Sunday, 30 November 2014

Day 334: The web of life...

Day 334: ...and a moon half full

And there is another trip to prepare. Today was a trip to the city to buy specially requested Christmas foods for dear friends. Cake, nuts, etc etc. I also wandered in with a good friend so we did further shopping. Nothing in the way of what we particularly wanted but found things nonetheless. 

I came across another web (and spider) in the garden this morning. These ones I don't mind, and I am forever intrigued by the architecture of webs. Endlessly fascinating. 

The webs we weave
We've got a half moon at the moment too which is just as photogenic as the full moon. This one in the late afternoon (despite the darkish sky) allowed a clear view of the craters. (Note to self: I must find out why a blue sky looks black in these shots...)


My vigoro kit
The nation continues to mourn for the loss of cricketer Phillip Hughes. A twitter tag #putoutyourbats has gone viral. Today would have been his 26th birthday. So sad. My tribute. 

Life. A web. It never ceases to amaze.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 10.20am, 6.41pm; iPhone 6, 10.48am]

Day 333: Bloomin'...

Day 333: ...marvellous

Some days, you really look forward to the time twitter introduces a function to share the fragrances as well as the pictures. Such as with the mock orange, or murraya paniculata.  Some find it a little strong but I quite like it, along with the jasmine and gardenia and frangipani and roses and...

So many lovely fragrances from the garden. Mine has blossomed and the fragrance hits the loungeroom  just on dusk. Lovely. 

Can you smell it?

I also found myself at the cafe today, taking a break from playing. Time for our coffee smoothie which we are yet to name (but we a closing in on the Kidjo, after the singer...we'll see). 

Coffee break

The day closed out with the grand finale concert by QSO Maestro Johannes Fritszch...Mahler 3. Quite a way to close out the day. Indeed, one might say 'bloomin' marvellous'. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 9.53am, 1.09pm]

Friday, 28 November 2014

Day 332: Bursting forth...

Day 332: ...regardless

Off today to help with cleaning up after the storm and getting on with chores that have to wait when I spend much of the time during the week at work. Today was a haircut. Same salon, new premises, $16 increase in cost. Gasp. 

In the suburbs we continued to clean up, friends waited for the power to come on again. Tributes continued to come in from around the world for the young cricketer Phillip Hughes. Strange times. 

A brief break at lunchtime and I was drawn to the backyard (as one often is in such times). The frangipani just keep powering on and today I caught them just in a state of unfurling, or not. Just close-ups with the fruit fone and a little play with cropping...


Look beyond

Into the centre

Magic raindrops

Wound up

Pinks and yellows...

The raindrops added interest too. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 1.27pm-1.30pm]

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Day 331: Stormy weather...

Day 331: ...surreal day

The weather bureau promised rain and a storm today. This morning, the sun was working its way through the cloud cover. There was an artistry about it, perched above the bare branches of the tree next door. Not at all a harbinger of what was to come.

Clouds v sun (with bird, not dust speck)
And while I was seeking out the possum, I chanced upon the surreal appearance of the geisha tree which has just started flowering again. I've not seen it looking quite like this before. I put it down to the light.

Something seemed eerie (no filter, 300mm)

I went to work. The SunCoast. After a meeting, we learnt of the death of young cricketer Phillip Hughes following an on-field accident. It was devastating for his family, his friends and colleagues and so many who enjoy the game of cricket.

I was about to leave for Brisbane in the afternoon when the storm alert came across on the radio and then news of the storm filtered through on twitter. A super-cell swept across the city. Hail, winds, broken windows: the full deal and more. 

I stayed on campus until about 7.00pm in the end. Habits of old already. The storm front moved north to the SunCoast but veered westwards. I was fortunate to have a reasonable run home but people fail to drive to the conditions. And there fireworks just off the highway at Caboolture. Actual fireworks. Home seems relatively untouched. No blackout, no leaves on the ground, no branches adrift, no broken windows...

Looking south from campus
Today, the ABC shone. I came to be a regular 612ABC listener because of the traffic updates and picking the times to travel the Bruce Highway home. The presenters, the producers and other staff are fabulous in these times; they stay back and extend their shifts, they keep us informed; they are, in times like this, indispensable. They are exemplars of a public broadcaster. I thank them and I am thankful for the ABC. #HandsOff

[Camera : iPhone 6, 7.46am, 6.02pm; Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 8.07am]

Day 330: Posted...

Day 330: ...morning glory with bug

I've fallen into that trap again. A day at work, stuck in the office and overlooking the need to get out and about for 15 minutes or so. I've taken one and one only pic today. In the car park at the back of the local shops. 

The morning glory flower always catches my eye. In parts of Australia, I've always understood it to be an invasive weed. It certainly looked like that here. Winding its way around the post. 

In Japan, and specifically Tokyo, it is celebrated in summer with a festival and market, the asagao-ichi where you can go along and buy potted specimens to take home to add colour to window boxes of small aparetments. Consequently, I've always associated the morning glory with sweltering Tokyo summers. 


And now, the local shops. 

I really must make the effort to get out of the office more. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 9.04am]

Day 329: "I may look like an ugly duckling..."

Day 329: "...but one day..."

Tuesday. Tai chi day. Down the Coast in the quest to continue to support and encourage family members in the fine art of tai chi. 

On the way home, I detoured through that European homewares place famous for flatpacks, Swedish meatballs and the floorplan from which you can't emerge in less than 72 minutes, even when you know what you want. 

That's why this post is late. I've just arrived home...

Not really. But I do now have flatpacks in the garage which will, I understand, eventually become the start of beautiful bookshelves to transform my study into a room of bookish richness and warmth. Like that ugly duckling of folklore became a beautiful swan. Or somesuch. 

Not unlike the buds on this jasmine plant. After a long dormant period, the buds are emerging. At the moment, they look a little like the plants from outer space. 

Ready, set...

But soon, they will be glorious, fragrant flowers. Soon. Like my flatpacks will be bookshelves. Soon. 

Bonus desert rose, for the light and shade

[Camera : iPhone 6, 8.57am, 8.58am]

Monday, 24 November 2014

Day 328: On a wing...

Day 328: ...and a flyscreen

Some days, you just get up, get going and plan to rule the world. And then...

And so it was, dear reader, many good plans went awry today. Not the least of which a much-needed haircut, really. Never mind, another day. 

I did have to plan the day around an evening engagement at Parliament House which placed some limitations on what I would normally do. 

As the day progressed, the butcher birds made a return visit, the loris as well and later in the day, the kookaburras. But, at the end of the day (entirely metaphorically, it wasn't really which shows us how  silly that is as sayings go...) it was the crane fly, on the flyscreen, which caught my eye. Its wings (on the tiles) to its spot on the door. It just struck me as something worth catching. 

Kind of interesting...

Lace wings

That's all, really. That is all. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 2.32pm]

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Day 327: On a learning curve...

Day 327: ...having a bit of a butcher's...

If I recall my rhyming slang correctly, we get the idea of "having a butcher's" from a 'butcher's hook' which rhymes with 'look' or somesuch. Well, that will do for now, I'll google later. 

Today, the butcher birds had me gazing in wonder. You see, the bubs have left their nest and when they're not pestering mum and dad for food (which seems to go on and on), they've started to explore, to imitate, to learn. Certainly, there are signs they have already learnt the beautiful birdsong that draws me outside every time. 

There were, shall we say, some interesting moments...





Erm, smokin'?
I couldn't help but chuckle at their antics but aware that trying out is an important part of learning. But then, I probably would say that. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 1.18pm-1.21pm, 3.23pm, 3.25pm]

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Day 326: Moments various...

Day 326: ...a day in the life of hobbyist musician

Saturday. Rehearsal day for the clarinet group, well, choir really. There's about 30 of us who play. The core of the group has been together for about 15 years. It was a hot day but musical...

After that rehearsal, it was time to get back to the coffee shop for a little afternoon saxophoning...just for fun. I've got a bit of new music I'm playing around with at the moment. The ice, however, expressed it best: 

Just melting, ice ice sculpture

And I didn't have long to take that photo before it melted.

Anyway, later in the day, the backyard had all the cool breezes and all the interesting things. So in no particular order, and for no particular reason here are some of those, just because...

Frangis new leaves

Desert rose, sunset light (no filter, auto flash)
Big ant, baby frangipanis, grammed

[Camera : iPhone 6, 2.38pm, 4.51pm, 4.54pm, 6.19pm]

Friday, 21 November 2014

Day 325: Another day...

Day 325: ...another rally, but more than that

You will know, dear reader, that I have a professional interest in politics and my broad question at present is how do we better engage people in the political system. It is a challenge. But it keeps me going to work. 

So over time, you will have seen a range of pics where my professional (political) interests cross over with my recreational (photographic) interests. Today was another of those days. At very short notice, across the country, the 'Our_ABC' group has sought to organise a number of rallies in support of the ABC following news this week of proposed massive cuts by the federal government. 

Now, while this is not to the blog to dissect the federal government definition of 'efficiency dividends' (aka cuts), the ABC is a very important public institution, one worth fighting for; and I say that not just as a supporter and occasional commentator, not even as a fan; no, this is much more important. 

Reflecting on Our ABC, QPAC (Playhouse end)

Why we were here

A crowd gathers

It was heartening to see so many people, across the age spectrum; and yes, politicians taking the opportunity to speak out, including my local member Terri Butler as well as Greens senator, Larissa Waters. 

Terri Butler, member for Griffith,
and yes, Susan Hetherington, aka @snoozen of susansnaps.
People came out to voice their view, on a hot Friday afternoon and demonstrated how important the ABC is to all. It truly felt like 'Our ABC'. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 1.41pm-3.12pm]

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Day 324: Morning chorus...

Day 324: ...and soft light

I know a number of people who don't like the early rising. But then, I also know a lot of people who do like the first light. And we have quite a lovely time...

One of the things I like about early mornings is the light, just before sunrise, just as the sky lightens. And especially given the major downpour the night before, there was joy in the light, the raindrops, the frangipani (which survived the rain). 

Soft light and raindrops
The birds are out too and although I generally like a close-up, just occasionally the birds perch on the gum tree in such a way that the silhouette is kind of, how shall I say, archetypically bush-like in the suburbs. 

Dawn chorus

Then the kooka perched, in the old gum tree...and reminded us why we sing about him...

Merry merry king

A lovely start to the morning.

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.09am; Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 6.57am, 8.27am]

Day 323: Eyes down...

Day 323: ...don't fall through the cracks

No, it's not that bad really. Yes, I was back at work but it wasn't me falling through the cracks. Not today at least (that might be another post...elsewhere).

No, walking between buildings, I've walked across these pavers for many years. And, if you were to view the full range of my Japan photos, you'd understand I might have a bit of an interest in moss and its many forms. 

Bricks : moss (instagrammed)

And, as you know dear reader, this blog is really about taking note of the things we normally ignore. 

Oh, and another desert rose is on the verge of blooming. Light, lines, raindrops...


Nature in its many forms. Always intrigues. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.23am, 11.20am]

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Day 322: A drop or two...

Day 322: ...precipitated matters

There was a little bit of rain overnight, finally. We can tell because...

...out came the centipede-like creature...

Inching its way across the damp expanse
...and a raindrop or two...

A drop or two...

But we know mainly because the loris perched on the handrail and proceeded to groom themselves and each other. It is the usual pair, performing for the camera, to which they've become quite accustomed. 

Wet feathers 1

Wet feathers 2

The difference here today is the low light, longish exposure and high ISO rating which offered a little movement at the station, as the word got around that today there was rain.

(it's not you, it's us...)

Thank you
Even if it was just a little bit. Enough to soak a lorikeet or two though.

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.26am, 6.28am; Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 7.53am-7.58am]

Day 321: Other lights...

Day 321: ...illuminating

Monday. Back to the office. Yes, of course I'm thrilled. So thrilled I realised I didn't have a pic opportunity during the day. I resolved that if I'm to survive the work day I must remember to find the time. 

Instead, I found myself in a waiting room, waiting to see a friend. The lights, it turned out, reflected in an interesting way. 

Not the spectacular colour and reflection of the day before but a suitable tone for thinking about many things. 

Coffee tones

And coffee. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.53pm]

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Day 320: The end of the G20...

Day 320: ...and a concert

The second day of G20 meetings and my orchestra has a concert out at St Lucia, in the building next door to the one the President spoke at yesterday. It was well-signed...

Ah, he was a day early for all the fun though...

The President was a day late...
Brisbane managed to turn on one of its hottest days. And while the venue is air-conditioned, the heat does all sorts of things to the tuning of wooden instruments, not to mention the players under the heat of stage lights. It was a tribute to the Rat Pack, I reckon the G20 people should have been there.

Afterwards, I was determined to finally get to see the lights in the city. It was quite an adventure. The buses were still on shuttle duty; I was going to see a friend in hospital; and it was actually getting hotter as the evening approached. However, tonight was the last night.

Of course, the coloured lights have been on for a while, much of the time while I was away. And so being one of the last people to shoot means that all the good shots have been taken (and posted) by others much better at this long exposure photography than I will ever be. 

Nonetheless, it was still a lot of fun to get out there and experiment with shutter speeds, apertures, lenses and so on. I've picked a couple or three of my faves. 

For starters, from the Goodwill Bridge

Behind the scenes of 'BRISBANE'

The police boat, because we won't see this again for a while

Sometimes just a reflection...

Across the river...

There's some movement on the river...

And there were more colours....
All the colours: buildings and river as lorikeets


A bridge too far...

Trying to be original...

Yeah, it's still Bris to me...

But let's not forget, we were fenced out...


Thanks to the ABC, spinning wheels all weekend

Congrats to twitter friend, Jono Perry, @pedrojono, who I understand was behind much of the spectacle. And thanks also to friends at 612ABC all of whom did a phenomenal job over an extended weekend. Well done. I could do it all again...

[Camera : iPhone 6, 11.14am; Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 75-300mm, 7.21pm-8.43pm]