Weekly Photography Challenge: Heritage

My Dad was an inveterate collector, obsessed with the rich heritage of Regency England’s gunmakers. He was famous amongst the arcane circle of gun collectors for his encyclopedic knowledge of the guns, their makers and their wealthy, titled owners. As a boy he loved pirate stories, and tales of derring-do, which morphed and grew as the years went by. He always excused his expensive habit as “investment”, which has proved true. Most have them have been sold now, which is rather sad, but inevitable.

I didn’t inherit Dad’s  passion for “Old Guns”, but I definitely have the collector gene, if there is one…None of my collections are going to realise much fiscal value in years to come, but that’s not the point. I like tracking down and looking at this stuff!

Some things I collect become parts of mixed media art – such as the wind-chime I made from a bit of  a broken coffee plunger and a lot of detritus. Then there’s vintage orange plastic (sometimes I buy green, too, but mainly orange), coloured glass (seen alongside a Russian samovar, which was Dad’s, not sure why he bought it!), vintage textiles, which I actually use, eventually, and a shelf of books about Kurt Cobain/Nirvana. Oh, and fake plastic (and ceramic) cacti, because…why not?

Weekly Photography Challenge: Reflecting

Time for reflecting this week – and once again the week is running away from me.

Our lounge room is quite small, so a collection of mirrors hangs above the fireplace to make it seem bigger and brighter – lots of reflections there! IMG_1754editcrop

Our local Hall has been upgraded recently – nice new toilets, better kitchen facilities, all-abilities access. The fine old floor in the main Hall had a makeover, too, with a light sand and refinishing that brings up the colour and makes the floor glow. We are looking forward to dancing on it!

All the old photos were taken down and stored during the upgrade – now the Committee is faced with the task of putting them all back up. The collage of photos of local men and women who served in World War 2 is a subject for reflection of another kind. All these people went off into the unknown to defend the freedoms we take for granted. Fortunately most of them survived and made it back home. I had the pleasure of getting to know some of them, including Cpl Chris Wilton, whose brother lived across the road from us when we moved here over 32 years ago.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Danger

This week’s challenge is about danger – I’m finding there’s a danger that the week will slip past on a banana peel of busy-ness, and I won’t have thought of what to post before the next challenge gets to my mailbox. However, Michelle’s story of disappointingly small, not-very-dangerous looking seed pods reminded me of this street tree in Mt Hawthorn, Perth, which I used to walk past every day when my grand daughter Juniper was a new baby. I never saw one of the cones, and wasn’t sorry, since I was aware of their fearsome and deserved reputation. My husband and son once camped where the Bunya Pine is endemic, and got to hear the sickening thud of a cone hitting the ground from a great height.

Last summer, we stopped for a break at a park in Central Victoria – and found a Bunya pine cone on the ground. Green and full of sap, it was heavy enough to do serious damage, and covered in sharp spines, just in case. The “leaves” are also well armoured, but that didn’t stop a cockatoo from chopping it off. It is now dry, much lighter and smaller, but I still wouldn’t like one to hit me…Why municipalities decided to plant them as street trees, or even in public parks, is a mystery to me, although I guess it was back in the days when playground equipment carried the added excitement of real and present danger to life and limb, and litigiousness was unheard of.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Wanderlust

If someone would hurry up and invent a reliable, working Tardis, I would feel much more inclined to travel, because there would be no packing, or tickets and hotels to book, just the fun parts…so long as there were no Daleks, Cybermen et al, of course. Meantime, my wanderlust is largely about family excursions, and trips to visit family. It’s now 5 1/2 years since we took off to the Pacific North West for a whole month of packing, tickets and hotels, ticking a few things off a list that keeps growing.

Our internet at home was off for a month or more before the trip, which made research difficult or impossible, so we missed out on some things and didn’t get quite enough of others – which is why we “need” to wander back across the Pacific and have another go. The weirdest thing for me was that the midday sun was on the wrong side. I didn’t see the northern stars at all, so that’s another thing that wants fixing….

We missed going to SAM ( the only day we had free it was closed), didn’t get to walk in the Hoh Rainforest, or see sea stacks, left Aberdeen one day before the B52’s were to play at the D&R Theatre (too late for that one…), our visit to Mt St Helens was way too brief, but awesome anyway. There are wildlife places we could have visited, if only we’d known, so clearly we do “need” to go back and have another (better informed) wander in Washington State

Weekly Photography Challenge: Earth

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.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Surprise

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.IMG_1359small

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.IMG_1361small

 

 

Weekly Photography Challenge: Security

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…