The images are from top to bottom 1. Rain in Sydney at Circular Quay. 2 and 3. Two Stormwater drains carrying rain water from our local streets down to Port Phillip Bay. Environmentally this is a disaster to the life systems in the bay unless there are filters on the drain outlets and they are effectively managed. Neither of these drains are filtered hence unimaginable items go into the bay. 4 and 5 Storm clouds forming over the bay.
This head of seaweed was peacefully floating beside the Black Rock sea wall on Port Phillip Bay. It could have been torn off the growing plant by strong currents stirred up by a storm a few days earlier. Maggie and I and walk this route often and also get Jill to join us whenever she can. My practice is to carry a camera on these walks as there are many natural treasures waiting to be captured. The camera/lens combinationd can be heavy if I want close ups, especially the telephoto lens. The other challenge is holding Maggie with one hand while photographing with the other. Occasionally I leave the camera at home and of course an exceptional opportunity like a penguin pops up.
One of the most inhumane aspects of Australia’s economic fantasy world is the live animal export market. For some years there is growing demand for our Federal government to stop this practice. Sheep are exported to the Middle East and cattle are exported to Asia to be killed and eaten.
This ship I photographed some years ago at Fremantle in Western Australia is designed to carry sheep in absolutely unbearable, cruel conditions. I will not describe them however if you want to become a Vegan google Live sheep trade Australia. Most of the sheep that survive the journey are treated then killed in the most barbaric of ways. The trade of cattle to Asia is barely any better as often the abattoir processes the animals die in are as barbaric as the treatment of sheep in the Middle East.
There are 2 solutions to this deeply disturbing practice. 1. Stop the trade full stop and stop it NOW. Or if the demand for animal meat to be eaten in these markets is necessary!!!!!! then have animals humanely euthanised in Australian Abattoirs under strict humane conditions and the processed meat is exported in refrigerated ships.
Under our current valueless conservative government neither solution looks likely. Protests and lobbying for the animals will continue. Just one more battle the Australian people are currently fighting against their “elected” government. Anyone with half a brain and any compassion knows sheep and cattle are sentient beings with emotions and feelings. I am sure most farmers really know this, the conservative politicians and those who profit financially from this trade choose not to. Perhaps the latter could take a cruise on the ship above for a few days and rethink policy!! What do you think reader?
This Haiga is my response to Ronovan’s prompt for this weeks haiku. Visit his site to see more weep and sheep haiku at
Maggie and I were taking one of our regular walks along the Black Rock Cliff path, however we were moving in the opposite direction from our natural approach. It was amazing to see totally different perspectives from another angle. I had never noticed this Ti tree branch sculpture before and it seemed to beckon our attention. My first thought was a bird lookout , then an insect diving board. Anyway it was worth a photo and then of course the haiku came later. When the bushfire smoke drifted over Melbourne visibility had obscured those rocks one can see in the water. The path ahead in the second photo, (or usually behind) is one of Maggie’s favourites because of the occasional rat that hops across in front of us creating much excitement. We know Tiger Snakes lurk here , (attracted by rats) but are yet to see one. We are so lucky to have this landscape only a few minutes drive from home.
An interesting comparison at the Middle Brighton Sea Baths in Brighton, (Melbourne) recently. Behind that screen and under the umbrellas were people who had paid to use the facilities . At the adjacent seawall some Cormorants and a Seagull rested up in the sun before taking to the water at their leisure. Same sun, same water. Isn’t the life of a bird so much less complicated?
For water birds there has always been a known environment to feed, rest and relax in. In these recent local photos from top to bottom are examples of, Silver Gull, Purple Swamphen, White faced heron and Black Swans. For all the other birds water is simply the difference between life and death. On our recent 40 oC days our water bowls were potentially life savers for the local Magpies, Doves, Wattlebirds, Noisy Miners and Thornbills. Tragically the drought and increasing temperatures across Australia are leading to significant decreases in the numbers of birds generally. Even our water birds cannot rely on available water or feeding/ wetland environments any more . Another reason to hold our politicians around the world to account on Climate Change NOW .
This Great Egret was hanging out with two fishermen beside the Moyne River jetty at Port Fairy.
Usually these birds are observed from a distance as they quietly seek out frogs, tadpoles or other small specimens of water/ swamp dwelling life. Not this bird. It was right beside the fishermen who explained it had trying to steal bait from their fishing tackle all afternoon. At one stage it was standing on one man’s car when he hid the bait inside it. Either a very hungry or very tame bird.
It seems they had decided to share some bait with the bird when it clearly was not going to go seek its own food naturally and of course more was asked for. Maybe another consequence of changing conditions out there in nature.
Dawn on the Moyne River at Port Fairy last September. This was an early morning walk Maggie and I took on the town side of the river. The sun was just rising over Killarney Bay behind the sand dunes. Port fairy is a beautiful little town however all relevant Climate Change scientific predictions have almost the entire town inundated by the ocean in the not too distant future. Whenever I now visit this town of my early childhood and where I first met my wife Jill and reflect on the happy memories I struggle to feel optimistic about Australia and most of the world addressing emissions reduction and restricting the looming dangers of decades of ignorant selfish political inaction on climate change.
This is Australia’s carniverous Musk Duck. These photos show a young bird on the Moyne River at Port Fairy. They are solitary birds and spend almost all their time floating on the water or just below the surface with the bill and head partly above to breathe. They spend a lot of time diving to catch crustaceans and also stalk and grab floating fledglings of other water birds. The duck worlds Crocodile. I have only seen 2 of these in my lifetime. They rarely come out of the water as their legs are barely able to support what is a stocky, heavy body. Certainly not just another pretty duck