Sorry about chopping off its legs, but the rest of the shot was such a good close-up I couldn’t resist ignoring the ‘delete’ button.
Notice the white feather tuft over its right eye – these tiny details enable me to eventually identify many of the Spotted Turtle-Doves which visited my balcony garden in my previous apartment on the north-east side of Melbourne.
I’ve neglected my nature blog in the last couple of weeks for a number of reasons.
Partly, the annoying and rather tedious convoluted way I have to read other blogs and difficulty pressing the LIKE button (or having to re-log on to WordPressevery single time I want to make a COMMENT).
This has occurred since Christmas Day (roughly) which set me thinking, do I really want to spend so much time on the computer and WordPress? Today, I’m feeling more than a wee bit irritated as I catch up with some blog reading. A couple of other bloggers have mentioned this new annoying little irritant.
I can only assume there must have been a WordPress software upgrade or something as I’ve triple-checked all my WordPress blog settings and nothing’s been changed. When I transferred to the WordPress Reader yesterday, I realised just how many blogs I’ve signed up for over recent years which don’t appear as an email notification (which I prefer) and I’ve been missing regular posts.
Scrolling with the computer mouse eventually aggravates my wrist and shoulder/neck pain, so the WordPress Reader is not the best option for me (for those about to suggest why I don’t use the WordPress Reader).
Secondly, I’m making some shelving and the building/hardware guy cut the wrong lengths (one by only about 1 1/2 mm on one piece) but it made the whole design I’d done slightly crooked, so I’ve had to take it all apart again. It’s more a ‘shadowbox’ shape than regular shelving.
Actually, I took it apart about 4 times changing the design in the last 2 days. I’d deliberately used short nails and no wood glue so I could take it apart if I ever moved again and needed a different size/use/design. Interestingly, this re-do didn’t annoy me in the least – I actually enjoyed doing something different with my hands for a change.
Thirdly, a few days ago I found an old USB stick at the back of my stationery drawer with over 3000 old photos on it and on a whim, downloaded the whole lot straight to my new(ish) iMac desktop. I found old (deleted) images, as well as many images I lost when my old Mac Pro 2012 laptop died last Easter when trying to upgrade to the latest Apple software and I had trouble transferring my photo library.
Well, how am I in my ‘technology-challenged’ dotage supposed to know you need more ‘ram’ to do a software update LOL
I lost about 5000 images in that fiasco (background for the benefit of the new followers).
In hindsight, I should have taken my time and actually paid someone to come to my home and work out a way to transfer them direct keeping all their Metadata. But you know what it’s like when your life involves paying your rent and bills online and being connected to so many websites and people overseas – you just want to get set back up ASAP.
It’s still a mystery to me why one birdshot transferred correctly…….. and 2-3 others of the same bird, taken with the same camera, on the same afternoon’s walk, didn’t transfer. In the end, I transferred what I could and let the whole issue rise over my head into nothingness. After all, negative emotions are merely a State of Mind.
It is essential to understand that an emotion is merely something that arises, remains and then goes away. A storm comes, it stays a while, and then it moves away. At the critical moment remember you are much more than your emotions. This is a simple thing that everyone knows, but you may need to be reminded of it: you are more than your emotions.
Thich Nhat Hahn, Healing Pain and Dressing Wounds
I noticed on that old USB stick that there are several shots of the same bird on the same day, so maybe…… just maybe, I’ve managed to score some of my old lost images 🙂
I lost a lot of great photos last May.
But, it seems like I’ve found many of them again on one old USB stick! 🙂
I also found a few images of the little critters like this Ring-tailed Possum sitting on my side fence at midnight. This was back in the days I lived 5 minutes walk from the Eastern Gate of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and worked on the other side of the road of the south-western gate – a meer 15 minutes walk (from home).
Then there are the Protea flower series I made from Melbourne Zoo’s landscaping on the way to the exit one afternoon. All 3 images are on the old USB – I lost 2 of them in the Archive transfer fiasco – laptop to desktop.
The late afternoon shots I made in the Herb Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens on the way to the exit each day were on this USB stick too. Often the Golden Hour.
The Herb Garden falls into shade late afternoon due to the tall surrounding trees.
A quick sighting of an EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)
Anyway, I’ve been enjoying viewing all the images again. Some of them are fabulous and I’d completely forgotten I’d taken them.
The ones of a couple of walks around Ringwood Lake (our childhood lake walk) with my Father (who passed away aged 93 early December), are a real treasure.
Most of them seem to be pre-2015.
Here’s a sampling (sorry, long-time followers – you’ve seen them all before):
NANKEEN NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – a good shot showing it’s 2 white neck feathers shot next to a cafe at Melbourne Zoo.
I spent many visits photographing the MANDRILLS at Melbourne Zoo – primates are a favourite subject .
My previous balcony garden – no direct sun, but plenty of light kept it flourishing.
A WHITE-FACED HERON – a regular on my daily river walks
A EURASIAN COOT caught up in a fishing line which I and another coulpe eventually freed.
A hot air balloon around dawn
The Yarra River – one of the best locations for a walk from my previous apartment on the north-east side of Melbourne.
The Yarra River
A ‘still life’ – one of my favourite photos.
The ‘back gate’ of my apartment complex on the top of a 40 foot sheer cliff next to the river.
Leaning over my balcony fence captures the golden hour in the National Park on the other side of the river.
I first saw SUPERB FAIRY-WRENS back in 2015 but didn’t know what they were called back then.
Some of those gorgeous Koalas at Melbourne Zoo. Apparently, we’ve lost 1/3 of all the Koalas in the current bushfires in Australia. Don’t know how they calculated this figure. Most must live on the eastern coast of Australia
An EASTERN SPINEBILL spotted on an afternoon walk.
10th August 2015 – 7:35:16pm – Looking south from my balcony at the sunset.
Another capture of the hot air balloons straight above my apartment building.
A shot of a MEEKAT at Melbourne Zoo. I could watch these little critters for hours. Just like playful little dogs romping around, occasionally biting, but the cutest little animals
RED-RUMPED PARROT (Psephotus haematonotus) spotted on the grass on the north-eastern side of Melbourne.
Probably the best WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae) shot I’ve taken.
The golden hour hits The Convent Church , Collingwood, as seen from my balcony
Always interesting cloud cover when you live on a 3rd floor apartment with a 180 degree clear view of the sky.
Such interesting colours captured at sunset.
Part of the riverside walking trail.
Many taken up at my brother’s property in the country about 6-7 years ago and many more I’d taken at my previous 3rd-floor apartment overlooking the surrounding rooftops on the north-east side of Melbourne.
The river was accessible down a steep path a mere 40-50 metres down from my ‘back gate’ on the north-eastern side of Melbourne pre-October 2016.
Path on the left leading up to the top of the 40 foot cliff and my (old) ‘back gate’
TAWNY FROGMOUTHS sitting high up a tree just below my ‘back gate’
Such a shame I had to move after only about 20 months. The constant ‘false’ fire alarms and walking down 8 flights of stairs with a severe heart condition and old ankle/knee injuries and lower back pain were only one of the reasons which made moving apartments, for the second time in as many years, mandatory.
I’d built up a close relationship with the Spotted Turtle Doves who visited my balcony and eventually I could slowly walk up to add some more seed to their bowl when there were merely 12-18 inches away from my hand. These Doves had recognisable feather patterns or the odd twisted claw which made the individuals so unique.
When I’d get close, the Doves would raise their wings ready to fly away (if I got too close).
Inspecting my Herb and Veggie Garden regularly would reveal little piles of birdseed I’d put around plants to tempt them closer to my desk position.
Checking out some empty pots before I planted out herbs often mean making a terrible mess on the balcony floor as they flicked away the soil in an attempt to find birdseed.
Hot days were spent splashing around in the water bowl and the Doves had great fun.
This ceramic birdbath was often filled with seed and put next to my open door (until the day came when I felt a presence indoors and found a Dove walking around my lounge room. It didn’t like the wool mat one little bit.
Interestingly enough, I’ve lived next to rivers, near nature reserves (or the Royal Botanic Gardens), about 6-7 times in my life. I didn’t deliberately look for these apartments in these locations. It just, by sheer good luck, turned out that way.
It will take me ages to put the USB images into folders and identify some of the plant and bird names again as they are mixed up with the other current images – I can remember few of the flower names (having an intermittent short-term memory problem) and living for about 3 years in this western suburb now – not many flowers around here, so I’ve gradually forgotten all that I learned in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Most of the above is intended for the new followers who don’t know much about my Photography hobby since I had to quit full-time work prematurely in 2010.
Actually, February 12th, this year 2020, is exactly 10 years since I had to quit working due to debilitating chronic pain and ill-health.
There was another life that I might have had,
But I am having this one.
Some might call it really bad luck inheriting health conditions from both sides of my family, debilitating back pain from an undiagnosed/unresolved teenage spinal condition, then 2 lower spine surgeries later in life, ongoing falls/surgery, stress-related conditions and so on, but I like to think of it as freedom to be Me and live my life Mindfully.
Happiness is in the quiet, ordinary things. A table, a chair, a book with a paper-knife stuck between the pages. And the petal falling from the rose, and the light flickering as we sit silent.
Virginia Woolf,The Waves
WELL, THAT WAS THE END OF ANOTHER LONG POST. I VOWED I WOULDN’T DO ANY MORE (LONG POSTS), BUT IT JUST GREW AND GREW (AND GREW).