Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wild Flower Watch III

What Happened to Spring?
Well it is meant to be spring down this way.
It seemed like it in the middle of the week with bright sun and warm 27°C (80°F) weather.
But come the weekend it was miserable, yesterday it was sleeting!

I was worried that I wouldn’t manage to get down to Queenstown Cemetery to check the wild flowers.
But this morning the weather relented a little. It was still overcast at 7:00 when I was up so I snuck out between showers leaving Deb to sleep in.
So what was there this week?
 The first thing I saw were these buds. 
I was hoping they are a native, but thinking about it they might be an exotic weed possibly a freesia, perhaps we’ll see next week.

Last week I found one solitary Waxlip Orchid (Glossodia major), and was hoping to catch another of the beauties again.
So I was relieved to find this one. You can see how wet it was from the drops of rain on this flower.
The same flower from a different angle.
You have to watch where you are treading because hiding among the grasses are all kinds of delights.
The little peas that were so vibrant a couple of weeks ago are looking worse for wear.
Except another they seem to be budding for another show.
There were more Goodenia this week.
Just a couple of Blue Flax Lily (Dianella caerulea) flowers were poking out. These hang face down so I had my camera on its back looking up at this.

The piccie is hopelessly overexposed because of the light from the sky, but I thought it was an interesting shot, with the light shining through the petals.
I’ve included this piccie I took last year to give a better idea of what they look like.
I needn’t have worried about finding Waxlips, as I climbed the hill further into the cemetery I realised the week has brought literally hundreds of them out
Here is a little clump of them.
The wind began to pick up and the rain threatened so I just paused to catch a shot of this Bearded Heath before I left.
I can’t wait to see what is on show next week!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Horse-shoe Falls Tasmania

Horseshoe Falls, Mt Field National Park, Tasmania

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh Fork It!

Well I didn’t think this one would be so hard!

Last weekend Deb and I stopped for a coffee at one of our favourite cafes.
While I waited for our coffee I pulled out my camera and cleaned the lens I was using and me being me I had a go at snapping piccies in the low light without a flash.
I took a couple of this and the close up I used for my WIIW.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A toughie!

Well it seems to be a toughie!
Linda G didn’t even take a wild stab.
Carolyn V said “Paper with some glasses? Hum.... Why are these so hard for me?”

Because I choose objects that will be hard!
Having said that, you are partly right.
There is some paper in the piccie but no glass

Jai guessed, “Perhaps a floor tile?”

Not on a floor.

Susan said “It kinda reminds me of a car seat... the back to the left, and the seat to the right. But I can't figure out that metallic-looking thing to the right. Crap. Ya got me again.”

Well I did try! Nope nothing automotive here

So a clue is in order. There is one object resting on some paper.
Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What is it Wednesday?

Like many bloggers I am a comment junkie.

I would like to respond more often, but the reality is I running am behind most of the time these days.

So I thought I should just say a blanket thanks.

So thank you all for your comments both recent and in the past!

Time seems to be in such short supply for all of us these days.

In the spirit of keeping things short and sweet, and because it is Wednesday.

What on Earth do you think this is?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Aboriginal rock art The Grampians

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hilda IV: School Term

Well I am still powering along with my new WIP “Hilda”. I haven’t quite managed the rate of a scene a day that I did in my first week. However, I am up to 19 scenes in 21 days and reading them back I suspect most of them will end up in the final book.
Still that is a long way off yet
So in this week’s scene Hilda is off to the first day of what she believes will be her last year at school.

Little Wilfred held Hilda’s left hand very tightly as the three of them walked along the road toward the school. Dolly walked on Wilf’s other side holding his other hand. He was putting on a brave face being as his Dad said he was ‘A man of the family,’ but as Hilda knew he was scared at the prospect of his first day of school. Dolly hadn’t helped him with tales of Mr Marsh the Master beating the boys with a cane. Dolly had sulked for a bit when Hilda told her ‘Leave him be Dorothy! Don’t worry Wilf, Mr Marsh only beats naughty boys.’
No one called Dolly “Dorothy” except when she was in trouble and she didn’t like it.
Six years before Hilda had walked this way hand in hand with Ginnie; she remembered her first day as one of excitement. As long as she could remember she had wanted to go to school, and this year was her last year. This year she would turn thirteen and finish sixth grade. After that she knew she would be walking up to Ettington Park with her Dad to begin in service. Ginnie was lucky having found a job in the village shop, she could stop at home and come home each evening. Hilda was not looking forward to service, not at all, servants lived at the Park and only had an afternoon off a week.
The clopping of a horse’s hooves on the road behind them broke into Hilda’s thoughts. She pulled Wilf aside, turning to see who was coming. A boy, on a thoroughbred horse, by the look of it, someone she didn’t know. He looked about her age and too small to be in charge of such a large animal. And behind him, riding double, a taller girl, arms around his waist. As the horse drew level the girl spoke ‘Hold up Fred.’
The horse came to a halt snorting loud enough to make Wilf jump. ‘I’ll walk from here Fred.’
The girl threw her leg over the horse’s flank and slid down to land a yard or two from Hilda and her siblings, she turned a warm smile to them, ‘Hello, I’m Maggie.’
Not a local accent, maybe her is from one of the villages over Stratford way Hilda thought, but I think I am going to like this girl.
The girl went on,‘And this is my brother Fred.’
The boy smiled as warmly as his sister and put his finger to his cap. ‘I’m Hilda, my sister is Dolly and this is Wilfred.’
Fred, more serious now, said to his sister, ‘I’ll ride ahead, I need to find where I can pasture Bob for the day so I’m not late.’
Fred kicked the horse into a trot and soon disappeared down the road ahead. Maggie was nearly a head taller than Hilda, but most girls her age were taller. Hilda would never be tall taking after, as she did, her former jockey father. Their older sister Ginnie was not much taller despite her two extra years, Wilf looked to be taking after their mother’s bigger boned family, while lanky Dolly was unlike any of them.
A curious edge to Dolly’s voice, ‘Where are you from?’
‘Weston, over near Welford on Avon. Our dad owns the Glebe Farm there’
That put Maggie at least a rung or two above the Attewell children on the social ladder. A landowning farmer was his own man, as Hilda’s dad would put it, and depending on the size of the farm might be quite wealthy. Their presence raised a series of questions in Hilda’s mind, ‘That’s a long way to come every day.’
‘We’s stopping with our uncle at Alderminster at the moment, it’s not so far on horseback.’
‘I suppose not, isn’t there a nearer school?’
Maggie took a moment before answering, ‘Yes, but our Dad won’t let us go there anymore.’
Dolly couldn’t help herself, ‘Why?’
Maggie frowned, ‘The Master gave our brother Charlie a terrible beating last term. Dad said rather than having himself punch the master he would send us elsewhere.’
‘Our Dad’s name is Charles.’ Added little Wilf.
Maggie smiled, ‘The same as my Dad and one of my brothers.’
‘Is Fred younger than you?’
‘No, we’re twins we’re twelve. He used to be as tall as me but I growed much quicker this past year. Dad says that is the way of it and Fred will pass me by next year.’

Now a Piccie of the day, an un-named arch Western Victorian coast.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wild Flower Watch II

Well Deb had a bit of work to catch up on , and I was pottering around the house so it was pretty late before we got out and about yesterday. It was sunny and very still so although it was just an hour or so before sunset we headed out so I could see if a week had made much of a difference to the varieties of wildflowers on display at the old Queenstown Cemetery.
At first glance there didn’t seem to be much different from last week. The minute pea flower and the bearded heath.
I decided to have a closer look because many of these wildflower species are very hard to spot among the grasses.

Within a minute of making that resolution I spotted one bright yellow flower hugging the ground.
Not a brilliant piccie but worth sharing 
I think it is a “Trailing Goodenia” (Goodenia lanata). There were a number of Goodenia plants hiding among the grasses. But thus far it was the only solitary bloom.

Then within a step I saw this delicate beauty.
This tiny half opened flower is of a “Tall Sundew” probably (Drosera peltata)
Here some buds that have not opened these tiny buds are less than 6mm (1/4 inch across)
And the sticky carnivorous leaves that give these lovely killers their name.
If you look closely
I mean really close, this one has caught a passing ant.
Then I thought I would catch some more shots of bearded heath, because I love this amazing little thing.
It wasn’t until I looked at this piccie on my camera I even spotted this minute insect.
It was tiny, less than an inch long (including antennae). It looks something like a cross between a stick insect and a grass-hopper. 
I couldn’t resist trying a closer shot. Alas I am no more an entomologist than I am a botanist so I will let you speculate what it is
 By the time I finished playing with my insect friend it was the last of the light.

I paused briefly to shoot this sundew flower, 
again this flower is just over 6mm so I am really blowing it up.

Then finally as I was about to head for home I saw this solitary orchid.
I had never seen one of these before (although they are not particularly rare) I am almost certain it is a Waxlip Orchid (Glossodia major), 
This flower was much larger than any of the others I have photographed in the cemetery at a bit over 25mm (1 inch).
I think it is exquisite, and spent perhaps 15 minutes trying to get my camera into different positions to capture its beauty.

Alas It was just too dark to do it real justice and I don’t have a macro flash (anyone have a spare $500?)
I was hoping to get back today if the weather was decent, but unfortunately it was blowing a gale, which effectively makes it impossible to get good wild flower shots.
SO here’s looking forward to see what has come out next weekend.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Twelve Apostles at sunset.

I have been out and about this afternoon. Taking piccies of very small things.

SO as I am home late and need to shiftr my focus my piccie of the day is of some bigger things!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A failed clue

Well my clue of last night.
Jai updated her guess from a car to a bus.  
Well you are getting closer it is public transport 50%

Carolyn gave up on police lights and admitted she was stumped.
I can see that so 30%

Susan switched from front lights on a vehicle to “dashboard indicators”
Well Susan I guess your first score is 50% but that falls to 20% for the second one!

Jennifer (AKA Old Kitty)
Went from “ a truck” to “an automobile” to surrendering!

John G said “a sedan”

And John D said “A Toyota Celica front end grill!”
I remember those Celicas and the piccie looked very like one! I’ll award special points of 40% for that!

Well Jai is the closest, but
 The clue from yesterday showed it was a vehicle that can travel in either direction.
Trains do that, but they don’t need indicators. So what is it?

Well when Aussies think of Melbourne their first thought is usually “cold wet and miserable”
And to be fair Melbourne has lived up to that reputation this past winter.

Then the next thing they think is “Trams”

And that is the solution to our problem. A Melbourne Tram.

This one is turning out of Spring Street in front of the Victorian Parliament House, into the top end of Burke Street.
To be fair to John D who is also an Aussie the mental image trams usually conjure is an old fashioned “W Class” not an ugly 1980’s vintage machine like this one

Like trains they travel happily in either direction so they have headlights at both ends.
Unlike trains they share the roads with other vehicles so they need brake lights at both ends and indicators as well.
A "W Class"