Weekly Photography Challenge: Oooh Shiny!

One of the attractions of photography is trying to capture those Oooh Shiny! moments for posterity, or perhaps to share with someone else who would have been equally distracted (and still can be, thanks to you and your camera).

Yesterday morning I had plans in place to wash walls in preparation for painting…but there was ‘good’ frost, so the plans went on the backburner for a while. I had to go and feed my son’s cat, and I kept my focus long enough to feed him before I got waylaid by icy cactus spines, dewdrops (almost gave up on that one, the camera wouldn’t stay focused…) and violets that looked like they’re frosted with sugar.

I finished my painting this afternoon, so I didn’t get distracted for too long…

Weekly Photography Challenge: Focus

Getting things in focus is not the challenge it used to be, what with autofocus to save the photographer even thinking about it. Of course, there are times when the photographer and the camera don’t agree about where to focus, and that’s when “manual” comes in handy…No manual focus on the phone camera, but a tap on the screen should convince it of where you want the focus to be – unless you move it a bit…

I love the shadows we get at my daughter’s here in Canberra – the house is surrounded by trees and the sun slants in low. I’m not sure if this is in focus or not, because it’s so fuzzy and blurry anyway.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Solitude

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…img_1119-large

Weekly Photography Challenge: Names

What’s in a name? Well it helps if everyone agrees what it is, and this week it’s the subject for the Weekly Photography Challenge. Today we are on our way to Canberra to pick up our daughter and granddaughter for a little holiday and family time. We’ve had a few stops on the way for cups of tea, coffee and Hibiscus and Lime (it’s hot today). I’ve had my eye out for photogenic names –

We’ve been stopping at the little park in Tarnagulla for years , but it’s the first time I’ve seen a name for it- the sign looks new. The monument there is engraved with the names of the men who went from the area to fight in World Wars I and II – hence the name for the park. Elmore’s miniature train runs alongside our next picnic spot. We’ve taken Juniper there, but it’s hard to get away again! Another stop in Maroopna for a cold drink, and I snapped this picnic table – I’ve no idea what the name means. Another stop (It’s a long drive!) for coffee in Wangaratta, and another sign – not a name, but a fair warning to park visitors to watch their steps! The lady sitting reading didn’t seem very fussed by it.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Resilient

The first weekly photography challenge for the new year is “Resilient”. Anything in my garden would fit the description, since whatever is still thriving after many dry years is clearly tough, but these onion orchids are special.

The flowers are tiny – only 2 or 3 mm – and the seeds are like dust. They are an endemic plant that “just grow’d”, originally in a hanging basket, appearing one year in amongst exotic Sempervivums. I presume that they blew in on the wind. I now have them in several pots, and they have flowered discretely for months now. They evidently enjoy regular watering, and in their native habitat there will be hundreds growing together in damp places like streamsides, reappearing in winter so long as the autumn rains arrive.

I have seen them growing in roadside gardens, their slender green stems popping up among the official planting, thriving on neglect, resilient and adaptable.May we humans be as resilient and adaptable in the face of the challenges and adventures of the new year!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Tiny

I’ve always been fascinated by and collected tiny things, but rather than take photos of my miniatures for this weeks Photography Challenge, I went into the garden to find tiny flowers. The ornamental grape is just coming into flower (a month late), and in a week or so the garden will be filled with its perfume, and with bees. The plant is large, but it’s flowers are minute and very numerous.

There’s a Cecile Brunner rambler rose mingled with the vine – they flower at the same time, and their perfumes blend in the air. The roses are perfect miniatures on a very large plant, the arching canes being metres long, right over the top of the pergola.

More tiny things in my garden – a prickly little Juniper bonsai, Lobelias flourishing in a hanging basket, a dainty Aquilegia flower, and a spike of tiny onion orchid (Michrotis sp) flowers.  The orchid is an endemic species, which “just growed” in another hanging basket one year, and has self-seeded into other containers in my garden.The tiny flowers are barely 1mm long, and I’d need a microscope to see them properly!

Weekly photography Challenge: Chaos

I’m in the process of moving 15 years accumulation of art supplies from the sunroom studio out to the shed studio, inspired by an increasingly mobile and curious grandchild to remove all those interesting and possibly hazardous things from her sight and reach. This process has produced plenty of chaos for this weeks photography challenge!

I found the Martha Beck quote scrawled on an index card, appropriately, amidst the chaos of the old order.

Meanwhile, in the garden, a much more pleasant version of chaos. I read a quote somewhere from a children’s book writer who said that a good story needs a balance of “chaos and control”, and I firmly believe the same rule applies to gardens!