Tuesday, February 28, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Terns

These pictures are a little older than some I have posted – in fact it came as a shock to realize I had only posted one of these before.
Caspian Terns are always great to see, with their huge red beaks they are always a good find.


The Common Tern is not at all common in Australia, so finding one is a treat. In fact these were the first I have found without knowing that the birds were already there.



The Crested Terns are the default tern in my part of the world – and must be one of the more obliging birds to photograph. Although in this case I was distracted by the other birds.

These images were taken over a year ago on a day when we managed to band a good number of Bar-Tailed Godwits at Barwon Heads. You can read about that day here if you are interested.

You can find more birds at World Bird Wednesday.

You can find the most recent post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the birds.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Wet Stones

After a weekend of hot weather it was great to have a change for the start of the week. Not quite as wonderful as normal as we swapped hot for humid – but it’s a step in the right direction.

What I like about rain is the way that it brings out the colour in the stone work in you back garden – it’s worth getting a little bit damp just to go and have a look.

These may not be the most spectacular shots I’ll ever take – but it would be hard to get anything closer to being just my world!

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Wednesday.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking in the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Macro Monday - Blue Skimmer

Another very hot day today – so took a morning walk around one of our local lakes. Still hotter than was comfortable, and the presence of two energetic kids does not always help the stalking of wildlife!


This dragonfly is a Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum caledonicum) which is common in these parts of the world. The pale blue sections of the ‘tail’ (abdomen) fade off over summer, so exposure is a bit of a nightmare (as you can see) in bright sunshine.


You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday.


You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.


Enjoy the close ups.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Karate Corner - SkyWatch Friday

Went to pick up H from Karate today and found this corner and sky.

The skies have been pretty cloud free for the last few days, but pretty none the less.

I like the graphic nature of this – I also like the positive message!

You can find more skies at SkyWatch Friday.



You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the skies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Let sleeping ducks lie.

I took this image of a Pacific Black Duck a while ago – I thought how peaceful it looked at the time. Its beady little eye watched me with the kind of open disinterest one often sees in ducks who are confident that you neither going to feed them or shoot at them either.

Like many of our native species this one has a bit of a cloud on the horizon – it comes in the form of the humble Mallard. The species can interbreed and in some places this mixing of genes is a threat to the PBD.

I’m rather fond of ducks – who could be un-cheered by a raft of them approaching your boat or bank side? - but I’d rather see them where they evolved instead of where we have taken them.

You can find more birds at World Bird Wednesday.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the birds.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Wilsons Prom (again!)

Some more shots from one of my favourite places – Wilsons Promontory. These pictures were taken very near the end of January, just before the smalls went back to school.

This is (I’m reasonably confident) a Spotted Galaxias. This is a small native fish that has suffered through the introduction of trout into our streams. This little chap seems to have plenty of friends and is about 4 inches long



It was a hot and sticky day and we were pleased to be able to stand on a bridge in the shade and watch some fish. Compared to getting images of fish, birds are a cake walk! This is about as good as I could manage!


The bridge we stood on was also a fine location to play Pooh Sticks – its on the Lilly Pilly Nature walk for those of you able to visit.

The second picture is am image of classic re-growth after fire at the base of a gum tree – this is a quintessentially Australian image!


You can find more pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Macro Monday - Figure of 8 Knot

A weekend of that most suburban of tasks, gardening, reminded me of these pictures I took a few years ago.

While trimming the excess growth from a wisteria I found this knot. It had probably been formed by the plants responding to stimulus of light and gravity.

This process had formed a figure of eight knot – beloved of climbers. I think it was the first new knot I learned when I started to climb.

So, here we have an example of apparent design without either purpose or intelligence. It was a good thing to find. This weekend of snipping and clipping yielded no such interest! But the mid afternoon tea and cake tasted mighty fine!

You can find more macros at Macro Monday.

You can find the most recent post to my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the page.

Enjoy the close ups.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SkyWatch Friday - Not all promises are kept.



We have had some strange skies here this week – many looked like they may give up some much needed rain, but we had to wait until tonight before we had any rain. Then some people got a little too much rain.

The pictures are taken from my house – so some have had a little hair cut to remove unwanted TV aerials and such like.

You can find more skies from around the world at SkyWatch Friday.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the skies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Back into the world of today for this post.

This rather dapper looking wader is a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. I’ve had more than I few of these in the hand and they are not sharp at all!

This bird came to check us out as we were waiting to fire the nets on a recent banding trip. Somebody asked me ‘how do you know it’s a sharpie’ – and it made me think about all the little bits of data which birders (and to call me a ‘birder’ really is a bit of a stretch) carry about in their heads. Leg colour?, beak length?, habitat?, eye brow stripe? and such like. How come I can do this, but I forget to buy the milk on the way home?

So, here we have a great little bird that I few years ago would have just been a ‘wader’ of some sort, but has now entered that remarkable product of human evolution – my brain!
I remain is awe of some of the people I know – people who can pick out single birds from flocks of many and name them with the same kind of confidence with which I spell my own name.

So, here is a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

You can find more birds – and probably less nonsense - at World Bird Wednesday.

You can find less birds and more of this kind of nonsense at my other blog – click the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the birds.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Mannerim 1994

This is another blast from the pre-digital age.

I took this image on one of the first evenings I ever went for a walk in Australia. It’s just down the road from my in-laws house. As my MIL is getting much better I felt this was a good image to post.

I came from the West of England to Australia – the change in color was, to say the least eye opening. I was struck (and remain struck) by the size of the sky.

This is definitely my world now, but I don’t think to does any harm to remind myself of a time when it was all brand new.

You can find more pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the page.

Enjoy the pictures

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Macro Monday - Herb Robert (29-05-1981)

This is a single flower of a plant called (at least by me as a kid) Herb Robert – I also think it is called Stinking Bob.

The original of this picture was taken on the 29th of May 1981, in the back yard of my house in Somerset. That’s a long time ago and a long way away. Clearly the scan is much more modern.

I decided to post this image after some conversations at work last Friday – we had a kind of show and tell for anybody with a creative streak. I showed some of my photographs. People seemed to like them, and many asked me about the camera I used. It made me think that photography has become linked to cameras, not photographers.

So, here is a image taken with a second hand East German camera – a Practica that went out of production in 1975 – and flash guns held away from the camera on strips of Meccano! From the look of the slide mount it was taken on 100ASA Agfachrome. I still rather like it.

What I like about many of the posts that are made on these collective memes is the general lack of technical ‘one-upmanship’. People take pictures and put them up, and other people get to see them. The emphasis is on the picture – not the technology. If you like the picture you can say so – although I still don’t really know what to do when I don’t like the image!

So, here is a blast from the past, given a modern scan.

You can find more macro shots at Lisas Chaos.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the close ups!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Phone Sky - SkyWatch Friday

With a bit of luck this may be the end of the very short posts –my wife’s mum was taken into hospital at very short notice, and for while things did not look good. The situation seems better now, but you never can tell.

Thanks to all the people who asked about the ‘life not going as planned’.

So, this is another in the series of simple skies. It’s also taken with a phone. Simple lunch time sky from Camberwell, just outside my office.

You can find more skies at SkyWatch Friday.

The latest post to other blog can be found by clicking the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the skies and I hope that normal service will be resumed soon.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Magpie Lark



Another short post today – life is not entirely going to plan at present.

This is a Magpie Lark – which if you have read many of my posts you will not be surprised to learn is neither a Magpie nor a Lark. They have a strange grating call and wild staring eyes – this one was chasing the tiny flies you can just see in the picture.

They are reasonably common, but it’s taken me a while to get a half decent picture of one.

You can find more birds from around the world at the sensibly named World Bird Wednesday.

You can find my most recent post to my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.


Enjoy the birds.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Through a glass brightly


A recent trip to Geelong Botanic gardens brought me face to face with these rather formal, but still conical, pair. The lady protects her complexion with a sunshade; the gentleman offers a rather spiky salad.



If you look closely you can see that the end of the sunshade is a crystal ball, through which you can see the world in reverse.


So, I give you an image of Australia day, through a glass brightly.
You can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

You can find the most recent post to my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Macro Monday - Painted Grasshawk

Bit of a rapid post this week for Macro Monday.

Archive Mining here – this is (yet another) picture from our Magnetic Island trip. Don’t know much about this dragonfly except that it’s a Painted Grasshawk.


You can find other macro shots at Macro Monday.

You can find the latest post to my other post by clicking the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS of the page.

Enjoy the close ups.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mont Albert Storm - SkyWatch Friday

One of the joys of living in Melbourne is its changeable weather. Under normal conditions we rarely get more than a week of settled weather. Then something changes in the wind and the temperature can soar or fall and the heavens can open.



There is a song called Four Seasons in One Day about Melbourne and this title contains both an exaggeration and more than a grain of truth.
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After a few hot days this weather front pasted over our house. Weather dominated by central Australia was replaced with weather born in Antarctica. The temperatures fell and we had rain. Within a few hours the front had passed and we had clear skies by morning.

You can find more skies from around the world at SkyWatch Friday.

You can find the latest post to my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the skies.