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.
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.
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!
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!
Without shadows, what would we know about light? This thought occurred to me when learning tonal drawing, in which the shadows give shape to everything. A Japanese paper lantern casts just enough light to bring form into the darkness. Morning and evening are the best time for shadows, I think. The sunlight comes at a slant, casting interesting patterns on the curtains at my windows.I chose to layer a black gridded fabric behind a white curtain, just for the way it would look with the sun behind it, along with a dream catcher and other beaded pieces. Late in the day, a peach tree embellishes the striped shadow of a Venetian blind.
Cats are notorious for their love of sunbeams, but in this case, Morgen sat beside it, in the shadows, so that she stands out against a blaze of light. You’d almost think she did it on purpose !
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…