QUOTE – LIFE

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock,
perhaps a hundred times without as much
as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred-and-first blow
it will split in two, and I know
it was not the last blow that did it,
but all that had gone before.
 

Jacob A. Riis

(Note: I knew if I kept this image long enough I’d find a use for it).

QUOTE – SILENCE

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.

 Robert Lynd

First sighting of a Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) on a low(ish) branch of a tree next to the local river last Wednesday.

I stood perfectly still for a few minutes silently wishing the bird would turn around so I could get a frontal shot.

Then it did (as though it heard my request).

I was rewarded with a near-perfect view.

I am exceptionally good at standing perfectly still in silence for quite some time when it comes to bird photography.

I thought I’d have trouble holding my heavy telephoto lens after a long absence of bird photography, but after a few practice shots, I seemed to manage OK.   I can no longer carry a camera bag over my shoulder or the weight in a backpack though.  My deteriorating spinal condition might be up for a 3rd lot of surgery as the nerve compression pain is worse than the hip pain – Sigh!

I stepped a couple of paces closer….

These medium-sized, mid-greyish honeyeaters with their distinctive head pattern live in parks, gardens, open forest and woodland and even low-lying scrub.   You’ll often see them on the ground near the river hunting for some tasty titbits, but can be easily scared off, so best to capture a picture when they’re up high and they feel safer.

They have distinctively rich yellow beak and legs.

Here are a couple more shots made back in March 2017 in the same location.

…..and a couple more made on the metal fence dividing the long reed-covered canal just before it flows into the river – a meer 15 feet from the tree in the images above.

NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) on the fence near the Maribyrnong River

In the photo (below), I was photographing something far off in the distance and lo and behold, a Noisy Miner landed on the fire hydrant right in front of me – May 2014 – near the Royal Botanic Gardens (located south of Melbourne city).

….and another close-up this time.   I spotted this rather tame and friendly miner in the park surrounding Ringwood Lake in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne – May 2014.   It was standing on a shady log backlit by bright sunlight.

Last Wednesday, I went for a very short walk down to the local river – all 3 of my cameras in my shopping trolley, together with the usual bottle of water, folding umbrella & scarf/gloves in case it got too cold waiting for the right time to photograph a bird (or two).

There weren’t many birds visible although I could hear quite a selection of bird calls on the other side of the path in Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve.

It can be quite chilly in Melbourne’s Autumn, although walking in the sun on a clear day can be very pleasant indeed if you’ve wearing a warm coat.

Best to head for home around 4.30pm between the river and my apartment block as my side of the river falls into shadow fairly early now we are heading towards winter.   Once the light on this side of the river valley disappears, you can be suddenly plunged into total darkness if you’re on one of the walking trails, near the river.

A golf course on the other side of the river also reinforces the lack of suburban street lights.

MELBOURNE BATHED IN SUNLIGHT DURING THE GOLDEN HOUR – JULY 2020. MY SIDE OF THE MARIBYRNONG RIVER HAS LOST MOST OF ITS LIGHT IN THE FOREGROUND

In winter I used to carry my tiny strong camping lantern to light the path while on the stretch of parkland (400 hectares) which runs up and down the river towards dusk.  Last Saturday I bought a new LED tiny torch to add to my key-ring.

I lost the old pencil torch years ago.

For the benefit of overseas readers, these 2 images put together (below), taken from the top floor of my apartment building, give you an idea of the beautiful (parkland) environment stretching along the river.   The photos were not made consecutively, and it was only yesterday, on reviewing my Local Landscape folder that I realized they almost align (but not quite  😀  )

NOTE: I live on the other side of the first floor (the U.S. calls this 2nd storey) of a 6 storey apartment building facing the road, not facing the parkland.   Wish I lived facing east to catch the sunrise, but who’s complaining when there is so much greenery on the other side of the building.

QUOTE – NATURE

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

These imges were made on the 18th April 2014. My brother, who was driving me home after a visit to his farm, stopped at this tiny park near the top of the Dandenong Ranges – a low-lying group of hills overlooking the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

He knew I would capture plenty of Autumn colour. This group of hills is spectacular at this time of year and well worth a drive up the sharp winding roads on the way to the highest point of the hills (and beyond to the Victorian countryside).

Most of these trees would have been planted by the early settlers to the area (from seedlings brought out from the U.K. and Europe?) in the late 1800s or early 1900s i.e. they are not indigenous to the area, or Australia.

I had a brief 20-30 minutes to quickly shoot the series before the light faded and the sun dropped behind the hills and we continued the drive down to my home in the inner suburbs of Melbourne.

Today, I couldn’t seem to get into the old Classic WordPress Editor at all, so I assume WordPress have (finally?) ditched that easy method of uploading images (and a post) which I used previously.

I do not like this tedious, multi-keystroke method of uploading a post – partly because it seemed to take several steps to upload just one photo. I couldn’t click on each photo in my media library with the ‘command’ key held down on my Mac and transfer all the images in one step. I guess I’ll have to do a tutorial.

I updated my iMac software a couple of days ago, but that doesn’t seem to have changed my day-to-day computer tasks, so I naturally assume it’s all WordPress.

I never liked this WordPress software design or method of posting when it was first introduced, so have been happily using the old Classic method for many months, but now………… $%#@!

QUOTE – NATURE

Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.

John Muir

QUOTE – Nature

When you have all the time in the world you can spend it, not on going somewhere, but on being where you are. 

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus – female juvenile)

It seems like months since I’ve gone outdoors for a nature photography walk, but have been very busy (for a change) and only made images of the birds I can see from my desk chair.

I’ve found another ‘mouse’ hole in a spare plant pot that has the old soil still in it, but after my SIL telling me there’s a mouse plague in the country, it seems I should take the two ‘mouse’ homes out the back gate and re-settle the contents in the back paddock, not leave them on my balcony.