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…

Weekly Photography Challenge: Ambience

This week has whizzed past so fast, it’s already Friday, and almost time for the next photography challenge. But for now, the challenge is still to portray Ambience, an environment that encourages a particular mood or feeling – almost invariably it means a good feeling.

Ararat’s Alexandra Gardens have a long history in the town. The green lawns, European shade trees and small lake have made it a popular spot for picnics for generations, and the public pool at the Western end was a magnet in summer. In recent years the community fought to keep and upgrade the aging pool. As part of the renewal, there is now a cafe attached to the pool complex, with tables and chairs spilling out across the grass in the shade of the big old oak trees. The ambience is perfect for a leisurely cup of coffee on a sunny afternoon. Or morning. Or evening –  it’s open early until late!

For some extra ambience…I love this song – enjoy.

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

Weekly Photography Challenge: Cherry on Top

A cherry on top isn’t necessary, but it makes a good thing even better. As a theme for the weekly photography challenge, I find it, well, challenging. Most of the week has flown past, and I’m still thinking about it! I’ve decide to share images of our grand daughters with Bryan – and of cake. There are no cherries on these cakes, but one lot has tiny Oreo biscuits, and the other has Tim Tams, so that’s probably even better, really!

Juniper is a couple of years older than Matilda, but they are both around 6 months in this pair of photos. I think you can tell that they are cousins, and that Grandpa thinks they are pretty okay.

Fruit trees are shady, they have lovely blossom in spring, and, best of all they make fruit! These peaches and nectarines all grew on seedling trees that “just growed” from compost – better still!

Friday Poem:Hope Springs

alexander in winter

When we moved here over thirty years ago, it rained so much that we would joke about the aptness of the town’s name (Moyston, geddit?). Since then the area of reliable rainfall has slipped slowly to the South, and cropping is no longer the reliable source of income a farmer would like it to be. Last year there was some winter rain followed by a very dry spring and summer, and crops that were ankle high…This year…well, we are hoping.wet weeds

Oh listen to that rain!
Rain all day, all night,
And farmers out all night
Ploughing and seeding and hoping,
Hoping that this time….
This year more rain,
Crops knee high, thigh high
Brimming and full of grain.
Maybe this year will be
A worthwhile harvest.wet succulent

Here are some rainy garden photos – taken after, not during. I hate cold water on the back of my neck…The middle one shows an impressive lot of seedlings – about half of which are nettles. Luckily my late German friend Regina taught me to appreciate them as food!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Dinnertime

We went for a walk on the weekend, visiting a large pond frequented by a variety of waterbirds, including Coots. They thought we might be offering dinner, so my “dinnertime” challenge was given to me on a plate, as it were…

Canberra is well-endowed with walking tracks (best stay alert for cyclists coming up behind though!), and they lead to things like playgrounds and this pond, which is where storm-water ends up (if it ever rains, that is). A little lock at the other end catches rubbish and keeps it out of the broad expanse of silvery water. We saw a spoon-bill later – too far off to get a photo, unfortunately,  but we could see it gracefully sweeping its bill from side to side as it hunted it’s dinner. It was midday, but when I was growing up, “dinner’ was the noon meal, with “tea” in the evening – even if “dinner” was a Vegemite sandwich and “tea” meat and three veg.

We didn’t have anything for the hopeful Coots, so they had to find their own.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Dance

I’m baaack – this weeks challenge topic is Dance – however we want to interpret it. I have been distracted for the past couple of weeks with the lead-up and aftermath of my 60th birthday party – which had a punk rock dress-up theme, and featured  Ararat’s 90’s punk and alternative cover band, Kerplunk. They were awesome, and although many adults were too shy/overawed to get up and dance, the kids were right into it.

My grand daughter Juniper makes a very good punk grrrl – all toddlers a little bit punk rock from time to time! Madeline wore a fairy dress, but we converted her by the end of the night. The cake is one of the two Zoe baked for the occasion – this one was rose flavoured, and she had the idea for the frosting at the last minute. It worked spectacularly well, my two favourite colours dancing together, and forming roses all over the top of the cake. Matt and Zoe did a brilliant job of vegan catering for the night.

Meanwhile, in the garden, we were blessed with some actual rain last week, which has woken up autumn flowering plants, and set them dancing! And for the record, here’s a pic of me and others) on the big night, in front of the photo background I painted for the party. It was well used on the night, and definitely added to the atmosphere. Matt Harris, Juniper’s dad took all these photos, as I was a bit busy…IMG_7674 (Large)