Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Date

If we haven’t got anything planned come the weekend Deb loves to sleep in.

This morning I had her up relatively early.

Then after getting ready in a lazy way and a leisurely breakfast we caught the 12:00 –All the way in to –Because at the –The –
Exhibition is on for just a few more weeks.

And Deb is a mad keen fan of Gustav Klimt

So while the exhibition is still in town we just had to make sure Deb got there.

Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take piccies in the exhibition.

But as we came out I took a few of the inside of the NGV.
The Great hall

And the front wall of the foyer which is glass covered with a wall of water.Then as we crossed the Yarra River to walk back to the station I had to catch the afternoon light.

The new parts of the skyline.

The old, St Pauls Cathedral

And in some spots where the new dominatesIf you look closer you can see that the old has also been preserved.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lilli the Wonder-dog

It is just over a month since I last posted about our puppy Lilli.

She is now just four months old and continues to grow like crazy. In a month she has gone from 10.1 kg (22.27 lbs) to 16 kg (35.2 lbs). She is losing the puppy cuteness and is starting to look like a gawky teenager.

I had to share these piccies I took of her having one of her few baths. It is finally getting warm enough to bathe her a bit more frequently.
She is still small enough to just about fit in the laundry tub but not for much longer!
She doesn’t look like it but she actually loves the warm water of a bath, she isn’t at all sure about the camera!

Why the wonder-dog? She is just finishing up at puppy pre-school at the moment and the instructor called her that tonight.

Lilli can already:

Wait politely for her food,
Hold for a wee until she goes outside,
and is more or less heeling when we go for a walk (more or less because things in the wide world can be very distracting for a puppy)

Not bad for a baby.
Are we proud?
You bet!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not The Grampians

Tonight I was going to do a third post on our trip to the Grampians.

But when I began sorting photos I realized that it would be a long post with 20+ piccies.

I will do it as a post (or maybe two or three) before too long because I think it is really worth sharing.

But tonight it is late and I have to hit the hay for an early start tomorrow.

So instead a very quick post about what Deb and I did today.

We drove to Woodend in the Macedon ranges west of Melbourne today.

Woodend is one of many Gold-Rush era towns in Victoria.

In the gardens the daffodils think spring is already here.What really caught my attention was the 1864 St Mary’s Anglican Church.The church was open so I went in to capture shots of the amazing stained glass windows that grace the church. I’ve never managed to capture good shots of stained glass before so I am happy with these.

Here are a few samples.And of course St Mary herself.
One thing that caught my eye was this candle in front of this very Orthodox looking icon image.
I just had to play around to see how well I could catch the candle in the dim light.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grampians Part II

I woke early on Sunday. Leaving Deb asleep in the motel I went out for a stroll to see if I could catch some shots of dawn in Halls Gap.

It was a frosty morning (remember it is winter down this way) The local wildlife brave coming down into the town before people stir.

These are eastern grey kangaroos.

I was able to get quite close. It has been a good season so the kangaroos are busy raising their young. Being marsupials they carry their young around in pouches.

Cute aren’t they?After breakfast we headed out for a day in the northern Grampians.I paused frequently to catch shots of the ranges.
At one spot I caught this little wildflower.Along this bush road we came to the foot hills of Mount ZeroI paused to catch more wildflowers.All around the Grampians Heath Myrtle was floweringA close up. Further along the road we reach our destination for the morning,
The Ngamdjidj Rock Shelter on the walls ancient Aboriginal paintings

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Grampians

I haven't entirely abandoned waterfalls, in fact I have piccies of at least a couple more I've shot in the last few weeks up my sleeve. But tonight I'll make a slight change of direction.

This weekend just passed Deb and I have seized the opportunity for a weekend away again. This time we drove three hours west of Melbourne to a mountain range known as 'The Grampians.'Our destination Hall's Gap a little town in the Grampians region of Victoria.

Hall's gap sits in a pass that cuts through the range.
This is the main street of Halls Gap

Although at the moment the pass is not... well not 'passable'. You might remember that back in December/January there were floods in Queensland and here in Victoria. Well the Grampians were hard hit by massive flood events. There were huge landslips throughout the region big enough for many of the maps to no longer be correct and for many of the roads to still be in need of rebuild.

Despite that the area is still incredibly beautiful with an amazing variety of heathland vegetation growing on the impoverished soils of the region.

In terms of diversity of flora Oz has a number of hotspots and perhaps ironically the most ancient and impoverished soils often have the highest biological diversity. I have heard the argument that the Western Australian heathland environments have unequalled floral diversity, matching or even beating the tropical rainforests of the world.
I won't comment on statements like that except to say, people in Oz like grand statements about 'biggest', 'best' or 'most'. Some statements like that are true others, well I'm no referee on the topic.

What I can say is Oz has an amazing variety of unique plant communities and Victoria's heathland has a similar diversity to that in West Oz. Interestingly thanks to the magic of plate tectonics Southern Africa have some communities that are related and look similarish.

Anyway back to the matter at hand. Deb and I set off to the Grampians with an agenda of bush walking (hiking), photography and knitting in mind. We were both going to walk, I'll leave it to you to work out which of us was going to knit and which photograph.

Now I have rambled enough; as it is I am probably going to need two or three posts to cover what we did and saw in just a day and a half.

So after checking in at the holiday park we were going to stay the night we left Halls Gap to check out the Bee Hive Waterfall (you knew I just had to squeeze in a waterfall)

Walking up to the falls I stopped to shoot these amazing rock formations. It isn't quite spring, but the wildflowers are coming out.
A “Wirilda Wattle” (Acacia retinades)These tiny “Cat’s Claw Grevillia” (Grevillia alpina)A “Holly Grevillia” (Grevillia aquifolium) that hasn’t quite come outIt is so gorgeous I had to show an extra closeup.As you get close to the falls you see the rock formation that gives them the name Beehive
I love catching changing light as in these of the 'beehive' wasn’t the only person keen on shooting the falls. This local photographer’s daughter obliged by acting as a scaleOn the way back down I paused to shoot this flower which I haven’t yet managed to identify. I think it might be some kind of orchid, but I am really just guessing.

Then as the evening was drawing in the local wildlife began stirring

I surprised this Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) on the trail. She hopped away because I am so scary.

Just round the corner I caught her friend, another eastern grey

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm Back!

Well I finally got my rotten computer sorted out!

Unfortunately I know too much about the things to leave it to an expert. The heap of junk crashed as I was reinstalling Windows. When I tried another reinstall it just wasn’t right. So I formatted my “C” drive and did a fresh install. Anyway I won’t bore you any more. Suffice to say reinstalling everything from scratch took what felt like forever!

Actually I probably will bore you over the next while.

As you may have noticed I have become even more obsessed with waterfalls than usual. It has been miserable wet weather down here for weeks which hasn’t stopped me getting out and about in the bush photographing waterfalls. And as this is my blog I am going to inflict them on my poor readers for a while longer.

I promised last time I would post piccies I took on our way home from my birthday paella feast.

So here we go. On the way back from Gippsland I had to turn off to catch some piccies of the Toorongo river. Long term readers might remember I shot them with my old camera a year or two ago. But as I was passing nearby I had to have a go with my new gear.

On the way up the valley I had to stop and capture this old Toyota that died in a farmer’s paddock. It now sits moldering by the beautiful Toorongo River.

Further up the valley I left the car to walk to the falls. As seems to be usual down here it was raining again.

Deb, never as crazy as me, chose to sit in the car and knit while I braved the weather.

I paused to capture these shots of the river cascading through the forest. Then I pushed on to the falls.

By then it was late and almost dark so the piccies aren’t quite what I want.

I don’t usually spend hours photo-shopping my pics by the way.

What you see is usually pretty much what I take off camera. The only thing I often adjust is light levels in my raw images.