After a stressful walk to the local letterbox in Station Street, on Friday, I decided to take the dogs around the block for a little extra recovery time, despite the fact that it was almost 10pm.
Imagine my delight when I walked around the corner and was greeted by this wonderful display of decorations and lights!
Admittedly, this particular neighbour always puts on a good display, but I don’t ever seem to go that way at night, and had no idea just how gorgeous it would be when lit up. Just seeing the effort that these people have put into their display helped to restore my equilibrium.
This post began life as a rant about the cause of my stressful trip to the letterbox, but I really feel that that would be pointless, and could spoil the feeling that these beautiful lights gave me, so – in the spirit of the season – I will forgive and forget.
Merry Christmas, everyone, and best wishes – whatever your beliefs. Have a happy and safe time with your friends and families.
On one of my daily walks with the dogs, earlier in the week, I came across this magnificent poppy growing through a woven-wire fence.
I have never seen such a large poppy (at least, I think that is what it is – the seed capsules and leaves look like it, but it seems more like a shrub, in habit, than I would have expected). I must introduce myself to the home owner one day, and ask!
Whatever it is, the bees love the flowers and swarmed all over them. I’ll admit, I lamented only having my phone camera with me, as macro shots were not possible. I would have loved to capture the bees with their chaps loaded with pollen, but it wasn’t to be. In the end, I was quite happy with the result above, but it did highlight something I’ve been worrying about over the past weeks – the lack of photography I’ve been doing with my ‘big’ camera – my much-loved Canon 10D, since I started this project.
In theory, I should be taking both my phone and my DSLR out with me. This would mean that I would be taking more pictures than usual rather than fewer. The reality is, though, that this has become all-consuming and I have been leaving my other camera at home far more often than I like.
The other thing I have come to realise, is how difficult it is to post daily… I find that, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get here every day, and so have been re-thinking the premise of this project.
So – an early New Year’s Resolution: I must take at least one photo daily with each camera! That way I will have more to contribute here, and won’t feel like I am neglecting my other projects! Will let you know if I am successful…
An afternoon spent singing has got to be one of the best ways to pass the time.
Today the choir I sing with – Lipstick & Spurs – was lucky enough to be invited to accompany the amazing Sally Dastey (folk singer/songwriter, formerly a member of Tiddas) at Young & Jackson’s hotel.
We were part of four songs – three of Sally’s and Pearly Shells – which she brought to the choir when leading us for a while earlier this year. The most fun of all was the last song Someone on his side. Sally said she was going to sing it on her own, but then invited us to sing harmonies at the end from within the audience. She described it as making the audience feel like they were part of the music rather than being separated from it, and she was right – the last song brought smiles and laughter to a lot of faces.
It’s just over a year since I joined the choir, and here I am getting amazing opportunities like this! The talent of the people around me, and the joy they get from their singing, are gifts in their own right, but being able to join in is more fun than I could have imagined. Although it sounds corny, singing like this feels like the realisation of a dream I didn’t know I had. And now that I’ve found it, I’m going to treasure it.
On Saturday, a friend had his birthday party at the Belgian Beer Garden on St Kilda Rd, just past Commercial Rd. It was a beautiful day, and everyone gathered in the grounds of the RVIB, under the shade of the big old trees that fill that part of the garden.
In the midst of the conversation, a Red Wattlebird swooped down from the trees and landed on Meg’s head. I shooed it away, as it was obviously trying to get what she was eating and was getting tangled in her hair – only to have it come straight back and try again.
It turned out to be a baby – just out of the nest and not yet fully feathered, but inquisitive and incredibly trusting. The photo above shows it drinking the condensation from the outside of a beer glass, in the middle of all the people.
I was lucky enough to have it sit on my hand and look at my glass of water inquiringly, and when I held it out, it used its amazingly long tongue to have a really good drink! I’m only sorry I was too busy holding it, to get a photo…
We were lucky enough to be given tickets to see the Choir of Hard Knocks on Saturday night at Vodafone Arena. The concert – which was very enjoyable – finished much later than expected, so that when we were leaving our crowd mingled with that from the My Chemical Romance concert at Rod Laver Arena, making for an interesting and fun walk across the bridge to the MCG.
I find it really frustrating to be out anywhere without my camera – especially when the views are as spectacular as those of the city were. The beauty and limitations of mobile phone cameras were demonstrated to me again, in that I was able to get some pictures of the city skyline, and the footbridge between the MCG and Vodafone/Rod Laver arenas, etc., but wasn’t really able to exercise any control over exposure, other than by turning the flash off.
It has been a really interesting exercise going back to using what amounts to a basic point-and-shoot camera, after many years of using SLRs. It really pares down the process to the key elements of subject and composition, and has made me really think about what I’m doing as I’m taking a picture. And, while the images are not of sufficient quality (in terms of file size) to be enlarged much beyond a 10 x 15cm print, I’ve been really happy with some of them. I hope you’re enjoying the process, too.
Maybe it is the fact that I trained as a botanist, but I can’t pass by masses of flowers without taking photographs…
At the local fruit shop, there is a florist whose wares form the centre of the store, and these proteas (king proteas?) caught my eye. I think the people in the shop thought I was a bit nuts taking photos of them, but no one asked any questions, so I didn’t offer any explanations. I just thought they were so amazing that I would share them with you.
Have a lovely day, and Happy December!