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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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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The Positives And The Negatives

Photo humour plus a challenge.

As yesterday was a quiet day, I thought I would have a play with some photos for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Negative Space. The negative space is the unoccupied space around the positive space, the positive space being the subject of the photo. Now you are a probably thinking that a positive and negative make a negative, and I’m sure this is true in photography too, but overdosing on the negative in photography breaks that rule. You’ll see. In photography, harnessing the divergent properties of positive and negative space can create cohesion – a sense of calm, peace, contemplation, isolation and scale. Distraction and busyness are the enemies of positive. Hence I let these adjectives be my guide in selecting photos for this challenge. Of course, everything is relative and the relative can really complicate the selection process, especially if you have a mind as busy as mine. I’m speaking from experience, or lack thereof.

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Everyday Mosaic Supplies

For Patti, who has always wanted to make a mosaic.

I always complain about not having enough space. The garage and my outdoor workspace are overflowing with stuff. My stuff. My mosaic stuff. Everything is covered with dust and cobwebs. I love it. It is a magical space full of wonder. Perhaps my affinity for tiles is instinctual, in my genes. My father was a builder in his youth. He loved concrete and his concreting skills were in high demand for major commercial builds. Funnily enough, my brother is now a tiler, a trade he came to later in life.

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Creative Comforts

Do you like my title for this blog post? I like it, but I amuse myself. However that (thinking up pithy blog titles) is about the extent of my creativity in the time of Covid. Consequently, I’ve been thinking a lot about buying a new house – one with two bathrooms; one bathroom for the healthy people and one for the sick people. Not that we have any sick people yet, but you never know …. This (thinking about buying a new house) is what I do when I don’t spend time on my art projects. When I’m in the right frame of mind and the weather permits, fiddling with tiles is my passion. I’ve been inspired by a fellow blogger to be arty this month, so I’ve started the prep for a couple of mosaics.

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When Am I Too Much For This Place?

This week’s theme for the Lens Artists Photo Challenge is Sanctuary.  I’m not sure what more can be said about this topic that I haven’t said already, so I’ve decided to re-post my earlier discussion/photos on this subject.  At that time, I said that I didn’t feel safe anywhere.  That is not quite true.  I do feel safe with my family.  Thank goodness for that because in these days of Covid and being confined to home (provided you are lucky enough to have one of those), there are many people fearful of the ones they should be able to trust the most.

WordPress (and now the Lens-Artists Challenge) has asked us to explore what it means to find your place in the world.  Where’s your safe space?  Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?  Do you prefer the city over a small town?  I have to admit I find this an incredibly difficult challenge because I feel very ambivalent about my place in the world.  I don’t feel safe, or comforted, or any of the things that WordPress has asked us to explore.  I feel that I am possibly too much, that we are too much.  However, I am here.  I live in a wonderful place and I’m grateful for that.  The issue of whether I, and we, can live sustainably is a complex one.

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The Changing Seasons – July 2020

July casts a long shadow – Winter in the national capital (Canberra, Australia).

Contrary to photographic evidence, I spend much of the month hiding in my home or in my head. The disaster that is Covid-19 grips the nation. Covid-free Australian states shut their borders against those states battling virus spot fires or a full-on raging inferno. I’m all for border closures. Virus afflicted states are going to need all the help they can get from other states to subdue this contagion. Hate, bigotry and ignorance also corrode the social fabric. This too we can overcome provided we have the will to work together.

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