Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Deb and I are away again, this time not for work,  but to spend Chrissie with our girls down on the coast at Yamba.

So tonight I will just post a quick piccie of the dawn of this Christmas Eve and wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Away again, but a quick WIIW anyway.

I am away in New England at the moment (the Australian New England, not the American region) so I will keep this quick.

A couple of weeks ago I posted this WIIW.
For those of you who said "feet" - well you were half right.

The feet are Lu's (my youngest)
As to what she was standing on - it is a tree root.
The tree is a lovely old (maybe 300 years) Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis)  that leans out over Coffs Harbour Creek. Lu kindly agreed to be a scale.

Which leads to this week's WIIW.
What on Earth do you think this might be?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not Dead - Just Away

My blog has been rather quiet for the last week or so.

The reason is just under a week ago I was up well before dawn to head down to the regional airport at Coffs Harbour.

I snapped this with my phone before I boarded, yes that is the sun coming up behind the De Haviland Dash-8 I flew to Sydney for a conference.
A Dash-8  is about the smallest plane I ever want to fly in. The smaller they are the bumpier planes seem to be.

So I was in Sydney for a few days before heading home on Friday. My conference ended a couple of hours before my home-bound flight.

Things got a bit stressful for a while as I tried calling a taxi. A rainy Friday afternoon and after 30 minutes I was still on the phone queue.

A quick change of plan, I jumped on an express bus which went into the CBD across the Coat-hanger (Sydney-sider slang for the HarbourBridge)

From Wynyard station in the city centre the airport is a convenient train ride.
A bad piccie I know, but it does show that Sydney suburban trains are double deckers.

The flight back to Coffs was in another Dash-8, an even smaller one! Just a thirty seater
It was a miserable flight; turbulence most of the way with ice forming on the propellers which flew off and banged on the fuselage with a real racket.

Then to add to the joy it was pouring at Coffs  and you have to walk across the apron to get into the terminal.

Thank goodness we had a relaxing weekend with our girls at Yamba to celebrate our Lu's 20th birthday. It is hard to believe our baby is 20!
 Lu our baby, when she was still a baby (more or less)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Shameless Comercialism

Well, as you know I have  posted the odd piccie on this blog over the years.
Like this:
 I have decided I am going to try to make my camera habit begin to contribute to its own upkeep.

With that in mind I have been looking for a way to sell some of my piccies.

What I have hit on is a site called Redbubble.
The way it works is you upload your work, tell them what format you want to sell it in. They manage sales, printing and postage and then pay you a royalty.

The upside is it is a very easy way to make your work available.The downside is like any product on the web you pretty much have to market it yourself, and your images are likely to be drowned in a sea of other people's work.

So with nothing to lose I have made a start.
I have put together two calendars (figuring Christmas is near) and so far most of the images in the calendars are available in various other formats  from prints, to greeting-cards, to posters.

 The first features piccies of sunsets I have taken along the southern Oz coast.

The second features some of my favourite waterfall piccies

If you click on either it will take you to the Redbubble site where you can have a look at them and the piccies I have added to my portfolio.

If you don't want to pay for the calendars, the cards and small prints are much cheaper.

I'll also be adding some more photos from my archive - things like cute Oz animals.  If you "follow me" on Redbubble, you will automatically be sent updates on what I add.  Go on, you know you want to :-)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two answers, one question.

Well unlike last week 
we had four guesses for this week’s WIIW
Linda G guessed: “Hmm. Looks like sunlight shining on a rock formation, maybe something with opals?”
It is bright sunlight shining off something smooth, so that earns 50%. But it isn’t mineral.

Marcy guessed: “I was thinking a cement bench or stone seating of some sort - maybe. And I thought the other one was someone's shadow being cast. but I don't think I'm right on either count.”

Well your first guess is just dead wrong.
But your second earns 50%, it is a shadow but of something much smaller than a person.

Dawn guessed: “I think the first is the shadow of someone's head on a book or car. Or a sidewalk? The second is a flat rock patio with moss growing between the stones. Right? Am I right on that one?!
 Alas No.
50% for the shadow. But the second is way off.

Susan guessed: “The first one looks like a layer of frost or snow on a windshield, and I have no idea what the second one is. But it sure is interesting. I especially like that prismatic patch of color.”

Alas the first is wrong.  The surface those colours are refracting on are probably going to surprise you.

First to the older WIIW.

The shadow on this paper daisy petal was cast by another petal.
So what is the smooth shiny surface?
This handsome fellow is a Land Mullet (Egernia major)   they are a giant skink lizards that are fairly common in the rainforest here. Although you don’t often see them.
I snapped this fellow crossing our track a few weeks ago. He was a large fellow about 60cm (2 feet) long.
Which brings us to this weeks WIIW.
What on Earth do you think this might be?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Well no one had a guess at last weeks WIIW.

So I haven't provided an answer.

Which leads me to this week: What on Earth do you think this might be?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Choking, Dodging, and In The Weather

Well, as you know we have been hot and dry down this way.  We hadn't had rain of any kind since June.
I posted a few weeks ago about a nervous few days and nights as a bushfire got very close.
Ever since then we have been living in a cloud of smoke.
Not from that fire, but from other much larger fires about 16km (10miles) to the west.
Not really close but not far in deteriorating conditions.
The main fire is in pretty inaccessible mountains and despite RFS crews and water bombers it grew from 800 hectares (2,000 acres) to 2,000 ha, then 5,000, 8,000 and is reported today at over 11,600 ha (29,000 acres).
With prevalent winds in the west the smoke was frequently choking.

To give you an idea of what it is like: I took this piccie just after dawn on Saturday.
That isn't a morning mist the sun is shining through. It's a blanket of smoke!

Then the promise of relief, rain was forecast for yesterday and today.

Only it didn't just rain. Instead we had pounding hail and spiking lighting.
Poor Lilli alternated between hiding under Deb's desk and trying to climb onto my lap.
Labradors are not lap dogs!

At the height of the storm lightning struck very close and blew our land-line phone off the wall!

As I write this this afternoon, clouds are moving in again, this is one of my favourite shots, looking down the valley. As you can see one of the joys of being in the mountains is that you are really up in the weather.
A joy, but a bit unnerving sometimes.

So, finally some longed for rain, and hopefully goodbye fires (for a while at least)
 Postcript: Poor Lilli is under the desk again, and lighting is stabbing down all around!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Beauty or Beast?

I did mean to post before now. Ah well such is life.

I had better answer last week’s WIIW before I post this week.
There were two guesses:

Marcy guessed “Either a close up of a picture frame or maybe it's the edge of a railing looking down to water. That's what comes to my mind though I suspect I'm way off the mark.”
 It is a close up, but it is a living thing not a frame or railing

Old Kitty said: “A hermit crab's leg encrusted with sand.”
It isn’t a crab, but it is another kind if arthropod.

I shot this mosquito like insect last weekend, 
Although it is mozzie shaped it is gigantic in comparison, that piece of timber it is sitting on is a 2 inch thick bench-top.
 Which brings me to this week’s WIIW, what on Earth do you think this might be?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A quick WIIW

It is Wednesday so: what on Earth do you think this might be?

I suspect this is a tricky one :-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kinda' Cute, Kinda' Ugly and Damn Cute

In a shameless exploitation of Oz wildlife tonight's post is of some of the wildlife I "captured" while on our recent weekend with our girls at Yamba.

First up is a tiny hermit crab I found while we were exploring a tidal rock-pool.
I would never have seen it other than as I walked past its shell "ducked" in a way that these common sea snails never do. The odd movement made me look closer.

Second is these two Australian Pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus) which were lazing around by the water. 
I think they are rather beautiful, but it is a kind of beauty that is very much in the eye of the beholder!

Finally in the nearby Yuraygir National Park I snapped a few shots of this lazy mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus).

No that isn't a six-legged Kanga'.

She has a joey who is nearly too big for the pouch.

As she obligingly stood up to have a scratch baby 'Roo swivelled around to pop his/her face out.

He/she must have been hungry because when mum bent over to graze again baby picked at the grass too.

Like I said damn cute

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fishing and High Drama

This week three people had a stab at WIIW.
There were a couple that were close-ish
Linda G guessed: “Hmm. My first thought was a shadow. But it could also be some sort of niche cut into a ... I don't know, maybe a stone wall?”
Your first guess is pretty close, it is a silhouette rather than a shadow so I guess that earns 80%.
John guessed: “A musical instrument”
It isn’t, but that is a creative guess I could see the gold as a finish on a guitar or some other wooden instrument.
Marcy was with Linda on the shadow: “it looks like the shadow of a cross. On what surface I'm not sure...”
As I said above it is a silhouette, and it isn’t exactly a cross, but it is a cross-beam, so I guess you hit 95%!
So what is the mystery object?
Well last weekend Deb and I headed down to Yamba to spend a couple of nights on the coast with our girls. Did I mention that our baby Lu has heard the call of the beach and has moved in with the other two for the next couple of months?
Anyway her plan is to spend the summer break with the girls and then take up her studies again but enrolling in Brisbane, which is an awful lot closer to the rest of us than Melbourne.
Lu is a mad keen fisher-person so we decided to spend Saturday evening having a BBQ on the bank of the Clarence River and casting a line in.
So the mystery image is part of a fishing platform. The two fishing people silhouetted by the evening light are Deb and Lu. We only caught a few Flatheads, which are beautiful eating fish, but they were undersize so we threw them back.
There was a moment of “high drama” when this honey-eater got carried away by E’s (E is our eldest) bright flower print dress and tangled itself in her hair trying to get at what it thought were the best flowers around!
As the sun continued to set a shower came across from the ocean creating a rainbow.
 As the sun set it turned the sky and river gold
We stayed until well after dark with the play of the light changing on the river
and then gradually fading away…

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A quick WIIW

A little late tonight so without further ado - what on Earth do you think this might be?

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Giants Return

Three people had a shot at my WIIW this week.

Marcy guessed:  “I think it may be the splash of a large mammal like a whale or dolphin.”
Bingo you are right on the money 100%.

Linda G adopted a barrack room lawyer approach with: “This week's WIIW is easy-peasy: water.”
Well you aren’t wrong, it is water so I guess that earns a good 80%.

Linda was with Marcy: “Gracious, how in the world did you learn how to do all of these things? For a guy from the city, you've become remarkably self-sufficient in the wild!
Whale tail hitting the water?”

Although my most recent incarnation has been as a city slicker, I am in fact a country boy from way back, and a bit of a “Jack of all trades”.
And yes the WIIW is a splash from a whale’s tail hitting water.

I shot this a few weeks ago at Yamba, not a great shot because the animal was so far off shore but I couldn’t help myself.
This was one of a dozen or so Humpback whales we saw breaching that afternoon. When I was in my late teens you would only see the occasional whale migrating along the shore to their winter breeding grounds at Harvey Bay in Queensland (or on their way back to Antarctic waters in summer). 

But since the introduction of the international whaling moratorium in 1982 the Humpback population seems to be climbing back from the brink. So now an hour or two on a headland will usually reward you with the sighting of several of these wonderful creatures at this time of year.

Now to a closer encounter, I caught this Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) on the way down our track on Friday.
She was positively camera friendly, posing front-on
Before showing me her “better side”
Finally she bobbed her head at me and shot off through the trees.