Our Earth is a water planet, luckily for us, because that means we have beaches and rolling surf, all around the surface of the earth.
We had a day out this week with little Matilda, her mum and dad and uncle Alex. These pics all taken on Griffith Island, Port Fairy. The island is a reserve for the Mutton birds that breed there. You can possibly guess from the common name what happened to these birds when colonists “discovered” them. Luckily they didn’t go the way of the Passenger Pigeon, but they still need protection – mainly from foxes and cats these days.
Matilda loved the feeling of sand under her toes, but she wasn’t nearly as keen on the water that kept running after her. I spotted the little cairn that someone had built on a rock near the lighthouse. I’ve no idea how long it has been there, but loved the little human touch on the wild and wet coast.
Life is full of surprises, especially for forgetful gardeners. It’s autumn down under, and nerines are appearing out of nowhere – or at least, out of bare ground. The red one was given to me as white, and took years to decide to flower at last in this unexpected colour. Surprise! I’m fairly sure the bud is a pink one, but I’d forgotten where I planted it…
The fragile little bells of Leucojum autumnale were a lovely surprise, because there were no flowers last year, and I thought it was lost forever.
My favourite colour is pink’n’orange, so it’s a nice surprise to find a geranium that colour. A photo never seems to quite do it justice, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.
It often amazes me to see newspaper polls on how safe people think they are (with no regard for how safe they actually are) when their feelings of security are so much affected by what they read in that same newspaper – not to mention TV news coverage that emphasises and reiterates every bad thing that happens anywhere (preferably with pictures).
Feeling secure is as important as how secure you actually are, and not watching the news is a big help with that. Morgen the cat and our grand daughters, Matilda and Juniper, don’t watch “news” and they feel pretty good most of the time. My mum took the photo of Juni, me and Zoe (my daughter, Juni’s mum) sitting on one of my late dad’s English ship’s cannons. He rescued them from scrap metal when I was little, and we used them as a play gym when I was growing up. I feel less secure about my grandkids frolicking on them – they didn’t seem as high (or hard) when I was a kid…
This week we get into the thick of things with the challenge “Dense”. I looked through recent photos to find these – the cacti and cubby are in our garden, the rock and lichen from my stay in Hall’s Gap last week. I need to overcome some of the dense growth around the cubby, because our grand daughters are getting old enough to want to play there, and we don’t want to lose them in a mini jungle!
And here is Morgen, demonstrating another meaning of “dense”….that box is really tooooo small to sit in!
It’s autumn down under, and until we get some rain, there’s not a lot of green in the landscape. But it’s easy to be green environmentally by reusing and upcycling whatever materials come to hand. Recently, we had our rotting old verandah replaced with a lovely new one – but we hung on to the old timber, thinking to have a bonfire with some of it, and reuse the wider boards for garden edges. Then it occurred to me that I might be able to reuse the joists and floor boards to put a dry floor int a dirt floored, spider infested shed. The first job was evicting spiders!
There was enough to do the floor, and line part of the walls, the iron for the roof came off another old shed we don’t need, more lining came from a demolished enormous corner TV unit…
The roof used to leak….
The blind is an old one from the house, saved from landfill, and I’ll use up a few sample pots to give it all a bit of colour and also protect the wood from the elements, although it’s a bit late for that in places – the enormous hole in the roof led to a rotting window frame. I went shopping for putty to fix the loose glass, and discovered that it’s been replaced with a silicon product! Who knew?
The upgraded shed will be home for my son’s cat for a year or so (we have to put up an enclosure for him yet), after that it might be an off grid guest cottage for the brave.
I’m in Halls Gap this week, doing a workshop with Keith Lo Bue as part of Grampians Texture 2017. 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday is spent in the classroom learning what to make of Precious Little, the rest I aim to spend enjoying some solitude and the beauty of the place.
The Gap is, unsurprisingly, in a valley. The challenge this week is Atop, so I am showing you what is “atop” the surrounding hills (mountains, officially…) – rocks, trees, and this afternoon, a few wisps of cloud to remind us that autumn really is coming, even though the daytime temperatures are still reaching 30C.
The last thing I made today is a neckpiece with lichen atop an empty (and now artfully mangled) mints tin. The assignment was to use only three things (one from a nature walk, one from an exchange of “stuff” and one we’d brought along). No glue, no extra elements…but whatever techniques we liked. We had no idea we’d be trying to wear the stuff we picked up, from the walk or the exchange table, so there were some extraordinary and quite lovely creations by the end of the class today. Tomorrow…something completely different!
Share a wish…I could have found more iterations of this wish for peace love and empathy, but three seems like enough for now. The yellow background piece is a page from an artist scrapbook I made some years ago – lots of bits of junk and scraps of paper went into it, and it was great fun to make. You can see it here.
The rocks I collected over a period of time – “freedom” and “rock’n’roll” are in there too, and I wish I had more of both.
The last image was done digitally, using an art programme the kids had. It was fun, but frustrating trying to draw with the mouse. Much more sophisticated versions are available now, and that programme is well and truly out of date now, but I’m glad I thought to print this one off to keep.
I’ve found a rock with “Love” carved into it since taking the first photo, so that’s at least one wish fulfilled. I also wish someone would come and do my dusting…