Weekly Photography Challenge: Names

What’s in a name? Well it helps if everyone agrees what it is, and this week it’s the subject for the Weekly Photography Challenge. Today we are on our way to Canberra to pick up our daughter and granddaughter for a little holiday and family time. We’ve had a few stops on the way for cups of tea, coffee and Hibiscus and Lime (it’s hot today). I’ve had my eye out for photogenic names –

We’ve been stopping at the little park in Tarnagulla for years , but it’s the first time I’ve seen a name for it- the sign looks new. The monument there is engraved with the names of the men who went from the area to fight in World Wars I and II – hence the name for the park. Elmore’s miniature train runs alongside our next picnic spot. We’ve taken Juniper there, but it’s hard to get away again! Another stop in Maroopna for a cold drink, and I snapped this picnic table – I’ve no idea what the name means. Another stop (It’s a long drive!) for coffee in Wangaratta, and another sign – not a name, but a fair warning to park visitors to watch their steps! The lady sitting reading didn’t seem very fussed by it.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Resilient

The first weekly photography challenge for the new year is “Resilient”. Anything in my garden would fit the description, since whatever is still thriving after many dry years is clearly tough, but these onion orchids are special.

The flowers are tiny – only 2 or 3 mm – and the seeds are like dust. They are an endemic plant that “just grow’d”, originally in a hanging basket, appearing one year in amongst exotic Sempervivums. I presume that they blew in on the wind. I now have them in several pots, and they have flowered discretely for months now. They evidently enjoy regular watering, and in their native habitat there will be hundreds growing together in damp places like streamsides, reappearing in winter so long as the autumn rains arrive.

I have seen them growing in roadside gardens, their slender green stems popping up among the official planting, thriving on neglect, resilient and adaptable.May we humans be as resilient and adaptable in the face of the challenges and adventures of the new year!

Weekly Photography Challenge:Path +Poem

The week between Christmas and New Year is always rather strange – days seem to stretch and contract in the wake of the rush leading up to the holiday for some reason. We’ve also had some days of tropical heat and humidity, which are difficult to deal with in a normally Mediterranean climate…So it’s Friday already, and my path has at last reached WordPress for the Weekly Photography Challenge.july-aug-2011-584-large

This path is in the Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon, which we visited in 2011, and hope to see again some day. That’s a physical path. This poem travels a path too, and I took another path through my photos, looking for some to illuminate the poem.

I walked out the gate
And saw a rainbow
(Symbol of peace and hope)
My heart
(Symbol of love and passion)
Leapt up
sending the blood
(Symbol of empathy and life)
Coursing through my veins.

I couldn’t find an image of an actual rainbow, but I love prisms in the windows and the rainbows they cast around the room on sunny days. Tran(s)cendence (oops) is an image taken when I had a film camera and had to wait to have my pictures developed to find out how they turned out. It became part of a series of “Sukie’s Original Covers” – handmade CD covers using my work that I thought looked like “Cover Art”, inspired in no small way by Pixies “Dolittle”with Simon Larbalestier’s amazing photography in the inlay booklet.

Sukie’s Original became the name I use for all my artwork, and the Trancendence image is now printed on beautiful scarves by Vida. That’s a path I never expected to travel, but I’m happy that I did.scarf

Weekly Photography Challenge: Anticipation

Our younger Grand-daughter, Matilda, is one year old on Christmas Eve. In anticipation of the day, we had an early party for her in the park. Nothing could have prepared her for the experience of eating fistfuls of frosting, but she quickly came to grips with it…

She’d been walking with adult help for several weeks, and we’d been looking forward to the day she would take off and walk independently – and of course, it was the playground nearby that gave her the incentive to just go under her own steam, an adult in her wake to make sure she didn’t get into any trouble. It’s the grown-ups job to anticipate what can happen next, and make sure it doesn’t. We can anticipate fun things, too, like a baby meeting frosting for the first time, but no one anticipated her pleasure in squishing whipped cream with her toes!

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Weekly Photography Challenge: New Horizon

This week’s challenge – to show a goal or resolution, a “new horizon” – brought to my mind the Robert W. Service poem with the words

“Have you ever stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
The vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
still mocks you the Land of Beyond.”

I would have first read it in Douglas Bader’s biography, well over 4o years ago, but I remembered most of it still. Maybe it’s depressing that there is always more to strive for, or perhaps humbling (which might be the same thing for some people..). Service refers to the Land of Beyond as mocking, but I prefer to think it is simply there, calling us on to reach a new goal and not rest on one’s laurels for too long.

I’ve got a few “goals” for 2017, I just have to find images…A mixed media workshop for 4 days in March, with Keith Lo Bue as my teacher, helping out as grandchild 3 makes his or her appearance mid-year, and then, hopefully, a return trip to the Pacific North West in our spring. That seems like enough for now…

Here is a selection of PNW horizons from our last trip, which we hope to see again before the year is out. There are sights we missed that need to be added on my far horizon – sea stacks and beaches of the Olympic Peninsula, more time with Mt St Helens on the horizon, and big old trees in the Hoh Rainforest…

And after we get back home…another horizon to aim for, I’m sure.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Relax

At this time of year, with the clarion call of “buy! buy! BUY!” ringing across the land, “relax” is truly a challenge! Cats don’t have any urge to do Christmas shopping, so maybe that’s why Morgen can manage to sleep most of the day (and night). Me remaking the bed was only a temporary interruption…

I like my old eiderdowns (I’m not sure why they got the name – there’s no down in them) with their sweet rosey prints. They’ve usually got some wear and tear (literal) that has to be underneath out of sight.One of my cushions was made (upcycled) from a Nirvana Muddy Banks tee-shirt (wear and tear again!). The back of it features photos of the actual banks of the Wishkah River, from our visit there 5 years ago (they really are muddy…). Sewing is a way I like to relax, but I like to get the tidying up done first, unfortunately.

Weekly Photography Challenge:It’s Not That Time Of Year Without…

Yay! Christmas is coming! Soon it will be gone again…(also yay). Rising to this occasion, the Photography Challenge this week is to show something that it’s not this time of year without. Christmas is all about family, but our family are scattered across the continent and holiday travel is expensive, so our family celebration is whenever we can all get together. Last Christmas was one out of the box though – our little grand daughter Matilda decided to arrive a bit early, on Christmas Eve, so our Christmas day was a hot, windy picnic, and a couple of hours of passing the baby around the room at the hospital in Ballarat.

She slept through everything. 11 months later, sleep is not her favourite thing anymore…

Juniper is 3 now, and her favourite thing is her engines . Whenever our family celebration ends up, there will be trains involved. The other thing I especially like at the holiday feast, whenever it is, is something homegrown, even if it’s only a handful of beans, or some parsley. Too bad I’ve already eaten these broad beans…img_0535-large