AUTUMN (in the Fitzroy Gardens)

Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like
they’re falling in love with the ground.
Andrea Gibson

AUTUMN IN THE FITZROY GARDENS – April 26th 2023 – EAST MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.  Not a very sharp focus on this shot, but I do like the composition within the frame.

I left home early on the 26th of April so I’d have extra time to take a short walk before my appointment in East Melbourne.

The Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most historic and beautiful gardens. Located in East Melbourne, Fitzroy Gardens is bounded by Lansdowne, Wellington, Clarendon and Albert streets.
Originally set aside as a reserve in 1848, the gardens were named after Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, Governor of NSW. The gardens were laid out in 1859 and were developed as a garden under the supervision of Deputy Surveyor-General Clement Hodgkinson, with the assistance of gardener James Sinclair. 

The layout follows a classic Victorian era design, featuring pathways lined with magnificent elm trees, known to be some of the best grown in Victoria. There are a variety of flowers and ornamental shrubs and trees, which together with extensive lawns creates a diverse and layered landscape.   

The watercourse that runs through the centre of the gardens is an ephemeral tributary of the Yarra River, Birrarung.

Most of the bushes and trees were still lush with the ripening of the summer sun, but some showed the distinct leaf fall of Autumn.  In some cases, I had to search all over the flowering bushes to find specimens that were worthy of a photo.

I must admit I was a bit out of practice at taking photos of flowers too  😀

The Agapanthus flowers were mostly wilted, but then I found the one below.

The sun was glorious that day and I wished I was able to take a long walk as I had the time, but not the physical ability to do so.


A brisk wind sprang up making me pause to wait for the ‘seventh gust’ which signalled a lessening of the breeze.  I say ‘seventh gust’ but I’m never sure exactly when that occurs.  Like the waves on a beach or the wind across the landscape, if you are sensitive to Mother Nature, you do find a gust (of wind) that dies down slightly (regularly) to enable an easier photo shot.

Obviously, this quietening of the breeze does not occur during wild or fierce storms, but on a good day, stop and open your senses to the changes in air movement.

I don’t know the name of this flower. It almost looks like a newly opened Tubeflower and is about the same size, but some more scrolling through Google images is needed.  It was a beautiful soft lemon-yellow colour.

Sometimes I think Melbourne is the windiest city in Australia.  When I lived on the southeast side of Melbourne next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, I was totally convinced it was the most blustery side of Melbourne as the wind turned winter umbrellas inside-out and bent the flowers down in a graceful prayer almost every day that I walked through the Gardens on the way to work.  Once, I swear I was lifted off my feet (and I’m no lightweight).

But generally, Melbourne can actually have 4 seasons in one day so tourists should be prepared to pack all-season clothes.

I didn’t take many photos back on that day in late April and as I’ve mentioned in another post, I don’t have the eyesight to see on the LCD screen on a sunny day these days, so just had to click (& review when I downloaded the images at home).

Most of my images were blurred or and when I switched to manual mode, I got the light settings wrong.

Never mind.

There’s always another hour, on another day, sometime in the future, to do flower photography.

(NOTE: the DRAFT for this post has been sitting in my WordPress box for nearly 2 weeks, so it’s good to update it to PUBLISH).

On a happy note, my new(ish) digital microscope has been at the repairers for nearly 2 months waiting on a new digital screen from overseas and I received a phone call last Friday to say it’s repaired and ready to pick up (probably this afternoon).


For those not acquainted with digital microscopes, mine has a (9″) digital screen and an inbuilt 3mp camera on top of the ‘scope instead of an eyepiece (to look through).  Here’s hoping I can now take a sample of plants (or whatever), photograph the fine details, and then transfer the image to my iMac to include in some future blog posts.  I had many samples prior to breaking it, but not good enough to share.

Well, that was the idea when I bought a very extravagant Christmas present for myself during the usual Christmas/New Year break in Dec/Jan.

I had been looking for a new hobby since early last year now I can’t walk outdoors so much and hopefully, this is it.

(I say a short walk as I’m still recovering from a fall when I caught my shoe on the corner of my desk chair mat mid-March and crashed very heavily onto my knees, catching my right outer shin on the sharp bed frame corner.  Instant large swelling on my shin the size of a cricket ball and severe pain in my knees resulted in an ambulance and x-rays at the local hospital E.R.   No broken bones but some soft tissue damage to both knees and shin making it painful to walk much around my apartment, let alone attempt outdoors.  Dare I say it’s dangerous living in a tiny apartment LOL  😀   The orthopaedist’s opinion I sought said it might be months before the pain recedes.  Sometimes I think I’m a walking accident waiting to happen  😀 ).

I also say, I trip or fall a lot as I’ve walked everywhere since 2003 when I sold my car.  People who drive their car everywhere are less likely to have falls and more likely to have engine trouble  🙂


Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well. 
Naya Rivera

Back to December 2010 for this series of images.   I can picture the scene now.  This butterfly was captured by my little Canon PowerShot A3000 IS (prior to buying my first Canon DSLR at the end of that same month).   Who says a little inexpensive Point & Shoot camera isn’t as good as an expensive DSLR.

The location was near an archway right next to the entrance to The Herb Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.  The colourful Lantana was in full bloom and a shaft of sunlight lit up the flowers and Australian Painted Lady butterfly.


KALANCHOE FEDTSCHENKOI ? – 18th January 2011

My memory is terrible and I can’t remember what I did yesterday, but I can remember (and picture) the details of this Kalanchoe with the many buds and new flowers and exactly where it grew on the edge of a path in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

This image was made a couple of weeks after buying my first Canon DSLR (which I still use to this day) and a Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro lens (which I traded in as part of the Sony a6000 purchase in early 2015).

Note: the RBG to the South-east of Melbourne in the suburb of South Yarra is 55 hectares in size so being able to picture this plant in my head as I last saw it is amazing.   But then I would say I’ve walked around the RBG something like 10,000+ times.   I worked opposite the Herbarium for 16 1/2 years and walked around the gardens morning, noon and late afternoon every day except when there was heavy rain or storms in winter.   I walked around the Gardens so many times I could shut my eyes and tell you in which location I was standing in Spring and Summer merely by the scent of the flowers and even, some of the leaves and barks.

I guess the landscaping has changed since I’ve lived in the western suburbs for several years now.

This morning I found another image of the Kalanchoe flowers from this same flower bed.  This time it was made on the 31st of January 2013.  It was made using my old 18-200mm general-purpose lens (which died from overuse….. I think) and with different camera settings and different time of day, so the tonal range of the background is much warmer.

In the image below the flower buds are fully opened and I find the bunch of flower heads a wee bit too busy for my taste.

31st January 2013

I hope you’re enjoying a peek into my archives and a mix of photo subjects.  I’m finding it easier to upload posts at random these days as much of my time is taken up with health matters.


ARTICHOKE THISTLE, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)

This is one of those random posts that pop up occasionally purely and simply because the images turned out well and exactly how I wanted them to appear.

Having a fence to sit the camera on was a bonus.  (or should I say actually having a camera in my bag after an appointment was a bonus as I rarely take a camera out shopping or for medical appointments these days).   When I lived on the southeast side of the city, I always took my 3 cameras out for a walk as I inevitably walked around, through or near the Royal Botanic Gardens or beautiful old residential gardens on that side of the city.

The Artichoke Thistle as it’s often called is a very stout perennial, up to 1.5 metres high with striking purple flowers.

I was walking down my steep road on the way home when the bright flowers caught my eye.

It is declared a noxious weed in Victoria (my state), Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.   The leaves are very large and I was pleased to be able to lean over the black metal fence separating the enormous grass-covered field and my housing estate and capture the lovely purple flowers.


The Blue Butterfly Bush is amazing when the bush is in full bloom, but very difficult to photograph as it’s hard to isolate just a few flowers.   A photo of the whole bush leaves the flower colour a blur as there are too many blooms, but if you can get just a couple, perfect!

Clerodendrum (Blue butterfly bush)

PRICKLY HIBISCUS CREEPER (Hibiscus surattensis L.)

PORTRAIT SIZE IMAGE (cropped a little by the looks of it)

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be working on re-editing and/or filing my macro images from early 2011, so I hope to find some to share (again?) online.

There are also a few lovely shots made with the 50-250mm lens borrowed from my SIL for a month around that time.  That was one…..very sharp…..lens.

The images in this post were made by the 18-200mm lens I bought about 3 months after buying my first Canon DSLR and 100mm macro lens in late December 2010.   I found out very quickly that the Royal Botanic Gardens near where I lived (and worked for 16 years) was extremely windy and macro shots were better made on a windless (or near windless) day.

I did a lot of online research and reading and finally bought the 18-200mm lens as a great all-around replacement for the macro lens in less-than-perfect conditions.  Note: that lens died in 2015 from sheer overwork.

THIS WAS A CROPPED landscape-sized shot but looks the same angle as the previous image.

Today I found 3 images of the Prickly Hibiscus Creeper (Hibiscus surattensis L.) to share.

(Note: I was actually looking for the beautiful Hibiscus Insularis images.  One, in particular, was a random very lucky shot and very special.  All lost in the ‘mists of time’, or as you computer nerds might say, lost in a computer crash). 

I think it was arout 2012 that I first bought a Mac Pro computer and became an Apple convert (from Windows).  Maybe I lost images then?


Proteas are native to southern Africa and belong to the same family of plants (Proteaceae) as Australia’s native Banksias, Grevilleas and Waratahs.

The series of images in this post are, like many of my photos, taken by sheer chance on a leisurely nature walk.

I was walking from the Meerkat exhibit to Melbourne Z00’s exit to catch a tram home after a day spent (mainly) in the Zoo’s large Aviary photographing birds when I passed a lovely bush full of freshly opened Protea flowers.   I still had my 150-500mm lens over my shoulder and put it up to my eye and took some photos at a relatively short distance (for a long telephoto lens).

It wasn’t until I downloaded the day’s images onto my iMac’s 27″ screen that I realized they were well-lit and had come out very well indeed.


Note for those new to my blog, I am extremely short-sighted and have been since the age of 7 when I was prescribed very thick glasses right from the start.   I also have astigmatism (double-vison) which cannot be completely corrected via glasses, so my photography in retirement is often a hit-or-miss affair.   But after 100,000 images in the first 7-year period of photography, I’ve learned to compensate or guess.   From the age of 16 to 56 I wore contact lenses and in the final years of that period, bifocal contact lenses, which, believe it or not, really do work.  I had relatively good vision at that time.

23rd JULY, 2013

Just before I bought a camera and took up photography in 2010, my dry-eye and blepharitis condition had deteriorated so much that I had to return to very thick glasses permanently.   Unfortunately, due to a further decline in eyesight more recently, (and an optic nerve haemorrhage in my left eye), I daresay my nature photography days are numbered.   Luckily, I went to the Optician and then the Eye surgeon (for a second opinion), as soon as I noticed something was wrong.

A similar thing happened in early 2019 when I suddenly noticed more than the usual ‘floaters’ in my right eye.  A prompt visit to the Optician and then an urgent referral to the Retinal Eye Surgeon for laser treatment to repair a torn Retina (which can also lead to blindness if left untreated) led to a complete recovery.

I urge anyone, young or old, to see an Optician or eye specialist as soon as they notice any change in their vision, large or small.

It may be something a little more serious than bleary eye-sight from lack of sleep or a night on the town affecting your vision.

Or it may be nothing at all  🙂

The following 2 images were made in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens (I think).

Giant Protea (Protea cyanoides)