Thursday, March 29, 2012

Balloons - SkyWatch Friday


At this time of the year it is not unusual for us to find hot air balloons drifting over the house in the early morning. It must be a wonderful view from up there. A trip like this is on my ‘must do’ list – but there again so a lot of things!

The sky was very pale blue in the morning, so I could not get ant really rich colours, but I’m pretty happy with the results – especially as I was still half asleep!
You can find more skies at SkyWatch Friday.

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 skies.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Little Pied Cormorant

I took a mid-day walk around one of my local lakes this Sunday – this may be the closest thing I have to a ‘patch’ in bird watching terms.  I’m often there – often for no more reason than to stop being indoors.There were a few cormorants about, but the only ones in range were Little Pied Cormorants (not that this is a problem!) 


I found this one having a thorough preen and clean within camera range.  I was perched halfway up a fence,  holding the camera with one hand the fence with the other and generally feeling as if I was about to lose grip on both as I  was taking the pictures.  Given the suspicious nature of my behavior at the time I am surprised a police car did not just happen to drive past!


The flexibility of this bird’s neck was remarkable.  It would pick up oil from the preen gland under its tail and then work it into the feathers.  It was putting on rather a good show if the truth be told.

The bird on the log is the same species, but a different individual.
You can find more birds from around the world 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, March 26, 2012

Our World Tuesday - one last harvest

If yesterday was the first day of autumn, then today was the last day of summer - if you see what I mean.

We have had a good crop of salad vegetables from the new raised beds – but the plants are just about at the end of their tether. We still do have more basil than we know what to do with. There is only so much pesto you can make!


For all the shots I post of the world around me, most of the time my world is contained within the boundaries of my own home – so for this week I’ll post a shot of my garden and what will be the last bowl of fresh tomatoes for the year.


You can find more shots 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, March 25, 2012

Macro Monday - Autumn

Today was one of the first days of the year when I was definitely sure it was autumn. Firstly, the heating came on (all be it briefly) in the morning. I worn a jacket when I was out taking pictures – this is not always a blessing as it gives me more pockets to lose things in!

And finally, I had taken these pictures a few days earlier. Our Crab Apple tree does not bear useable fruit – but it’s a good marker of the turning of the year.


The Japanese Anemones are also at their best at this time of the year. I decided to avoid the perfect looking flowers – as I have a greater empathy with the slightly imperfect ones.



A little battered around the edges they may be, but they look like they may have a better story than the glamour puss perfection of the ones just out of shot.





Their colour and tendency to sway in even the slightest breeze makes them a bit of a challenge to shot.

You can find more macro shots (autumnal or not!) 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, March 22, 2012

Morning Sky Whitehorse Road - SkyWatch Friday.

When I went out to pick up the paper on Tuesday morning I was greeted by this sky. I grabbed my camera and went for a walk around the block.




I don’t really live in a place where you can get unobstructed views of the sky, so I gave up and tried something different.









I don’t take many pictures that are of the built environment – but I have to say I like the mix of the built and the natural here. Even the Caltex seems to add something to the mix.





To make it clear we are in Melbourne I thought I’d include an iconic tram in the last picture.


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

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 skies!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Pacific Gulls


You should have been able to work out by now that I have a fondness for these gulls. These are Pacific Gulls, and as you can see they are huge.

For all their enormousness, they still seem to have a feeling of grace to them – that huge bill can slice through food like a knife through hot butter, but I’ve still seem them flick tiny shreds of seaweed off chunks of fish with the delicacy of a surgeon.

For those of you who like fact and figures here are some: They can grow to by 67 cm in length, have a wingspan of 169 cm and males can weigh in at 1.6 kg – this can be summed up in a very simple way “they’re big”.



You will be able to find more birds at World Bird Wednesday.


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 birds.

PS: this is the 200th post to my photo-blog!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Abbotsford Convent

This weekend we went to a market at Abbotsford Convent. It’s no longer a convent as such and the buildings are slowly being renovated as art and community spaces.


There is a restaurant there where you pay what you think the meal is worth – there are no prices on the menus. It’s a great idea.















At present the whole space seems to hang between being fixed, and still needing a lot of love. I think I like it like that, it seems genuine, more real than some purpose built spaces that have an arts and community focus.

Perhaps unsurprisingly I concentrated (largely) on the parts of the building where the natural world had a toe hold - on in some places a whole foot!

Other people were taking big pictures of the whole buildings - but generally thats not what I tend to do.




There are markets for clothes and food here on weekends – if you ever get the chance you should come and visit!

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, March 18, 2012

Macro Monday - Green Bottle

Although there is a distinct autumnal feel in the air, Australia’s most annoying summer wildlife is still out and about.

This is a Green Bottle – probably Lucilia sericata – but given that you have to start counting hairs on legs to be sure of such things this is just a guess based on probability. This type of Green Bottle is very (and I mean very!) common.


There are also two ants in the picture – but I have absolutely no idea at all what sort they are!

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, March 15, 2012

Bellarine Moonrise - SkyWatch Friday.

As I was just arriving at Point Lonsdale last weekend the Moon was just rising. I watched it rise over the trees as I was driving along the road, wishing I was where I was planning to be, fed up with being trapped in the metal box of a car.

Eventually I found I place where I could look down hill at the Moon, as I wanted to have an empty foreground in any pictures I would take. These are the results. I was tired, fed up and hungry. I’m glad the pictures came out like they did.

If the traffic had not been as heavy (we are talking aboutUK Bank Holliday type traffic for those of you who know about this sort of thing!) I would have missed this sight. I suppose I should consider it a bonus! The other evenings in the weekend were cloudy, so these were the best views I got, which were, if the truth be told and I could stop being grumpy, rather magnificent!

You can find more picture of the sky doing its rather wondrous thing at SkyWatch Friday.

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 skies.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Willie Wagtail

As I was walking towards the shops at Point Lonsdale I was visited by this rather energetic little bird – a Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys). They are almost always in motion, swishing their tails from side to side like a clock work toy. If they get cross – and they seem to have very short tempers – they flare the white stripes above their eyes.

I think this one was very used to people and a day later he almost landed at my feet as we spent a last few hours drawing in the sand and generally not wanting to go back to work!

They are a very vocal and sometimes aggressive little bird – I’ve watched them attack magpies and they will often attack cats if they get too close to a nest. It must be hard work being that small!
I suppose it’s another example of a bird named for its supposed likeness to a bird from the far North of the world.

You can find more birds at World Bird Wednesday.

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 birds.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Point Lonsdale

This weekend was a ‘long weekend’ with Monday (today!) being Labour Day. The day is a public holiday to commemorate the work done by the “Eight Hour Day” movement. I think we would all do well to remember the work that has been done in the past that allows us to have the lifestyles we do. I have to wonder how such social campaigns would fare these days. But enough........

I took my eight hours of leisure at Point Lonsdale – which some of you will know is hardly new ground for me!




There was a distinct autumnal feel in the air, the water was a little colder than a month or two ago, but when the sun shone it was wonderful.

I am not really much of a dog person, although I do enjoy meeting them on walks. Coming back from fishing this morning I met an Old English Sheep dog called Nigel – a rather good name I thought. And when I was having a coffee the day before I could not resist this head sticking out of the window hoping to see his owner coming.

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

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 pictures.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Macro Monday - Pink Seaweed.

I'm back in the land of less than great inter-net access. So, here is a short post for Macro Monday.
While walking on the beach today I found this pink seaweed. Wave washed and abandoned on the beach it was a splendid colourful find on a rather grey day.

You can find more Macro shots at Lisa Chaos.



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

Enjoy the close ups.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rail Crossing - SkyWatch Friday

I was out for a short walk around my local area on Sunday, and paused at the rail-crossing. The sky was a classic Australian blue, with big fluffy clouds. What caught my eye was the way the rail barrier seemed to be pointing it out for me. It looked like a big finger saying “look at this” – so I did and this is the result.

You can see more pictures of skies from around the world at SkyWatch Friday.

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 skies!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Australian White Ibis

These birds are Australian White Ibis. They are not the most popular birds in Australia. They are often trip dwellers, chip stealers and public space bullies. I think they have a rather reptilian look to them – especially around the head.


As you can see I have not been employed by the White Ibis Appreciation Society to write this post!



However, as a flock wheeling overhead they can make a very spectacular site, and during those times I am prepared to forgive them their chip stealing nature.
You can see that the juvenile bird has a much shorter beak than the adult birds.

All three of these images were taken in a park- two at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria and the other in Central Brisbane, Queensland.

You can find more birds from around the world here 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, March 5, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Phillip Island Surf

I suppose many of the images I post here are not typically ‘Australian’ as far as the rest of the world is concerned – although some of the large spiders may fit the bill!

So, I’ll give into cliché and post a surfing shot.


This was taken off the beach at Phillip Island, which is a couple of hours East of Melbourne.

I was rather pleased with the timing of this shot. Seems that trying to take pictures of birds leaping from leaf to leaf is a transferable skill!

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, March 4, 2012

Macro Monday - Australian Painted Lady


I’ve not been having a lot of joy on the butterfly front this summer – seems I’m in the wrong places at the wrong time. Or the right places with the wrong lens!

Anyway – these are from last summer. These are Australian Painted Lady butterflies, taken on the summit of Mt. Donna Buang, which is a mountain of about 1250m (4100 ft) about an hour’s drive from Melbourne.

I think I need to go back and have a walk in that area soon!

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday
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 close ups!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jet Sky - SkyWatch Friday

Last Friday there was a gathering at school in the evening; races for the kids, face painting and a BBQ. The evening was very hot – and we were glad when then sun went down. There was a solid blue sky and very little colour - so I had to come up with another sky shot.


This really is a Friday sky!


I can’t help but wonder where this plane was going.


For reasons I dont understand I cant upload this iamge in landscape format - so you can see what it should really look like by clicking here.

You can find more sky shots at FridaySkys.

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

Enjoy the skies.