Monday, January 30, 2012

The Family

The days following the storm showed no sign of the tawny-owl family.  Had the storm tossed them from their precarious perch, or were they elsewhere?  Each day I did a tour of the places one could expect to find the family.  No luck! 

Then, this morning after a search of the usual places, I found the tawny-owl family, perched low on a branch behind the laundry.  This place was popular last year, and only once ... two weeks ago, had they spent their day there.  At that time I captured a lovely photo.  Mum and Dad guard their offpspring who I have named Bambino.  Bambino is still learning to be a bird; he often forgets he is supposed to look like a piece of stick; he is just a child, curious as any child.

I raced indoors, grabbed the camera and took a photo.  Bambino was very curious!  He leaned forward that much I worried he would topple over and fall flat on his face to the ground.  Bambino's curiousity was rewarded ... I took a second photo!  He appeared fascinated with the blue/green camera held up in front of me pointing at the bird family. 
Today I didn't bother with another photo; I had a lovely one. 

When Significant Other came back from turning off the water pump, detouring past the gum tree where the tawny owl family sat.  Bambino knew that another was there; remembered he was a bird and sat like a piece of stick.  When I wandered over and began speaking to him curiousity once again overcame him ... he peered downwards, his eyes wide open.  This little 'play' brought home just how much these birds take in ... I, who speak to them daily, am safe, S.O. who seldom goes to speak to them, is a stranger.  There is so much to learn by observation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Storm Force

The weather is an ever changing topic of conversation.  Summer can be hot and sunny, or hot and stormy.

Last evening a storm raged through this area.  The skies darkened, clouds in the distance held a peculiar glow, and the wind picked up.  I closed vehicle windows, hurriedly filled the wheelie bin and parked it across the street for emptying today.

Just after 5.00pm lightning crackled, and thunder echoed around.  The storm was approaching.  Then it hit!  The gum trees bent and twirled in a frantic dance as the wind whipped branches tossing them some distance from whence they came.  A large branch crashed to the ground, silently, near the bedroom wall.  Would the electricity wires hold?  They did, but the electricity went off. 

I dished up tea, washing dishes as we ate as I had no desire to leave dirty dishes to be washed by the light of a light powered from a car battery.  [Significant Other has the battery and the tube handy for these occasions.  Candles have their own place should the power go off unexpectedly in the night.] 

Frightning noises of bits of tree falling onto the roof proved to be nothing more than dry twigs breaking under the force.  Thankfully the house escaped, not so a tree trunk in what I call 'the park'. 

Almost as quickly as it began the storm subsided, thunder moving further away.  We decided to take a quick look at what damage had occurred.  A large tree branch lay over the railway line at the bottom of the property; we dragged it off, but within the hour the railway powers that be had a scout driving along the line looking for fallen debris.

Significant Other has a radio telephone and from that it became obvious that a tree had fallen on the power lines not far away and traffic needed to drive on one side of the road.

It is difficult to read by a dim light; it is equally difficult to stitch by a dim light; bed seemed the obvious option.  Spiders do not appear to like storms!  One huge spider was despatched!!  This morning another equally large spider was found on the floor of the bedroom doorway.  It joined its mate!

After breakfast [we have gas!] we headed out for a look around.  Trees were uprooted, a shed collapsed its roof ending up across the road.  The tree over the power line still had a diversion around it, and everywhere branches lay tossed like match sticks along the roadside, and in the bush lining the roadway.

Finally, at 1.30pm today, the electricity came back on, food in the freezer should be OK;  and now the water cooler is working to cool the 40 degree heat.   About 30kms away a bush fire that had its beginnings in a lightning strike burns;  sending dark palls of smoke into the sky. 

This is summer in Australia!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


A few days ago Cyclone Heidi hit the Pilbara, which is north from here.  India v Australia 3rd test in cricket is being played in Perth and yesterday I heard one of the commentators commenting that the high cloud would have emanated from this tropical cyclone.  Wrong!  The weather from that system is still to the north east of us and will not make its presence felt in Perth at all.

If one was of a fanciful nature the fluffy clouds on the horizon at sunset might be construed as part of the now tropical depression.  We watched as clouds drift inland building up with a promise of rain ... to no avail.  The go inland leaving us with hot temperatures in the high 30's without the respite of a shower of rain.

This evening, when the air was slightly cooler and when it is rather pleasant to be outdoors [apart from mosquitoes!] my attention was drawn to those fluffy clouds; at times a delicate shade of pink reflected from the setting sun.  It was easy to imagine them as balls of fluffy cottonwool resting in the sky to provide a delightful photo opportunity for a few moments.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The Curate's Wife blogged about photos and photography bringing back memories of times past when I spent hours 'digitally enhancing' photos.  In a way this is a type of art form [she says trying to impress], and immense fun.

There are several excellent computer programmes available that allow us to cut photos into important little bits, add other important little bits from another photo, and before you know it a new compilation is formed.

One year a little green 'dragon' with a banana yellow belly came into my possession.  It was in all probability cheap; it was colourful, and sat perched on the shelf of a small bookcase surveying the small world of the room that made up its universe.  My first digital camera, a gift when digi cameras were just coming into their own, held only 16 photos.  The store selling them [in a distant city] assured my son larger memories were easily procurable.  Fibs!  As with many modern electronic toys they are out of date before hitting the shop shelves. 

One day the lonely little green dragon beckoned me.  "Take my photo", it implored.  I obliged.  But what to do with the photo?  Days later inspiration struck [as it tends to]. 

Earlier that year I had visited Moeraki Boulders near my favourite New Zealand holiday destination of Hampden.  A photo from that time projected in my imagination.  A picture hatched.

Incidently I called that little dragon Doni ... not a dino the dinosaur, but almost.  
This small story evolved later:-

The Egg

Beyond the water eroded exterior lay another land, another world; a new beginning.  As the yellow centre of the universe diminished the translucent white of the albumen disappeared.

For Doni time was running out.  As rapid growth cramped his space, his source of nourishment became more precarious by the hour.  Doni wondered if he should give serious consideration to moving his head quarters somewhere more spacious.

From the edge of his nose a spur was growing.  Imaging a crowbar in every shape and form, Doni knew instinctively this new development symbolished his future.  No one had informed him the correct usage of the ugly protrusion that appeared overnight.  Living a short life in a tiny universe, which was the only home he knew, had been a period of dramatic development.  A humble black dot that was his beginning changed hourly, daily, until he was barely recognisable from that simple single cell.

Frustration teemed with an acute feeling of claustrophobia filled Doni's mind and body.  He was trapped.  He had to escape before this universe crushed him into oblivion.  Banging on the walls achieved exactly nothing.  Crying was not in his repertoire.  Hunger drove him on, as an overwhelming urge to leave this place pounded in his mind.

Lying on his back Doni lurched his head upwards ... outwards.  The rocky exterior, worn smooth by aeons of ocean flow of the ebbing and surging tide, started to crack.  With energy hitherto unknown Doni directed a massive onslaught at the wall.  He pulled the spur back.  He lunged it outward.  Over and over the dance was repeated.

Music reverberated through his head.  One, two, three, lunge; one, two, three, strike; one, two three, rest; one, two three, lunge ...  A jagged crack opened up.  Doni, his strength charged with ambition, powered all his effort into this, the Escape for Life.  Lunge, strike, rest.  Lunge, strike, rest.

A trickle of salt water dribbed into the universe that had been Doni's home for a lifetime.  White foam curled around his feet.  Doni stretched out ... his legs broke free ... the case split open leaving him exposed to another world.

Beyond lay the pounding surf.  All around the warmth of the golden sand drifted its welcome; crabs and sand hoppers hurried to investiage.  Doni had arrived in another world.  There was no hard shell to protect him, no yellow inner glow to nourish him; instead he had Freedom.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I read that Kodak is preparing to file for bankruptcy!!  The digital age has pushed 'old fashioned' cameras to the tail end of the market.

What a shame!  How many of us have boxes or tins [the ones with pictures on the top and came filled with biscuits at Christmas] full of photos?  Oh, I do know some who actually have them in albums, all carefully titled.  One day I will find time to do this important task as how many of my children know who those old folks are? 

Photos from the past show a page in history; clothes from another century, hair styles, shoes, even the number of children in a family; all these little facts are recorded for posterity; a snapshot of how the ancestors lived.

How many of these family treasures were shot with a Brownie Box? 

Today most of us own a digital camera.  These are a wonderful invention.  No needing to take a roll of film into the chemist who sent them away to be developed.  At the designated time we returned to pick up our 'snaps' only to find several were blurry, others were blank, and out of the lot we might have three or four worth keeping.  [OK, perhaps my photography prowess was not particularly well honed; maybe the price of film and developing had something to do with it?] 

With the digital camera we can 'shoot' to our heart's content and delete those not up to scratch.  I have become slack in printing out the ones worth keeping.  That comes into the same category as failing to name photos!  Laziness?!

But the fact that the world wide known company, Kodak, is facing difficult times falls into the same category as when the draught-horse became redundant to the new-fangled tractor. 

Times, they are a changing ... sadly.