Turning Flowers into Pumpkins and the Death of Holden

I got very excited this morning, ladies and gentlemen.  Looking out the back window, I could see that there was a male and female pumpkin flower open at the same time.  Because of a hail storm last month, my pumpkin vine has only one pumpkin growing at the moment.  So I took this fleeting opportunity to fly outside and manually fertilise the lady.  I found the flowers crawling with bees, which was also very exciting, because the numbers of bees have been much fewer due to the recent hot weather and smoky days.

It was lucky I did because a bee was trapped below the stamen of the boy flower! Read more

In The Red

It’s summer in the southern hemisphere.  In southeast Australia, it has been a shocker.  In Canberra (the nation’s capital), we have had drought, a huge hailstorm and now fire in the Namadgi National Park to the south and west.

We also had a small colony of Little Red Flying Foxes take up residence in one of our town parks.  When we first discovered the colony, we asked our son whether we should report it in.  He told us that the ACT Government (that’s our local government) most likely already knew about it.  They didn’t.  Turns out the Little Reds haven’t been seen in Canberra for 23 years.  Imagine that! Read more

Window On Time

In a few days it will be the 17th anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged Canberra (the national capital of Australia) and its surrounds in 2003.  With bushfires currently burning to the west of the territory, Canberrans are understandably anxious.  It’s old news but some may be interested in this disaster.  In many ways, the Canberra bushfires brought about a much broader call for research and action to better understand and respond to bushfire risk.  Here are the sanitised details of that event —

On 18 January, two fire fronts combined to create a 25 km fire front and wind gusts of up to 65 km per hour propelled the fire towards Canberra. The Chief Minister declared a state of emergency at 2.45 pm and the firestorm hit the outer streets of Duffy at approximately 3 pm, and soon reached [other] suburbs ….  Four people were killed by the fires, more than 435 people were injured and there were 5000 evacuations. Approximately 160,000 hectares were burnt which equated to almost 70 per cent of the ACT’s pasture, forests and nature parks including Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all government pine forest west of the Murrumbidgee River Stromlo pine plantation.  There were approximately 488 houses destroyed and many more were damaged.Read more

Abstraction Distraction

This week, the theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Abstract.  As I played with some images for the challenge, I felt that the designs I favoured were reminiscent of textile art.  If I wasn’t a mosaicer, I would probably do something arty with fabric.  Perhaps it is the tactile nature of both that I like.  Here are a few images of what I came up with.

How about this little black and white number?  This was originally a photo of some reeds. Read more