Saturday, April 30, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS ~ A New Discovery

Too tired to go on, we went off the beaten track into the backwoods
of the Ottway ranges following a sign to a remote B&B.
The sky was threateningly overcast, evening was drawing nigh
although it was only mid-afternoon.

Way up a dirt track we found it. The erstwhile garden overgrown
with rampant blackberries . . . the owners were as far removed from
gardeners as you could get, yet here and there was historical
evidence of another hand.Some late dahlia heads sought the light
through blackberry tangles and this, to me totally new creeper
shone lanterns of pink into the gathering gloom.

At first, and from a distance, it had the look of a passionfruit ,
yet when I had braved an overgrown ditch where someone had
attempted to cut up a fallen branch with a chainsaw but had
given up and left the logs in the tall grass to trip up strange
wanderers, I came near enough to snap a flower through a
gap in the general disarray.

Is it a relative of the Clematis? I have no books at hand to
investigate . . . does anyone know it more personally than I
who have stumbled on it per chance? It is quite large, approx.
4" across and 6" dangling.

My computer desperately needs a drink and it's lifeline is in
the car, it is also 3 o'clock in the morning and cold outside.

So farewell from your foreign correspondent for now . . .

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SkyWatch ~ A most Romantic Sunset

The little cove at Second Valley, South Australia, is one of those
special places on this Earth. Delightful any time of day but when
the sun sets, well, there is a feeling that is hard to fathom . . .

the sky and sea turn into fluid gold.

I noticed this couple sitting night after night quietly regarding
the spectacle of the sinking sun. They just sat here or there,
while the gold merged into, first the pinks

then orange, heralding the finale

of the sun melting into the sea

and still the couple sat . . .

Do forgive me for not visiting, I am still well away from my service
provider and will do my best on my return.
I do so appreciate signs of life from my dear bloggy friends . . .

All photos enlarge and if you click on the Logo, you will hit the mother lode and
be able to join in or just appreciate this great meme.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

World Bird & Watery Wednesday ~ All at Sea

These were taken yesterday in Kingston, South Australia on
the shore of The Great Southern Ocean.

A soaring seagull . . .

the mighty Southern Ocean , look straight ahead over the edge
of the horizon and you can see the penguins tapping their feet on

Stars in the sky, stars in my eye, and stars in the dark pool
of the deep blue sea.

Yesterday was your 53 anniversary, we celebrated with a
fresh from the sea two pound lobster on the eve and a
mountain of king prawns and wine in crystal glasses in the
park for lunch. The rest I may share with you another time.

Enlarge if you dare, the stars may blind you.

Have fun, click on both relevant Logos and fly the skies of dive into the waters
but whatever you do, enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS ~ Sharp and Dreamy

Hallo my friends, I do hope you will comment if briefly, I
will do my best to reciprocate and certainly visit but, for a
while commenting will literally be a pain since some unknown
thing has happened to one of my vertebra which inhibits typing.
Please don't leave me to languish in interpixie darkness.

* * * *

Some things in life are sharp as a tack, like this beautiful
double Hibiscus found in a Tumby Bay garden.

Others are soft and dreamy and lead to introspection, like this
humble geranium transformed by light into the guise of a peony.

Both are equally valid and necessary for a balance life.

They also both enlarge for your convenience.

Do join TODAY'S FLOWERS so we have more wonders to admire,
just click on the Logo and you are there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SkyWatch ~ Sunset & Eye Candy

These photos are back to front but, after all, this is a SkyWatch
post so the sky comes first. Sunset at the Tea Tree Plaza in
Modbury where I dashed in to pick up my new glasses.

Sunset and shade sails reflected in the windows of the escalator

and looking East . . . camera first, shopping left standing at car,
your's truly trying to capture the wonder of the clouds before it
faded. Just one shot before it was too late.

A few hours earlier, going for a check up at Modbury Hospital,
I stopped for a few minutes to catch my breath since it was up
hill going and entered the inner sanctum of a small walled garden
at the entrance. A haven of tranquility and autumn beauty.

The chairs had gathered fallen leaves and dust but who would
want to brush this beauty away?

The sky just peeked through the gleaming leaves

and those on the ground were spot-lit by the golden sun.

Looking out the glass door of one of the waiting rooms.

Great compensation for visiting a hospital.

All photos enlarge as ever.

Click on the Logo and do join in to all the fun at SkyWatch.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nature Notes ~ A Walk on the Beach

This is Second Valley in South Australia, a tiny horseshoe bay
with a short but, at high tide, a deep mooring place. There is a
white sand beach with interesting rocks and rounded green hills
around. The fishing is good and the play of light on sea and shore
quite spectacular. On top of all, the water is crystal clear right
to the deep depth at the end of the jetty.

A perfect place to sketch with charcoal from an old camp fire
on the beach

or go exploring along the rocky outcrops as the tide is going out.

Wildflowers inhabit any crevice they find and

limpets and other much smaller tidal sea creatures cling to
the rocks. These tiny invertebrates are less than one tenth
of an inch and smaller (click to enlarge), I could barely recognise
them and I was wearing glasses.

Flat, rounded stones that your hands just itch to fondle and
take pocket-fulls home. I resisted, but just barely. These days
my collecting is done by camera.

The striations on the rocks and the vegetation are enchanting,

as are the bees and butterflies.

and the view is a pure dream.

Thank you Michelle of Rambling Woods for this most gentle of memes.

Do click on the Logo and join in.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Crested Pigeon and Tweetie

Oh what it is to wake up in the morning and be serenaded by a
tiny tweetie with a very loud trilling. He kept on and on, first
from the vantage point of the grapevine on the pergola directly
outside my window, then across a tiny bit of lawn into a rosebush -
more trilling. I got up, grabbed my camera and snuck outside, he
was not best pleased and flew across the yard to a faraway bush.
Rats! thought I as I stood in the shade of the rose arch - but then,
wonder of wonders, after trilling in the Melaleuca bush, he flew
right back onto the grapevine and gave me a full blast of his
wonderful song. Such a little bird with such a big voice.
I have a flock of them in the garden and at this time of the year
they seem to think it is mating time, although it is autumn there
is probably still time to raise a family before the cold weather comes.

Yellow-Rumped Thornbill, Acanthiza chrysorrhoa, 11-13 cm

Dawn at Second Valley, South Australia, in front of the verandah
of the hired house we stayed in, a perfect perch for a pair of
Crested Pigeons, Ocyphaps lophotes, to warm themselves up
after a cold and windy night.

We look this way and that way, and then we fly away . . . .

For lots of flapping wings, check out World Bird Wednesday by
clicking on the Logo.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My World ~ Colourful Autumn

Autumn is putting on her colourful coat, the pin-oaks are glowing
in gold and red and lighting up our park.

Spiders are madly spinning webs to provide food for their tiny
offspring when they hatch.

In the village, the old bank is being restored back into a family
residence. Leaves of the plane trees are blowing on the footpath.

Overhead, the still warm rays of the sun light up the colours
on the plane tree

and thrill me with their multi-coloured finery.

This was my world today, you can enlarge it if you wish.

MY WORLD is a great fun meme, I hope you all join in.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS ~ Helpful Insect

A late autumn rose with a friendly, helpful Praying Mantis.

Well, perhaps just a little camera shy.

How kind, she actually posed for a photo. . . just look at those
great bedroom eyes, beats Omar Sharif!

OK, I've had enough now.

They all enlarge so you can see me better.

TODAY'S FLOWERS is sponsored by Luiz Santilli Jr, it's great fun so click on the Logo and join in.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ What do I do When . . .

What do you do when you can't sleep on holidays by the sea?
You get up and photograph . . .

What do you do at the beach when Shadow Shot Sunday comes
up? Shadows hit your eyes and . . . SNAP!

What do you do when you are stiff from driving hundreds of
miles and there are a few hundred more?? You stop at a play-
ground, have some fun and a shadow photo opportunity

and what do you do when sleep escapes you at home? You
guessed it! Just grab your camera.

Thank you Tracy at HEY HARRIET for hosting this meme.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SkyWatch ~ Arno Bay Sunset

The sunset across the bay looked quite promising

until the clouds rolled in and put a damper on the proceedings.

Luckily a few holes appreared

that added some interest after all.

They are a bit better enlarged . . .

Thank you SkyWatch team for providing this venue.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nature Notes ~ Locust Plague and Sudden Autumn Colour

Autumn has settled in, temperatures have plummeted, rose
hips are gleaming here and there on the verges of paddocks.
The birds are enjoying hawthorn berries. It all sounds
so tranquil,

the resident huntsman in the living room enjoys the warmth
of the wireless internet router,

but not all has been an unmitigated pleasure. At the end of
summer there was a major locust plague. The swarms were
aerially sprayed yet not eradicated. We did not have enough
to demolish our pastures but certainly more than I bargained
for. The first wave stripped all the leaves off our broad beans
and damaged a number of other plants. Thankfully, they left
the citrus trees intact.

Unfortunately they came again while we were away and stripped
all the leaves from all my grapevines that provide shade for the
front and back of the house and were full of ripening fruit.
With the loss of the leaves, the green fruit also fell robbing
both us and our visiting birds of a delicious food source.

Then there were the crickets in unmentionable numbers,
invading the house and taking their toll on the vegetation.
On top of that, the grasshoppers were also out in force.

On a lighter note, I found this beautiful Dragon fruit at our
farmers' market.

The first mouthful was very sweet but the flavour became rather
nondescript after a few spoonfuls. It is the fruit of a cactus and I
got a piece to strike as well. In a couple of years I may have a few
fruit to brighten up my fruit basket. Even if the taste is nothing
spectacular, it is high in vitamin C.

My pomegranates have turned colour and the fruit glows
like a ruby in it's golden setting.

The pin-oaks are providing extra colour in the park.
I will have to go out and capture the wonders of the changing
colours for you to enjoy with me as soon as we get a sunny day.

Enlarge if you wish, the pomegranate is worth it.

Thanks to Michelle at Rambling Woods we can air our observations in this meme.

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