Friday, 28 February 2014

Day 59: Not all butterflies...

Day 59: ...are mothballed

I think I would like a turret, from whence I wouldn't be drawn out to do things other than read and write. It's a selfish demand in this day and age but some days one just gets on a roll...and then there are expectations to appear in public. 

It's been a bit like that today, work-related on the one-hand but an evening of anticipation at Anita Heiss's (@AnitaHeiss) book launch tonight, her latest 'Tiddas'; a bit of a Brisbane flavour and the best cover, a beautiful jacaranda bloom. I'm looking forward to it. 

Meanwhile, I took some time out from the work intensity to take in the fresh air. The butterflies are gradually returning to the back garden, after a short absence. They're not all startlingly beautiful but they bring a certain life to the foliage. Close-up too, they have a certain attraction. 

Not without its charms
Maybe I could hold off on the turret a little longer, a bit too soon to be mothballed methinks.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 75-300mm, 3.05pm (cropped)]

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day 58: Ruffling a few feathers

Day 58: ...showing who is the boss.

Yes, another early call today. And yes, it is the birds again. I do leave seeds out for the lorikeets, the parrots and the other assorted birds but only when the other natural food sources aren't available. I wouldn't like them to become too dependent on the birdseed. 

Right now, the neighbourhood palms are in full bloom and the loris flock there anyway (leaving the seed for the possum later in the day). For a few days, just one lorikeet has had this one to itself but this morning the flowers were discovered by some of the others...and then it was full...and then, well, then the hierarchy kicked in. 

Mine, all mine...

So much to choose from
This little rascally green parrot, about two-thirds the size of its lorikeet brothers and sisters, decided the tumble of flowers and seeds was 'mine, all mine...mwhahaha'. 

I have another day in the city coming up, I don't reckon I'll get a better pic today, though there are sure to be feathers ruffled...

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 75-300mm, 7.16, 7.17am]

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Day 57: You have one guess...

Day 57: ...b_a_h...

Today was the opening day of OWeek activities at the university. I was required to be there for a few administrative tasks and to oversee some of the language-based activities. I will be away from the campus for much of the semester so it was, for me, a different sort of OWeek since I won't be teaching and for the first time in many years, I won't have very much to do with this year's new students. It feels a little odd.

Anyway, once it was all done (a bit later than usual), I had to make a decision: did I have enough time to get down to the beach before sunset? Will my readers be utterly bored with more beach pics, from Moffat? I figured the answers were no and yes...just not in that order. 

And it was nice to be there, photographically speaking. I arrived just after 6.00pm and there is a very different sense of light with the sun setting and a higher tide than previously. The rock pools on the northern end were almost under water. So here, just a few pics where I have tried to capture the light and dark within the limits of some iPhonography...

The sunset view at Tooway Creek 
The rock pools this evening, or the breaking wave...whichever you notice first
Rock, meet wave...
Rock: *waves*...

Rock waved...
Sunset, looking east...

I particularly liked the waves rushing in over the rock at the water's edge. Previously it has been high and dry. 

You can't really get bored with the beach can you. Can you?

[Camera: iPhone 4S, 6.15-6.27pm]

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Day 56: Twists...

Day 56: ...and turns

So much to think about...I'm reading Hannah Arendt, listening to our day-to-day politics unfold and wondering how we got to this point. The reading and thinking is now starting to turn towards writing...I think I'm reading Arendt at just the right time. Today she was talking about learning about political institutions, the cogs and wheels therein, the interchangeability of the cogs and the lapse in moral can perhaps see where I might be headed with this, dear reader...

More to follow...

However, I had reason to head out to Manly at about lunchtime (Brisbane bayside version, not my birthplace version in Sydney). It was a bit spur of the moment so I didn't go with quite the camera it deserved but the trees by the bay are intriguing: there is a story and character in every one of them. They make a perfect pic of the day, to ponder just how something that might be quite straight up and down can become quite twisted...


...down the burrow...

...and turns.

Politics can get like that. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 2.41-2.42pm]

Monday, 24 February 2014

Day 55: Time to focus...

Day 55: ...but where?

A day at work today, meet new staff, some students, make some final decisions before the new semester begins. Although I'm not teaching this semester there does seem to be a lot to do. The end of February is also fast approaching and that means my research/writing schedule needs to be stepped up...I'm not yet behind, probably more or less 'on schedule' but if this is the pace of the year thus far, then I'll need to keep on my toes. Monday night is rehearsal night and we are only two rehearsals out from our next concert. Now that has come around quickly. 

Finding the right focus
We have a couple of lily ponds around the campus, I've always quite liked them. There is a touch of the Monet (if you care to imagine) but not quite so impressionistic. I was thinking of Monet when I walked past this pond; there is a favourite Monet of mine in the Art Institute of Chicago--> 
         I'm due to present a paper at a conference in Chicago, in April--> 
                   I still have much to do on it and April isn't far away--> 
                          it is time to focus; 

but whether you focus on that which is near or far is something we generally have more control over than a camera's autofocus, thank goodness. 

I'm off to write!

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 2.07pm] 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Day 54: Clancestry

Day 54: ...Yawar at South Bank

After a morning of housework, reading and writing, I headed off to South Bank this afternoon to take in 'Clancestry', a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands peoples' culture and tradition. The festival has been on for a few days, today was the last, closing with Yawar, a celebration of dance from all over the state (and northern NSW). 

[Of course, that means for you dear reader, you are spared from more backyard shots, just for today...]

There was a very cool jazz band working the stage in the afternoon, markets and food. It's always nice to walk around South Bank, nice too when there is so much more to do and see than usual. Lovely to meet tweepster @leesawatego in real life too. 

The highlight of the evening was the closing ceremony, a farewell 'Yawar'. Each of the groups had distinctive dance, stories and music. It was a marvellous experience, really best shown in a series of pic highlights. [Permission was given at the beginning of the event for photos to be taken.]


Dance 1

Many youngsters were performing too

Dance 2

Dance 3

Dance 4

Closing : Yawar

Thanks everyone, and #respect.

On the way home, I learnt that just across the river there was a #LighttheDark vigil for the asylum seeker, Reza Berati, who was killed on Manus Island on 18 February. Tonight our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people showed us so much respect for culture, for sharing, for humanity. White Australia could learn from the traditional owners of the land to which my ancestors came, by boat. We too can be more gracious about those who wish to come here. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 28-80mm, 6.47-8.54pm]

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Day 53: The unfulfilled promise...

Day 53: ...of the rain clouds...

After yesterday's humidity and last night's four drops of rain, yes four, count them--1, 2, 3, 4--we awoke this morning to the promise of actual rain. Much cooler than yesterday and a sky crowded with rain-filled clouds, all day. 

The unfulfilled promise...
Just when we anticipated a downfall, the clouds cleared briefly. I went in search of rain, found a rose. Not the one from a few days ago, it didn't survive the humidity, but this one has managed to bloom in spite of all else. It's a contrast of colours today.

Meanwhile, another by-election, today in the state seat of Redcliffe, while I caught up with much of the reading I didn't quite manage yesterday. I'm continuing with Hannah Arendt, her work and analysis of her work by others. I remain intrigued about our failure to learn from the past...but that is for another post, elsewhere. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 4.05pm, 5.22pm]

Friday, 21 February 2014

Day 52: The frangipani...

Day 52: ...meets humidity

After a morning out at an appointment, time to get home to continue with work, as much as this rather heavy humidity would allow. I'm not complaining, it is February, it is Brisbane, and it is a lot like a Tokyo summer. It is just a few days or so...sort of.

Midway through the afternoon there was brief respite in the form of a reasonable breeze and some developing clouds, but that has come to pass. 

Early morning
As time allows, I am taking quite an interest in the photographic promise of the humble frangipani. I know they have featured here previously dear reader, but I can't help but enjoy their buds, blooms and delightful fragrance. One was taken this morning, just as the sun was reaching up and over the hill; the other was taken later this afternoon, in recognition of its surviving the humidity. 

Countering the humidity
I am a bit if a fan of the art of American painter Georgia O'Keeffe whose work I first encountered in the Art Institute of Chicago. Some of my flower pics are indeed something of a homage to her work. I could never paint, I can only point and shoot...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 7.17am, 4.13pm]

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Day 51: Out of office...

Day 51: ...but work, work, work...

I've been working very hard at getting into good working habits at home to use this time well for all the reading and writing I need to do.  It is so different after years of a 200km per day return commute. It's all falling into place nicely. 

And then some days, one just has to go out for meetings or in modern parlance 'networking'. Today was one of those days: three meetings in the city and across town. Weather-wise, it was not the day to have to walk from Queen St to Parliament House to Customs House and back to Queen Street Mall. The combination of sun, high temperatures and even higher humidity makes walking anywhere (which I would normally enjoy) feel like walking through soup...

Customs House...the view in 1893, perhaps?
Even the little bit of time I had between two meetings to walk along the Riverside side of the river was plagued a little by heat. Another time, I could spend a lot of time snapping away. Here we have that gloriously photogenic 'old and new' combination in the urban landscape. Of course, my work in 1890s Queensland at the moment gives me a renewed sense of interest in Customs House, built in 1889...what would Mr K. Watanabe have thought as he came through Brisbane and saw this building in 1893. I guess, like my impression today--he would have seen what I saw, and stepped forward in time 120 years apart...

Old and new

History...and imagination...see, it's all work after all.

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 12.16pm]

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Day 50: Not the beach...

Day 50: ...again.

A trip up the Coast today to the office. It is nice that it is becoming the exception to the rule to go up there now just once (maybe twice) a week. There were many things to do--meetings, book lists, meetings, phone calls, emails. Work is the last place one would actually get any actual work done...

Back at Moffat, with clouds

So of course I thought it best to finish the day at the beach, again. And I didn't really want to bore you, dear reader, with more beach pics. But you know, when the opportunity arises--or you make it happen--then what am I to do? 

Just to offer a variation though, I looked a little closer at the rocks this time, yes, the rocks although they might look like aerial shots of inland plains. 

Anyway, it is day 50. Let's spend it at the beach. Enjoy!

Rock pool 1

Rock pool 2

Rock pool 3

Rock pool 4

Rock scape 1

Rock scape 2

Rock pool-scape

Rock scape 3

Rock scape 4

Tracks in the sand...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 4.39-5.09pm]

Day 49.5: Poss checks it all out

Day 49.5: too.

No sooner do I think I've nailed pic of the day (day 49) then poss made her appearance to see what the fuss was. So for no other reason than a cameo from poss, I present day 49.5.

Cameo poss

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 75-300mm, 8.27am]

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Day 49: Rain, lorikeets...

  Day 49: ...the joyful necessity of preening

Oi, you there...!
Yes, I'm calling it early today. Any further pics taken today will simply be relegated to also-ran status, they'll have to be. Here in Brisbane, we awoke to the gentle sound of rain on the roof, a welcome wake-up call for many of us here. Everything feels different after days of heat and humidity and we can start afresh. Or so it seems.

The loris like a bit of rain too. And talk about entertainment value, watching them preen and flap their wings.  I sometimes can't believe the magnificence of nature just off my back verandah. How could the day not go well after this. 

I could choose just one...I beg your indulgence for the following selection. 

Hear that?
Nah, just...there, ta.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 75-300mm, 6.32-6.33am]

Monday, 17 February 2014

Day 48: Timing is but a rose...

Day 48: any other name...

OK, so my timing, like my appropriation of prose is, to say the least, generally a bit off. It can be a problem as an amateur musician (and I've just returned from rehearsal, so I know). And timing is all around us at work...deadlines, timetables and so on and so forth. 

Last Friday was the whole Valentine's Day extravaganza with roses all over the twitterverse. But try telling that to my roses. We're not in any hurry here, as you can see. It will be another few days before they go the 'full bloom' as it were, but at least we're getting started. There is again, a lovely detail on the petal which is hard to ignore.  

We'll get there, in our own good time
The roses seem to thrive on neglect...a little like me when it comes to timing, but it's not for want of trying. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 8.31am]

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Day 47: Just hanging out...

Day 47: ...the washing

Something about the mundane in hanging out the washing don't you think? And yet, my clothesline seems to be an integral part of the backyard landscape for various birds, insects, and these fellows. I'll often wake up to find their artistry glistening in the morning sun after a light shower.

Steel cable with arachnid

It seems I disturbed this one today...while I was busy trying to do my chores, it was trying to build its web. We more or less compromised and I left this part of the line alone. One of the fascinating things though, is seeing these small creatures in close-up and the unexpected detail. I could get so side-tracked just hanging out the washing. 

A hot Brisbane day, but a stunningly cloudless sky. You'd hardly think we were coming to the end of summer. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 9.25am with cropping]

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Day 46: Rehearsal, play, concert...

Day 46: ...variations on a theme

Saturday and the year is well underway. Just occasionally I get a busy 'play day'--rehearsal, play, concert...that's three different commitments over the day. I play in a couple of musical ensembles; Saturday morning is rehearsal time for the clarinet choir; then, it was off to the newsworthy play at the Qld Theatre Company, 'Australia Day'; in the evening, the Qld Symphony Orchestra tonight conducted by the sublime Simone Young. 

These sorts of days usually mean a little time out along South Bank (and away from my backyard which, for the purpose of #project365 is probably a good thing for you dear reader...

At an angle...

Sandstone detail
And so it was, I walked along South Bank, eating an ice cream from my favourite ice cream queen at South Bank (her new 'Ginger Mac' is magnificent) and into a part of South Bank where I haven't spent a lot of time of late, the remnant of the southern pillar of Victoria Bridge. It is actually quite an impressive sandstone construction, representative of its age. There is a touch of my old Sydney town about the sandstone too. I think I'll be back. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 1.23pm, 1.25pm] 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Day 45: Aaaah....

Day 45: ...gotcha!...

It occurred to me a little while ago that my smartphone camera has basically become my bugcatcher. 'My what?' you ask. It is the modern day bugcatcher...As a youngster, I clearly demonstrated a strong scientific bent judging by various gifts I received for Christmases and birthdays. World atlases, technical puzzles, a 'real' microscope (with slides), an ant farm and a bugcatcher--one of those plastic containers with the long neck, plastic leaf and lids which allowed you to capture insects in the backyard. The idea was to 'sneak up' on them, hold your breath, position said container near them and with an excited voice say, 'aaahhh...gotcha!' Small insects in the top, large insects in the bottom. 

As in all things, it never quite worked like the ad on TV but it was always a lot of fun trying to capture the odd grasshopper or butterfly or cicada. I think of that every time time I point my camera at the insects in the it was the industrious ants. With the camera too, I get to observe detail I mightn't otherwise get to see. The detail in the leaf is as captivating as the mini colony of ants here...well, so I think. 

At least with this gotcha moment, I just have to remember to upload, and not worry about remembering to release my captive prizes back into the wild...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 7.27am]

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Day 44: Time to focus...

Day 44: ...when we can

Today was another day indoors, but not at home. I had to head across town to participate in some workshops...for work. That meant very little time outside, much less time to look at the world's smaller details. Coming home on the bus I noticed a rather spectacular sunset; by the time I arrived home, it was not so much the sun but the moon that caught my eye.

Moon rising
The moon is a challenge to photograph in a hurry. It is something I have to perfect yet on my newish camera. Nonetheless, the colour and time of the evening, the shapes and shadows out the back still allowed for a bit of an 'atmospheric' end to the day. After the workshop, some things were in the clear, some still a little out of focus, I guess the pic for today is the pic 'about' the day.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 75-300mm, 5.54pm]