Monday, April 29, 2013


Well once again my answer to WIIW (or was that WIIT?) is getting rather late.

Well of the six guesses that came in four were pretty close and one of those was absolutely bang on target!
SO to the ones wide of the mark –
Anne guessed: “It's part of a clock, or watch, or timepiece (magnified). To hazard a guess, I'd say it's your birthday tomorrow and you are counting down.”
I can see that, but it is actually part of something very large.
Michael said “It looks like cookie dough.”
Nope, but I can kind of see that too, but it is the setting sun that gives that warm colour.

Which brings us to the close shots…
Jennifer (AKA Old Kitty) said “It's an edging of something marble...!!”
It is an architectural edging, but in granite not marble. 70%

Marcy said: “Maybe a relief on an old building? This is a hard one”
Hard? But you have earned 100% it is a relief on an old building!

Deniz (who came in late) said “You mean I still get a chance to guess? Hmm, but I can't! Have no idea what Thursday's image might be. Maybe a part of a memorial?”
Exactly! Despite your self doubt that is 100%

Which brings us to Linda G who  crowns herself in glory.
Linda guessed “Something to do with Anzac Day? Part of a memorial, maybe?”
It is part of a memorial! That is 100% And last Thursday was ANZAC day!
Knowing that earns you a bonus 100% for a massive 200% score!
So here it is the Mystery object, The Victorian War Memorial.

So what is ANZAC day?
Just on dawn on the 25th of April in 1915 the first boats of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)  grounded at Gallipoli in Turkey.
Image from Wikipedia
World War One was raging and for the first time as a nation Australia was going to war.
As a brand new nation and proud member of the British Empire, Australia pledged to join the war effort as soon as war broke out in 1914.

But we didn’t have an army to speak of, so recruitment and training began. The initial force sent overseas was a combined corps of Aussie and Kiwi troops.

The ANZAC troops initially went to Egypt to train. From there they were deployed in the disastrous Dardanelles Campaign as part of a larger allied force.

After nine long months of bloody conflict the campaign failed and the Allied Troops were evacuated. During those nine months 28,150 Diggers (the Oz word for soldier) became casualties with a total of 8,709 killed. The Kiwis had 7,473 casualties with 2,721 killed.

For the people from Downunder these numbers killed and wounded were simply staggering. It is worth pointing out that during WWI Oz only had a population 4.5 million and NZ a population of 1.1 million.

By the time the war dragged to an end in 1918 over 330,000 Aussie recruits had served overseas, all volunteers.
The casualty rates for Australian soldiers in WWI were horrendous as the Diggers were often used as "shock troops", 67% of Aussies serving overseas during WWI became casualties.

Australian society, like so many others, was traumatised by the carnage.
Every Aussie town, city and state has a war memorial of some kind.

So every April on the 25th, both here and in New Zealand, Anzac day is held to commemorate those who served and those who were lost in every war Oz has fought.

The day begins with the Dawn Service.

Then the traditional ANZAC Day Parade begins.
Here are a few piccies from a parade I photographed a few years ago.

 Led by  the Parade Marshal

 The Parade features current service personnel

 A fair smattering of patriotism

But the focus of the parade is the veterans

For old men and women to march and remember (many supported by younger family members)

A time for the generations to come together

Friday, April 26, 2013

Al chases his tail,

Well I meant to post my answer to WIIW yesterday. But I was too busy...
And tonight I wasn't home until well after dark, which makes this piccie of the day timely...

One of the Twelve Apostles and sunset

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What is it Thursday?

No Al hasn't gone crazy, it is in fact Wednesday.

But the image for this WIIW is actually kind of something to do with tomorrow.

So what on Earth doe you think this might be?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stormclouds in the Yarra Valley

My piccie of the day is one I took a while ago near Woori Yallock in the Yarra Valley.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

My piccie of the day is a female eastern grey kangaroo

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stars, Waterfalls and Long Exposures

Well this week’s WIIW seems to have stumped people.

 I thought this image would be easy, but neither Linda G’s guess of : “Raindrops (or water drops, anyway) on a pane of glass in the dark?”; or Old Kitty’s “I'll say padding/insulation stuff!”;  were close.
I can see the water drops by the way…
So what was the image? Well the answer is kind of related to a question that Michael asked about this piccie of the day. 
Michael asked “I wonder if they used an overexposure to capture the look of the water like that?”
First up my inner child has to stamp his feet and say “MY PHOTO” – like 99.9% of piccies on this blog the Mackenzie Falls piccie is one I have taken. :-)

Now I have my tantrum out of the way  I will say, you are kind of right Michael, but it is more a case of “long exposure” rather than “over exposure”.  For a normal photograph (if there is such a thing) a camera is set for a fairly fast exposure with the shutter open for about 1/250 of a second.

If you use a shutter speed like that on a waterfall you get an image like this one I took recently of the Upper Ebor Falls. It was raining (you can see the rain on the lens) and I didn’t have a tripod so I just snapped a quick piccie.

The short exposure “freezes” the water.
 And on this piccie of the Lower Ebor Falls

SO to catch the look of motion I mount the camera on a tripod, narrow the aperture to limit the light coming in the lens and use a long exposure sometimes as long as a full second.
With a long exposure the water blurs due to its motion which generates an illusion of movement.  The only problem is sometimes the vegetation around blurs too as it moves in the wind. Like in this piccie of the Hopetoun Falls.

The trick is to get enough light reflected from the water without actually overexposing the piccie like this piccie of the lower Ebor Falls.

So what about the WIIW image?

Well other than aiming to blur motion, the other thing a long exposure is used for is when there is very low light. My WIIW piccie was taken outside here in the crystal clear skies we get in the mountains (when it isn’t raining). For this image the objects blurred a bit due to the camera moving in a breeze and in the extremely long ten second exposure the objects moved a little them selves.
I give you the Southern Cross and the “Coal Sack”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What is it Wednesday?

Well a little surprisingly after the vile weather last night I was greeted by a beautiful dawn and hardly a cloud in the sky.

One bonus of early starts is I get to see dawn most mornings.

Now for this week's WIIW.  I suspect this is an easy one, but sometimes the ones I think are easy  are the the ones that stump people.

SO without further ado, what on Earth do you think this might be?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mackenzie Falls

Wet, wet, wet again.
I drove home tonight through torrential rain and hail.

SO on the wet theme I present the Mackenzie Falls, Victoria

Monday, April 15, 2013

Stop Start: Cottage Update

Well the weather has been playing havoc with building this past weekend.
But we managed to make fairly good progress in between the rain showers.

In this area we have only had 35 fine days since Christmas and half of them were in January!
A dry day has become a topic of conversation, and excitement! 

So we lost most of Friday, it was simply too wet.
But Saturday was better and Sunday was actually sunny all day!

Unfortunately, I don't have any piccies taken along the way because we were just plugging on, but this is where we finished last night.
This piccie shows the view through the new west window.
The trestle is what I have been using to get high enough to work on the side of the house.
The two small trees just outside are ancient peach trees, at least fifty years old.

The west wall of our lounge has been re-framed, the window flashed and in and the whole made temporarily watertight with foil sarking.  I have rebuilt the whole wall because the new window is larger then the old, but fortunately the old timbers were less rotted so I have been able to recycle many of them back into the frame.

This piccie shows the side of the house after I had packed up. I think I mentioned once before the little tank stand on the side is the hot water system.
Hot water is heated by a slow combustion wood stove in the kitchen (or will be again). The firewood is cut from dead wood off the farm. Treading softly here we come.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


My piccie of the day is once again from Victoria, this time an unnamed cascade on the Taggerty river

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Piccie of the day

My Piccie of the Day is a railway viaduct on the Melbourne - Bendigo line in Victoria

Friday, April 12, 2013

WIIW – Woods Point

Well there were a few answers for this week's WIIW, and although Al has scored a victory for a change there are certainly a couple of answers that are close to the mark.

Old Kitty said: “Some kind of rope stitching for carpet!?”

It is a kind of rope, but you have the scale all wrong… 30%

Linda G guessed: “To me it look like a wire on some sort of insulation, maybe part of your new house.”

It is kind of wire too, but again you have the scale out… 30%

Anne was much closer to the mark: “Looks like a steel cable of some sort, outside perhaps on a rock (moss around it). Might be a piece of old cattle fence?”

You are so close it is a steel cable, it is outside, and it does have moss growing on it!
But it isn’t quite rock and it isn’t a fence. 80%!

Marcy was close too with: “I think the background is stone or cement and the wire is a cable, perhaps electric or telephone? Unused and forgotten I'd guess.”

It is indeed a cable and it is concrete, not rock, and the structure is unused and nearly forgotten. 80%!

So here it is.

This ruinous structure is an abandoned gold furnace at Woods Point in the Victorian gold fields.

I guess the steel cables (we usually call them wire ropes in Oz) were used as a temporary repair before the furnace was finally abandoned with the end of the Woods Point rush.

Hidden in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, Woods Point was one of the more significant early goldfields in Oz. 

 More than five million ounces of gold were mined in the area by 1900.

Then the fields all but failed and the town almost became a ghost town.

I have included a few of the piccies I took there a couple of  years ago.
This is the local post office - still trading!

The former garage (now closed), have you ever seen a smaller service station?

And finally the smallest house (if it deserves the name) I have ever seen.
This tiny miner’s cottage is barely long enough to fit a bed!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Piccie of the Day

Well this piccie of the day is one of my favourite piccies ever, a piccie of the Beauchamp falls in Victoria.

As most of you will know I have "gone bush" in the mountains of northern NSW.
I won't have much time for shooting till I have the cottage livable, but I am looking forward to the fact that there are supposed to be around 200 waterfalls within an hours drive of where I am now living!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is it Wednesday?

Well I have taken a little while finding this WIIW image.

Having been caught out very quickly just lately I am trying for a bit of my own back!

I am hopeful that I will be awarding a few part scores but no 100% scores.

So, what on Earth do you think this might be?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Piccie of the day

My piccie of the day was taken last spring. These are "milk-maids".

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cottage Update

Well this past weekend not much happened on the cottage because we were away visiting E in Kingaroy. But the weekend before was of course Easter and I had four days to work on the place.

We got so carried away with working I hardly paused to take any piccies...
First up I fitted the bedroom window in place (no piccie I am afraid).
I moved to the lounge room and pulled down the frame of the east wall to frame up the new window. Again some of the timbers were rotted but it wasn't as bad as the bedroom.
This piccie shows the new framework around the window from inside.

I managed a piccie of outside at the same time. As you can see the bedroom window is in place and the framing and foil lining are done on the whole eastern wall of the house.

On Easter Sunday we headed down to Coffs Harbour to pick our daughter Lu up from the airport. So not much happeed on the house on Sunday.
On Monday I managed to get the new window into the east wall of the lounge before the failing light and inclement weather forced an early halt. I just can't get enough of the views up here.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Well Tonight Deb and I are in Kingaroy in QLD staying with E, our eldest.

E graduated with her Masters in Speech Pathology last year and is now working to support kids with speech problems.

First up I was cleaning these fellows out of her garage.
Redbacks (Latrodectus hasseltii) are one of our more dangerous spiders, but since the development of antivenom in 1956 they haven't caused any deaths. They don't bother me (as long as I know they are there). But poor E is somewhat of an arachnophobe, so she saved them for me to move.

This afternoon E took me to the nearby  Coomba falls as a reward. I managed a few piccies I was happy with.

Then finally as we were heading back to E's I pulled the car over to attempt some shots of this Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)

Al almost pulls it off

Well when I posted this WIIW image I hoped to score some points for myself. 
But although most people fell into the trap I set, one of the first round guesses is so close that it takes the cigar.
Anne, Linda, Marcy and Jennifer (AKA Old Kitty) all saw the shiny bubble look and plumped for some variation of an inflatable plastic object/
Well guys you are only partly right, it is inflatable, but it is a biological structure not plastic.

That brings us to John Gray with his guess of "jelly fish". That earns a score of 95%!
This guy is what we call a "Bluebottle"in Oz. In most of the rest of the world it is called a "Portuguese man o' war".
Although they are jellyfish like they are strictly in another group called siphonophores
Unlike jellyfish they float around on the surface dangling their tentacles down into the water. They are unpleasantly common in Oz waters causing around 10,000 stings each year. The sting is not usually dangerous but is extremely painful.
I have been lucky enough to never be stung, but poor Deb has been; she described it as intense pain that made her feel like she was "having a heart-attack".

Just a quick final word, Deb and I are off to Queensland for a lighting trip this weekend. Our baby Lu has been visiting us for the past week. So this weekend we are shooting up to visit our eldest in southern QLD before dropping Lu off at the airport in Brisbane to fly back to Melbourne. A round trip of 1,200 km (750 miles).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WIIW: Al tries again

Well after my humiliation with last week's What is it Wednesday I have been scouring my piccie archive in an attempt to find something harder.
I will resist the urge to claim this is a toughie, just in case I get egg on my face again...
So without further ado, what on Earth do you think this might be?

Monday, April 1, 2013

In Which Al is Humbled

Well it has been days since I posted my WIIW (we are now closer to next Wednesday than last).
But having sulked for most of the week I will have to stir myself to post an answer.
(Actually I have been working on the cottage such long hours outside my day job I just haven’t had a moment to post.)
In my arrogance last week I posted this Image for WIIW and said  “I suspect no one is going to get 100% on this one”

Only someone did! And in the first comment!

So in a vain attempt to salvage some pride I will run through the not quite correct answers.

Linda G. said... “It's grating of some sort, possibly on some old historic building?”
Not on a building, but I guess it can be called a grating so that earns 60%

 Old Kitty said... “Erm.... it's an extreme close up of a waffle! “
Not food, nope. But I guess that earns 50 bonus points for creativity.

Dawn Simon said... “It's a building! Or...maybe a close-up on an electronic device?”
No, it is neither, and unlike so many WIIW this is not a close up.

Which brings me to Marcy who commented first with “Looks like metal or possibly wood grating, like on a drain in the street or on a boat or maybe a jail. That's my guess(es).”

Well it is, as I said above, a grating and your scatter-gun approach hit dead on with “on a boat” so I have to award 100%
I took this piccie of a paddle steamer on the Murray River. Boats like this towed barges laden with agricultural produce across the whole Murray-Darling river basin from the late 1800s until the early 20th Century. They almost passed into history with the arrival of the railways in the 1900s, but enthusiasts saved this vessel, and indeed a flotilla of others at the Murray River town of Echuca.