QUOTE – Winter

December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory. 

 John Geddes A Familiar Rain

Obviously, this quote comes from the northern hemisphere, but it’s just right for Melbourne’s second week of winter.

TALKING OF GINGER LILIES (in the last post)

…..Talking of Ginger Lilies in the last post, I just came across another image I shot on the 28th April 2012 in Melbourne Zoo’s landscaping.

This image has no lens data in my photo library so that must have disappeared in one of my computer crashes?   Obviously cropped to a square format, it’s a shot to be proud of early in my photography hobby.   Either side of it in my photo library is the data showing it was probably shot with my first Canon DSLR and 18-200mm f3.5 – 5.6 IS lens.

Eventually, this much-used general-purpose lens died from overuse after about 100,000 photos.   Now that….lens…..was real value for money.

I bought an 18-200mm Sony lens to go with my Sony a6000 ‘mirrorless’ camera on 24th February 2015, but it also died – this time in a fall in Melbourne Cemetery 26th June – 4 months after purchase.

…..and how do I know the exact dates you may well ask.   Well, I took a photo of the Sony boxes when I bought the camera and took a selfie of the gash from hairline to eyebrow when I tripped over a marble tombstone and ‘killed’ the Sony lens in Melbourne Cemetery.

If you’re new to photography and can only afford one lens to pair with your new DSLR, I can highly recommend an 18-200mm lens.   It’s good for close-ups, good for landscapes and gets you pretty close to a bird up in a tree.

I took so many photos in the early years of my photography hobby, I just have to view an image in my photo library and I can see where I was and what I was doing on that day – better than a diary.

FITZROY GARDENS – EAST MELBOURNE

I had an hour to spare on arriving at my appointment in East Melbourne on Monday 24th May.   I’ve been trying to find the names of 2 (common) flowers to no avail, so I decided to just share my photos anyway (minus those 2 common flowers).

The Fitzroy Gardens, located in East Melbourne,  was named after Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy (1796-1858), Governor of New South Wales (1846-1851) and Governor-General of the Australian Colonies (1851-1855). 

The heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens were originally set aside as a reserve in 1848. The landscape is diverse and layered, following a classic Victorian-era design. There are extensive lawns and pathways lined with mature elm trees, plus a framework of garden structures and floral displays across the 26 hectares.

(Note: the Royal Botanic Gardens to the south-east of Melbourne’s CBD are 55 hectares and go back to 1846 and are far more interesting in my view).

Star attractions are the historic Cooks’ Cottage and the Spanish mission-style Conservatory with its magnificent floral displays.   I managed to find some images from The Conservatory in my archives to illustrate this post even though I didn’t visit The Conservatory on this occasion.   There are 5 seasonal displays per year – the four seasons and one extra.  Best to ring first before visiting The Observatory from a tourist point of view, as I got caught out one year making the long walk from the bus stop and finding The Observatory closed while they changed the display from one season to the next.

White Begonia
Calathea leaves
Looking through the Conservatory window, Fitzroy Gardens, MELBOURNE
Green HYDRANGEA FLOWERS – A nice change from the usual pink, blue or mauve varieties.   Or,  are all hydrangea flowers green before turning a soft pastel colour?
For years I’ve been visiting the area and always found this fountain dry. I never even realised it WAS a fountain – just thought it was a sculptured piece sitting in a raised base.  Just once have I seen it flowing with water and the checkered pool floor filled on what was probably the last photography excursion when living on this side of Melbourne.

Other points of interest include a miniature Tudor village, the Fairies’ Tree carved sculpture, myriad fountains and statues, and the Scarred Tree.

The Gardens have a long history of over 150 years, few other capital cities can boast such a significant garden so close to the City’s centre.

My appointment was in the nearby Grey Street and so my short walk included the Grey Street Fountain – a rather unimaginative name in my view.

The brilliant sunshine threw many flowers into over-exposure mode as I started my short walk and I couldn’t see through the viewfinder well enough to make some well-composed shots.

I quickly changed the target and photographed flowers in the shade.

There weren’t many.

The wind was also a factor as all you flower photographers will know and it  (the wind) is not our friend when it comes to photographing delicate blooms or grasses.

There were not many flowers in flower this close to winter, so I quickly restricted my walk to about 100feet and then turned and walked back to the side street again.   The only 2 birds in sight, were a pair of Australian Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata) atop a couple of rocks in the Grey Street Fountain pond.

First I captured some Cassava (Yucca) backlit by the sun.   I know this plant more by the name of Yucca (and have 2 really beautiful specimens at the top of my steep road near my home).

Then a lovely fresh bloom of this Fuchsia , (swinging in the wind so not sharp focus).

FUCHSIA (Fuchsia boliviana)
ORANGE FLOWERING GINGER LILY (Hedichium Greenii)
MORNING LIGHT MAIDEN GRASS (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’) – not the best shot I’ve even taken, but my brain was slow on the day and I should have increased the shutter speed.
MORNING LIGHT MAIDEN GRASS (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’)

The Agapanthus was at just the right opening stage for fresh blooms…..

AFRICAN BLUE LILY (Agapanthus)

And below, one of only 2 white Angel’s Trumpet flowers not brown and dying.

PURPLE CRANESBILL (Geranium x magnificum)

There were winter-flowering Salvia and Sea lavender (or Statice) budding and showing a few scant flowers but my photos were poor and not worth sharing.

This week it’s back to a cold Antarctic chill, with strong winds and very chilly mornings. Rain all day and/or overcast skies and rain showers will dominate the week.