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.
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.
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.
Oh, if only…the photography challenge is to portray solitude, but my biggest challenge is finding some…A wander with the camera in hand is a small refreshing taste of solitude for me, and I found these solitary ladies hanging about in my veggie patch. Apologies to any arachnophobes…
We have a number of agave plants ( my eldest planted a cacti garden before leaving home…). They have flowered a number of times, although not every year. There is just one this time, and it’s a giant. The flowers are just beginning to open, and the local Wattlebird Gang is moving in to lay claim to all of its bounty. They probably use at least half the calories they consume from the nectar on chasing away other birds…
One month already gone- it whizzed by, probably because we’ve had various family members staying, and/or been travelling for most of the time since Christmas day, and time flies when you’re having fun…
So, to this weeks photography challenge – Repurpose. As an artist and as a “greenie”, I’m often looking for ways to reuse old stuff, and that’s how I have made an old vernacular building (or bush shed) into a semi-outdoor living space. We call it the Seahorse Saloon.The walls are lined with pieces of old cupboards, the shelves were drawers. Parts of walls were doors or windows. A bedhead is the back of a settee made from a broken pallet, amongst other things. A coat of paint (a hand-me-down tin from a friend) ties everything together, and sets the watery theme. Most of the furniture was sourced in thrift store/op shops.
The miniature bar used to be part of a kitchen cupboard, the end was a door on a different cupboard, the lining boards are so old, no one knows…etc. You get the picture! I’ve had a lot of fun with it, and plan to have a lot more.
Unfortunately, spiders of many species also find the saloon congenial – here one has repurposed the ears of an old hobby horse into a spider house….Eeek!
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!