Thursday, 30 April 2015

Day 120 2015: Rain, rain...

Day 120: ...just wet, wet, wet

You know the days, dear reader. Just wet. From start to finish. Alarming radio reports of 300mm likely in the next few days...often that can mean water crossing the highway between Brisbane (home) and the Sunshine Coast (work). Thursday is a late class too, will students turn up to a late rainy class?

Normally it wouldn't matter too much. However I am 'dog-sitting' at the moment so there were responsibilities at home to consider...'what if I couldn't get home?'

Well, off I went and it was a very wet day. All day, and so far, all night. Not my favourite driving conditions. 

Nonetheless, there were some interesting patterns with puddles and lights on the way back to the carpark. Just things that caught my eye.

Pond overflow (near yesterday's snake)

Puddles of light

It was that sort of day really. Oh, and I got home in time for the dog.

[Camera : iPhone 6, (yes, it's been a while) 8.46pm-8.48pm]

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Day 119 2015: Mercy...

Day 119: ...a plea to the better angels of our nature

End the death penalty. Really, what is it good for?

To all those whose lives end at the hands of another--forced, unforced, unlawfully. 

A post I wrote on the other blog last month: On ending the death penalty, everywhere

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Day 118 2015: Stopped in your tracks...

Day 118: keep your distance

You will be used to my daily stories by now dear reader; some days are true, some days are metaphorical, some days are perhaps apocryphal...

Today was...

...well, I'll tell my story dear reader, and you can decide.

So there I was, the egret had landed. I knew I was going to have a later finish in the the office which meant a walk back in the evening in the dark. And we know that it is best to take a pic while the opportunity portends. 

Well, it was a shy egret today. Stayed a bit hidden, a bit of a distance, and soon took off. 

Hide and seek...

Catch me if you can

Then, I noticed a couple more birds out on the buoy in the middle of the lake (no, I don't know why it is there either). A bit of a distance, but the wing stretch was noticeable.

Shag, ducks
And then, at a bit of a distance, I thought there was a lopped tree trunk but in fact, the boss kanga was grazing. At a distance.

Boss kanga
A bit disappointing really. Unusually, I couldn't get any decent closeup shots for now, but maybe a bit later, if I give myself some time (I didn't, as it happened). So I packed up the cam and headed along the path. Some days, I thought, show the not so good stuff, appreciate the better stuff later, or somesuch.

The people ahead of me stopped, in their tracks. At a distance, a 2m red-belly black snake crossed our path. Slowly. Unusual. I generally have to get to my office before I get stopped in my tracks with the latest work-related issue.  

But not today. Best keep your distance at times. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 70-300mm, 9.39am-9.43am]

Monday, 27 April 2015

Day 117 2015: Odd one out...

Day 117: of these things just doesn't belong

Yes, dear reader, it is difficult to follow up a perfect evening at South Bank with work...and pics squeezed in between leaving the office and getting to the car park in time to get home to go to rehearsal via a large office supplies shop...but you don't need to know the details. 

Suffice to say that, well, there are parts of Mondays I don't particularly like. Today was the waking at 3.00am in anticipation of the 4.30am alarm having stayed up working until 12 midnight...but you don't need to know the details. 

So I hoped to find something along the way and instead I found a bit of an intruder in our water reticulation pond ...

How did that get there?

but also had some interest in the plants (as opposed to the usual birds)...

Sunset reeds

There's an insect there

But heck, this little pee-wee was so tame, not at all bothered by me or the camera as she sashayed along the track. 

Walk like...a pee wee

It is usually me that feels like the odd one out at work but today was a little different after all. But, dear reader, you don't need to know the details...

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 5.11pm-5.20pm]

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Day 116 2015: Brisbane, the play...

Day 116: ...South Bank, the place

Today I caught up with a play I've been waiting to see for a little while: 'Brisbane'. An adventurous play about Brisbane in 1942 at the height of American troops based here and incredibly poignant on the ANZAC weekend. 

I engage with plays that present history on stage, thought-provoking mostly. Of course, there were stories about the dangers of going to 'the south side' of the river and the conventions really that have grown up with the city since then. Even today, there is gentle ribbing (mostly by northsiders) about the southside. Well, I live on one and traverse the other every day. 

Of course, it is always good to be home.

And then, those of us on the southside can claim South Bank. And this evening, after the play, it was its sparkling best. Right now, it is setting up for the Buddha Birthday celebrations in May and so...what is a good picster to do (with apologies to South Bank picster queen @shelleymlloyd)...

Half moon, two lanterns

It's all about the lanterns really

Even the lanterns in watery reflection...

...lanterns in glassy reflection

Lanterns and sunset

The River,  City,  and lanterns

Red, like the lanterns

With apologies (and homage) to Shelley

There is something about the evening light after a clear day in Brisbane. It doesn't last long but when you can capture it, it is like magic. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 5.42pm-5.58pm]

And poignantly tonight, I walked past the Nepalese Pagoda just beside the Wheel, where members of the Brisbane Nepalese community, and friends, were praying for victims of the huge earthquake which has hit Nepal and surrounds today. May peace be with you. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Day 115 2015: Anzac Day 2015, 100 years...

Day 115: ...lest we forget...and yet...

And yet, we seem to forget. Anzac Day, for me, is an ambivalent day. I understand the solemnity with which we remember those who gave their lives, particularly at Gallipoli, and also in war theatres before and since. 

I have participated in various ceremonies, either at school or in more recent times as a band member at RSL functions. But I hesitate at what has become an event cased in jingoism, commercialism and myth. It troubles the academic in me.

It is also my job to find ways that the world may live in peace. I teach politics, international relations and security. As my colleagues in medical research find ways to cure cancer, some of us in my field are seeking ways to find peace (imagine all the research dollars that could be spent on these things if we didn't need to buy all those guns and things). 

In the week we commemorate (definitely not, not, not celebrate...good grief) 100 years since the 'ANZAC legend was born', the government has sent a further 300 troops to the Middle East. Again. I'm failing at my job. 

But I do, dear reader, pause to reflect on the day of course. There remains much work to do. And although it is Saturday, I awoke early, early enough to attend a dawn service, if I thought I should. But instead, in my backyard I found the right sort of symbolism for me: 

At dawn, the needles of the only pine out the back...

Pine needles at dawn

...and the eucalyptus...

Eucalyptus at dawn

Lest we forget. It seems we need to keep reminding ourselves. War. Enough is enough. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 70-300mm, 6.04am, 6.08am]

Friday, 24 April 2015

Day 114 2015: Close to home...

Day 114: ...and a little touch up (can you tell?)

Yesterday was the long distance, long day. Today was the extreme opposite. Yesterday, I travelled about 200km. Today, ten metres. One end of the house to the other. That's what a day of work at home can mean. 

It occurred to me about 2.00pm that I hadn't done much other than answer emails, read up on action research, write some notes, read about Japanese political leader Doi Takako for an essay I am writing. I hadn't even had lunch at this stage. Overlooked, more than 'forgot'. 

So, dear reader, you know what that means. A trek out the back. whereupon I spied a little butterfly/moth. Butterfly I think. Although it looks like a moth. 

(May be an Orange Palmdart Cephrenes augiades)

And a little while later, the noisy miners. I know I don't have a lot of time for them, but sometimes they scrub up quite nicely for a pic. 

The rarely seen 'eye' of the miner

And I quite like them foraging through the trees. (One of these pics has had a little touch-up dear reader, for research--Ekka research--purposes.) So really, what's to complain about. 

Hmmm, nectar

Tomorrow is Anzac Day. I'm not yet sure quite what I will do. But I will be going more than ten metres.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 2.13pm, 3.41pm, 3.43pm]

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Day 113 2015: Back to first principles...

Day 113: order to avoid a car crash

The problem is, dear reader, am I speaking literally or figuratively? Well, a bit of both really. Sometimes I worry I put too many pics up each post. It is supposed to be *a pic* a day...just one, but sometimes there are just too many stories to tell. 

So some days I set out to try and take just one pic, just one that reminds us of life's simplicity, something we might otherwise overlook...which is also what I'm supposed to be doing. It is the first principle of the #project365 exercise.


Thursday is my late finish at work so I did delay my departure just a little today. Work is sometimes like watching a car crash in slow motion, and this week is another classic example. (I'd tell you dear reader...but you wouldn't believe a university could behave so badly. Although...I know, --> the other blog). 

But in fact, just as I was planning to leave, there was an actual car crash not far from my place which made getting out of my driveway a tad precarious. So, what does one do?

Try to capture some light and shade out the back of course. So I did.

New rose leaves

Jacaranda leaf

Bromeliad leaves

Made a wish...


OK, not *a pic*, not even two...but let's face it dear reader, which *one* of these first principle pics would you choose?

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 7.53am-8.05]

^The actual car crash cleared up soon after; the work one, well, let's just say that 'tow crews remain at the scene'.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Day 112 2015: Storm front...

Day 112: ...then the calm. 

Also: Post number a series...taa-daa \\[^o^]// (if that matters)

That's a nice number. But coincidental really to today's matters. Opted to work at home today, writing, thinking. Actually, I was also anticipating a meeting, since late last week, should have been today...but by 3.00pm I still hadn't heard anything despite emails and phone messages. 

I was about to give up. I was feeling a bit like the noisy miner I watched earlier in the day...

Comin' atcha
...yes, dear reader, almost directly at me. Goodness, the risks in this hobby. 

And then a message. A meeting at 4.00pm. Luckily I'm only ten minutes away. 'Cept I was still in working-at-the-home-desk attire...

Anyway, it was a good meeting. More work/research related stuff. Just the sort of thing I like. Anytime of day. 

So as a reward of sorts, I thought I might trek up to the lookout at Mt Gravatt. I figured I might catch some nice sunset colours and night lights. Was actually quite surprised at the extent of renovation going on, including the apparent demolition of the actual lookout platform. It is generally is a great spot for pics from here. 

Anyway, time for a few shots, albeit a bit later than planned, a little calm. 

Last light, tonight
Brisbane, and the moon, and the stars
This is our city (300mm version)
Yes, nice. A nice day here while feeling for our NSW cousins as they navigate their stormy weather. We can truly say, we know what was going on. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 75-300mm, 11.38am, 6.23pm-6.38pm]

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Day 111 2015: Triple one...

Day 111: ...egret, swan, wren

First, there was the egret. Just as I pulled up in the car park. But it was also near where the plovers were nesting just last week. Never mind, I thought, I shall see if I can improve on my egret photography.

It started well...the elegant egret

Then came the swans, black swans. I'd not seen them before. So, like your average toddler (and let's face it, dear reader, I'm still on training wheels when it comes to this photography gig), I dropped the egret...well it was being scared away by a posse of humans going past (a real crowd, about 25), and went to try and capture the swans. 

Breakfast time perhaps
Well, they didn't really head in my general direction and managed to somehow perfectly alternate in the feeding exercise...simply could not get them with their lovely elegant necks extended simultaneously. 

So turning back to head to the office, there they were...the little wrens. Superb fairy wrens, I think. Well, I was just like that toddler in a lolly shop. I've always wanted to photograph these littlies. They are fast and skittish, quite tricky really, and I hadn't seen these here before. Meanwhile, some 40 pics later...

So tiny

This is the wren version of 'Grumpy Cat'

Watching, watching

Away...on a wing and a reed


...I really had to get to the office. Always something new by the lake. And so fortunate to see two new species. I reckon I'm getting closer to getting all 108...

I originally thought trying to take a pic (or three) a day would lose its allure after a while, but capturing the wren was such a thrill. Such an exciting ten minutes, (that's all), out of my day. (Oh, or have I over-shared, dear reader...?)

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 9.29am-9.36am]

Monday, 20 April 2015

Day 110 2015: Some days are long...

Day 110: ...and dark

And mistakes will be made. And sometimes they turn into photographic moments. 

Mondays. They start at 4.30am with a trip up the Coast and straight into classes at 9.00am. But only after an hour or so of pre-presentation work in the office. Normally I might be able to leave a bit early for orchestra rehearsal but today I had some extra admin work to do. I finished in the office at 7.00pm. That was pretty close to twelve hours straight. It is not a healthy workplace habit. 

And then stuff happens. At work. And you wonder why...

So return to the reason you do this. The students. That is why we are here. 

It's time to go but the photographer in me wonders what will be out there on this dark and stormy night. 

The football oval for one thing, no-one practicing though. 

The night, brought to you by the letter
Or, somewhere in the grass...something is there.

Night grass by light
But I also spotted the lily pads in the dark as I passed by. Monet by night, sort of. 

#nofilter 'Monet' by night...

Well, apologies dear was just that sort of day. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 7.10pm, 7.13pm, 7.14pm]

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Day 109 2015: It won't rain on our parade...

Day 109: ...well, just a little perhaps

But that wasn't going to stop party central at the Cultural Centre today. I'm rather snowed under with work but I thought this was not a moment (or three) to miss. 

You will know, dear reader, that I spend quite a bit of time commuting to and from my job on the Sunshine Coast. People often say 'so why don't you live on the SunCoast?' and here is one of my main reasons: this place, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, 30 years this week. 

Since returning to Brisbane in 1991 more or less permanently after wanderings between Tokyo and Canberra, I can probably declare I have been here on a regular basis, from two or three times a month to peak times of 'everyday'. It is the Concert Hall, the Lyric Theatre, Playhouse and Cremorne Theatre; across the way, it is the Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum, the State Library, the Gallery of Modern is planted firmly in South Bank and, as you know dear reader, it is firmly embedded here in this blog. I'm a fan of the style of architecture by Robin Gibson, who was also responsible for early years of Griffith Uni, my first Brisbane 'home'. 

Years ago, the area was subject of an urban cultural precinct assignment I had to do in some postgraduate studies; I've been part of focus groups; I've watched it change, renew, revitalise itself, and the area; I've even applied for the odd job or two. The only thing I haven't done yet is perform there in one of my bands...but you never know. 

So, dear reader, it turns out, if I moved to the SunCoast, I'd still be making trips down two or three times a week. Much better to be a 15 minute bus trip away. 

So thanks QPAC. Love your work and here's to a fabulous future too. Thanks for all the memories. (And more to come.) A few, OK...several, moments in pics...

Happy Birthday!

Rain approaches

The Wheel of course...

And every trip to QPAC must least one... 

Helping with the party (members of the South Brisbane Federal Band)

Memories (opening in 1985)

It rained...but we didn't mind

OK, it rained a fair bit.

But even the rain is arty at QPAC

They did a 'Wicked' effort with umbrella sales...

Water as pure as...the driven rain

Streaming, live

The beat starts here

Bring on those horns* (*said as a reeds player myself)

Always imagining, always imaginary, always imagination

Happy Birthday to my favourite cityscape (taken from South Brisbane station platform)

We'll be back dear reader. There's always something there. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 'all the lenses' (28-80mm, 75-300mm, 18-55mm) from 3.45pm-4.40pm]