A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE

When you have lots of little niggling problems eating away your day, be it with friends, family, work colleagues……home, work place ……….or your computer, it’s easy to lose sight of the ‘big picture‘.

It’s easy to lose sight of the beauty in the ordinary everyday moments, living one’s life Mindfully and appreciating all the positive aspects of living in a marvellous space surrounding by a green belt up and down the river (of parks and nature reserves).   Living in the Moment and not in the past or the future is essential for us chronic pain and illness sufferers.

But if you’re a healthy normal individual it’s a practice worth cultivating too.

The last couple of months have drawn me away from Mindfulness and sucked me into negative thinking, something I vowed I would not do after being forced to quit full-time work in early 2010 and take early retirement.   I’m not naturally a bright, breezy sort of person.   I have to work at it.  I’m the quiet deep thinker who watches life from the sidelines these days.

When I’m with my bright happy extravert friends, I tend to become one (bright, or lively & with a wicked sense of humour).  When I’m with sombre, negative, critical souls, I tend to to take on their negative traits and my mood darkens.   When my computer misbehaves, I curse…….sometimes quite loudly, if the problem doesn’t resolve quickly.

A finger points at the moon, but the moon is not at the tip of the finger. Words points at the truth, but the truth is not in words.

— Huineng

Walking home from the local medical centre yesterday, after a morning of intermittent rain showers,  I was blessed by brilliant sunshine.   Each leaf in the local park sparkled with droplets of rain, and the air was really fresh and inviting.

My mood was immediately uplifted with the sheer beauty of the avenue of stark leafless cherry blossom trees facing a large landscaped area of Euphorbias and low-lying succulents and the rich green hedges.  The faint laughter of a couple of young children in the local playground, as their father watched on with the family dog, provided a light backdrop.

I was also blessed with a relatively pain-free hip and lower back day.  My chronic knee and ankle pain was totally absent – a rarity these days.

I noticed the bushes of Polygala near the supermarket were in full bloom and fortunately I had a camera in my shopping trolley.    I don’t usually take it outdoors if the whole day is forecast for rain showers all day.

MILKWORT (Polygala myrtifolia).

Such a lovely burst of colour amidst the dreary cold days of Winter.

Those colourful blooms were certainly a very welcome sight.  Polygala is a very hardy plant and I’ve seen it in the most unforgiving surroundings.  It flowers from the end of Winter right through Summer, with a few flowers hanging around in the Autumn.   Yesterday was mid-Winter, so in one way, I was surprised to see the generous mass of blooms.

But the succulents and drought-hardy plants in the urns outside the local cafes, pharmacy & medical centre were just as pretty.  Someone in the area must have a ‘green thumb’.

On the way home, by the time I got to the top of my short steep road, most of the light had started to fade under some new dark clouds which heralded a possible rain shower.

I started to walk a bit faster.   There is really no shelter in much of my area, totally opposite to where I lived on the south-east side of Melbourne 4 years ago.

Looking towards the dying sun produced a fair silhouette (which I deepened by increasing the ‘black point’ in the iMac’s simple photo editing section of the software).   It wasn’t really this dark, but I happen to like silhouettes.   The scene wan’t a stunning landscape,  merely an urban space near a row of townhouses.  I kept wishing I had my Sony ‘mirrorless’camera, which takes superb images when there is bright light and strong contrast in the scene.   The Sony ‘intelligent auto’ setting is unsurpassed by my Canon DSLRs.

But as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you on the day.

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

……now, that I’ve had 3-4 fellow WordPress bloggers upload a new post from a Domain.com address, I’ve had a chance to confirm that the resolution posted by the WordPress Moderator/Staff member in answer to my query, is really (embarrassingly) simple.

I couldn’t press the LIKE button on the homepage of Domain.com blogs merely because I had one wrong preference ticked in Safari.

How simple a resolution is that…..

For the technology-challenged like me who use an Apple computer, go to Safari >>>then Preferences

 

>>>>>>then to the Privacy tab……which was ticked under Website tracking (ticked box) Prevent cross-site tracking….

and un-tick it as shown below 😀

So problem #1 is solved…………. (for me anyway).

Hope it helps someone out there in the blogasphere too.

Now on to the next computer problem 😀

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.

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)

 

 

COASTAL CUSHION BUSH (Leucophyta brownii)

Found it!

I thought the bush in the previous post looked a bit like one of the Coastal Saltbushes I’d seen down at the Jawbone Coastal Conservation and Nature Reserve and I was right.

I found the name of my mystery local bush with the right words in a search of Google Images late last night.  It’s halfway down the pdf. here

Then of course, I was able to type the correct name into my Google search and read more about it at Victorian Resources online

I thought it looked a very drought-hardy plant even in the flat open windy area near my local river, so looking up Coastal Saltbush wasn’t too far wrong.  It brought me to a Coastal plant website.  In fact, after putting the right words, in the right order, in my Google search I found the name in something like 5 minutes.  Just goes to show how appropriate wording in your search can be vital in identifying local flora and fauna quickly.

I’ve often spent, quite literally years, searching for names and given up, then one day decided to try again with different wording for Mr Google and I’ve come up trumps in 5 minutes.

It’s all very well to bookmark an Australian Plant directory online (OR even look up my own 2 plant encyclopaedias), but narrowing  your plant search  down with carefully chosen words can be a great time saver.

Now I’ve found it, I can name the photo and put together a short post on last Saturday’s walk and bird life.

SCENTED GERANIUM ‘Candy Dancer’ (Pelargonium ‘Candy Dancer’)

This scented Geranium is a small, compact shrub growing approximately 70cm (27 inches) wide and 70cm high.  It’s so easy to grow and has a lovely fragrance and is drought and heat tolerant, so perfect for our Australian climate.

Pelargonium ‘Candy Dancer’

The images in this post come from The Herb Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne (as you can see from the brick paved path in the background), but I’ve certainly seen it in many residential gardens also.

Pelargonium ‘Candy Dancer’