I figure its time for a change of subject matter as the sky is flawless with not a cloud in sight and I’m stuck at home listening to the construction crew across the road belting out nail gun ‘bullets’ at lightning-fast speed. The sound is getting a wee bit tedious and boring today, but far too sunny to close the sliding door out to the balcony.
I’ve had a constant stream of House Sparrows dropping in for a drink at my birdbath on such a warm afternoon, but none staying long enough for a real photoshoot.
Well…….maybe one or two……many of the avian visitors are slim and quite small so I can’t help but wonder if they’re this Spring’s House Sparrow offspring. The stripe behind the eye denotes a female, but as far as I can see all the young sparrows have this stripe. Makes me wonder at what stage House Sparrows reach puberty and turn into little boy sparrows with their rust-coloured caps.
Time to raid the archives for some uplifting images of times past…..back to 2013…… down at Brighton Beach with its iconic colourful bathing boxes (in both Summer & Winter excursions). You don’t need me to point out which of the following was made in Summer and which images were made in Winter.
Enjoy the excursion, whatever the weather.
Brrrr…….it’s a bit cold for a beach excursion, but who cares when you’re just starting out with a photography hobby.
How do photographers know when to raise the horizon up towards the top of the image. I was soon to find out.
Little Pied Cormorant in the foreground in focus. Chestnut Teals, Pied Cormorants and Silver Gulls in the background.
Part of a brightly coloured bathing box. The record price for one of these ‘boxes’ was $337,000 in April 2018 when a Grandfather bought one for his family.
If you want the picture sometimes you have to make sacrifices like getting your legs wet.
This photographer had her back turned when I made this image. At least I didn’t have to ask her permission to upload it to my blog since her back keeps the ID unidentifiable.
Looks like an imitation of Katsushika Hokusai’s (c1829-1833) The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Hooray! I shout. I got a moving bird in focus. Just don’t tell anyone it was taking off and going at snail’s pace.
This shot reminds me of summer beach holidays as a child.
Taking your dog for a walk down the beach can be very tiring. This owner was fast asleep leaning against a bathing box.
Always good to match your socks to the bathing box decor.
Brighton is an affluent southern bayside suburb of Melbourne and easy to get to via bus or train if you live on the southern side of Melbourne.
I don’t know how often the owners paint their boxes, but these 2 looked pretty fresh and colourful.
The end of this Winter excursion as I make my way up a sandy path to reach the road where the bus stop is (to go home).
Summer and some blue skies
The train station is on the other side of this outcrop of land and quite some distance away. On later excursions I found a bus route that was a bit closer.
Don’t forget to look down (as well as around) when you visit the beach.
The pebbles are just as colourful as the shells.
Does this broken pottery come from a ship lost at sea in a storm? Who knows?
Nothing like photographing into the sun to catch the silver highlights.
I love the way the receding tide makes patterns in the sand.
Pin k and Grey is rather a conservative colour combination on this row of amazing bathing boxes.
Lift your head, I can’t see your face.
The perfect sight to raise your spirits and make the 3 bus journey down to the beach worthwhile.
Yes, there’s quite a few boxes.
I think this was a different excursion to the beach as those leaves look like Autumn leaves to me.
Mussels and coral discourage bare feet from crossing over.
I must have missed it last night (as I quenched my garden’s thirst).
But this morning, the minute I opened the roller blinds I saw it.
Or should I say them.
2 new babies.
One, perhaps 24 hours old, and the other………………..born in the last few hours before dawn (?)
Tomato #2 is the proud parent, (and I am the proud Grandmother), of 2 new babies 😀
……….and finally, new leaves on my Sweet Basil plants (there are 6 Basil seedlings – 2 at the base of each Tomato bush to act as Companions).
I couldn’t have been happier this morning. My Spring garden for 2019 is finally beginning to ‘flesh out’. I’ve got a few empty pots at the moment. I pulled out the Italian Parsley which had gone to seed and the Asian lettuces and Rocket, both of which had ‘bolted’ and turned yellow, out yesterday afternoon.
It’s going to be fine (and even hot) over the next 4 days, so time to clean the windows for bird photography purposes and decide on what to fill the empty pots with.
Eliza’s suggestion of some fertilizer must have done the trick for the Basil seedlings.
NOTE: If anyone has any suggestions for my veggie gardening efforts, please don’t hesitate to voice them in the comments section. All constructive suggestions and/or criticism is welcome. Apart from my short-term memory problem (when I tend to forget what I’ve read the previous day), all vegetable garden efforts are usually experiments on this hot west-facing balcony.
Once the really hot weather arrives, I have the air-conditioning on indoors and the outlet spews out hot air over the north end of the balcony, so usually much re-arranging has to be done.
Herbs? Well, I used to have a large Herb Garden about 35 years ago, but that wasn’t a hot west-facing garden, so I am having to concentrate on more of the Herbs that will grow in hot sun nowadays. The Meditteranean Herbs.
I wish I lived in the country, but then I suppose I’d have the larger pests crawling under fences and grazing on the grapevines and orchard as my brother has.
The breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.
― Kahlil Gibran
I love watching the wind rustling the leaves in the treetops, but the last couple of weeks, the gusts have been downright ferocious (as I mentioned in a previous post) and left many of my new Spring seedlings completely bent over like little old ladies planting rice paddies with a permanent stoop.
After another 2 day absence from home this past week, most plants have been revived with a good watering which encourages them to stand up straight again the next morning. My Tuscan Kale had to be tied up between 3 bamboo stakes as it was just too tired to stand up on its own after yesterday’s wild wind.
Some other tiny seedlings like the Asian lettuce varieties are beyond recovery and will need to be replaced next time I go to the local Bunnings Plant Nursery.
My 3 tomato varieties are looking very ‘ordinary‘ and nothing like the lush thick foliage I had on my Tomato ‘Patio’ in the Spring/Summer of 2017. I know they’re a different variety, but somehow, I really thought they’d have more foliage.
Perhaps they’re meant to have light foliage? I’ve never grown these varieties before.
The Sweet Basil planted to be ‘companions’ have barely grown at all! (as you can see in the base of the Tomato plants above.
What is wrong with those Basil plants I wonder? Not enough sun? Too much wind?
I found 3 tiny tomatoes last week with 3 more miniature gems on the ‘Sweet Truss’ Tomato yesterday.
Tomato Plant #2 – Tomato Sauce Maker – has plenty of flowers, but no fruit yet (below).
Tomato Plant #3 – Tomato Genuwine – has only a hint of flowers (below).
The Beetroot plants have picked up in the last 2 days and are growing very well indeed. I could use the leaves in salads already, but since I’m growing them this year for Beets, I’ll allow the leaves to stay in case they’re needed to keep the plant growing.
The Japanese Maple in front of my balcony has flowers!
I’ve never seen Maple flowers before and certainly not in the last 3 years since I moved to this western suburb.
………and the Superb Fairy-wrens have been absent, except for the bright blue feathered male below.
Even he was reluctant to show his face yesterday, as though he is embarrassed about leaving his ‘lady-loves’ stuck at home nest-sitting and bored out of their avian minds.
There may be too many new half-finished apartment buildings in the streets surrounding my home, but I can’t help but be grateful for the landscaping that usually surrounds each one.
It’s reassuring to know councils and developers keep the aethetics in mind, as well as the ‘concrete’.
The Wisteria near my local supermarket is an absolute delight at the moment and luckily I had a camera with me last Tuesday morning.
Not sure whether this white variety is the Japanese variety or not, but we’ll pretend it is.
Wisteria floribunda White (Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’) features long racemes of beautiful sweetly scented pure white blooms on vines that twine in a clockwise direction.
NOTE: Please don’t hesitate to correct me in the comments section if I have identified any flower or tree incorrectly. My memory sometimes goes completely blank and I scratch around in its depths in the hope of pulling out even the most common flower names at times.