I planted this pink Argyranthemum in a pot on my balcony on the 4th November 2016 (according to the dates on my fist photo) and it has flowered non-stop through the extreme heat of Melbourne’s Summer and the wild winds of recent Winter weekends – some gale force.
I’ve been dead-heading, (cutting off the wilted or dead flowers), continuously and today the 21st August, close to Spring 2017, it is still flowering.
I’ve never grown this brilliant pink daisy before. It this a record? Or is this normal?
I don’t know.
I’ve just moved it closer to the lounge window so there’s a space to observe the bird’s nest (I spotted the other day) from my desk chair.
While its back to rain, very chilly weather and overcast Winter skies today, yesterday was a different matter entirely.
The weather was superb – sunny and almost windless. I’d been looking at Jawbone Conservationa Reserve in Williamstown (about 8 kms down the western side of Port Phillip Bay from Melbourne city) on the internet for a few weeks trying to work out the best way to get there via public transport, but after getting up late (due to a restless night with hip and neck pain), I decided to just call a taxi – the height of extravagance for me. Being a Sunday and with minimal traffic on the road, the taxi ride took about 25 minutes. The Internet had said 23 minutes via car, so I knew it wasn’t that far from home.
Tram/bus, then train and about a 20 minutes walk to the area might have been 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on connection times. For the umpteenth time in the last 7 years I wished I still had a car and could drive.
I think my Taxi driver must have thought I was mad….. getting a taxi…..to go for a walk 🙂 But as always in the life of a chronic pain sufferer, you learn to let go of all your preconceived ideas of what seems rational or sensible. You learn to concentrate of what you can do, not on what you can’t. You learn to live your life Mindfully, living each day as it comes.
If its a bad pain day, you just call a taxi 🙂 (but my whole month’s taxi budget went in one day yesterday……….. and it was worth every cent).
“Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve consists of an impressive 50 hectares of wetlands, open grasslands, a saltmarsh and a mangrove conservation area, providing an ideal haven for up to 120 bird species that frequent the area. Equipped with beautifully laid out boardwalks and bird hides, this reserve is a must for any budding naturalist or bird enthusiast.”
There were plenty of wonderful signs in the Arboretum.
and vistas across the salt marsh
Plenty of tracks to walk down.
A White-faced Heron in the distance.
Some of the low marsh areas were so interesting.
A small rock pool on the other side of the fenced walking path.
The boardwalk becomes a gravel path on the way back to the main walking/cycling path which runs for several kilometres through the whole 50 hectare site.
I don’t know what this salt bush is called and it’s to be found everywhere in all the beach/sea environs I’ve visited in the past 7 years.
The bird hide.
My long telephoto lens was a tight fit in the slats at shoulder height, so I’ll use my tiny Sony ‘mirrorless’ next time I go here in the summer.
The high marsh reeds in the background visible from the Bird hide area.
I didn’t walk all the way to the end of this particular path.
Lots of rocky basalt along the shoreline near the Arboretum.
A glimpse of the lake with the sea far in the background.
A quick shot of the edge of the first wetland lake.
There are several lakes or wetlands to explore another day.
Yesterday, I spent just a couple of hours exploring the small area of Jawbone Arboretum and for the first time in the last 7 years of my Photography Hobby I was so busy looking around me, I took few photos. By the end of that time I was limping and struggling to hold my heavy telephoto lens so gave up and mostly used my main Canon DSLR with a 17-50mm lens. I had all 3 cameras and lenses in a wheeled trolley (which I normally use for shopping), but which has become my constant companion this year. It carries far more than I could carry over my shoulders and fragile spine.
And the 17-50mm lens was what was in my hand when I raised it high and shot my first focused image of birds flying in the sky. I’ve never been able to capture birds in flight (except seagulls gliding slowly in to land). I know it’s impossible to identify the birds as they were so far away, but I had to include this shot to prove I’d finally done it. I missed at least half a dozen shots of flying birds, including a White-faced Heron flying towards me when I had the 150-500mm lens in my hands. I just couldn’t hold that heavy lens steady yesterday.
I’ll go back in the summer when the days are longer and take more photos to share with you. This whole 50 hectare site needs several hours and several visits to explore more thoroughly.
Perhaps I will see some of the 120 bird species that are supposed to inhabit this area. I only saw Herons, Ducks, Eurasian Coots, Black swans, Dusky Moorhens from a long distance away. The small birds I saw yesterday were too far away to identify and photograph and I didn’t have the energy to walk every path in the Arboretum.
There’s Jawbone Marine Sanctuary on the seaward side if you’re a scuba diver or strong swimmer.