Sunday, 31 May 2015

Day 151 2015: A day in the mountains...

Day 151:, of sorts

Concert day part 2. My orchestra always plays two concerts in a row, one at Schonell (last week) and one somewhere else. Somewhere else this week was just northwest of Brisbane, a little community called Mt Mee. We've been playing here now for about 12 or 13 years. It's always a sell-out and we don't need to advertise. The community always provides a fabulous afternoon tea too.

It is a hobby, but we take it pretty seriously. People pay their money to come and listen so it is work too to make sure we put on the very best day we can. 

We get about 40 mins break between the sound check and concert time so I've made a habit of having a picnic lunch (of sorts) across the road. It is so country but just an hour away from the city...


Community Hall

The grey stump


Farm shed

Farm fence

Autumn tree

The new bus driver took us in an interesting direction. We almost didn't get there. But once we got there, it was a lovely day. It is a lovely community that could teach us much about living, in a community way. I hope we get up there again next year. (There's a rumour mill going, but far be it from to to say anything...)

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 1.21pm-1.42pm]

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Day 150.5 2015: Pelicans...

Day 150.5: ...because pellies can

So on the days I'm guilty of taking over 100 pics in the space of a few short moments, then what is one to do? Well, '150' is a bit of a milestone of sorts so, why not a .5 special? 

You will be familiar, dear reader, with my fondness for taking pics of birds: the loris, kookas, bazas and pheasant coucals in the backyard, and yes, occasional noisy miners and crows. You will be familiar, dear reader, with the birds of the uni lake and surrounds: ibis, ducks, swans, shags, swamp hens, wrens, swallows, spoonbills, egrets, and yes, occasionally annoying plovers. 

But the pelicans are my sentimental favourite. They are water birds, large and ungainly looking until they are wading or flying. They balance atop lamp posts or boating markers. They have marvellous beaks and big eyes. They were also the main subject of my first major photography assignment back in high school (yes, I know, that is a long time to have been taking photos and I should be better but I'm working on it). I went to the Gold Coast Broadwater area to catch all the seabirds, mainly pelicans and seagulls. I remain intrigued and inspired by the photographic process, and these birds. 

Anyway, today they were getting up to their usual antics: graceful solos, pack foraging, playful and big, just being big and majestic in that clumsy-cute sort of way. 

I've not explained my fascination terribly well so here, just have a look: 

At ease

Probably not pelicans, actually

To rest, to wade, to stand? Or reflect.

In step...

Sooo, as I was telling Jonathon....

Beaked, bills

A squadron, pod or scoop of pelicans...
I suppose it depends what they're up to...

Found something...

Synchronised swimmers

Play catch with me?

Squadron captain

Slips fielder 1

Slips fielder 2

Slips fielder 3: Howzat!


Photographer at four o'clock: drink!


And one more thing: for some reason a National Geographic (or similar) photo of an underwater shot of a diving pelican with bill fully extended like a balloon sticks in my mind. I've always aimed to capture that. 

Pelicans, eh. No I don't get it either, but happy 150th pic of the day dear reader, and thanks for coming along so far.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 4.15pm-4.29pm]

Day 150 2015: Exercise and mindfulness...

Day 150: ...or something like that

Well, yes, something like that. Sometimes the week can be quite intensive. Work and related matters. Work. Oh, and work. The weekend usually involves some element of diversion by way of rehearsal, or play, or orchestral performance. But not today (there is tomorrow, but that's a different story, for tomorrow). 

There are tai chi classes at tai chi headquarters on Saturday mornings so I thought the absence of clarinet rehearsal today gave me the chance to catch up with class this week since we didn't have one on Tuesday. 

That put me in exercise mode. I thought too that I hadn't been out bike-riding for a few weeks and today being such a perfect autumn day, I thought I could do a bit of a ride at Wynnum, throw in the camera and hopefully take some nice pics, especially of the pelicans which I missed last time. Exercise and pix of the day all in one hit. One might say I could kill two birds with one stone but since the purpose was to take some pelican photos then probably not a particularly apt proverb. 

So off I went.  After a little bit of work at home. A little bit. 

And after the ride (about 12 km in my estimation), I walked by the Wynnum side of the bay, a little different from the Manly side and plenty of pelicans. So many in fact, they have their own post, at day 150.5. 

I got to play with the 18mm lens for the sweeping landscape and clouds...right through to fun with the 300mm length. 

Jetty, of sorts

Bay sweep

Jonathon LS

'I tell you, they're not like us'...

'Heh, whatevs. Beam me up Jonno'.

And then came a flock of seabirds

And an early moon rise...with seagull

And where it had to end

People were very chatty today too. Maybe everyone has decided that a little exercise and mindfulness could be a good thing. 

And it was. Now, back to work.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 75-300mm, 4.05pm-4.55pm]

Friday, 29 May 2015

Day 149 2015: Sunsets...

Day 149: ... [...] ...

Really, what can you say when Mother Nature combines atmospheric elements, clouds, and setting suns over one of the the world's most liveable cities (*slight bias alert). It occurred to me around 4.30pm that there might be a bit of a stunning sunset to be viewed from the top of Mt Gravatt Lookout. So I set out. And this is some of what I saw...

Namajtira sunset

Air . Traffic . Control

The colour begins


And the plane flew over the cloud

Colour sweep

Pastel challenge

Sunset Skyline

Let the weekend begin. Enjoy

It was a bit busy in the air at times but the colour grew in intensity and faded just as quickly over about 20 minutes. This is how we start a weekend here. And it was nice to see so many people had made the dash up the mount to see the sunset too. There'll be a few of these in out twitter and instagram feeds tonight. 

And away we go...

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 28-80mm, 5.00pm-5.20pm, approx]

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Day 148 2015: The darling buds of May...

Day 148: ...may be sent to baffle

We are almost at the end of May. That is almost the end of the teaching semester. In the southern hemisphere that means we are just days away from what some might call 'winter'. The average daily maximum temperature is still around 24 degrees Celsius.

Thursday is my late finish and I didn't want to bore you, dear reader, with the same old, same old lake bird pics. Well, not until next week anyway. So before I left for work this morning, I went for a short stroll around the backyard.

There were dew drops to capture...


Vine leaves

First flush in twenty years...

But, confusingly, freshly-blossomed flowers...emerging bromeliads...oh, and another of those recalcitrant frangipani flowers...

Flower emerges

I don't know, but I recall my basic order of the seasons I learnt in primary school to be that blossoms and blooms come in spring. We haven't had winter yet. The darling buds of May might have been a hit for the northern spring, I never expected it to have meaning for these parts. 

No complaints though. I'll take any interesting developments in the garden any day, any season. 

[Camera : EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 7.56am-8.06am]

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Day 147 2015: The ugly duckling story...

Day 147: ...and the 'black white-bird'

Every day brings something new. Just when you think everything is, well, kind of settled. Knowing today would be a later night in the office, I headed out for a bit of a walk by the lake in the afternoon. With the camera. Of course. 

The egret was there, and allowed a reasonable close-up too. And then took flight. The surface of the water was like a mirror at times, rippled at others. And then along came the swan. The black swan. One half of the pair. 

Egret elegance

On reflection

Black swan elegance

The Black Swan. The swan of fairy stories. The swan of the ugly duckling story. There is one other black swan story I like telling too. Early on in my language studies I learnt the Japanese word for swan was 'hakucho' (白鳥), literally, white bird. Yes, white. So one day, I asked what is a 'black swan' then? It stumps many people. I had to explain it was a black 'white-bird'. Anyway, turns out the characters 'black-bird' can be put together for the 'unique Australian bird'. Still, it made for some fun philosophical discussions in the mean time. 

What I learnt today about black swans is that they do have white feathers...

Exposed: white feathers

...and they can be quite ruffled too.
Ruffled, for effect

And because I wanted to experiment with the 18mm, one long shot of the east as the sun set in the west on another day. 

Wide angle clouds

There's always something new. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 18-55mm, 4.37pm-5.13pm (and 75 pics...)]