4/365 – AND THE DAY CAME………

“And the Day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin

Do you remember my lovely pink Argyranthemum that was covered in pink flowers for over a year?  Well, it wilted, went brown and all the flowers dropped off in one of Melbourne’s recent ‘heatwaves’.  So I cut it down to 1″ stubble, but kept it watered.

Low and behold.

It is now about 6″ high and has several flower buds on it.

Yesterday, one of the buds opened and today……………….it attracted a Harlequin Bug.

Now I must admit my challenge of posting A Photo a Day from my Desk Chair didn’t turn out very exciting taking a shot of this daisy side-on earlier this evening (below), so I got up and went to photograph it from overhead i.e. I left my desk chair.

Here is the original shot from my desk chair.

So in future I think I’m going to have to waver a little on the literal challenge “from my desk chair” to get a more pleasing image to share.  But I think you will understand and accept  that.

By the way, its 3 minutes past Midnight, so I didn’t quit upload the post in time, but I really DID take the photo on time 🙂

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BALCONY GARDEN UPDATE

FINALLY, my capsicums are starting to change colour.  They’re supposed to turn from green to purple to red, but tonight they’re looking as though they’re going to miss the purple phase and go straight to red.

Maybe the label from the plant nursery was wrong?  My brother told me his horticulturist friend had planted yellow Capsicums and they had turned out white 😀

A couple of mine have sunburn, despite being sheltered by the leaf foliage.

I accidentally knocked 2 baby ones off last month and have used one green one.

I don’t think I’ll grow them next year – they take too long to grow and ripen.

I need herbs and vegetables that give me a ‘quick fix’ and speedy food crops.

In the meantime, I’ve got some Harlequin bugs on both my Capsicum plant and…..

and my Blueberry bush.

I think I read somewhere that they are not kind to your fruit and veggie plants, but they are so attractive, they can stay for the time being.

NYMPHAEA LAKE – Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

There’s some lovely examples of Crepe Myrtle trees in the Royal Botanic Gardens.  I photographed this one 16th March, 2012 next to Nymphaea Lake (the smaller of the 2 lakes in our Royal Botanic Gardens).

As the gardeners had placed a wooden bench under its shady branches in summer, it was a great place to sit and read (or watch the bird life) on a hot summer’s day.

At the height of its summer flowering, it would spread right over Nymphaea Lake and offer some deep shade for the ducks, (or even Cormorants, Black Swans, Pacific Black Ducks, Dusky Moorhens, Purple Swamphens or Chestnut Teals), who frequented the area.

Reflections of the Crepe Myrtle hanging over Nymphaea Lake.
Australian Wood Duck (female on L, male on R)

WATER LILY (Nymphaea)

Today, at 35 degrees, is far to hot for me outdoors in my current home as there is little shade along much of the Maribyrnong River near Frogs Hollow where I live.

The small lake was quite close to the south-eastern entrance of the Gardens and a brisk 5 minute walk to the Garden entrance gate (from my front door) and another 2-3 minutes to walk down to the Lake.

WATER LILY (Nymphaea)

Occasionally, I would even take my tripod over to this area to get some sharper focus on the Water Lily flowers.

It was a bit windy in this area, but then, its windy everywhere in Melbourne in my experience. I used to walk along the nearby path on the way to work back in my working days (BC = Before Camera) and on the southern side I would occasionally see what looked like a water-rat of some kind, sitting on some flattened leaves on its hind legs daintily nibbling some food it had foraged.

The first time I saw it, I was so enchanted and amazed, that I felt like I was in a Beatrix Potter storybook.  I’d never seen one of these little water creatures before (or since).

Eventually with the start of the Wetlands Project, many of the old reeds disappeared to be replaced by man-made islands and new reed beds.  In fact, with the success of the various Wetlands created in the Botanic Gardens, the bird life and turtles nesting have almost disappeared among the high water reeds and grassy banks.  Good for the bird life, but a shame for me as an enthusiastic new bird photographer.

The rocks on the southern edge of this small lake were the best places to find Dragonflies around February each year too.  In fact, the 3 images below are among my first attempts at photographing a Dragonfly.

INSECTS

From the archives……..again!  (I’m not doing much new photography at the moment).

I rarely photograph insects, partly because I don’t see them (being short-sighted and only having distance glasses) and partly because I’m so intent on birds or other larger subjects, I don’t look for them (insects).  There’s certainly more than one image in my library where I was photographing a flower and didn’t even notice there was an insect on the flower until I downloaded the day’s shooting on to my large 27″ screen  🙂

It’s always fun to review them though.  Most of the butterflies were shot in the Butterfly House at Melbourne Zoo in or around 2012.

The last image has an interesting story behind it.

It was made with my little Canon Point & Shoot in the early days of my Photography hobby in 2010.  At the time, I thought it was rather good and submitted it to iStock Photos to see if they would take me on as a stock photographer, but of course in my naïvety, I didn’t realise how good you’ve have to be to be a stock photographer and I was rejected.  Also they had too many flower images and that was my main subject in 2010.

The interesting fact was that I found another photo with the same insect and flower with almost the same composition on iStock Photos made by a Swedish(?) photographer.  Now what are the odds of someone on the other side of the world shooting almost the same composition, insect & flower.   I’ve seen many images made by different photographers in landscapes etc, but a subject this small………..amazing.