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: Nostalgia – In The Pines

negs-set-2csAs I was walking my daughter’s dog last week, I wandered over to a stand of pines, picked a sprig and sniffed it _”Ah, Pine tree!”, and, to my surprise, immediately burst into tears. When I was little, my Dad spent his days slicing pine logs into boards, and that smell both brought him to life and reminded me that he died recently. So, the weekly photography challenge theme is “Nostalgia”, and my answer is “In the pines”.

Monterey pines were widely planted (in plantations) in Victoria in the fifties, and there was a plantation near home – The Piney, or “Plan pinetation”, as my little brother called it. The trees were cut down (harvested) by the Forest Commission , and then Dad would go out and collect his logs, using the old Blitz crane.s

I didn’t take this photo – it’s about as old as I am. Mum gave me some old negatives, because I was looking for old photos of Dad’s Commer truck. I didn’t have a proper film scanner, but thought it was worth trying the ordinary flatbed scanner and found it worked fairly well, so long as the images weren’t too light (meaning the negs are dark). I recently did some editing of the image, as I’d decided to have it printed on canvas, as a memento of Dad.

Canberra is blessed with many walking tracks, and the one near my daughter’s home passes through a ‘tunnel’ of pine trees. I took the camera for a walk to them, for these nostalgic pine tree images. They bring back memories of a day when Dad took several kids, including two boys who were vising my aunt, and we all spent the day out in the pines playing while Dad collected his logs. I remember beating out primitive rhythms on a granite tor with thick pine sticks, and flattening one of the visiting boys with a rugby tackle. I guess I was about 11. In retrospect, it wasn’t an ideal childcare arrangement, but we all survived, even that unfortunate boy…

And here’s a little more nostalgia…aka In The Pines.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Warmth

It’s been a busy week, since we’ve had lot’s of visitors staying with us for our delayed cactus-themed Christmas celebration. Having a lively fifteen-month old grandchild in the house certainly keeps everybody on their toes and occupied for all her waking hours! This week’s Photography Challenge theme is “Warmth”, and it’s going to be warm here today – around 40C, which is 104F – so it seems appropriate to post it today!

My daughter Lucie made cactus Christmas crackers with help from Alex, and I supplied them with a variety of flowers. I’ve been saving stray artificial flowers from my volunteer job at an op shop/thrift store for some time, with a view to making a flower crown, but for Christmas, they crowned the cacti with their warm and pretty colours. We know it’s warm when the cicadas emerge to sing in the sunshine, and I was lucky enough to find this big fellow last week while he was low enough in the Allocasuarina for me to get some photos before he flew off. We had a BBQ tea one night, 8 adults and 1 Juniper around the table in the garden on a warm evening, with bunting fluttering in the breeze – and us fending of the hungry mosquitoes…After her bath one night, Juni was sporting an excellent Mohawk hairstyle, with a game of cricket on the TV in the background. Warm summer days go together like…warm summer days and cricket!

I wish everybody a healthy and happy New Year, even though it’s hard to believe that another one has come around again already!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Angular

The challenge this week is ‘angular’, and as usual, the theme is open to interpretation. One could choose an unusual POV for an odd angle on a subject, find multiple angles in architecture, or simply a street corner.

 

A couple of weeks ago, I walked along this lane in Ararat – it’s behind the shops and hotels of the main street, and in thirty years, I’d never found occasion to go there, although I crossed it many times to visit my friend in Banksia Street. The back-ends of perfectly respectable and ordinary businesses show a quite different angle of the town…I particularly liked the little old toilet building – not sure what it’s behind. I went there on a Sunday afternoon to check out a new enterprise called “Back to Cool” which has opened, selling old wares and collectibles in the lane, and I was so taken with the novel views that I pulled out my camera. You can see in the second photo , that the lane running down from Barkley st, past the Court House Hotel, is itself on a steep angle! A good fitness challenge to hurry up there!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Achievement

Another tricky theme this week for the Weekly Photography Challenge – Achievement! I certainly haven’t run any marathons, but I do have five (grown) children, which is probably tougher. It certainly takes longer – I’m not sure where the finish line would be…I didn’t choose motherhood for my photos this week, though.

In February this year, our iconic local Hall celebrated it’s centenary, with a lot of help from us, the tiny, hardworking Moyston Hall Committee. The building was erected by the local community – much larger back then. One of the first functions was to farewell local lads who were off to join the ANZACs, not that any of them had any idea what they were in for…1914 committee (Medium)

This is the 1914 committee, and it wasn’t even Movember!

Our Hall has a proper raked stage and proscenium arch, even though it is quite tiny, and the acoustics and dance floor are excellent – some achievements of the original builders. The original bench seats are still there. Some of them are not the best, but it seems wrong to part with them after all this time. Thousands of cups of tea and coffee have been served from the kitchen (not the original, which was a dark affair with a copper in the corner – less than thirty years ago). The new kitchen is another achievement of our community! One wall is adorned with portraits of early settlers, some of them wrongly named over the years. They were researched as much as possible in the lead-up to the Centenary, and that information, along with a history of the Hall and some photos we managed to track down of events over the years, went into a book which was printed with the help of a grant and sold to everyone interested.

The weekend of the Centenary saw the Hall packed for the book launch (and afternoon tea – I think we made another hundred or so cuppas). All the memorabilia we had gathered was on display all weekend, and on the Saturday night, we had a Ball. A popular local duo – Parso and Dave – provided the music, everyone dressed up and had a really good time. I think the last few guests left around 2 am, with us old people waiting to lock up and go home to bed. The whole weekend was a major achievement for a small rural community!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Refraction

The theme of this weeks challenge (or inspiration!) is ‘Refraction’. Literally that means ‘splitting’, I think, but it generally refers to the splitting of white light into the colours of the spectrum, otherwise known as ‘the rainbow’. I have a lot of pictures in my files of the rainbow colours thrown around rooms by various prisms of ‘crystal’ hanging in sunny windows,

and my first thought was to search out some of them.refraction 1 However, I was having one of those cleaning and reorganising mornings, which led to having a bright, shiny cut-crystal sherry glass in my hand, and… refraction 3 refraction 2

 

I also had an iris ready to pose for me. Iris is the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, so its a good fit for ‘refraction’. The petals (and sepals!) glitter in sunlight with tiny specs of rainbow colour, which I hoped to capture better than I did…

Maybe next time!