Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last one, for 2008 anyway!

How could I resist? Ok, thats the last one of these....for this year anyway!

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone.

Wishing you all the best of everything in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wing-ed Wonder

How close can I get?!
Can you take any more bees, or should I switch off a bit?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Macro practice, pas de deux

...and at least one more tommorrow while I continue attempts to pull together some sort of schedule for life, including blogging, with The Most DH home on holidays. Dont get me wrong, Im not complaining, I love having him home. Its just too easy to go do things with him instead of sit here trying to coax that FECKING GOOGLE READER into letting me do my thang...its being bloody awful!

Anyhow, moving bee (busy), moving tree (breeze), shallow depth of field on the Macro...well, one of these days we will peg the shot. Ive said it before and so shall say it again: Im nothing if not determined!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who else gives you a Bee's backside?

I chased this busy bee all over the gum flowers that day with the macro, and loved every minute of it. Well, I say every minute, when I got doused with sticky nectar there was a couple panicky minutes trying to not let it get onto the camera. But otherwise, it was a great morning.

The Loirkeets had as usual scolded me soundly and flown off, which although dissappointing, did allow me and the bugs some quality time. There is another bee shot tommorrow for all you bee fans out there.

We are home! I will be telling you all about it as soon as I can organize myself and some photos. I took 800 photos, some of them while we were gravity's plaything, so they wont be clear enough to share....ah, good times!

Most are pretty medicore as far as a brief once over appears. The longer I use the 'long nose' lens (Canon Zoom EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III) the more ambivalent I am about it. One day I use it and get fab clear shots and the next day Im back on "Amateur Hour Presents: The Amazing Blurred Photos of Lavender".

There is no hand holding this lens, it has got to be on a tri-pod or similar if you are zooming all the way out to 300 on it. WAH! Birds, animals and strangers in car parks dont like to wait around for you to set up gizmos - heck - they fly off, run away or start swinging things as soon as they see a camera. But again, I digress...

Still having MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH GOOGLE READER, so if I havent been round yet, I will be as soon as I can. The dang thing just freezes up IE7+ and the only thing I can do is shut off the power and boot up again from scratch. Its terminally annoying and I may have to move to another reader if it doesnt clear up - lifes too short to sit around re-booting. This is the problem with groovy gadgets, you get used to them and then they take you round the back and work you over....end grumble for today?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nectar runneth over

See the nectar in the cup of this gum flower? Its about to spill over the edge and onto me. I wonder why no bird has emptied this cup. The bees seem to prefer cups with much less liquid, which is understandable really.

We have plundered the old film 35mm camera, and come up trumps with a macro/wide angle combo that just screws onto the front of the new lens, like a filter would. Just wait till you see the shots Im getting with this set up, Im so excited!

I just wish I could share them full size and resolution here for you, but alas, it would chew up your time and downloads...moderation has never been my strong suit.


Am I back in town? Guess we will both find out tommorrow!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Brief, rambling, fuzzy post

A bee takes a moment to de-pollen before calling it a day and returning to his hive. I wonder if they are wild bees, or if there is a keeper somewhere, who might wonder what that flavour is in his honey this year. Bet they'd never guess Hollyhocks.

If this post goes live as planned, you will be reading it on Dec 26th, and I will be somewhere between the Dog on the Tuckerbox and home. As I write this Im not sure if time will allow me to schedule a post for the 27th - so if theres nothing tommorrow - you can assume we are sleeping off the long drive. If it goes longer than that without word, you can assume I finally found my dream cave, and am not coming back to civilisation, ever!

In which case: Be good to yourselves, Ciao!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quoth the Raven "Ah-ah-aaarrrrrrrrrrrr!"

The Australian Raven, Corvus coronoides. Though I love all the corvines, I am especially fond of the Raven for thier myriad symbolsim, haunting call, and perfect darkness.

If you would like more information on the Australian Raven:
Aussie Raven @ Wikipedia
Aussie Raven @ Birds in Backyards
(which also has the Raven's call in MP3 format).


This post was written on Mon Dec 22nd, if all has gone well, while you read this I will be somewhere in the Kosciuszko National Park. Heres hoping the conditions for photography are good - we wont be able to hike much as we have limited time this trip - otherwise, I might never be seen again except to recharge the camera battery. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lori does Nectar shots, Bottoms Up!

Such cheek! Its near sunset on a grey old day, so even the world's greatest photographer would be unlikely to get a great shot without stadium lights. But still this guy went to great lengths to avoid giving me a chance. And it was I who planted the tree he sups in, Harumpf!

FYI: This pic is as xmas-y as Im going to get. If all has gone to plan I will be in Jindabyne this afternoon. Will explore surrounds, stay the night in a hotel with a spa in the room, and hit the road again in the morn. Will let you know what we find!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Summertime, and the nectar flows easy

The other day, (well, I say the other day, actually it was the day I wrote this, Sunday, to be painfully detailed about it), I woke up with "Summertime" going through my head. And as per usual with songs in my head, its dead on for whats going on around here.

The nectar from the Banksia Serratta has this Little Wattle Bird singing it too.

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky"

Gershwin, from "Porgy & Bess" l935

Well, thats all I could remember of it. It felt great to belt that one out while making the coffee and filling The Most DH's lunchbox for work. With any luck, I can belt it out again when Im sipping sparkling peach wine in a hotel spa bath in Jindabyne on Xmas eve. (But that is the only part of the road trip the camera wont be at. Sorry Charlie!)


I cant get out to visit your blogs, and that makes me cranky.


Seasons Greetings, to all who are so inclined. No matter what persuasion you are, I wish you all the very best of everything, not just at this time of year, but everyday. May 2009 bring each of us all that is necessary, and a nice bit more. Cheers!

I will be blogging in absentia untill possibly the 27th. Iam hoping to blog straight thru this hectic season by making great use of the 'scheduled post' feature. But if things go wrong with it, I may not. Or maybe I will be a day longer than I think and they will run which case I will be on a holiday in the usual sense.....just FYI! No worries, Mates!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The world was moving, she was floating above it, and she was...

"She was glad about it... no doubt about it
She isnt sure about where shes gone *
No time to think about what to tell them
No time to think about what shes done
And she was"

From the song "And she was" by David Byrne,
performed by the Talking Heads on their 1985 album "Little Creatures"


Am I the only one?

I have a soundtrack that plays along in my head, quite alot.

Things happen, or dont.
Events begin, end.
Feelings crest, then fall.
Often precipitously.

Regardless, I cant count the number of times a song drifts into my consciousness that fits, either literally or figuratively. Sometimes both.

Whats really telling are the ones that are there in my personal ether when I wake up in the morning. Who needs therapy?


About the Photo:
I shot this with one of those waterproof cameras kodak makes. I bought it just for this shot, now I bet everyones doing it. Well, if they werent already.

Assuming I am remembering the words right.
Why dont I have this on disc yet so I can check and enjoy?!?!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Black & White Formal

Queen Annes Lace accompanied to the spring ball by a Black Knight. Both dripping in pollen, tsk tsk! They really should just dance all night...

Right! Thats it, Im getting really silly. Its only fair that I warn you, I could very well burst something - so...stand back!!

Ive run out of scheduled blog posts!
Who wants an Mezcal over Valium??

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Future Food: Corn

Some use it for good (to eat on the cob or as a cornbread = natural).
Some use it for evil (high fructose corn syrup or ethanol = artificial).

Either way, civilisation would be different without it.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Friarbird Frozen Flight

Remember the Noisy Friarbird we met earlier this month? Here he is in one of my Frozen Flight shots. If you look closely at the wing on the right hand side, you can see the sky between each feather.

Flight looks so simple to us, but seems a pretty complex operation in practice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Epidendrum, Crucifix Orchid

A red flowering form of Epidendrum (Crucifix Orchid) growing loosely tied to a bottlebrush tree in our front yard. It spends most of its time and energy growing away from the shade the tree casts, it would much prefer to be left to fend for itself under the full punishment of the sun. But when grown that way, I think the whole thing just looks too flea bitten and untidy. So suffer it must in the dappled shade.

Its been a real beast to try to photo. Red is naturally a tough colour to get right, and it is not right here. But I need the next flowers to open to have another go...and with any luck, they will be closer to the gardens edge, so I wont have to use the zoom to get them ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Lens, Cat, Coffee, Rain

From the top of my wish list, The Most DH surprised me with this. Oh there are other lenses on my list, but since I prefer to shoot with only available light - I needed this one most of all. Hooray! So...what will I shoot first?

Priapus isnt really in the mood to be my muse. Too bad, the camera loves him. Aurora lodged herself under the sofa as soon as she saw me coming. Pity really, she is very pretty. The Most DH had 'urgent business' to attend to in his unless I want dust something to do a still-life with, (gasp!), I will have to lure him back somehow....

After a nice hot latte we hit the road. The completely sodden, un-seasonable, winter cold road. Oh well, we live to ride another day, cant complain about that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Field Test: Tea and Coffee Making Facilities #1

We are doing more touring, and like it so well that we are planning to do alot more of it. But getting a good cuppa isnt easy if you are deep off the beaten path, as we like to be. Ergo...

The equipment performance was excellent all around. The instant coffee however, was totally feral...

...and was soon abandoned. Which allowed me to discover this charming wildflower.

Monday, December 15, 2008

BLOG CHEAT! Scheduling posts in Blogger

I have some unexpected computer time tonight, so Iam trying to get out to all my fave blogs (impossible!) In addition Iam writing some posts ahead to give me a fighting chance in keeping up this 'holiday' season. I only recently figured out how to schedule a blog post, and thought perhaps Id share the info (in case others are as semantically challenged as I am).

Compose your post as per usual, and when you are happy with it...notice at the bottom of the window the words "Post Options"? (On the left hand side - just above the "Publish Post" button).

Click on "Post Options", and the window will expand. There you can change the displayed time and date, to whatever time and date you want the post to go live.

Then click on "Publish Post" I know! Its counter intuitive to click "Publish" when you want to "Schedule" but...sigh... there it is! LOL

Try it! You'll like it!!

Up close with Agapanthus, Nile Lily

Agapanthus, or Nile Lily info at Wikipedia.

Wish I had more time today - you know how it is - Im sure.

And if you dont, goody for you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Future Food: Opuntia or Prickly Pear

This enormous Prickly Pear cactus grows in a neighbors yard. Being nearly as tall as thier lemon tree, it towers above the fence, so we get to enjoy the sunny flowers too.

The old man who used to live there died a few years back. His name was Alfio, and we would often talk and send homegrown produce back and forth over the fence. One of those items was the fruit of this cactus.

Alfio would always peel it for us, which as you can see, is no simple task and something to be appreciated in its own right. He thought it tasted best cold, and I agree. It is very much like watermelon, but not nearly as sweet.

In a few places of the world, its the fleshy leaf 'pads' that are eaten. But the plant has many other uses from dye to hallucinogenic drugs! (Woo hoo!) There is tonne of info at Wiki's Opuntia page if youd like to learn more.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coreopsis for 'Surrogate Sun'

The last two days have seen winter like conditions - but this is Australia! We are all supposed to be at the beach by now, not contemplating getting the wood stove going again - egads. So this is global warming, eh?

So, to keep things here warm today, we have a pic of a Coreopsis from an earlier sunnier day.

The Most DH and I have been on photo safari's the last two days. But nothing has been moving out there except the rain. We had a good time despite, and even managed to hit the Famous Robertson Pie Shop for lunch yesterday. Not much by way of ambiance, but the pies are mega-delish!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Future Food: Zucchini or Courgette

Whether you call them Zucchini or Courgette, there is no beating growing your own. I prefer the Black Jack variety, they are great tasting, and produce like crazy.

The plant is also very attractive with its exotic patterned leaves, so if you dont like to eat Zukes, you could still grow them as an ornamental...why not?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mexican Butterfly Weed, Asclepias Curassavica

Mexican Butterfly Weed, also known as Scarlet Milkweed. To be very specific, the Latin for it is: Asclepias Curassavica.

I grew it a few years ago, and eradicated it when it got a little out of control. Now out of nowhere this volunteer comes up, and Im in love again. Better management of spent flower heads will prevent it over populating the garden again.

Heres hoping lots of butterflys will come to enjoy it, and maybe even lay thier eggs. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Battered Butterfly

Having a breather on a shrub, this battered butterfly must be counting his lucky stars he escaped whatever claimed a piece of his wing.

The underside of the wings was a lovely pattern in oranges, but he would only show me those as he flew away. I dont know what sort of butterfly he is, and havent yet had time to try to find out - so its over to you - sing out if you know his name.

*************** This just in *********************

Thanks to Melanie of Creating Nunde I have learned that this is a female Caper White (Belenois java) Butterfly on migration - Thanks Melanie!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Future Food: Apple

Apple blossoms are over for the season, and the trees have begun to leaf out. But I had this photo waiting to share - so - this was my chance. I thought we might catch up in the garden a bit before we motor off on another road trip, cool?

Heads Up:
The image is sporting my new id tag. Ive tried to figure out where things stand on the whole Orphan Works thing, and my eyes just glaze over. Which is kinda good, because I have the feeling that if I could read the whole thing, that my blood would boil and I would die of Terminal Aggravation. Suffice it to say: just because I share a picture and/or words here, doesnt mean that they then belong to everyone. What has the world come to?

Of Note:
Posting may get patchy during key periods during December, hopefully everyone else out there in blogland is in the same sort of situation, and therefore understands. Personally, I hate the whole christmas thing, but fighting it hasnt won me any awards or popularity contests. Such is life.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Look Dear, its a Philemon Corniculatus in an Erythrina.

Me: "Look Dear, its a Philemon Corniculatus in an Erythrina."

The Most DH: "Of course."

In english for the rest of us, please?

Its a Noisy Friar Bird in a Coral Tree.

We had arrived at the end of the road, literally. There was a gate across the road at the waters edge. We had done a loop of some sort, not the one we expected, but a nice ride nonetheless. So as we waited for the ferrymans return I stalked this - handsome - bird.

A few short hours later we were home again, and I set about appeasing my Feline Overlords. You know, the budgies dont give me anywhere near the grief!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Goat King and The Cave of Mysteries

Its hard to explain, but this goat was so....noble. He had a commanding but gentle presence, and was very patient about having his photo taken. Its a pity we dont have room here for full size, you are definately missing something not being able to see his eyes better.

You know I love caves, and this one was particularly attractive. Pity it was inaccessible, but then again if it had been, I may be living there now.

Last stop tommorrow...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Scary bridge, Welcoming Committee

The even scarier thing about this bridge, was the side view from the land - in my horror I didnt get a shot of it. I was relieved we wouldnt have to go over it again.

Oh, Hi!

Lets go meet my friend!

Want some grass?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Browsers and Cruisers

A wandering pack of goats...wandering over the road, and through the surrounding fields and wetland. When next we sight the rivers edge, we spied this 'convention of cormorants' happily afloat. What a wonderful part of the earth this is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Along the banks of the MacDonald River

Along the banks of the MacDonald River were many farms. We envied all the livestock who enjoyed such idyllic views and tranquil, quiet countryside. Lucky, lucky bastards. We are so going to enjoy our next hamburger!

The quality of the light here was magic, I tried to capture it through the leaves, but the photo just cant convey how gorgeous and golden-green it was. It just made the spirit sing.

Further up the road we stopped to stalk birds through the gum trees. Naturally as soon as the car stopped they fled to cover, from where they continued to call, mocking me, as usual. But the gorgeous blue sky through the tangle of gum branches is still an interesting sight, and worth a shot.

Here a Dianella or Flax Lily keeps a precarious hold of the steep riverbank.

More from the road, tommorrow!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Common weeds, Un-common Cows

The brilliant yellow flowers of this unruly looking shrub light up all corners of the bush.

Probably a verbena, but no matter its name - love that colour!

Lucky for us, there was a sign to tell us that these cows are Belted Galloways. Striking, arent they?

That wooly hide would be a great asset in winter. It also makes them look more cuddly than your average cow.

More tommorrow!