She-oaks. These are the trees that he uses to create his largest circles. They native, tough and can withstand the environment here. These are the trees that make those beautiful bubble shapes from the aerial views of the drone. Continue reading She-oaks Feed the Soul
I’ve been at Peter’s Windgrove almost a month and have been able to observe the more than 100 visitors that have passed through here. Some are old deep friends of his, some are local neighbors, some he doesn’t know and they are just stopping by to walk the place, and some come here strictly by word of mouth to do art. My first week here Peter got an email from Ana asking if she could come and spend a few days. She arrived a few days ago and immediately hit the beach to do some work. It was very windy, but I got the drone out… Continue reading Ana Wraps a Rock
When Peter was working at Findhorn, Scotland (a spiritual community, learning centre and ecovillage) he started a series of benches entitled Seating for Dialogue. This work continued at Windgrove and many of them have been installed around his property. Over the years he has had different “walks” that allow you to experience them. I take this walk daily. The first impression of the benches and the overall series title is that they encourage dialogue, storytelling and communication between two or more people. However, as I have experienced this last month, the benches also encourage internal conversations and dialogues with the natural world. Many of the benches are 10-20 years old and though some have been installed in museums and homes, these here have weathered into the environment, are used daily, and are an integral part of the landscape. Following is a simple set of photos of some of the benches. Continue reading Seating for Dialogue
OK. You can all roll your eyes, slap your forehead, make the “L” sign at me, whatever, because for the last few months everyone has been saying “Oh, you’re going to Australia and New Zealand, make sure to have a Devonshire Tea.” And so I am thinking something like Earl Grey… Well, no longer. I am finally a citizen of the world and now know that a Devonshire Tea has little to do with tea and has everything to do with scones, raspberry jam, and whipped cream. Peter knows his Devonshire Tea establishments, and so here we go… Continue reading Devonshire Teas
I’ve started stitching together drone shots to make panoramas. This is one of the first and it shows more of Windgrove. If you read the previous post, the following text will continue the description of Windgrove. (I should make a map….) Again, click on the photo to see it large and read the text if you are interested. Continue reading Drone Panoramas
In balance to an earlier post about the behind-the-scenes of Peter’s Windgrove, I’ll take a moment to show the front side of Peter’s 25 years of work here.
This small photo to the right is the view of Roaring Beach from Peter’s. Above the cliff is a small bald spot, which Tassies call a “Paddock.” This spot has been quietly calling my name to come visit and look back at all of Windgrove. I didn’t really want to lug equipment across sand dunes and bushwhack through bracken to get there (oh and did I say that there are leeches here! Yup!), but then Kathryn Gremley of Penland challenged me to get a certain type of photo of Windgrove and I guess she is in the small group of people that I can’t say no to… So off I went. Continue reading The Front Face of Windgrove
One goal of this journey was to get a real authentic perfect Flat White Espresso in Australia or New Zealand, where they are credited to being created. Check. Done. Over. This is it. This hand-made solar powered trailer on an overlook in Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania is it. It is called “Cubed” and of course Peter knows the owner Laurie and his partner Fabienne who run the whole operation. It even comes with a telescope. Trigger Warning! If you read on, you will be traveling to Tasmania for a cup of coffee. Continue reading A Flat White Coffee Cubed
Building Windgrove Peter has designed all the bathrooms, showers, and toilets to be outside and external to the house. It never freezes and this idea works well. The bathtub is used more in the winter than now when it is hotter and summer. He says he puts candles all around the edge and a steaming bath is a remarkable experience.
It is also interesting to note that there is only one mirror in this whole complex. In the outdoor shower. I wasn’t fully conscience of this at first, but now I am aware that you are not seeing yourself or checking your personal appearance all the time. Maybe its an aging thing, but I like that. Leave your personal appearance at the driveway. It doesn’t matter here. Continue reading The Bathtub and a Single Mirror
I met Peter at Penland School in North Carolina and took this portrait of him in 1983. While at Penland he lived at “Barely-a-House on Hardly-a-Road”, but while there he did a major transformation on the house. His backyard in 1983 with sauna, decks, fire-circles, dining tables and the natural world was just the beginning of the vision that he has been working on here at Roaring Beach in Tasmania for the last 2 decades. What a trip to take the same portrait 33 years later on the opposite side of the world. Click on the images to see a large version.
The holidays and summertime have brought the usual influx of Peter’s friends, colleagues, and travelers to Windgrove. Each of them brings their own group of friends and family along with bags of amazing food (everyone cooks here – not a restaurant in sight). This is in direct contrast to the majority of time when Peter is by himself. Over the years since driving in the lone Peace Bus, Peter has built a huge complex to host and board friends and guests. Many times there are conferences or workshops here and Peter opens his house to them. Marissa, a graduate student from U of Tassie, was here last week and joked that Peter was a gregarious recluse. Peter himself says that for 300 days of the year he is totally alone and the other 60 days is full of people, meals, tours, tennis, and conversations. Continue reading A Gregarious Recluse
In the early 1990s Peter quit his tenured position at the University of Tasmania and bought 100 acres of bush (a Bush Lot) on the coast of southeastern Tasmania. He needed something to live in and through a series of random events came across this 1959 Bedford school bus that had been converted to travel. The owners had written PEACE on it. Peter bought it and kept it as is. He drove it out to his new land and halfway down his freshly bull-dozed muddy 1 mile long driveway it got stuck. Continue reading Living in the Peace Bus
A Tim Tam is an Aussie Cookie that is similar in popularity as the Oreo cookie in the States and it is a lot like a Kit Kat. It’s a sweet chocolate-covered wafer cookie. The ace drone pilot told me I had to do a “Tim Tam Slam.” …? Everyone knows what it is and just sort of smiled when I said I needed to try one. Continue reading Tim Tam Slam
Theo lives down the road from Peter and apparently he has been flying drones since before he could walk. He heard of what model I brought and came over to check it out. I know enough about drones to be dangerous. He being 15 and really cool knows enough about drones to be talented. We headed out to Peter’s cliffs with 3 batteries and had a blast. Click on to see some results. Continue reading Ace Young Drone Pilot Schools Old Man
We walked out to the point at Peter’s Windgrove for Christmas morning and I took a 360 pano. Peter and Emily are dangling their feet off 100 foot cliffs (or I should be saying “30 meter cliffs”.) Click the image above or the link below to see it. Definitely make it full screen, pan around, zoom in, enjoy the view.
Peter – this massive, slightly stubborn, always adorable Harvard graduate, one cylinder man-engine – has built a true accomplishment in a very remote bush location. He is regularly visited by international artists, environmentalists, thinkers, poets, and wayward travelers. He is frequently interviewed, video-taped, and written about concerning his artistic site-specific work and building of Windgrove. This recent short video from a series about Tasmania is perfect. It is simply Peter talking directly about his work. Check it out.
However, Peter is a long time deep friend of mine for over 30 years and I wanted to see him, the individual. I want the back story as much as the front story. This photo of his complex at Roaring Beach speaks volumes to me. Click “Continue Reading” to get a short description of what this photo illustrates. Click the photo to see the details. Continue reading The Engine Behind Windgrove.
Emily arrived after 40 hours of travel. She and Peter are sitting out at one of his points overlooking the Southern Ocean. Off to Peter’s left is Antarctica – 2000 miles away. Peter has done a series of benches entitled Seating for Dialogue. This one is called Forest Bench. Acres of profound moments of silence between conversations here.