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: New Horizon

This week’s challenge – to show a goal or resolution, a “new horizon” – brought to my mind the Robert W. Service poem with the words

“Have you ever stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
The vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
still mocks you the Land of Beyond.”

I would have first read it in Douglas Bader’s biography, well over 4o years ago, but I remembered most of it still. Maybe it’s depressing that there is always more to strive for, or perhaps humbling (which might be the same thing for some people..). Service refers to the Land of Beyond as mocking, but I prefer to think it is simply there, calling us on to reach a new goal and not rest on one’s laurels for too long.

I’ve got a few “goals” for 2017, I just have to find images…A mixed media workshop for 4 days in March, with Keith Lo Bue as my teacher, helping out as grandchild 3 makes his or her appearance mid-year, and then, hopefully, a return trip to the Pacific North West in our spring. That seems like enough for now…

Here is a selection of PNW horizons from our last trip, which we hope to see again before the year is out. There are sights we missed that need to be added on my far horizon – sea stacks and beaches of the Olympic Peninsula, more time with Mt St Helens on the horizon, and big old trees in the Hoh Rainforest…

And after we get back home…another horizon to aim for, I’m sure.

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!

Weekly photography Challenge: Transmogrify

This week’s challenge theme has a magical vibe – Transmogrify – which means “to change in appearance or form”, although not necessarily by magic…I guess caterpillars do it when they change into butterflies or moths, and that would have been a wonderful subject if one had obliged me at short notice. No such luck!

Instead, I have taken some photos of the Junk Charm Bracelets I make, and some of the bits and pieces I pick up to Transmogrify into charms.

If you look at the charms, you will see washers, small nuts, buttons, a hairclip and electrical connectors (not the real name…), along with beads and other pieces from broken jewelry and a couple of purchased charms. I acquired a collection of odd teenage doll shoes at the oppy/thrift store where I volunteer – I intercepted them before they could reach the bin- so more recent bracelets include some sort of little shoe. It was a simple matter to make a hole and thread the shoe onto a jump ring – transforming a bit of junk into a charm. “Repurposed detritis”, as my tag says!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Shine

I do like shiny things (and rusty things, as it happens), and I annoy my husband by stopping to pick up shiny bits and pieces in public places (what will people think! Don’t care – it’s shiny, and if it’s got a hole in it, all the better). So I have collection of things that shine, but I hadn’t necessarily taken photos, until this challenge suggested it.

A lot of things I’ve picked up have gone into (onto?) junk charm bracelets. That’s my own one. The tiny disc I’ve placed ‘up’ is a Chinese coin I found on our  dirt road after exceptionally heavy rain. Maybe it was dropped by a Chinese miner during the Gold Rush, or maybe a school kid lost it on the way to Show and Tell…I’ll never know. It’s so worn that the design on it is impossible to decipher. In the shadow box is a glittery piece of shattered glass, and below that, my two dichroic glass rings, which, on separate occasions, winked and shone at me so desperately, I had to buy them.

Then we have three things that shine and which caught my eye. The red lid is a child’s toy, without it’s pot, the hammered copper is the remains of a necklace, and the little Scots thing seems to be handmade and missing some of it’s feathers.All a bit broken, all quite lovely (and shiny).

Weekly Photography Challenge: Local

The prompt for the Weekly Photography Challenge this time is “Local”, which I took as something nearby to home, although there’s a long tradition of The Local being The Local Pub. Our tiny hamlet doesn’t have a pub, although it did for many years. It had closed before we came here (over 30 years ago) and the building burnt down one night when it was a private home. So, no local pub! But we do have our local Hall, which has served the community as a gathering, meeting, party venue for over a century.

We had a celebration for the centenary in 2014, which is when I took these photos. I and another photographer spent some time taking photos of interesting details – like the hand-made “Exit” sign – some of which were used in a book of the Hall’s history. The pictures on the wall are of Moyston pioneers, some of the people who settled the district in the late nineteenth century.The other two photos are from the book launch and the afternoon tea that followed.hall-cement

Right now, the Hall is undergoing a much need upgrade – that brick bit in the corner is the old toilets. They were a vast improvement on the original pan toilet (ie a metal bucket placed under a wooden seat in a tiny shed, no lights), but 40 or 50 years later, they were inaccessible for some and just tired for everyone else. It took some effort and several applications, but we gained State Government funding and early next year, the Moyston Hall will reopen with lovely new accessible toilets, improved storage, restored historic stage and dressing rooms, and all abilities access via a new frontage on the supper room – which is what that cement truck and attendant workers are doing this morning.

We are all looking forward to our new improved local hall!

 

Weekly Photography Challenge: H2O

The theme for the Photography Challenge this time is H2O, or as it’s friends usually call it, water. Water is vital and pretty much everywhere, taking on various forms from clouds and fog through to snow and ice, so the possibilities are as vast as…well, the ocean (see what I did there?)

I’ve been in Canberra for a couple of weeks (back home now), our national capital, which is like a country town on steroids, but with more politicians. The city is laid our around the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, which was formed by the damming of a small river. The lake provides pleasant walking tracks and views across it’s cool silvery surface. On Sunday we enjoyed a little of it, close to the famous Old Bus Depot Market. Here are three Canberra landmarks, seen across the lake,img_0141s

The Telstra tower on Black Mountain gives the place a futuristic vibe, and can be seen for miles around.img_0142s

I’m not sure of it’s official title, but the bells in the tower were pealing away merrily when I took this photo.img_0140s

Another monument- this one the Australian-American Memorial, built in the 1950’s to acknowledge the suffering and sacrifices of Australian and American servicemen in WWII.img_0139s

There is a lot of new housing – apartment blocks interlaced with cafes – being build around the shores of the lake, complete with canals, bridges and boat parking. Kind of Venetian, kind of not, but very pleasant for a Sunday stroll beside the water. Jerrabomberra Wetlands are nearby, for the delight of anyone who enjoys watching water birds go about their business.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Quest

Every week, the Photography Challenge sends me on a quest to find images that fit in with the week’s challenge – this week, that challenge is – Quest!. I’m staying at my daughter’s place in Canberra, cat and dog minding while they visit family back in Perth. If grand daughter Juniper was here, I’m sure I’d get some brand new pics of a quest to a playground, (with which Canberra is well supplied) but instead I’m sharing these from a few weeks ago. Juniper adores trains, she has a growing collection of engines from the Thomas stories, and she’s had rides on several miniature railways.

But this was her first real V-Line train ride, and it was exciting! I took this set of photos before we’d even left Ararat station on out quest to Melbourne. We had a ride on a suburban train later, but by then, the novelty had worn off, and she was much less impressed…img_8263edit

This photo is from April – she has even more trains now, and she knows and loves every one of them, but she’s always happy to go on an engine quest to a toy shop for more!

Weekly photography Challenge: Edge

This week, an image from the edge is the Photography Challenge. Last week I was in Brunswick for a few days (Brunswick is edgy, ask anyone!), where I took this photo of Ironbark trees growing in the middle of the narrow street. Both edges were lined with cars at the time.edge-5

On Monday, we had to make a trip to Ballarat, about one hours drive from home. There’s been plenty of rain this winter, and the countryside is very damp and green. There are plenty of edges in these photos, taken from the passenger seat as we drove. The edge of the road, of the paddocks, of the railway line in the distance and the brimming farm dam…

Since then we’ve had continual rain, a phenomenon we haven’t experienced in this part of the world for many years. Everything is very soggy underfoot, dams that were almost empty are now overflowing. And the bottom edge of our property is under water!img_9800edit