Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Selections #291

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week I am returning to not one but two of my obsessions.


As I have said, I am a habitual early riser.

And love the soft early morning light.  Fog is a bonus too.






And then to another of my on-going obsessions.  Spring is certainly very nearly here.  However the mornings are often still chilly, and the birds still start the day fluffed up into their winter woollies.






I said that Spring was almost here didn't I?  Splashes of colour like this one are spreading across the garden.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A rare visitor

Very occasionally we get visited by Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos.  They are welcome visitors, despite being vandals.

Last week two of them dropped in.  We fired off plenty of less than stellar photos and himself got some much better video.  If you click on the photos and embiggen you will see just how big those beaks are.  They are big birds too.  This link will tell you a little more about them.





And some photos of the damage they did.  In a very short period of time.  Those beaks are powerful.



After an interminable time, the video has finally loaded.

 





Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sunday Selections #290

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme. Last weekend we went on a small outing.  A nearby newish township was having a kite festival.  And there was talk of a giant whale and a giant cat kite.  Of course we had to go.


Sadly, for the first time in weeks there was no wind.  So the big kites weren't a happening thing.  Just the same seeing small people and their families running kites brought smiles to both of our faces.



I mentioned that the festival was being held in a newish township.  There is lots of building work underway and all of the areas we saw were crammed in tightly.  In some of the finished areas it looked as if you could reach out of the windows of one house and into your neighbours.  Bleah.






This was the only 'big' kite in evidence, and it didn't fly.






Not what we expected, not what we hoped for, but fun just the same.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

WEP Garden Flash Fiction Challenge

WEP Gardens Challenge

The WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) Challenge so generously hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee is back.

This month the focus is on gardens.  We are asked to create something about them - and can do so through fiction, non-fiction, photography...   Which leaves it wide open.

If you visit here and click on any names with a DL next to them you will be taken to some wonderful pieces.




This stunning badge was one of two created by Olga GodimThis one looks just like the garden I try and create from the jungle at home.

Gardens are one of my obsessions.  I pour more energy, time and money than I have into mine.  I bleed for it (and in it) and sweat over it.  And drool over other people's gardens.  So this challenge should be right up my street.  Except it wasn't.  As is not uncommon, my mind took me to some strange places.

***

The Garden of my Mind.


An unreliable mind map.  Time?  Direction?  Season?  Terrain?  Climate?  All subject to change.  With little or no warning.  It is a crowded space, and rarely completely safeProtective clothing is mandatory (and rarely worn).  Gloves, hard hat and closed footwear should be worn at all times.  And will sometimes be inadequate. 



There is beauty and ugliness, birth and death, growth and decay.   At some times and in some places they co-exist.  At other times there are bitter supremacy battles. 



A mixture of organic remains, clay and granite particles, sown with an occasional diamond is laid down as soil.  It is rich, uneven and multi-coloured. Friable and deep or barely concealing jagged edges.   Sometimes almost black, at other times golden or rainbow hued and sparkle laden.  Experience makes a fine compost.  My blood, sweat and tears fertilise the ground when love and laughter are in short supply. 



Cherished memories, hoarded hope, shards of beauty, husks of the might have been,  forgotten dreams and regrets form a thick, thick mulch. Negative thinking worms aerate it.

Rainbows, stars, the moon (in all her phases) and the sun share the sky. 



There are (relatively) ordered areas and largely unexplored Wild Woods.  There are sunny glades, dark dank corners, wastelands and areas lying fallow.  



The beds are crowded, and the borders largely unmarked.  Some plants are carefully chosen and nurtured.  They are fragile and may or may not survive.  Some seeds arrive on the back of  a book, a smile or other pieces of beauty.  Torpedos of media spin explode others into the garden.  There are  wind-blown volunteers (sometimes weeds and sometimes precious) and some which have been planted by people who have been allowed (or have taken) time in my head.  This last  category are slow-growing plants, deep rooted and resilient.  And often poisonous.   The sticky seeds of forget-me-nots take root everywhere.  Welcome or not. 






In an open sunny clearing, the roses of confidence thrive, jostling for space with dancing daffodils and elegant lilies hinting at sophistication.  Battalions of tulips salute the sun in colours begged, borrowed and stolen from the rainbows.   Ripe and fleshy orchids flaunt their sensuality cheek by jowl with frigid snowdrops.  Knowledge vines climb slowly up walls.  Nostalgic granny's bonnets nod in the breeze. 




In that same crowded bed the roses are covered with the black spot of inadequacy and snap dragons drip unkindness and malevolence from their pretty mouths.  Poppies wither and fade.  Spikes of good intentions emerge from the ground, are neglected and fail to set seed.  Lies and half truths bloom and flourish. A leaf litter of chaos and confusion is thick  and slippery underfoot.  The pansies of paranoia chatter incessantly.  Sanity and its hybrid serenity are shallow rooted and wither under the onslaught.  Bickering, niggling nettles run rampant.
 

Shy violets of hope echo the stars on grassy knolls.  A precious few will take wings and fly but most are smothered by disillusion and despair, which ripen in hours and spread faster than  thought. 
.  

Shoals of ideas dart through clear, fast moving water.   Most escape but some are caught and farmed. 

Fat tubers of resentment are fed by sullenly bubbling fetid and greasy  pools.

The tide rushes in, leaving giant piles of rank smelling grey-green depression at the high water mark.

The tide rushes out, leaving clean sands to write upon.
Trees offer wisdom, support and comfort. 
Trees reach bony limbs to trip and strangle the unwary.



It is not an idle space.  Activity bees hum down synapses.  Weeding, pruning, planting, nurturing.  Staking (through black hearts or for support).   Ripping out entire beds of misplaced knowledge.   Eradicating dark thoughts and growth.  Exploration parties.  Building paths and shelters.  Cutting back wayward growth.  Planning for the gardens to come. 
The work is never done.
Which is true of all gardens.

***
634 words.
Full Critique Acceptable.
 


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Sunday Selections #289

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week has been a bit 'more of the same'.  I have been marvelling at the sky, the birds, the garden.  Which is where most of this week's photos come from.  Next week (depending on today's outing) will be different.


Jewel bless her black heart also features.  Not only does she love boxes, the laundry basket is one of her favourite spots too (full or empty).


Then to some birds I don't often feature.


A Magpie Lark - which I previously knew as a pee-wee.



Silver-eyes gorging on pieces of the apple that bigger birds had discarded.  Silver-eyes are tiny, and move faster than greased lightening.



 And some Currawongs - who delight in apple and can scoff one in a very, very short period of time.
 Currawongs might not be the most beautiful bird who visits but I adore their song.  This link will take you to a brief recording of it.

And back to the sky.


And finishing off in the garden again.


A lachenalia


Remember those two daffodils which were in bud last week?



Wall flowers.


More of the wattle comes out each day.

 I hadn't noticed until I looked into the centre of this very grubby cape daisy how many colours it contains...

Friday, 12 August 2016

A sentimental post

Bad and ugly news sells papers.  And hurts my head and my heart.  

When I came across the story of a bride being walked down the aisle by the recipient of her father's heart I loved it.    On so many levels.  I loved that the affected family donated the organs their father no longer needed after his murder.  And I loved the relationship which is growing between the heart recipient and the donor's family.

You can read/see the full story here

There IS still kindness and good in the world.  Which I at least need to remember.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Sunday Selections #288

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme. The calendar says we have some weeks to wait for Spring.  The garden is not so sure.  So come wander through the garden with me.


More camellias come out each day.  And are pruned by the visiting birds.





Some of the 'other' gardeners...






There are jonquils and daffodils and snowdrops out - and more poking through the ground.







The abutilon hasn't stopped flowering since last spring.



And there are fluffy feathers, and fluffy clouds...





And violets and daisies and grevilleas and wall flowers.  And anenomies and ranunculas and freesias in bud.  And at least seven flower spikes on the orchids.  

The wattle is coming out to say that spring is very almost here.  And the vicious (to bare feet) seed pods from the liquid amber hang on the leafless trees to remind us winter is not over yet.



I always enjoy spring and will welcome her, but I do hope that her ugly sister Summer isn't hot on her heels.