Monday, 30 September 2013

It would seem I won!

A few months ago I entered a image in a photo competition run by The Nature Conservancy Australia (link).  I am well aware that these types of competitions are "fishing trips" run by the organisations to pick up some decent images, but I done really care!

In a very low key kind of way I found out last week this this image was one of the 15 that had been selected as an "elite" image - and as far as I can tell they mean its a winner!

So, with an equally low key fanfare, here is the winning image!

I suppose I can describe myself as an Award Winning Photographer now - but I dont think I will!

Cheers - SM

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A face in the crowd.

Today was Grand Final day for the AFL in Australia - 100,007 people packed into the MCG to watch Hawthorn play Fremantle.  I was sat on the couch at home getting rather over excited as the Hawks won!!

In an attempt to manage the stress we all went out to collect so pine cones and kindling for the last fire of the year.  While we were collecting the wood, H found this face.  I think a good many people at the football will have looked like this today!

You can find more macro shots - and probably less football - at Macro Monday 2 and I love Macro.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Passing through the Heads.

The entrance to Port Phillip Bay is called The Heads.  The Heads are narrow and generally full of things you don't want to run into if you are a boat!  We have spent a good number of excellent breaks in one of the towns on The Heads, Point Lonsdale.

I have done a lot more processing here than I normally do, as I was trying to get the feel of a postcard or some form of hyper-real holiday poster image.

Anyway, this is my friday post!

You can find more images at Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 63 - Gang Gang Cockatoo

The Gang Gang Cockatoo is one of my favourite birds.

If flight it's wings seem to pulse rather than flap in a regular way, with a pause or a hitch in each flap.  I hear them far more often than I see them, and their rusty gate creak of a voice is both far carrying and distinctive. This species is only found in the SE corner of Australia, through parts of New South Wales and Victoria.

When I do manage to see these birds they are a wonderful example of how to look good without having to be flambouant  - the grey feathers with the pale edges and the males bright red / pink head are as good looking as any other bird.

The name Gang Gang is thought to be of Aboriginal Origin and the scientific name (Calloephalon fimbriatum) refers to the fringe of feather on the birds head.  At about 35 cm long its not a big bird - but it is a good one.

The first two images here are of a rather coy female, and the third is a scan of an old slide. (Remember them!)

Gang Gang Cockatoo

Gang Gang Cockatoo

Male Gang Gang Cockatoo
Now its over to you!  Click on the link below to join in.  Dont forget to invite any fellow bloggers you know to join in.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Market Flowers

I wonder when I'm going to stop seeing panorama style images!

This was taken the flower stall at Camberwell Market (again)

I think I may to do more city photography.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Spring Flowers / Spring Showers

Spring showers may bring forth flowers, but they also cause a bit of grief for our wisteria!  We still have a fine display of the purple waterfall of wisteria at its best, but my eye was drawn to the collection of fallen petals below the plants.

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday 2 and I Love Macro.


Thursday, 19 September 2013


I have a real fondness for the slight light at the ends of the day.

These are a couple of shots taken at the end of the day around the waterfront in Perth.  I am often surprised how still you can hold a camera when you really try!

You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 62 - Rainbow Lorikeet.

These insanely colourful parrots  are one of the most frequent birds I see and hear on the journey to and from work each day.

They dash form tree to tree with wings blurred in rapid flight, they call from tree tops, phone wires and from within the leafy depth of garden bushes.   They are a relatively recent addition to the everyday bird life of Melbourne.  20 or 30 years ago they would have been an unusual sight - most of the mature trees in suburban melbourne at that time were not native, and did not give these nectar sippers the food they needed.

But a trend towards the planting of native trees changed all that, and as the rapidly growing gum trees came into flower the Rainbow Lorikeets moved in.

I'll skip my normal meander through the taxonomic backwater this week and just let you look at these wonderful birds.

Now its your turn - and in case you wondered I will now keep the WBW link open until mid-day Saturday my time!

Off you go!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Camberwell Market 2.

These are the kinds of pictures I thought I would be taking when I wandered around the market!

Opinions please.

Flat out

Half a dozen donuts, please
I think we already have this at home
Almost asleep
Mr. Snap Crocodilus and friend!
I struck up a bit of a conversation with Mr. Crocodilus - much to the amusement of his friend and my kids!

You can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Camberwell Market 1

For a bit of a change we headed off for breakfast and a look around the Sunday Market that is held in Camberwell. The market is run by Rotary and is a major fund raiser - $9,000,000 since it started in 1976!

I  understand that one man's trash may be another mans treasure, but I did have to laugh at some of the things offered for sale.  Single shoes and rusted solid fishing reels being two of the better examples.  another thing that surprise me were the number of cameras - all film and many no doubt the pride of somebodies hobby a few years ago.  There was also a stall that had boxes of Kodak Super 8 film - with a use by date of 1988!

Of course I thought I would be doing some form of street photography - but a number of other things cough my eye. As ever!

Here they are.

You can find more close up type shots - and probably fewer pink leather hippos - at Macro Monday 2 and I love Macro.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


This is another attempt to catch a spring sky - the leaves on the (mostly non-native) street and park trees are rushing from the buds.

By being under this oak I hoped to capture both the patchwork nature of the leaves and the patchwork nature of a spring sky.  I think I could have done with a little more blue!  But there is only so much you on the way to lunch!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 61 - Straw-Necked Ibis

Straw-necked Ibis

These shots are a bit of a blast from the past - as you can see by the fact that people are playing cricket in the background of the pictures.

These pictures are taken on a local sports field - an oval as we say here.  I had noticed a flock of Straw-necked Ibis feeding on the oval a few day before, and luckily they were still there when I went back.  They seemed to be immune to the sound of willow and leather.

These birds are not small, with a wing span of about 1m and a length of between about 60 and 75cm.  In some parts of the world this bird is known as the Sacred Ibis and its scientific name is a nod in that direction - Threskiornis spinicollis means the "sacred spiny-neck bird".  The spines in this case bing the plumes on the chest.

This bird also has one of the better historical common names - it has been know as the "Farmers Friend" - and if you look at the image of the bird flicking the large soil grub into its beak you can see why!

I some places these birds are a bit of pest, being used to garnering tit-bits from picnics and the hands of small children.  I can say from experience that they seem to have a fondness for peanut butter sandwiches!

The birds with the shorter beaks in these images are juvenile birds.

Straw-necked Ibis - juvenile 

Straw-necked Ibis - The Farmers Friend

Straw-necked Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis

Now its your turn to get involved in WBW - click the link below and off you go! Please link back to WBW, share and generally spread the joy that is WBW through out the world!

Last week I asked if people knew of any reason why links to WBW had fallen a bit - and many people pointed out that it was the holiday season "up north" - slaps self on forehead!

However, I will now keep the WBW link open until noon on Saturday to give people  better chance to link up.

Over to you.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Mont Albert night life

Once upon a time the idea of night life would have conjured images of noisy crowded bars, loud conversation and the faint possibility that you would meet somebody you would still be talking to in thirty or forty years time.

Today, in suburban Melbourne, night life takes on a very different meaning.  At this time of year, the fall of darkness comes just before the kids bed-time, the perfect opportunity for a bit of night life spotting.

Although Opossums are found America, it is in Australia that the marsupials evolved the greatest diversity.  And, strange as it may seem, the manicured streets of Mont Albert are a great place to find some of them.  We may not have kangaroos and koalas, but our street is a paradise for possums. Australian possums (this is not a shortened version of the American name) take advantage of the jungle gym of wires and tree branches that criss cross our street, and the lack of leaves at this time of year makes it prime possum spotting time.

The most common possum we see is the Ring Tailed Possum -  about the size of a small cat, with a white tip to its tail.  The tip of the tail is prehensile, and its underside is bare of fur, presumably to improve the grip!

Ringtail Possum

Ringtail Possum

Ringtail Possum

Ringtail Possum
A much larger possum - The Common Brush Tail - is often heard at night clattering about on the roofs of houses, or often and much less popularly, inside the roof!  These possums are the size of large cat - and the males can grow to the size of small dogs!  They are not a small animal.  Given their name its hardly a surprise that that have a bushy tail - but its their size and large pointy ears that make them easy to tell from their smaller cousins.

Brush Tail Possum - showing pouch. 
Brush Tail Possum - with young one on board!
These possums are remarkably fast, even with a young one on board.  The couple in the image above ended up hanging under the wire, and just carried on as if nothing had happened!

But its not all marsupials.  This time of year offers a good chance to see a large Nightjar like bird called a Tawny Frogmouth.  These birds are often mistaken for owls.  You can see some of the good value features of this bird in these images - the fine hairs that extend around the beak and the in one shot you can see the birds second eye lid.
Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth.

So, here ends my brief tour of the Night Life of Mont Albert.

You can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Front Lawn / The day after

Australia had its general election this weekend.  Please don't judge us by the person who will now walk the world stage as our leader.   There are always winners and losers in life, and politically I seem to generally support the losing side.  But at least I can sleep at night!

I went out to collect the morning paper (mourning paper?) and found this dandelion on my front lawn.  It's simple colour and texture lifted my gloom.   Even in the face of disappointment, there is still beauty.

You can find more close up shots at Macro Monday2 and I Love Macro.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

A golden bough

Another evening walk while the kids are at gymnastics and some more wonderful light.

Not much sky here, but it is there!

Very brief post today - just got off the phone from a work teleconference.

You kind find more skies at Sky Watch Friday.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 60 - Purple Swamphen

It really does feel like spring has sprung over the last few days.  And the evenings growing longer only add to the feeling that the seasons are turning.

On Saturday afternoon I decided to find out if any birds felt like being photographed in some late afternoon light - the kind of soft and golden light that we all enjoy.

I decided to have a look around a small pond that lurks next under bridge, near the freeway, a five minute drive from my house.  There seems to be a resident pair of Purple Swamphens there - and as they are a bird of rather photogenic character I thought it was a good choice.

The birds did not let me down.  Although the tall reeds can sometimes obscure them from view, the trip yielded some decent pictures (well, I think they are decent anyway!).  This post is also a chance to use some of the pictures of this bird I have taken in the past.

The Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a large and often obvious water bird - it grows to about 48 cm long and can often be found strutting about with a clear sense of ownership and authority!

I could not help including the last picture - this bandy legged individual looks like its involved in some form of folk dance!!

( I have notice over the last month or so that the number of people linking to WBW is falling a little - if you have any suggestions about WBW please feel free to leave them in the comments or in the WBW tab - of course, if you are reading this it probably means you have linked up already!)

So, over to you - click the link and off you go!  SM