The Changing Seasons – February 2021

Summer ends in the national capital, Canberra (Australia) – Clean air, clean water, good nutrition, shelter and safety; the essentials of life in the national capital, the rest of Australia and globally. I do think about these issues quite a lot. February was no exception.

It has been a grey, often wet and windy end to summer in the national capital. The sun has shone too but it hasn’t really had any bite to it like it has in recent years. Thank goodness, I say. Who needs that howling inferno we had last year. However, we know the clement weather is temporary so we enjoy it while we can.

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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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Up Close And Personal

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – It’s A Small World and Ragtag Daily Prompt – Assignment.

Guest host of this week’s Lens-Artists challenge, Anne Sandler, has invited photographers to focus on the small things and she has provided a number of useful tips for macro/micro and close-up photography. Thanks, Anne. Unfortunately, I got carried away and so I might not have stuck strictly to the brief, preferring once more to go with arty-farty rather than teeny weeny. Thankfully my True Love had something up his … oh, never mind!

I have redeemed myself though with some wee poetry – haiku, of course – and some vulgar photography humour. My friend has asked me to keep writing and who am I to refuse?

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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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The Changing Seasons – October 2020

October in Canberra (Australia) – We scent a change. Spring is so poetic.

It has been six days since Canberra recorded an infection of Covid-19. Canberrans send their best wishes for the gentleman’s recovery. With only one active case in my small city, my attention has turned to living.

It has been a relatively wet and stormy month in the national capital – the wettest October in 44 years. On those days when the sun shone, I focused on my garden and on my mosaic projects. For these reasons, and due to magpie hazards, I have had little time for exploration, but it being spring, there are always flowers, and wouldn’t you know, not one rainy day photo in sight. Here’s October.

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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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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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