WINTER SILHOUETTE

********

I’ve had a reply back from the WordPress forums which sounds promising (to resolve my not being able to press the LIKE button on Domain.com blogs direct on their homepage).

This post is merely to ask one of the Domain.com blogs I follow to upload a post overnight tonight so I can test the WordPress Staff member’s suggestion.

Perhaps one of the regular bloggers like Linda or Gunta or Lynn or Eliza or Cindy or even Peggy (if you’re at home, Peggy).

Even a short post or image without words would do…….please 🙂

Advertisements

SUPERB FAIRY-WRENS (Malurus cyaneus)

They say Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining, but my day, which revolves around my computer in the mornings, seems to have been one long thunderstorm of niggling, annoying ‘flashes of lightening’.

A couple of weeks ago I vowed I wasn’t going to upload another post that didn’t have new photos or positive affirmations of some kind.

Well, I haven’t got any new good photos or positive things to say about my (new) iMac so I thought I’d better upload something…..well…..anything,  to let you know I’m still here.

The only joy in my day has been observing the avian visitors to my balcony garden and even they have been few and far between and hard to photograph on the dark wintery days in the poor light.

Note: Having just typed that sentence, the clouds have now cleared and the sun has put in a cheerful appearance LOL

The weather has been very cold, wet and filled with gusty strong winds in recent days, so even my potted garden has been neglected.  The wind-blown dead Maple leaves are starting to collect up against the balcony fence making for good spider habitats.

My new baby Broccolini and Tuscan Kale seedlings have been very slow to mature.   At the rate they’re growing, Winter will be over before I see the fruit of my plantings.   At least my Blueberry has had lots of flowers.   So that’s a ‘positive’.

I suspect most of the Fairy-Wrens are hunkering down in the thick green hedges (3) across the road.   The workmen on the apartment building construction crew next to the hedges  have even been working through the rain and on Saturdays, but I doubt they’ll finish before the end of this year.

I wonder if they’ve got room to put in some new green landscaping.   Now THAT, would be a bonus 🙂

If my photo library screens didn’t keep freezing (resulting in me having to log off to reboot the computer) so many times each morning, I would have had my new photo library finished by now.

But it’s not.

Having to re-log onto WordPress every time I want to type a comment on my  favourite blogs and other ‘hiccups’ have made blog reading less fun than it used to be too.   So if you haven’t seen me around your blog much, I DO still read your posts, just too weary to think of a suitable comment, or unable to press the LIKE button due to some glitch.   At the moment there are 14 WordPress blogs I can’t LIKE (or COMMENT) on.

So I’m thinking I’ll go into hibernation mode for the rest of Winter in the hope that Apple release the next software update in a few months time which might work miracles and ‘set my computer free’  

I figure if I stay off the computer most of the time, then I can at least get some other tasks done on the TO DO list.

Since most of the images (above) were shot through dirty dusty windows, here’s a better shot of the female Superb Fairy-wren from the 10th April (below) to remind you of what they look like on a sunny day through the open sliding door.

PELARGONIUM ‘Survivor’

 

PELARGONIUM ‘Survivor”

I love photographing dew or raindrops on flowers (or grass).   I always think it adds another dimension to an ordinary flower image.

The Pelargonium in this post is not in flower in my balcony garden at the moment, but it was such a cheerful sight as I looked through my archives this morning (for something to post other than computer problems), I couldn’t resist sharing the image again.

……and for those interested in flower photography, brightly coloured flowers photograph much better early early in the morning, late in the day or on an overcast day.   Slightly under-exposing the image helps too.

SUNRISE

In my previous apartment on the north-east side of Melbourne, I had an extraordinary view over the rooftops to the south (from my 3rd floor level).

 Long-time followers will remember some of those beautiful sunrise (and sunset) images, but I thought I might repost some of the sunrise images for the many new followers who have kindly ticked that FOLLOW box in recent months.

For some strange reason, I nearly always woke up at dawn back in those days, 2015/16, and was able to quickly get out of bed, go out on to my apartment balcony and take photos of the sunrise.  I often wondered if it was the Birds that woke me at this time of day, especially the Spotted Turtle-Doves which became so tame and frequented my bird seed bowl and bird bath on my balcony.

I was looking for some heron photos in my archives yesterday and I came across these images made in early 2016 and I was reminded of that special time in my life.

Another bonus of arising at that time and living in that location was that the hot-air balloons originated in a field not far from my apartment block.  Not sure exactly where that field was, I just know I got to see the balloons as they drifted across my side of Melbourne’s inner suburbs close up and perhaps they could even see me in my PJs at that time of morning (pointing a camera in their direction).

 

**************

I’ve deliberately stayed off blogging and uploading images in an attempt to reduce my online time until my current internet plan ends on 30th August (when I’ll update to a larger internet package and can use the internet more liberally, including blogging).  I have been reading some of the blogs I follow though.

Yesterday, I never did find the heron images I wanted to re-share, so I switched over to the Apple Mojave software forums and WordPress forums in my ongoing hunt for the elusive answers to some computer issues I continue to experience with the new iMac desktop.

I’ve also kept some records trying to find patterns of each problem.

  1.  I still have to log on to WordPress every morning, despite ticking the box – remember my Password or logon details.
  2. I still have to type in my website details and name on sites where I never had to do this before.  Wordpress seems to continually think I’m a new user and logged out,  OR that blogger’s website seems to think that.
  3. I’ve finally found a more interesting fact.  I cannot press the LIKE button on the front page of every WordPress blogger I follow who is using a name with…..  .com, .net, .photo etc ……….only those @wordpress.com.  If you are a wordpress blogger who has the same problem, you may not have noticed that every .com site you can’t register a LIKE.

The only way I can press the LIKE button on those .com sites is to press it on my gmail inbox first and then open the bloggers website via the link, to read it. (note: I can’t use the WordPress Reader as I get dizzy scrolling through.  I use my gmail inbox for email notifications of new blog posts).

See my gmail inbox new post notification in my gmail inbox.

 

This is the area where I have to press the LIKE button first (centre of screen below).  This gmail inbox page is the only place I can get the LIKE button to register (located in the centre of the photo below) for those using .com site names.

 

Then I open up the blogger’s new post in the actual website below…

 

……After reading it, I usually then go to the bottom of that new post to doublecheck my LIKE has registered.  My ‘eye’ gravatar is second from the left below, so I know it’s registered.

 

Another interesting observation is that in those bloggers with dozens or hundreds of ‘LIKES’, my gravatar seems to randomly appear halfway through,  or towards the right of the line (of LIKES), even though I’ve only just pressed it seconds before via my Gmail inbox.  Normally when you press the LIKE button on the new blog post front page (of a blog site) it appears first in the line (of LIKE gravatars).

Not a problem.  Just an observation.

I have another problem with my Photo library screen freezing and the only way I can fix it is to log off the computer and then back on again.  I have to do this many times in the one day.  My Photo library screen keeps going blank (white) too.  It seems to ‘time-out‘ or something after only about 20 minutes.  When I switch over to the Safari to use the web, there are no blank screens or frozen screens, only the Photo Library screen does that.

It’s very hard to register a bug or problem and ask for help on a forum when it happens intermittently.  I noticed many other users have intermittent problems too.

Anyway, I spent some time reading the latest forum, or question and answer,  on Apple’s latest software Mojave version 10.14.5.

There are still so many ‘bugs’ and problems some users are having with this software release.  All I can say is that I hope they fix them in the next software update 1o.14.6. (supposed to be released in September ?).

I couldn’t find my issues listed in the forums though.

It seems some users, at random, experience ‘bugs’ with the latest software release and some users do not.  There didn’t seem to be any ‘rhyme or reason’.

Another observation was that when I was in hospital last Thursday and most of Friday, my Data Usage continued to show during that time, despite me not being at home with the computer on.

Is this my auto back-up disc working in the background as it automatically does a back up every hour on the current day?

NOTE: I connected my old Mac Pro laptop yesterday and once again tried to transfer some of the missing heron images to my new iMac and it continues to give me a message saying these images are incompatible and can’t exported.  Yet, other images either side of those heron images, taken at the same time, of the same day, did get perfectly exported and appear on my new iMac.  (I used the ‘heron’ images merely as an example.  There are still hundreds of images I can’t export, despite the 9381 I did successfully transfer a few weeks ago).

This new computer is still a mystery to me.

I don’t think it’s a ‘dud’.  I think I’m one of those users who merely has problems.

I used to have an extraordinary amounts of computer problems in my working life and my immediate Boss and the whole I.T. department, (who supported the staff), could never figure out why some processes or screens worked for them and not for me, even when they stood behind me and watched my fingers and processing routine.

I am definitely not a computer ‘nerd’.

 

NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

I’d just turned on my computer and settled down to my morning coffee and Sunday morning scrambled eggs on toast, when I spotted a new bird out on the Japanese Maple in front of my balcony.  I could only see the outline on the bare-limbed young tree through several layers of dirty glass, but had a fair idea of what it might be due to the shape alone.

(Yes, I eat breakfast at my desk, always prepared for early morning avian sightings).

Unfortunately it flew away before I could drop the fork and pick up the camera with the long 150-500mm lens and turn it on.  I’d set up the 2 cameras (Canon DSLR and Sony ‘mirrorless’) last night with Shutter Priority and cleaned the lenses having ‘wasted’ half the day following the Superb Fairy-wrens around my balcony garden yesterday afternoon.

Thick fog surrounded my apartment building and the construction site over the road so it was an exceptionally chilly Winter morning.

Tomorrow is supposed to be colder and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear on the News that the low-laying hills surrounding the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne had got a thin dusting of snow.  My younger brother, who lives on the other side of these hills up in the country, is at a much higher altitude than me and would be sure to email me some photos if this weather phenomenon did occur.

I braved the full force of the chill and flung open my sliding glass door to my balcony, took the lens caps off both cameras and got prepared for the wait.

I’d been about to reply to overnight blog comments, but completely ignored the computer screen and sat watching for the slightest movement outdoors signally bird activity, instead.

I slowly lifted the piece of toast piled high with creamy eggs and a heavy covering of chopped English Parsley and started to open my mouth, when……..

…….all of a sudden, I got such a fright, (or, should I say….thrill 🙂 ), when a bird flew in the open doorway and nearly into my armchair by the window about 4 feet from my desk chair.

The bird crashed around indoors frantically trying to find the open doorway and freedom again.

$&#!  How could I catch it.  No way with my hands that’s for sure.

I’d caught a Spotted Turtle-Dove in my hands and released it when it got stuck under the glass balcony fence in my previous apartment, but those Doves were relatively calm since I’d been feeding them every day for months.  Towards the end of that tenancy, I could go out to the balcony fence and fill the seed and water bowls with the Doves sitting about 12-15 inches away from my hands (if I moved very, very slowly).

I’d also caught a tiny Fairy-wren in my hands when it got stuck between a flower pot and the glass fence in my current apartment and released it into the air only a year or so ago.

But this was a New Holland Honeyeater – wild, not used to close human proximity, and frantic, desperate for escape.  It was flying and crashing fiercely into the dusty lounge windows and flying so fast I thought it might hurt itself.

There was nothing I could think off on the spur of the moment, so I picked up the DSLR with the long 150-500mm.

$&#! I said again.

“Zoom back out, you idiot,” I said to myself.

I was too close.

I’d left the 150-500mm zoomed ready for Birds on my Balcony as approximate camera settings save time when these fast-moving birds land on the garden or balcony fence.

So I put the camera back on the desk and picked up the Sony a6000 with the shorter telephoto lens and blow me down if the lens didn’t jam.

I frantically pushed the shutter button, willing it to release, but the camera wouldn’t work.

I softly said a different expletive (as though a different swear word might magically unlock the ‘mirrorless’ camera 😀 ).

I rarely swear now I’m a little old(er) lady with greyish hair…… (as though my age and appearance might somehow preclude me from the uttering of such language).

Gosh, I only used to swear when I hurt myself, or the computer acted up in my working life,  but I admit to more than a few expletives since I’d bought my new iMac on the 3rd May this year.  You’ll understand if you’ve read my previous few posts.  This is meant to be a nature blog, not the saga of my current computer/internet issues.

Anyway, back to the story……

I picked up the Canon DSLR again and zoomed back out and managed to fire off a few shots, before the bird suddenly found the open doorway and flew away.

I had no idea if I’d got the Honeyeater in focus as the area was relatively dark at floor level this time of morning, (while the west-facing lounge room and balcony was in full shade on this frigid cold Sunday morning).

I quickly transferred the photos to the new 27″ iMac and carefully reviewed the multiple shots (as both cameras were set on continuous shooting).

I found 4 images that were good enough to share.

Here ’tis…………. (and not a word about my lousy internet troubles).

Do the long-term followers remember when I found 2 tiny New Holland Honeyeater chicks in December 2017 – one on my balcony fence and one on the Eucalyptus sapling between my balcony and the road?

Now, that……..really was a thrill, especially when I went out to attempt a photo of the chick on the fence railing from about 12 inches away and it opened its eyes and stared straight at my camera lens without the slightest fear at all.

******************

(and thanks to all those followers who’ve offered suggestions about my computer and internet problems – I’ll follow some of them up).

I’ve finally discovered the best way to deal with these pesky computer/internet issues.

Stop thinking about them and stop writing about them  😀

******************

A rare shot made in deep shade, which when lightened in post processing, revealed a NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – FROGS HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE (behind my apartment building) –  17th December 2017

 

GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS

17th June, 2019 – Maribyrnong Wetlands pond – PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)

Actually, I lie.

There is no good news (on the computer front).

The Apple Technician came to my home on Thursday and spent ages going through my new iMac desktop computer – settings, preferences and operating system.  He also checked how large I was uploading my images and daily use (activity monitor).  He said my usage was miniscule compared to most internet users,  and in the last month, since buying the desktop on the 3rd May, could in no way account for the large internet usage  (and also compared to my normal usage in recent years on the old 2012 Mac Pro laptop).

The technician was brilliant and even set up my spare 2T drive as an auto back-up for me (as the proper Apple Time Machine back-up drive I bought some years ago wasn’t recognised by my new computer).

No wonder I couldn’t set up the Apple Time Machine myself – it would seem it was no longer compatible with my new iMac.

A SAD, BUT FREQUENT SIGHT, IN OUR WATERWAYS THESE DAYS

He suggested I ring my Internet Service provider (again!!!!) – Telstra – and ask if someone else was logging into my IP address (to account for the way I was losing my limited internet allowance).  I rang Telstra that night and they insisted I was the only person using that IP address and the connection and WiFi was ‘just fine‘ from their end.  Same answer as when I rang them a couple of times before.

The Apple Technician did untick ‘advertising’ and another ‘preference’ as I don’t use them, but left all the other settings exactly as I had aligned with my old 2012 Laptop (for the most).

LOOKS LIKE A YOUNG GREY TEAL (very much like a female Chestnut Teal but has a paler neck).

So……… I’ll just have to wait until my current internet plan finishes on the 30th August, 2019 and buy a new, much larger one.  All you working folk with wages/salaries may think this is the obvious choice, but when you live on a frugal pension as I do, any increase in regular monthly bills is frowned upon.

With no resolution in sight, I’ll just have to restrict my online time for the next 10 weeks or so.   It will be interesting to view the data usage for this long post tomorrow morning when I log in to my Service Provider’s website and check out ‘internet data usage’ on my account.  Hope it didn’t wipe out the next fortnight’s date allowance.

I saw a White-plumed Honeyeater ((Lichenostomus penicillatus) on my Japanese Maple tree on Thursday afternoon, but with my cameras tucked safely up in their soft pouch storage bags awaiting the Apple technician’s arrival, I could do nothing but admire this rarely seen honeyeater in my area.  

Apparently, they’re quite common, but I’ve only seen one once before near my local nature reserve and once down at Jawbone Conservation Reserve in the bayside suburb of Williamstown.

Since most of next week is going to be dry and sunny, time to do some maintenance in my Balcony Potted Garden perhaps.   I’m pleased to say we’ve had lots of rain in Melbourne for the start of Winter – just hope the farmers got some out in the country.

I ended up catching a bus down to the Maribyrnong wetlands pond (also known as Edgewater Wetlands or Bunyap Park) last Monday (instead of the local pond near Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve behind my apartment building).

It was such a beautiful Winter day.

I took lots of photos of the bird life, although with the bright sun bouncing off the soft fluffy cloud cover, I couldn’t see much through the view finder, much less the LCD screen on the back of the camera(s)..  About 85% of myshots were blurred, heads or feet chopped off etc.

Of course some of those ducks swim very fast and constantly diving down to the pond floor searching for some tasty morsel to satisfy their appetite, so like the Fairy-wrens who fly around my balcony garden, you’ve got to be quick thinking and focused to catch them within the frame.

Didn’t stop me trying to photograph the birds – I figure if I took enough photos last Monday, there was sure to be a few ‘keepers’ through sheer good luck 😀

NOTE:  I was also misinformed when I bought my computer.  AppleCare, (for which I paid 3 years support), DO NOT SEND OUT technicians to your home for software issues, only hardware issues.  All software issues are dealt with over the phone or in-store.  I must have sounded pretty desperate on the phone for AppleCare to send a technician out to my home for my issues which have been keeping me frustrated and at times, verging on taking the $@%#& iMac back to the store for a full refund  😀   I’m exaggerating of course, my old Mac Pro laptop, with it’s slowed speed (since updating the software over Easter which made it seriously ill), would send me insane well before the new, fast-as-lightning iMac desktop (with ‘hiccups’). 

BTW the construction site opposite my building is abysmally slow with all the rain we’ve had.  It’s a real eyesore looking out my lounge window, but I guess it does make for jobs and income for the locals, so I just have to be patient (until it ends).  As I walked down my steep road from the bus stop on the main road, I couldn’t help staring at its ugly mess which spoils my view from my desk located in front of the windows of my lounge room.

 

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Winter

The dying Autumn leaves have mostly drifted down to the ground now and the Japanese Maple in front of my apartment balcony is revealing the tiny birds – House Sparrows and Superb Fairy-wrens that visit me each day.

They bring so much joy into my day now that I’m more housebound.

I put some seed on the balcony fence rail to tempt them this morning and was quickly rewarded by a number of House Sparrows peck-pecking and spitting out the husks.  The bag of canary seed I’m using up, isn’t much use to the tiny Fairy-wrens though.

One of my veggie troughs is almost bare and I ran a stick through its surface to allow more of the Winter rain to soak into the roots of the last baby Spinach plant in that container and to my surprise, the Fairy-wrens seem to find something tasty to graze on.  I can’t see what they’re eating, but they do seem to enjoy whatever it is.

********

I’ve resolved 3 problems on my new iMac, including the main one whereby my gmail and web browsing sites keep opening to a window I don’t want.  I might add this particular issue should have been easily resolved by the AppleCare Helpdesk who screen-shared with me last week.  Hmmmmm……….

The saga continues with the new computer gobbling up my limited internet allowance each month so I am continuing to keep off the internet for the most part.  Today, I’m making an exception, although I continue to monitor my internet data usage each morning to keep within my limits this month.  It cost an extra $40 last month and I fail to see why as I was mainly working offline on my Photo Library.

On Saturday I went to Apple Store with some photos I’d taken of my issues to explain my problems more fully and I was fortunate to have an exceptionally good staff member who gave me some answers, although I do await the home visit of a technician in the coming week (?) who has been booked by AppleCare Helpdesk over the phone.

While the Apple Store staff member did say photos take up more internet due to the exceptionally high resolution screen of the 2019 27″ iMac, I really can’t believe they take 2 1/2 months worth of extra internet each month.

I also went to the Telstra (my internet service provider) store in the same shopping centre and sought some advice on what affordable larger internet packages I might sign up with.  Unfortunately my current contract doesn’t end until the 30th August, 2019, so other than paying extra $$$ for every GB I go over my limit for the next couple of months, I can’t do much about that.  I will continue to reserve my internet use to mostly banking, checking emails and bill paying online with the occasional visit to a few blogs I follow.

I had a quick look at a few blogs I follow in WordPress this morning, but can’t press the LIKE button on some sites.  This is an old problem I had years ago and I can’t remember how I fixed it.  I also have to keep logging on to WordPress each day……and 500px……and National Geographic Shot of the Day (which I occasionally submit images to).

I have to admit this new computer is testing my patience, but with brilliant winter sun and glorious blue skies filling my view out my lounge window, methinks I should turn off that pesky computer and attempt a walk to the local pond.

NO NEED FOR AN UMBRELLA TODAY 🙂

 

OFFLINE…..

I will be offline for a while, well at least until the 3rd party technician which the Apple Helpdesk has asked to come out and find out what’s wrong with my computer comes next week..

I spent ages screen sharing with the Apple Helpdesk technician last night and she couldn’t fix my problem and only made it worse by changing some general preferences and I can’t remember what she altered and how to reverse it this morning.  In fact, she was going to go home and doublecheck her own iMac computer and whether it had the same problem as me.

Might be a week or more offline..

Let’s just say…….I am not happy.

Has anyone else updated their iMac desktop to Mojave software in the last 3-4 weeks?  If so, do you have problems with version 10.14.5?

Quite by chance  late last night, I swapped my internet provider’s WiFi dongle back to the old 2012 Mac Pro laptop as I wanted to doublecheck which software version was on it.

I discovered my old Mac Pro laptop, which I updated to Mojave software over Easter, around the 23rd April,  has version 10.14.4 – the previous version of Mojave – and doesn’t have these problems.   But with only 4GB of memory, it is sadly, way too slow to make it viable for use on a daily basis.

 

AUTUMN LEAVES…………..

From the archives……

28th May, 2013

We’ve had rain every day (and often overnight) for about 10 days now and the forecast for next week  looks like it’s going to continue.

None of my cameras are waterproof and with the massive task of setting up a new Photo Library, it’s been a good time to work indoors.

Unlike when I lived next to the Royal Botanic Gardens 4 years ago, where there were lots of sun shelters and a couple of restaurants, there is no shelter from the rain or strong winds walking along the river behind my current apartment block, so even light rain showers prohibit walking outdoors with a camera.

Not that I can complain about the inclement weather (it plunged down to 11C degrees the other day), we badly need our dams and water reservoirs filled after such a dry Summer here in Melbourne.

SOME MISCELLANEOUS SHOTS FROM early 2011

This week’s goal is to file 2011 images (and re-create their respective folders with names).  If you’ve read the last few posts you will know I have a new computer and have had trouble importing my Photo Library (and lost my whole image filing system).

With a very cold wet windy weather forecast for this week, I should make great headway stuck indoors (again 😀 ).

I came across these images (above) made in first few weeks in 2011.  I’d been using a small Canon ‘point and shoot‘ camera since taking up Photography as a hobby in May 2010 and became totally addicted to the art of Photography.

In December 2010 I bought my first Canon DSLR and 100mm macro lens intending to do flower photography, but soon found the brisk winds in Melbourne made it difficult, so I did lots of research and ended up buying a 18-200mm lens a couple of months later (and borrowed my SIL’s 55-250mm lens for a month also).

I experimented a lot.

After using full Auto for most of 2010, I never used Auto with the Canon DSLR.  I dove straight into Manual mode (although I had to use Auto Focus with such poor eyesight).  I had no idea about the ‘exposure triangle’ and how to use Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, but somehow I ended up with fairly good exposure all the same.

I’d also dug a ‘big hole’ in my $3000 photography budget.  A small $6000 inheritance is well and truly gone today – 2019.

Photography is not a cheap hobby.

To this day, I still think the 18-200mm lens is the perfect all round general lens (especially if you’re new to Photography and can only afford one lens).  Both 18-200mm lenses I bought for my Canon DSLR in 2011 and my Sony a6000 in 2015 have died and I have other lenses now.

 

I also became addicted to shallow DOF (Depth of Field or Bokeh or background blur).  

????? An Acacia (wattle) of some kind ?????

…..and started photographing leaves, seeds and tree bark.

The images in this post are a random collection of whatever I saw on my afternoon walks in the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens, (where I used to work opposite for 16 1/2 years so knew the area well).

I walked to wherever I could get to via public transport at that time.

Even Melbourne Zoo – but that’s another Story……..

 

SLOW WORK……..

WALKING PATH IN THE FIELD DOWN BY THE LOCAL RIVER – 2016 – JUST AFTER I MOVED TO THIS SUBURB AND APARTMENT BLOCK.

Re-creating my whole image library and folders is slow work, but at least I’ve got all my images in the one place on the new computer now.  Initially they seemed to be in one big lump, but after I logged off and on a few times, they miraculously appeared in date order (phew!).  Most of you will find it hard to believe it took about 7-8 tries.  In the end, I finally managed to get 9812 images (out of some 15,000+ showing on the spare 2T back-up disc) in place, 50-100 at a time.  I suppose if I’d made a special trip to the nearby shopping centre (mall), I could have bought a different cable and joined the laptop to the new desktop.

When you don’t have a car, you tend to think twice about going out for just one errand.

I imagined being able to do this transfer of images with the old computer next to the new computer wirelessly.  After all, the new computer seemed to copy my ‘favourites’ and other set-up tasks that way in-store when I bought it.    I spent a couple of hours with a ‘set-up’ technician in the store and it magically seemed to happen.

I’ve given Mr Google some serious and lengthy questions/research in recent days.  I find Mr Google a great source of information (as long as I word the question correctly 😀 )

I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND COMPUTERS AND THEIR LITTLE IDIOSYNCRASIES.  GOSH, IN 1985 I USED TO WRITE SMALL SIMPLE COMPUTER PROGRAMS (when I had spare time as a Human Resources Consultant) so I’m not a complete beginner when it comes to Computers.  I guess the problem lies in my having no interest in modern technology in retirement.  I haven’t kept up with the times (and have forgotten the past).

Now the task of re-creating the 895 +/- folders is in place, I should have no trouble at all making speedy headway in filing 9.000+ images..

Imagine a Public lending library with a pile of 10,000 books on the floor and rows of empty shelves.  I am picking up a few books at a time and laying them on the shelves in a filing system which has no labels or positions on any of its 30+ shelves.  I think that might be a good analogy.

BUT, I have looked in this library a zillion times in the past, so I can still picture in my mind where most of the ‘books’, (aka photos), are to be placed AND in which order (to make them readily accessible).

SILVER GULL DOWN AT THE LOCAL RIVER BOAT DOCK

At the same time, I am finding my way around new software and a new Mac desktop computer (after my small Mac Pro laptop combined with a 27″ Dell high resolution screen I used for 6+ years).  I’m having to learn new ways of doing the same task and not bothering to look at ‘the manual‘.

I’ve learned one thing and that is to use the control key (whereas in the past I used to right click on my old computer mouse).   Young technology educated folk might find this one very funny, but seriously, this old gal finds current computers worse than learning a new language.

THE SILLHOUETTE OF 2 RAVENS ON AN ELECTRICITY POST DOWN NEXT TO THE LOCAL RIVER

So in no particular order (or any subject), I plucked a few miscellaneous images from 2016 to share in this post today.

I found another image of that Frogmouth I photographed on the north-east side of Melbourne (below).  It looks fast asleep high up in the tree above me at the time of shooting.  It looks rather like a fluffy owl in this shot.  It wasn’t that far away from me, but I did have to look up almost vertically to photograph the bird.

I also found my first (good) image of the White-faced Heron only a few metres further upriver from the same Yarra River location (next to my previous apartment).

WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae)

Doing this Photo Library set-up again is like meeting ‘old friends’ with whom you’ve lost touch and suddenly bump into with an exclamation of surprise (and delight).

At the same time, yesterday, I finally managed to plant the seedlings I’d bought at the local hardware/plant nursery last Sunday.

Forgot to take a photo but here’s some of the garden in the Golden Hour the other night.  It’s looking quite lush and green due to recent rain showers and some liquid fertiliser.

 

It’s been raining on/off and rather windy during the week, so I was loathe to venture outdoors to do this simple task in my Balcony Garden.

MOVE CLOSER….

From the archives….

11th February, 2014

I don’t know whether its something to do with being extremely short-sighted, but I’ve always been a ‘details‘ person.

It’s a character trait that served me well in my old accounting job over the years and I haven’t changed since I had to take early retirement and took up Photography as a hobby in 2010.

As I go through my old photos, transferring them slowly to my new iMac computer in recent days, I’m amazed at how many shots I’ve taken showing the details of flowers, plants, leaves……………… and the ground.  The spare 2T hard drive I used as an intermediary had lots of old deleted images on it (as well as the 2 photo libraries I’d transferred there in recent days).

The image above was in a series I took  of the water course in Fern Gully (located in the centre of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne).

I spent a whole afternoon with the camera on a tripod testing out various shutter speeds to see which one I liked the best when shooting moving water.

It was so interesting experimenting and if you’re new to Nature Photography, I urge you to do the same.

Don’t copy someone else.

Find your own style and camera settings.  Experimenting is one of the quickest ways to learn how to use your camera, which settings make for good exposure and how to develop your own Photographic Vision.  Sure, tutorials and manuals are a great guide.  But personally, I think I learned more by experimenting and reviewing the results on a large screen.

I think I ended up with a shutter speed of 1/20 as my favourite to achieve a slight blur but still retain a sense of movement.  I’m not a big fan of those images in which the photographer has ended up with a ‘sea of foam’ which is so popular in seascapes and water falls etc

The same afternoon, I also took a few photos of this Australian Wood Duck couple in the shallow part of the main lake in the RBG.  The greyish bird in the background facing the other way is an Eurasian Coot.

I hope to be back to ‘normal’ blogging on my Nature Blog in about 7-10 days (if no more interruptions happen).

Last night  I had to type in my password to update Adobe and somehow a virus hopped on to my computer.  It was a ‘Smart Search’ browser virus.  It kept changing my Google Homepage and as it ‘greyed-out’ where you type in the homepage details in ‘Preferences’ on my iMac, I couldn’t get in to fix it.  When I logged on, it kept running a virus scan and telling me I had 217 problems, or faults, and I needed to pay the Virus folk to fix it.

Grrrrrr!

Anyway, the Apple Helpdesk quickly jumped in to screen share and after about half an hour we managed to get the virus in the Trash Bin and eradicate it.

AUSTRALIAN WOOD DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) – female juvenile

This young Australian Wood Duck caught my eye as I’m gradually re-creating my whole Photo Library and filing system (before exporting it to my new iMac desktop computer).

These medium-large ducks, with their long necks, are very common in the urban landscape, whether it be public parks and gardens, or near my local nature reserve (just behind my apartment building).    While I’ve shared this image before, never hurts to have another look.

The male has a brown head with substantial drooping crest, chestnut-speckled grey breast, grey body and black rump and a relatively small beak.

The female has distinctive white stripes above and below the eye as you can see in the juvenile’s head above.

***************

This blog is taking a break until I have either reviewed every image in my old photo library, deleted the worst and then transferred everything across to my new computer, OR I get outdoors to take some new images (not likely as I’ve been too busy).

I’m currently working on the photo library on my spare hard drive – which is in no particular order – date, location or image number.

They’re all mixed up.  Last month’s photo is next to a 2018 images and so on.

After various attempts and 3 different methods, I have found no easy, quick way to move my images from the old laptop to the new desktop without losing precious photos (or the old filing system with its various folder names).

Some of you may think reviewing thousands of images, one at a time is a ghastly laborious task, but once I made the decision to stop worrying about blogging and blog reading and just concentrate on the task, it’s become a rather strange, but relaxing meditation in Mindfulness.

I just concentrate on the image I’m looking at, make the decision to either keep or delete and neither worry about how many images I’ve done so far, nor how many I have to do in the future. Ten images or ten thousand images.  Makes no difference.

Just concentrating on one image makes everything doable.

The breeze is lovely and cool wafting in my open balcony door and the bird song fills the background (despite the construction crew on the building site across the road).

The Sparrows and Fairy-wrens continue to explore my potted plants which I find rather strange as there’s no bird seed scattered about and no fresh shoots to graze on.

Do they start each day thinking about past food offerings and visit my garden in Hope, or have they short-term memory problems like me and forget what they did, or didn’t find, yesterday?

The Autumn weather is absolutely glorious in Melbourne at the moment, but life has been busy with tradesmen arriving to make window alterations, so I have furniture moved and books piled high (out of their shelving) and health issues taking a dive downhill and 2 seperate visits to the local hospital in the last 10 days.   

Despite these interruptions, I have to say the warm sun, minimal traffic noise and soft Autumn breeze, makes every day a good day at the moment.

BLUEBERRY ‘NELLIE KELLY’ (Vaccinium x corymbusm x ashei x darrowi)

I noticed the flowers are starting to form on my Blueberry bush last week.  Seems so odd for the start of the 3rd month of Autumn.

Somehow I always associate new buds and flowers with Spring.

**************

I now have (most) of my images exported to my new iMac, but they are in one large folder, so I hope you’ll be patient while I sent up my whole image filing system again.  Seems to be about 10,000+ and while you may think this a large task, I know I’ll get it done sooner (rather than later) as I deleted 2154 in just a few hours on Monday.

The speed of this new computer is amazing!

I can’t find the Bird images I wanted to share today, so for the time being, I hope the Bird Lovers following my blog will have lots and lots of patience.

 

If you learn to enjoy waiting, you don’t have to wait to enjoy.

Kazuaki Tanahashi

COMPUTERS? Grrrrrrrr…….

The image below is from my old iPhoto library and shows one of the Spotted Turtle-doves which used to frequent my previous apartment balcony when I lived on the north-east side of Melbourne up til October 2016.

SPOTTED TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)

************************************

I will never understand computers.

This morning I started reading some of the blogs I follow via my usual email notification of a new post.

Some blogs asked me to ‘follow’ them again…… which was weird as I am already following them, (otherwise, how would I have received the email notification that they’d uploaded a new post overnight).

Some of the blogs allowed me to press the LIKE button (and some not).

Others which didn’t allow me to press the ‘like’ button, DID allow me to post a comment.

Some blogs I follow would allow me to do neither.

Not only have I got a new desktop computer and new 2019 software,  ‘Mojave’, but it seems to be a completely different version to that I’d uploaded on the old 2012 Mac Pro Laptop over Easter ……..and yet under the Apple symbol on the top left of the screen, both my old laptop and my new iMac desktop show the same software version number!

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason  for the various software and screen changes, or intermittent WordPress variations I am now being exposed to, so this learning curve is getting steeper by the minute. Gosh, I’ve only had the new desktop computer about 36 hours.

Where I had to re-follow some of the blogs I’m already following, one FOLLOW worked and the others told me my email address was invalid and wouldn’t let me re-follow.

Duh!

So if you don’t see me on your blog site, I can assure you I’m back online and back to reading all your blogs.

Anyway, the new computer took only about 5 minutes to upload the old iPhoto library off the spare back-up hard drive (8000 images), so at least I’ve got some old images to share from 2010-2016.  Unfortunately, I didn’t bother backing -up the current photo library on that spare hard-drive, although I know it is still there on the old laptop.

I think I’ll go back to the Apple Store Helpdesk and ask them if they can transfer my current Photo library (about 6000+ images) to my new iMac.  My brain is turning to mush just thinking about it.

This new desktop computer is ‘talking’ a foreign language and it’s like being 5 years old and just starting primary school all over again.  I feel like I’m sitting on the wrong side of the fence peeping through a crack and being unable to climb over the fence height and actually live in the real world (I can see through the crack).

I’m sure some of you have had the same experience!  I had an old 1993 Windows desktop for about 4 years and then bought a new Mac Pro laptop in 2012, and now, I’ve gone back to a Desktop, so I’m not familiar with the screens and the new method of working.  

I’m used to scrolling with my left hand and now I have to scroll through the screens with my right hand, so every few minutes my left hand springs up in the air above my desk and flails through the air in a hopeless gesture.

I’m sure it would be quite funny to watch if you were in my lounge room.

Maybe I should just go for a walk down to the river and breathe some fresh air to clear my head.

 

NEW COMPUTER

Surprise, Surprise.

I have a new computer and it’s an iMac desktop.

My desk and chair are the wrong height to accommodate my back/neck/shoulder/wrist pain etc, so, tonight I am working with the keyboard on a box (which is on a little coffee table).

…..and the mouse, which I’m having trouble getting used to, is too low, so I’ll continue to be absent from the Blogosphere for several more days/weeks while I design a new ‘office’ and find some substitute furniture.

I haven’t transferred my Photo libraries and other files over from my old sluggish, painfully slow laptop yet.

It’s 7 years since I’ve used a desktop so it’s taking a while to re-arrange my brain too 😀

So, be patient fellow nature lovers, I will return……………………..one day.

It would take too long to catch up with the blogs I follow, so I’ll start afresh when I eventually get back online.

LOOKING FOR AUTUMN – PART II

I usually share this same series of Autumn images, made back in May 2014, every year, as they’re such a lovely display of Autumn colour.

Most of these trees would be English or European trees planted back in the early settlement of the area.

The hills overlooking the eastern suburbs of Melbourne are called The Dandenong Ranges and include several National Parks, many local and wholesale plant nurseries, small and large spectacular residential gardens and homes.  Small and large market gardens, particularly berry farmers, are located in and on the other side of these hills.

Much of the area was milled for building materials in the 1930s, but still provides lush fern forests and protected national parks in the current day.

My younger brother took me to this tiny park on the way home from a stay in the country specifically so I could photograph the Autumn colour.

I have to be honest and say I’m not familiar with any Australian indigenous trees which change colour in Autumn, but I’m sure there must be some.

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus)

I had one of those Ahhhhhh moments yesterday.

I’d put some bird seed in the large pot plant saucer I’d bought to use as a bird bath (but no bird ever drank or splashed around in it), so occasionally I fill it with bird seed to entice the avian species to my balcony garden.

Of course, they make a terrible mess splitting the seeds from the husk and use the balcony floor and fence rail as a ‘public convenience’ and it takes me a couple of hours to sweep, wash & clean it all up.   I have just swept and tidied up awaiting a wash later this afternoon.  Regular balcony cleaning is mandatory, as, otherwise, my shoes collect the sticky bird droppings or seed husks and get carted indoors on the pale carpet (despite the door mat to wipe my shoes on).

I’ve always accepted the slight variations in feather patterns of the House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) as a normal avian thing.

But yesterday I realised I had a different Sparrow species visiting – the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus).  

There are actually 2 different sparrows species found in the south-east of the country, according to my Australian Bird Guide Book.  

Now, I’m not going to go back through the old posts to see if I’ve mixed the identification up, but I am going to convey the difference in this post.

THIS SHOT IS A PARTICULARLY GOOD ONE OF THE WHITE CHEEK PATCH WITHE THE BLACK SPOT IN THE CENTRE (of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow).

The sexes of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow are unlike the House Sparrows in that the male and female have similar plumage. The male and female of the House Sparrows are very different.  

The crown and nape of the Eurasian Tree Sparrows are a rich brown, with characteristic white cheek patch with a black central spot.  The forehead and bib are black with the rest of the underparts a pale grey-buff.  Back and wings are a richly mottled chestnut.

I don’t know how I haven’t noticed before now, or maybe I just never had Eurasian Tree Sparrows visiting before yesterday?  Who knows.

The flight feathers and notched tail are dark brown.  I tried to get a photo of the tail showing the notch, but the birds wouldn’t pose at the right angle for me.

I’m not sure which species this bird is. Perhaps it’s a juvenile House Sparrow as it clearly doesn’t have the white cheek patch of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.  This shot has a faded look as it was made through the glass window.

THIS IS CLEARLY a Female HOUSE SPARROW showing the stripe running from the eye (and made through the opened sliding door, hence much clearer, or sharper, in focus).

The image below shows a male House Sparrow feeding 2 females (definitely NOT a Eurasian Tree Sparrow).

The weather is absolutely gorgeous at the moment.  Sunny blue skies with a lovely cool breeze over recent days or overcast skies and cool temperatures (today).  We’ve even had a bit of decent rainfall.

This is my kind of weather and definitely a favourite season (besides Spring).

The reality is that every season has its merits, but Autumn and Spring always seem to be pretty special here in Melbourne, Australia.  The intermittent cloud cover makes for some lovely sunsets in Autumn.

CALIFORNIA POPPY (Eschscholzia)

I don’t often put links to other websites on my nature blog, but if you’re a flower lover, you just have to swap over to Anne McKinnell ‘s blog to see her latest post.

My own Californian Poppy images look rather ordinary in comparison (below).

CALIFORNIA POPPY (Eschscholzia)

 

 

THEY’RE BAAAAAACK!

The Superb Fairy-Wrens are back this week.

In larger than usual numbers too.

I never seem to get tired of watching these Wrens.  They keep me entertained for hours and  when they’re visiting, I never seem to get any household chores or cooking done.

Female SUPERB FAIRY-WREN – THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SHOTS I’VE TAKEN FOR QUITE SOME TIME. 

I counted 6 in my balcony garden the other day, but as I’ve mentioned before, they move so quickly, some days they’re impossible to photograph with the heavy long 150-500mm lens and DLSR.

Male SUPERB FAIRY-WREN.

All this week I can hear the wrens cheeping in the Japanese Maple growing next to my balcony fence and they are becoming more common than the House Sparrows 🙂   I don’t remember seeing any of these tiny wrens drinking from the bird bath though – only the Sparrows.

There’s been far less sound from the jack-hammer-like ‘rock splitter’ coming from the construction site over the road this week.  On Tuesday, the construction crew seemed to be pouring concrete most of the morning and were almost………. as ‘quiet as mice’. 😀

When I go out to pick up my new glasses which have arrived in-store, I’ll have a look at the top of the cliff and see  how progress is going on the site.

On another note, all, or at least most, of the Harlequin bugs and Cabbage Moth Caterpillars seem to have left the area. I didn’t get so many this past Summer.   I have pruned all the herbs of their ‘nibbled’ leaves for the umpteenth time and the new growth is starting to flesh out the bushes.  I feel as though I can finally leave the pest control hutch off the smaller plants and they can get some more sun.  After the previous year’s devastation of every single leaf on nearly every potted plant, I think the purchase of this pest control netted ‘hutch’ was well worth the money.

But I do have to be vigilant though.  I picked a whole lot of mint to use in cooking last Sunday and was just about to start chopping when I saw one leaf looked a bit curly.  I turned it over and what did I see – a lot of fine spun fibres and a caterpillar waiting to turn into a butterfly.

Phew!

I wonder what fresh caterpillar might taste like 😀