Sunday 30 June 2013

On the beach

On our weekend at Flinders we went is search of a The Blowhole - a feature in a rocky coast the jets water up into the air.  I'm not convinced we found it!

However, we did find a beach with black sand - which was good to look at and very hard to photograph!  White surf, black sand and looking into the sun was all too much for my meagre brain!

So, faced with this I decided to do some macro shots instead!

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday 2 and I love Macro

Thursday 27 June 2013

Silver and blue

These pictures were taken from the back of a boat last weekend as this Silver Gull watched for chips or other classic flying food.

I really like the combination of colour and shape.  Just a gull and the sky (and a bit of cloud)

You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 50 - Darter

 A few weeks ago I posted some cormorants, but choose not to include these pictures: I think this bird deserves a post to itself.

This is a male Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) also know as the Snake Bird, for its habit of swimming with only its neck out of the water.

The long neck - and remarkably large webbed feet - allow it to hunt fish underwater.  It actually uses its beak as spear and stab its prey rather then grabbing it with its beak.  An interesting aspect of this birds biology is the fact that it does not (cannot actually) waterproof its feathers with naturally produced oils. This means that the birds feathers become waterlogged as it swims.  This is good news as it helps the bird to sink and chase fish, but bad news because the feathers do not keep the bird warm underwater.  If you have ever watched a duck pop back up to the surface of a lake and seem the water bead off its feathers you will have seen how effective the oils can be at repelling water.

The long and the short of this means that Darters have to spend a lot of time drying their feathers - and warming back up again after the chill of swimming.  So the birds we see with their wings spread in classic "drying mode" it may actually be be soaking up some sun warmth after the chill of a morning spend fishing.

Now its your turn to join in with WBW.  Click on the link below and off you go.  Visit, comment, invite and enjoy!

Monday 24 June 2013

I see the Moon.......

Lots of people will have looked at this Moon - and for once I was one of them.  No clouds got in the way and I finally got to take some shots.

For reasons I failed to find funny, my kids thought it would be a good idea to lock the front door when I was outside taking this picture!   Its been the coldest 3 nights in a row for 15 years and thats when the kids decide to have some fun!  Oh well!

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

Enjoy the pictures.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Brick Wall

This is another image that came about because I was thinking about the combination of the manmade and the natural.

Human technologies tend to be sharp edged, hard and dominated by straight lines.  Grown objects tend to do round edged (even teeth!), softer and dominated by fluid, curved lines. I

This is what this picture is about - its a combination of those two forms of building.

I also like the colours!

You can find more close ups at Macro Monday 2 and I Love Macro.

Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday 20 June 2013

Through a glass brightly

I think views out through windows are some of the most framed views of the world we have.  They are constrained by the architecture of the window - and only allow you to see what the designer of the window wants you to see.  So a view from a window is no more natural in that sense than the view in a painting.

I think photographs are equally constrained  - we move to the left or the right to remove flag poles, litter bins and other photographers!  We are left with a framed image - just like a view through a window.

I have just re-read this, and think that its about time for me to get a hobby!

You can find more images of the sky at Sky Watch Friday.

Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 49 - Wild, but not natural.

Like most Australians I don't live in a very natural looking environment.  Despite many of the myths - think Crocodile Dundee - most of us live in rather urban surroundings.  I live in a suburb that was once market gardens and dairy farms, but has long since been swallowed by the expanding beast that is Melbourne.

This means most of the birds I see are wild in state, but not living in nature.  While its true you can find the odd bit of bush land scattered about, and that given half a chance "weeds" (often, but not always native plants) will grow almost anywhere, most of my immediate surroundings are man made.

So, I had a think about this and decided to find some images that I thought made the most of the man made - there is not pretence in these pictures that they have been taken in the wilds - the back of Burke as we might say here.

So, here we have that most free of species, the flying bird, taking the urban and making just a little less bland, just a little more interesting.

(OK, so the pelican shot is not suburban, but its not natural either!)

Silver Gull
Silver Gull (on a hot tin roof)
Pelican Marker
Now its your turn to join in with WBW.  Remember to link back to here - to visit other bloggers and to invite and newbies you encounter on the web who may be interested.  Over to you.

Monday 17 June 2013

A wide view on winter (!)

Although things have changed a bit in the last few days, this was some of the weather we had to deal with last weekend.  I have to smile.

These are two images of Cape Schank in Victoria.  The tow side of the cape are very different - one is open to the ocean and the other very sheltered.  I liked the open side best as you could balance the rounded stones on top of each other and make towers.  The whole family got involved and it seemed a batter idea to keep building that start snapping.

As you can see, I'm rather enjoying the potential of my wide angle lens.

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

Enjoy the pictures.

Sunday 16 June 2013

A bit of a furphy.

When you move between countries - or even regions of a country - the slang or vernacular can change markedly.  I love the phrase that England and America are two countries separated by a common language!

One of the terms I encountered rather quickly in Australia was the "furphy" (or the furfie).  It would be used in conversation like this.  "Thats a bit of a furphy"  - it means a rumour, untruth or something improbable or irrelevant.

One theory about the origin of this phrase is that soldiers would gather around mobile water tanks on the battle field and swap rumours and gossip - and the manufacturer of the water tanks was J. Furphy and Sons of Shepparton, Victoria.  Its a good story.

And this is a real Furphy!

Have a look at the slogan above the tap. I'm not sure companies do this kind of thing any more!

I'm linking this to Macro Monday 2 and to I love Macro.

Thursday 13 June 2013

I wonder why?

One of the things I love about clouds is their almost capricious ability to form in ways that are unexpected.

I have no idea if this cloud is the numb-end of a con-trail or whether its a natural cloud formed by some minute change of temperature or humidity.  What ever the case there was not another cloud to be seen in this sky, just this little line.

You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday.

Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 48 - Sooty Oystercatchers

I had hoped to be able to get some shots of Sooty Oystercatcher this weekend - but whales and albatross got in the way!  So, I am posting some older shots as I am in an Oystercatcher frame of mind!

The Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)  is found round all of Australia - but Flinders is the closest place to Melbourne you can see them.  And while I did see one - it was just a black Oystercatcher shaped blob in the distance.

When you unpack the meaning of the binomial name - or in my case look up what it means in a book - it comes out "sooty blood-red foot"  - the blood red foot bit being the genus and the sooty the second part of the name.  (You cant claim these post are grippingly educational!)

This species is normally found on rocky shores - and only very occasionally in the company of the black and white Pied Oystercatcher.  So the picture of this species on a beach, with the other species in the background is a little unusual.

I really like these birds and could watch them for ages.

Now it's your turn.  Remember - visit, comment and invite - the more the merrier!

Monday 10 June 2013

A view from the hill

This weekend is the official start of the snow season in Australia - and as you can see the weather was typically appalling.  Monday is also a public holiday - in honour of the Queens Birthday no less.  So we headed off to Flinders on the Mornington Peninsular.  This is a local area we have not explored much, we have tended to spend more time on the other side of the bay.

The weather was great, we saw whales on two different occasions - they we rather  along way of shore and we also saw albatross.  For some reason the general public seemed more interested in the whales than the albatross!  Although I did try to point them out to a few people.

Flinders =

The wide-angle image is of the pier at Flinders and the whale and albatross are the best I could manage given that these wonderful animals were a long way away!

Southern Right Whale (?)

Shy Albatross (?)
 You can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday 6 June 2013

A new sky in an old landscape

Post and run time again!

This image was taken in the Burren in County Clare, Ireland.  This area is one of the largest areas of limestone karst in Europe - it also has a very high density of archaeological sites - with about 90 megalithic tombs.

This is a scan from a slide rather than an original digital image.

I hope it contains enough sky!

You can find lots more sky at Sky Watch Friday 

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 47 - Silvereye

Something a little smaller than usual for this week.

This bird is a Silvereye - Zosterops lateralis - a species in the very last genera listed in my world checklist of birds! This bird - which is all of 11 cm long was feeding in some bushes in the Yarra Valley a few weekends ago.  Luckily there was an uphill slope away from the bushes so I was able to get on (more or less) eye level with this bird.  Having said that, the speed at which it and its companions moved made the delete function very useful!

One of the old names for this bird is the "Grape-eater" - and in the book I discovered this gem this origin of this name is put down to "one of its less universally admired characteristics" - this become rather funny when you realise that these pictures were taken from a vineyard!

I think I could live without the fence post - but you cant win them all. 

Now its over to you - click the link below and off you go.  Don't forget to link back to here and to invite any new bird bloggers you find!

Monday 3 June 2013

An old world

I've just completed a post on my other blog, and these images are part of the post.

I decided that turning 50 was as good a time as any to think about getting to where I am today - and these are two images of where I was yesterday (well, sort of yesterday!)

 North Lancs
From Yoke - Cumbria 

At present I have 215 people following this photoblog and only 83 people following my wordy blog - so it possible that you may be one of the people who are missing out!

Why not pop over and have a look around!

Sorry about the blatant advertising!

You can find more shots and less advertising at Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 2 June 2013

An old favourite

I was sorting out some images this afternoon, when I came across this image I add taken a few years ago.  And given that this is the first post of the official Australian winter it feels like an appropriate find.

This was taken on a chill, but bright morning at Wilsons Promontory National Park.  The last time we were there this section of boardwalk had been washed away in a flood, so it may not be possible to see this exact scene again.

We dont get a huge number of frosts in Melbourne - so seeing one is a nice novelty.

You can find more macro shots at I Love Macro and at the all new Macro Monday 2.

Pop over and have a look!