THIS TIME LAST YEAR

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Is it only a year ago, I was still doing long nature walks and outdoor photography?

Life is impermanent and the most important thing is to accept, adapt and move on with the next stage of one’s life when things change.

Images of the Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) made at the Maribyrnong Wetlands  pond.

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PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)

One of the most common ducks I see in public parks, gardens, on lakes, rivers and nature reserves is the Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) and the image above, made at Ringwood Lake, in the outer eastern suburb of Ringwood where I was born, is my favourite image.  It’s not necessarily the best shot in my Photo Library – I just love the natural setting.

Here’s a few more of the many images I’ve made over the years, since I’ve been photographing Birds.

PACIFIC BLACK DUCK – RINGWOOD LAKE, RINGWOOD (outer eastern suburb of Melbourne).  This Lake was an excursion when we were very small children as it had a playground and swings.  Nowadays, it has more formal landscaping, a bridge and little sun shelter shed in the middle of the lake.
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK fast asleep next to NYMPHAEA LAKE, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, MELBOURNE
Not a good shot per se, as the head & eye is out of focus, but I love this photo as it shows the colours beneath its wings. NYMPHAEA LAKE, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, MELBOURNE
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK – ORNAMENTAL LAKE, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS. This image is one of only a few where I had the long 150-500 telephoto lens on a tripod. I don’t think I had a remote shutter release cable back in those days, or even if I remembered to turn the image stabilising switch off (as you do when using a tripod).
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK – ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, MELBOURNE
I was crouching low on the ground to take this photo and was so intent on getting the focal point on the eye, I accidentally chopped off the bird’s feet from the image, but I like the photo all the same as it reminds me of the fun I had crouching down so the duck wouldn’t see me. JUST BELOW DIGHTS FALLS ON THE YARRA RIVER, ABBOTSFORD (an inner north-eastern suburb of Melbourne).
Not a great photo per se, but I saw this female PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (with her 12 ducklings – not all in the frame) down a slope near a bank of THE ORNAMENTAL LAKE, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, MELBOURNE

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne are actually located in the inner south-east suburb of SOUTH YARRA (where I used to live on/off for about 25 years).  I WORKED across the road from THE HERBARIUM on the south-west corner of the Royal Botanic Gardens for 16 1/2 years, so my 15 minute walk to my office was often made through the RBG (and even around the whole 38 hectare site after work).

As I have often said on my various photo blogs, I’ve probably walked through, or around the Royal Botanic Gardens, somewhere between 8,000-10,000 times and know the Gardens intimately.  This estimation is no exaggeration.  If I was blindfolded and led around its many pathways, I could probably tell you exactly where we were by the flower and/or leaf scent alone.

It would be both interesting and great fun to see all the landscaping changes since I moved away from the area in April 2015.  There is just so much to see throughout the seasons in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, but as to  the right time of year to visit, I suppose it must be Spring – the first 2 weeks in September, although the Perennial Border is re-furbished so that the flowers and colours are at their best in around mid-January (as shown in the image below which covers about 1/4 of the Perennial Border’s floral display).   The old restored buildings below are now Function Rooms and host to many weddings, large dinners and parties.