Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Day 364 2015: New Year's Eve eve...

Day 364: ...'twas the night before the night of the end

End of the year, end of the project. But let's not get there too quickly. We still have today and tomorrow. Or, what's left of today, and tomorrow. There is also a little family in-joke about it being New Year's Eve eve...

Anyway, today was spent mostly down the coast, visiting my mum, taking a new and exciting trip on the newish light rail from Southport to Pacific Fair. Shopping, and lunch. All quite interesting. 

But I did want to get home to get into South Bank. You see, yesterday I noticed the Victoria Bridge is rather colourful at the moment, not in the static way it was for Christmas week but a bit 'flashier', bit more rainbow. 

And so being the eve of the big eve when the place will be packed out, I thought this eve would be a safer, clearer, less crowded opportunity. 

And it was...

Not quite yesterday's rainbow colours...

(all these little lights)

An interesting canvas

Wheel as emerging UFO

Guess where...

And although I feel like I've in and out of cars, buses and trams today, it was a pretty decent sight tonight, on this eve of an eve. 

Almost, the end.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 28-80mm, 7.27pm-7.46pm]

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Day 363 2015: Nature in all its colours...

Day 363: ...and monotones

I know, I should probably be getting out more but it is the season to be home reading and listening to the cricket (and, in the case of today, reading through all the documentation for the new course outlines to be written by January, which I received from Tokyo this morning, which of course I'm not panicking about which is why I'm coping by writing this stream of consciousness as it all suddenly seems to become so real...).

On the other hand, who needs to go anywhere beyond the back deck when nature's colours oblige. There are the colours of the loris as they slake their thirst (OK, sip from the birdbath)...



Catch the drip

Walk the line

...the butcher bird looking on and observing...

Monotonal tones

...and the junior currawong just pestering mama currawong for a feed...

Still here

No filters were adjusted or applied, this is nature just as it is. Magnificent. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 70-300mm, 9.43am-9.46am, 12.03pm]

Monday, 28 December 2015

Day 362 2015: Light and shade...

Day 362: ...truth and joy, or 'Truth' and 'Joy'

It is that languishing period between Christmas and New Year, where one's time is taken up by annual rituals of listening to cricket, catching up on reading that isn't academic-related, catching up on reading that is academic-related to develop new research thoughts, follow a yacht race, mow the lawn (when the rain allows), and go to the movies. Lots of movies. 

This year there is a bit of an interesting phenomenon, a number of movies with just one word in the title: Truth, Joy, Youth and Carol. A friend and I are planning to catch all four by new years eve. Today was Truth and Joy. 

But before that was a bit of light and shade...

Red and green in light and shade

Seeking shade

Taking in the light

In the garden. Another place I quite like to be. 

And the currawong returned, I think they might be here for a while. 

Seeking shade

And in the contest between the four films, so far, Truth is winning over Joy, which tends to sit with my work thus far, hitherto and here-on-in. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 28-80mm, 70-300mm, 8.35am, 11.07am-11.14am]

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Day 361 2015: The day of the currawongs...

Day 361: ...and other ordinary things

I'm a little intrigued by recent visitations of currawongs, the pied ones specifically, in the backyard of late. They've not really visited in these numbers nor length of time that I can remember. So naturally, my first instinct is to capture them for posterity as visitors to our urban jungle. 

There were three around today, staking out a claim, dodging the ever-present noisy miners, and singing. They have a lovely birdsong that bounces around the trees. 

Welcome rituals...

Checking the surrounds

What do you think?

Might work, let me call

They seemed to be making themselves at home. Of course, they'd have to get some permissions from the two boss-birds of the backyard who turned up just as the storm clouds approached from the south...

Ah, got it...


Currawong? Someone say currawong?

They are everyday sights, but I never get bored with them, or their antics. 

And the sun set on another typically summer's day. 

End of the day

And the rain. There was just a little bit of rain. It was a bit of an ordinary day really...

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 70-30mm, 28-80mm, ]

Day 360 2015: Boxing Day...

Day 360: ...I'm sure there's a reason...

(...I just don't really know why.)

Boxing Day, the day after Christmas Day. And yes, this time last year, like yesterday last year, was spent in the archives in Tokyo, in winter. Today, by contrast, was spent at my mother's place on the Gold Coast. Summer. Very summer. And fortunately mum has a pool.

Driving home from the SunCoast last night, I missed the full moon rising but luckily caught this morning as I woke up, just outside the bedroom window. 

A setting moon, through a window

There is something quite extraordinary about capturing the moon setting as the sun is rising. 

And then later in the day, the full Gold Coast: blue sky, palm trees, from the pool. 

How very GC

There's all sorts of reasons about how and why Boxing Day came to be. I think the day I had today, just a relaxing, slow sort of non-day, was just what it was meant to be. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 70-300mm, 4.48am, 1.49pm]

Day 359 2015: And so this is Christmas...

Day 359: ...and so these are cygnets!

Family gatherings. That's really what Christmas in SE Queensland seems to be about. And so it was that members of my family (Gold Coast) travelled to gather with members of the extended family (to wit, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren/nieces/nephews, depending on your place on the family tree) on the Sunshine Coast. And so it was. 

But let's not forget the natural world. Fortunately for me (and my lenses), there was much to see on the lake too...a special family gathering. 

Follow me...

...this way

Learning how to: snack


Now, this way

Look under...

...and dive

And a few other Christmas Day wonders besides...

The gumnuts exploded in time for Christmas

...which pleased the ants

...while some waited

And the bees made busy

And still more to learn...

Time for revision...

And trying for yourselves little ones
 It is a marvel to watch the young imitate their parents as they learn to swim, dive, eat, live. 

A spot of reflection

Ugly? Duckling? How could you...

However did that cygnet of fairy tales past earn the moniker 'ugly duckling', it is a puzzle (though I know there is a lesson there, for all of us).

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 28-80mm, 70-300mm, 11.32am-11.45am]

Friday, 25 December 2015

Day 358 2015: The Eve of Christmas...

Day 358: ...let the 'joy' begin...

No, really, I do mean that. Wherever and however it may be. For me it started with another trip to the shopping centre up the road. Not because I'm forgetful or under-organised; no, it is actually how I plan these things. There's something about Christmas Eve shopping that, I don't know, I find quite enjoyable (although I think my mum nailed it when she said it is probably because I catch a bus rather than try and find a car park...there might be something in that).

I also spent the day comparing it with what I was doing last year...working away in the Tokyo Diplomatic Archives on a research project. Bit of a contrast. 

Anyway, the presents are wrapped, I've gone with the minimalist Christmas decorations and I'm breathing deeply and thinking calm thoughts as I prepare to attend a day with the extended family on the Sunshine Coast (because driving up to near my workplace is just what I look forward to on a day off...).

My thanks to all those who work on Christmas Eve keeping the place ticking over: all the shop assistants, the bus drivers and those who keep our hospitals (and radio) going over the holiday period. 

So for those of you who have Santa on his way, it is warmest wishes from him...

St Nick will soon be on his way...

He might have been...

Xmas minimalism
...and me. 

Merry Christmas. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 28-80mm, 7.28pm-7.30pm]

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Day 357 2015: Two more sleeps...

Day 357: ...and all the colour of...

...a lorikeet. Really, how lucky we are to have these colourful marvels of nature right at the backdoor. Everyday. I could quite easily take pics of these ones every day and not get bored. Today, this one was on the lookout for the newish currawongs in the neighbourhood...

Naturally-colourful Christmas tree decoration: exhibit A

And while we are fortunate to have all the natural colours, occasionally the city likes to light up as well. Christmas lights have, over the years, turned from a few bulbs on people's Christmas trees to multi-colour extravaganzas indoors and out, both private houses and public spectacle. Tonight, finally, I managed to get to town to find out what all the fuss was about on City Hall..., take a look: 

The Clocktower

A Christmas story

...which seemed to have a theme

...of sorts (not Barbershop poles)

The bells seemed a little, well...


...perhaps because I was playing around with the tree lights?

As it will be for all, I hope

Lasers. projections, computers, all these innovations bring a pretty amazing colour to the city these days (and not just Christmas). It's not quite the natural wonder of the loris on the back deck, but just for a little while it lights up the night. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 70-300mm, 28-80mm, 8.37am, 7.17pm-7.23pm]