taking heat light and colour
towards a new day
Watching the sun set over Port Phillip bay is never predictable. This sequence from the same spot over a twenty minute period using a little bit of zoom shares the incredible array of colour and pattern emerging from the display. We usually take our sunset shots from Ricketts Point or the cliffs at Black Rock.
An image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from Kirribilli, almost under the approach lanes. This was taken in the early evening.
many winters of wear
only memories of use
a forgotten craft
This nineteenth century post and rail fence at Koroit stands as a memorial to earlier farming techniques. Local timber was used to create a complete fence before wire became a standard fencing material replacing the rails. During the second half of the nineteenth century European settlers rapidly cleared this area in Western Victoria of natural trees to be used for houses, sheds, fences and firewood . The locality around Koroit and Belfast (Port Fairy), incredibly rich in volcanic soil, was intensively farmed in small holdings by immigrant Irish . A strong Irish culture is still evident in place names, the architecture of buildings, and the names of many local families and potato farming. Until the later twentieth century there also seemed to be a Catholic church in every small settlement.
amongst a rainbow of leaves
waits for a cherry
Three blackbird fledglings are being reared in our yard. This is the first time we have seen three successfully taken to near full growth by the parents, although mother has been doing most of the work. For two years now we have been contracted by the parents to provide the occasional fresh cherry during summer. Being softies for cute birds this feeding arrangement has expanded to regular tinned cherries during the colder months. The smart mother has shown the fledglings to beg for cherries and of course we have stepped up the feeding. As a stand over tactic mother has also shown the young ones how to take growing cherry tomatoes from our plants if cherries don’t appear, and to our dismay we recently discovered they have cleaned out our blueberry bush. Currently mother blackbird has left the fledglings for us to feed and the father flies past once a day to check we are cooperating. The situation is becoming interesting as one fledgling has no fear of us and behaves like a tame chicken and will probably next try mastering the skill of opening the back door. Charlie is showing some support for us and races around the back if she hears us feeding the birds, however she does not eat cherries and quickly returns inside for a reward. There may be an instalment to this story, keep watching.
an eye in the night
seeking those who need guidance
to stay on course
The lighthouse on Griffith island at Port Fairy has been working since the nineteenth century when a busy coastal port operated out of Belfast as it was then known. These days a couple of fishing boats, some tourist day cruisers and private yachts and leisure craft tie up to the wharf. Griffith Island is a fully protected nature reserve and across summer is home to thousands of migratory Short tailed Shearwaters who return from Northern Siberia to nest and prepare for the return flight.
young dog hunting
the joy of freedom
When Charlie was 10 months old she travelled to our escape house in Bendigo for the first time. Here she had an acre of land, (safely fenced) to wander, run and hunt. The hunting was imaginary however a few skinks and birds had close escapes . An Afghan Hound running free in an open space is a sight to behold until you have to try and catch them.
three hungry swans searching
what a challenge
Since a marine park has been established at Ricketts Point on Port Phillip Bay the ecosystems have flourished. One indicator is the increasing birdlife, especially the ongoing presence of Black Swans. Usually there are anywhere between 10 and 50 scattered across the 3 bays/inlets that make up the point area. The swans may be breeding elsewhere but they certainly feed at Ricketts Point.
trees with shadows
that blink occasionally
This is a female Tawny frogmouth, an Australian owlet and her 3 fledglings. (can you spot them) This is her nest!!!! and built in an exotic oak tree. The male will be watching nearby but impossible to see. These are active night birds so during the day they sit and sleep unless disturbed by ignorant humans such as myself taking this photo. Below are 2 more images of another female with 2 fledglings in an indigenous tree across the other side of Melbourne in a very forested area. Notice how these birds can blend themselves into a branch to hide themselves. An amazing fact about these birds is how they can sit without moving for hours. As a former teacher I would have loved a little bit of their secret stillness for restless boys.
in a sea of green
an abundance of food
new spring growth
At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne this spring New Holland Honeyeaters seemed to be feeding wherever blossom was forming. This annexe of the Melbourne gardens displays an exciting range of Australian climatic zone plant species within the formal area and also an experience of natural sandy heathland with rare local indigenous bandicoots within the larger perimeter.