The Changing Seasons – January 2021

Mid-summer, Canberra (Australia) – Incidents and grass aplenty, as well as much catatonic lounging.

I suppose if you want a quiet life you wouldn’t have pets, children or partners. You certainly wouldn’t have Covid and all the stress and interruption to life that involves. Thankfully there has been an absence of Covid in Canberra over January, otherwise how would we have dealt with all the medical appointments and emergencies. Carefully, I guess.

I don’t suppose my True Love (TL) and I would have gotten out of bed before noon during January if it weren’t for the week of doggy diarrhoea from the red dogs, followed by days of hospital visits to take our other dog (Makea) from the emergency vet (for nighttime care) to our regular vet (for daytime care) and back again, then repeat. Meanwhile, the vegetable garden continued to need tending despite the veggies refusal to grow. Rainy, grey days put a dampener on the veggie patch. Our pumpkin vines have not produced a single pumpkin and many tomatoes have split as a result of the last downpour. The most delicious looking tomatoes have been consumed by hungry rodents. However, the grass is green and nearby dams are full so that is something. As the month ends, all is well.

January was all about small pleasures and golden waves, and making photos when the sun finally shone.

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The C Bird – Crested Pigeon

Bird Weekly Challenge – Birds That Start With ‘C’

Gee, my post title is a bit punny, don’t you think? I amuse myself. This week I am dropping in a quick contribution to Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge. I’m too busy on my hols at the moment to sort through photos, so I will limit my contribution to just one bird, the Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) or crestie for short. It is an easy one for me since the cresties are regular visitors to my garden.

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Personal Favourites?

I have no particular favourite photos of 2020. They are all my favourites. Each month I choose a selection of photos that represent the main themes of my month and, as is often the case, many favourite-ish photos don’t make the cut. For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Favorite Images of 2020, I’ve chosen a couple of those that didn’t fit my monthly narrative and two I published earlier this year. I wouldn’t exactly call them favourites but for personal reasons, they are ones I really like.

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The Changing Seasons – December 2020

December in Canberra (Australia) – So many babies; so much grass; a lot of cutting, over-committed and Christmas.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so very tired this month. I bet you know the feeling. It has been a long year and December has been super busy. Apart from the usual mundane activities, furniture shopping and mosaic production, I did get out a couple of times into my local area for relaxation. I was surprised by how many babies I saw. Tis the season I guess. Let’s look at some.

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My Best Birds

Hi there, I’ve been inspired by Brian from Bushboy’s World to participate in the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge hosted by Lisa from Eyes Wide Open. The topic of this week’s challenge is birds with a “B” in the title of their name. However, before I launch into it, I would just like to make a speech on wildlife photos.

First I would like to say that the wildlife photographers I’ve interacted with online have been unstinting in their kindness and helpfulness with suggestions for taking good wildlife photos. I’m incredibly appreciative of that, even if from time to time I feel a little intimidated because my gear is not the latest and greatest; I can’t (refuse?) to get up at daybreak to take advantage of the lovely soft morning light; I don’t plan; my backgrounds are often messy, etc. I guess one might describe me as a happy snapper who likes “nature” and who just goes with the flow. I’m a total opportunist, and sometimes I get lucky (well, maybe it isn’t all luck these days).

It is not that I don’t want to improve. I do, but that’s not my mission. Anyway, I want to encourage you whether or not you have a super-duper camera, whether or not your wildlife photos are entirely in focus or not, whether or not your subject is hidden by a busy background, etc, firstly, because it is fun, and secondly, one day you might take a shot of something that is interesting to you and that something interesting might be rare, endangered or even thought to be extinct and without your photo, we would never know. Never hope. No, I haven’t taken a photo of something thought to be extinct, but it could happen, if I’m in the right place at the right time.

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Airborne

Bird poetry – Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides

The Little Eagle is a small eagle about the size of a peregrine falcon. It has a wingspan of about 100cm. It is listed as vulnerable in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

We saw this one soaring over the Australian National Botanic Gardens in late winter. My True Love and I managed to find a break in the trees to capture this photo (cropped within an inch of its life).

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Walking With Magpies

This article contains material of a satirical nature that may offend some readers. Please note the photos are awful, but the story is good/scary/funny.

For months now I have been in serious training. Magpie training. It’s full on magpie breeding season here in Canberra (Australia) and for the unlucky few, a walk, cycle or broomstick ride, may lead to being dive-bombed by a rampaging magpie. As of a few minutes ago, the count on the number of magpie attacks that have occurred in Australia this year is 3798, with 466 injuries (see Australia’s Magpie Swooping Map 2020). The number of attacks and injuries are likely significantly under-reported. But have no fear, ladies and gentlemen, there are a couple of ways to mitigate the risks.

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The Changing Seasons – September 2020

Canberra (Australia) – September keeps us guessing. We smell the spring flowers while we are still Covid-free. This requires a visit or two to the Australian National Botanic Gardens. It has been 80 days since Canberra (the national capital of Australia) has recorded a case of Covid-19. My month is filled with medical appointments, getting in while the going is good. Survivor-guilt sets in. The threat of magpies swooping hangs over our heads.

There is sufficient material for a blog post on each of those topics, so I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details of my September shenanigans here. I might have to say something in future though about the Prime Minister, who after consulting with the Property Council, has issued an edict that public servants should return to the office (where safe to do so, consistent with Covidsafe plans, blahdeblah) so they can spend their hard-earned dollars on coffee and lunch at CBD cafes. I don’t know how in heck, the PM expects the workforce will transport themselves safely to the office.

Now where was I? That’s right .. the Botanic Gardens. My friend convinced me that we should go out for coffee. So I went out. We went to the gardens. It was lovely but I couldn’t be so rude as to take copious photos, so I went back another day. And then another. We’ve had many grey rainy days, some sunny days too, so many of the photos from the gardens are dark and moody. All the photos in this post come from those visits, so I hope you like flowers and birds, and bearded dragons.

Some Enchanted Garden

Spring in the gardens.
Cacophony of sound.
Air vibrates and rumbles,
zips and whirs.
Colours flash and tantalise,
the smell divine.
Senses say stay a while.
My mind wanders.
A world away.

How green, or black and white, is your garden?

Purple invites a closer look and calms the senses.

Pink delights.

Yellow thrums.

Red is generous and racy.

This September, the world lost some incredible women, champions of gender equality and inclusiveness – Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Australian singer-songwriter, Helen Reddy; and former Australian senator and minister, the Honourable Susan Ryan. Ms Ryan is Australia’s equivalent to America’s RBG. Susan Ryan fought for and secured the passage of the Sex Discrimination Act in 1984. She also had significant public roles advocating against age and disability discrimination.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons – September 2020 photo challenge hosted by the lovely Su at Zimmerbitch.  Why not check it out and join in? Su has photos of gannets nesting.

Sing it with me, ladies.

Stay safe, sane and kind, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

About The Photos
I dragged my True Love to the Botanic Gardens one weekend. He is still recovering from his Achilles heel tendon tear, so he shuffled along with his camera. He took the photos of the bearded dragon with the purple flowers in the background, the bright yellow “Twistie” like flowers (Twisties are a type of cheese curl, corn-based snack food product), and in fading light, the shenanigans of a pair of gang-gang cockatoos. I took all the other photos.

Writing Inspiration

Bird poetry – a pandemic distraction. Semi-infrequent opportunity to join in. Try it. Create a pingback to this post with your bird poem. Really awful poetry welcome. Good poetry welcome too.

As a bird lover, I feel slightly intimidated about venturing into bird poetry, particularly poems about gulls. This topic has already been covered by many famous poets over the centuries so I am unlikely to contribute any words that haven’t been written before. The inspiration for this short poem therefore comes not from those wonderful poets, but from the seagulls themselves and from my camera. That is as it should be.

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