LOOKS LIKE I GOT IT WRONG….

Well, looks like I got it wrong, folks.

The newly revealed left side of the apartment building at the top of the hill is not due West at all.

I thought the removal of the large mobile showroom and sales office, selling off the plan apartments (due to be built opposite mine) would be a revelation of stunning colour at sunset.

NOTE: Melbourne has gorgeous sunsets in Autumn.

Due West (and the dying sun) are definitely on the right hand side of the building (not the left).  The last 2-3 nights, the sun has reflected off the rain clouds with such brilliance, it’s  almost impossible to look in that direction.  It has reflected on the left hand side of my lounge window and into the apartment interior in such a way I’ve had to pull the block-out blinds down early.  It was probably a situation where experts warn about looking directly at the sun – it certainly blew my vision for about 5 minutes after I looked away and gave me quite a scare.

To give you an example, here’s a few images made to try & capture it.   I’ve inserted these images on this Nature Blog as they’re not really colourful enough to go on my Sunset, Sunrise Blog.  The sun was even brighter than my images, but I tried to capture the scene with the intelligent auto setting of my lightweight Sony a6000.  Normally this setting takes 3-4 images when there are extremes in contrast and automatically brackets them together giving surprising, and usually perfect, exposure straight out of the camera.

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AN OBSERVATION……… AND A WEE BIT OF TRIVIA……..AND A SUNSET (OR TWO)

Not nature related, but an interesting observation from my home location in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

Last week I shared some images of the removal of the mobile office/showroom at the top of the cliff in front of my balcony.

The new horizon outline at dusk is much changed and I’m eagerly awaiting the first really spectacular Autumn sunset to share online.

I’ve joined 2 (rather mundane) images below, which I happened to notice fitted together by chance.  The left-hand skyline image was always there, but the right-hand image, with the silhouette of the grass in the middle and the left of the building, were completely hidden.

That is……….the whole of the scene, top to bottom, left to right, in the photo below was invisible.

I think where you can see the silhouette of some grass in the middle of the lower part of the frame is due west and as soon as we get a decent sunset, I’ll share it.

In the meantime, I been enjoying the somewhat ordinary sight of planes descending on their approach to Melbourne’s 2 airports – Tullamarine (international and interstate) and Essendon (the old airport now used for small 2 engine or local country planes).

Today, the sky is completely overcast and no planes in sight.

So while we wait, here’s a selection of sunsets from Country Victoria from the archives.

……..and some more images from the archives – made as I walked home down an inner suburban laneway after an afternoon in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

The first part of the laneway runs east-to-west.

 

The second part of the laneway runs north-to-south.

Yes, Autumn in Melbourne, Australia, is a great time of the year.

PACIFIC GULL (Larus pacificus) – Port Melbourne Beach

From the archives – 2nd June 2013.

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Today has dawned lovely and cool with a scattering of fluffy clouds drifting across the soft blue sky and it’s strangely quiet for a Monday morning on the Bird ‘front’ (still).

The cliff face opposite my apartment building is humming with the faint sound of a bulldozer somewhere around – perhaps at the top?  Last Friday, I had a good look at the new wood paling fence on the main road which now sports an enormous billboard with a photo of the proposed new apartment building.

There’s no doubt they’re about to start construction work soon.

I have mixed feelings about all this (as I mentioned in a previous post).

Being more housebound in the last 18 months, my Room with a View and Balcony Garden plays a major role in keeping my spirits up and filling my indoor hours with a Green View.

I am thankful to have the Nature Reserve and parkland behind my building.

RED-BROWED FINCH on the fence line of Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve.

I tell myself each morning, over the last month or so, to remain positive – change is inevitable.  Self Talk can be helpful at times like this.

Life is impermanent and one should make the best of what is, not what was, or what might be (in the future).

Saturday night’s sunset (which will appear on my Sunset/Sunrise photo blog when I get around to reviewing the 40 odd images I made), shows what will disappear.  The new apartment building will start from the left of the image frame below.

The whole image below will be wiped out – literally.

Or, here is a broader view (and a later image of Saturday night’s sunset when the sky had changed to pinks and purples below).  The new apartment building will block approximately 5/8ths of the right hand side of the image below, starting from the left side of that bush in the middle of the silhouette.  Keep in mind that I am looking up a steep hill, not across a flat landscape.

Maybe I’ll have to change to Portrait sized images of the sunset (instead of Landscape sized images of the cloud colour 🙂 ).

There’s always a light at the end of a tunnel.  It’s all in the Mind and how you look at the world.

Time to have breakfast, dress and go outdoors for a walk.

After all, I am Living in Nature and that’s the only certainty in my urban environment.

ONE MORE VIEW……..

I just can’t decide which of the 69 images I made of last night’s sunset to put on my other blog, so here’s one of the best moments of the ever-changing colour.

One of the extraordinary sights was the occasional rain cloud moving from left of the frame to the right by the  high wind speed, every 2-3 minutes.  It was like a video clip on fast-forward.  It was interesting to see clouds move very quickly from left to right, but the sky colour moved from the top of the frame down to the horizon (behind the rain clouds).

My sunset photos nearly always include the same street lamps, tree and house lines in the silhouette, but that’s the best view of the sky from my apartment balcony.

 

A SUNSET’S NEVER OVER UNTIL THE SKY TURNS BLACK

Earlier this evening, 3 times I came back inside and put the lens cap on the camera, sat on my swivel desk chair to face the TV and 3 times I took it off and went back outdoors to capture some more colour.

Beginning to end lasted 31 minutes (well, from when I realised Melbourne was in for a spectacular sunset tonight and stepped outdoors on to my balcony with my DSLR).

I’ll look at the 69 images I shot tomorrow morning to decide what to share on my Sunrise/Sunset Blog, but in the meantime…….

This is the view from my lounge room on the second-last step indoors.

……and this is when I knew it was finally over.

Stay tuned if you follow my Sunrise, Sunset (and clouds that come in between) Blog.

MAGICAL !

After last night’s storms, it was sheer magic to watch the sun go down tonight.  I couldn’t resist sharing these images on this Nature blog (as well as my Sunrise, Sunset & Clouds that come in-between blog).

It even lit up my lounge room and desk area (note: the tomatoes ripening on the end of the bookcase 🙂  I’ve eaten 4 so far, but they seem to be ripening at just the right rate for my lunch or dinner each day ).



ON THE FARM – COUNTRY VICTORIA

I’m all ‘blogged out’ at the moment (and with too many things on the ‘to do’ list), blogging and photography are taking a back seat and will do for some weeks.

So the images in this post are from my archives again, (with apologies to the long-time followers who’ve seen them all before).

 

 

I THNK ‘GEORGE’ IS GEORGINA!

Last week I mentioned the incessant tweeting by George the House Sparrow on the young Eucalyptus next to my apartment balcony.

I shared the photo (below) at the time, as I can usually see the bird over the top of my computer screen…..(computer is black blur in the lower half of the image frame).  The crown colour of the bird does suggest a male.

This morning, I can’t see the bird but can hear tiny little tweets (as well as the incessant loud tweeting from an adult).

I do believe ‘George’, or the incessant sound, is from  Georgina AND her eggs have hatched overnight.

This image was made in early September (before I washed the outside of my windows).

I might have to put out some bird seed on the balcony as I did last year (below).

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Unfortunately the bush is thick with new growth and I can’t see a thing, but presume there’s a nest hidden in the foliage.  I wish I could share the little ones, but the foliage IS a complete screen.

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All tweeting has just stopped so I presume lunch (its 12.40pm) has just been served.

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On another subject, it truly is amazing what you can see if you look through the window long enough.   I spent quite some time watching this butterfly move from daisy to daisy drinking in pollen (I presume), yesterday.   This is the same daisy that I planted on 4th November last year and has flowered every day since.  I dead-head it regularly to encourage new flowers to form.  The flowers have faded from bright pink to a wishy-washy pale pink in the bright Spring sunlight, but they’re still going strong.  I’ve also had to cut several branches off as they broke in the strong winds we get in this area.

An early photo of that lovely pink daisy.

There’s never ‘nothing going on‘ in my road.  It’s a hive of activity with finches, wrens and sparrows crisscrossing the road from hedge to hedge.

I suspect most of the nests are on the thicker taller trees on the opposite side of the road, but my 150-500mm lens doesn’t quite reach far enough.

I’ve seen crows, ravens, blackbirds, magpie larks, ordinary magpies, grey shrike-thrushes and other birds, whose names I do not know, as well.

Two or three times on a Sunday morning, I’ve heard a flock of ducks quacking as they fly overhead too, but I was way too late to catch them with a camera.

Even the sky was worth watching for a while last night.  Low cloud cover was very dark, but in between each racing puff of dark grey cloud you could see the sun reflecting off higher cloud cover.  I watch the sun setting nearly every night, but I don’t think I’ve seen quite this effect before.

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The thunderstorm you have when you’re not having a Thunderstorm!

I’d just finished watering the potted plants on my balcony tonight when the skies suddenly got darker and a thunderstorm threatened the western suburbs (of Melbourne).

7.45pm 24th November 2017

7.48pm 24th November 2017

Five minutes later, the sky colour changed to mauve and plum colours.

7.53pm 24th November 2017

My windows got a few rain drops and the ground was damp, but that’s about all that happened earlier tonight.

Maybe it’ll rain overnight? 🙂

The cool change is coming Sunday I think.

SPRING SUNSET

From the archives – 21st September 2016

It’s been cold, extremely windy and VERY wintery weather in recent days………..just when I thought Winter was coming to an end and Spring might be soon appearing on the horizon.

But still…….not much in the way of real heavy soaking rain this past winter in Melbourne.

Maybe we’ll have record-breaking Spring rain like we had last year?

Who knows.

In the meantime, I’m in hibernation mode and my cameras are gathering dust.

ABBOTSFORD

I think I mentioned to a commenter/new follower recently that I had deleted most of the 4000 images I made when living in Abbotsford on the north-east side of Melbourne (including all the corresponding WordPress posts to make room on this blog and reduce my massive Photo Library on my Mac Pro laptop).  I did keep all the sunrise/sunset images and about 30 other images of the walking trail to Dights Falls and the Collingwood Children’s farm (located next to the Yarra River).

BUT (silly me with the intermittent Brain Fog all us Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers have to live with), forgot that there are about 3300 images still in my WordPress Media Library.

So for the benefit of a new follower, Angus, who is now living in Abbotsford, here’s a few images from along the river and from my south-facing 3rd floor apartment balcony from May 2015 – October 2016.

I used to wash my floor-to-ceiling windows every week, ever in winter, so I could photograph the sky colours as they changed from dusk to sunset (and sometimes even dawn if I woke up early enough).   Every night I could sit at my desk (placed to face the windows) and watch the sky change colour and then disappear into night.

……and while my current 1st floor apartment is located on the western side of a building half-way down a steep hill next to Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve in the western suburb of Maribyrnong, I can still see the occasional sunset high up on the hilltop.

 

DUSK ………LAST NIGHT

Rain today, so I’ve been indoors trying to catch up with some blog reading.

Sunsets don’t have to be spectacular.  Sometimes you just sense the breeze whispering in the tree tops and the sound of birds chirping close by and relax into watching the sun go down.

This image was made from my apartment balcony.

THERE & BACK

Quick walk there and back late this afternoon.

THERE & BACK IS…….. TO THE RIVER & BACK (about 7-8 minutes, but I always take an hour).  Had to hurry tonight as the sun was threatening to go behind the hill……and my elbow (slipped, whacked last Friday and x-rayed a few days ago) didn’t want to carry any weight.  Neither did my neck or lumbar spine.  Methinks I’ll have to find another hobby 🙂

Yesterday was the 17th May, seven years to the day since I bought a little Canon point & shoot camera and took up photography.

 

Dusk

Yesterday, for the first time since I moved to this western suburb of Maribyrnong 6 months ago, I FINALLY got around to walking down to the river at dusk.

The light was just gorgeous.

The cool breeze was just so refreshing.

Really the best time of day at the moment.

Of course, as I walked past the Nature Reserve fence I couldn’t help but look over to the (now) inaccessible lake.  I was rather taken aback to see quite a lot of bird life on the water and then, very disappointed that I’d left the long 150-500mm telephoto lens at home.  Isn’t that  always the way 🙂

I tried to zoom in with the Sony a6000 and 55-210mm lens….  Not good enough.

I could see a Little Pied Cormorant on a rock in the middle of the lake, with a Chestnut Teal (and mate?) to the left, a couple of Pacific Black ducks and that unusual dabbling duck on the right (tan colour with whitish head in the image below).

Might sound weird that it’s taken me all this time to do the 5 minute walk to the river at this time of late afternoon, but dusk is usually when I’m preparing dinner, watering my potted plants and trimming herbs on my balcony while it’s cool,  or catching up with my favourite TV show.

I’ve meant to see what the sunset would look like from the river path for some time.

Last night we didn’t quite get a lovely sunset, but I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh breeze standing next to the artificial watercourse at Frogs Hollow watching the sun go down.  It had been a hot day and very muggy and humid indoors (despite my air-conditioning).

I had my Canon DSLR and new(ish) 17-50mm landscape lens as well as a tripod (which I didn’t really need as it turned out).  I had a steel waist-high fence to rest the camera on for some shots.

So after having a lovely chat with a couple pushing a pram and walking their dog, who ended the conversation with the advice that there were often unsavoury louts drinking and hooning around between the river and car park further along and I would be well advised to head for home as I was on my own.  My expensive looking camera gear might attract unwanted attention and potential theft.  I’m past the age of running risks at night on my own in poorly lit places.  Without being paranoid, no sunset photos are worth a mugging.

So that’s what I did.

I headed home.

As I got half way along the gravel pathway home, it seemed to suddenly get a lot darker as the sun dropped behind my hill and I turned on my (new) little bright lantern hooked on my wheeled trolley.  I had bought it for indoors as we’ve had several power outages in my building in recent months and it’s really hard to navigate my lounge room with just a small torch.  I’d bought a mini camping lantern with a USB charger for such occasions and to light my bathroom and galley kitchen to avoid setting off the overly sensitive smoke alarms with candles,  but thought it might be a good idea to take it if I planned to walk anywhere in dim light.

So, no dazzling sunset shots to share.  Just a lovely bit of golden light, a few wispy clouds and silhouettes.

I’m no ‘Spring Chicken’ any more and slow-moving, so I think I’ll keep my sunset photography to better-lit locations in future.

Not that I’m a wimp – just sensible when given some good local advice.

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SUNRISE, SUNSET (and all the clouds in-between)

Sunrise in country Victoria
8.02 am DST (daylight savings time) 12th February 2012.

If you followed my nature blog for a few years, you’ll know that when I lived on the north-east side of Melbourne on a 3rd floor apartment for 20 months, I had a 180 degree uninterrupted view of the sky (over the rooftops of the warehouses and residences right over to the Good Shepherd Chapel church spire in The Convent, Abbotsford.

You’ll remember some of those brilliant sunsets (and occasionally sunrises, when the bird calls woke me early) which I made from my 3rd floor balcony.  I’ve deleted all old posts a few weeks ago as I was running out of media room on this blog.

I’ve decided to open another blog and repeat those 250+ images now that I have them all in the one photo folder (l finished cataloging them last night).

Sunset 10th August 2015 – 7:34:17pm

I think to upload one a week might be enough to share, without overloading follower’s readers or email inbox, or maybe even less?  Or maybe I’ll post 5 days in a row to start the blog off to spark some interest in following/sharing my photography 🙂

Hopefully by the time I get to the last image in this current archive folder, I will have made more sunset and cloud images (perhaps not so much sunrise – as I don’t get up early enough these days – the birds are not as vocal in my suburb of Maribyrnong at sunrise). Here’s a sampling of what you’ll see if you would like to follow that new blog.  I haven’t set it up yet as I wanted to find a free WordPress template where the image completely fills the screen.  Might take me a couple of days to go through the WordPress theme options.  The headline will be the time, date and year etc. and I probably won’t write any words within the post.  Being a visual person myself, I like looking at photo posts which are quick to view.

I’ll have to find a better location to make  future sunset images though, as my current apartment building is built into a steep hillside and I can’t see as much (despite facing west where the sun sets).  Maybe I just need to walk up the 100 feet of the steep hillside to the main road?

There won’t be any exotic locations of course, as I don’t travel or have a car and am limited in getting around via public transport these days and rarely go far at night.   Most of these images are un-edited and the sky REALLY is that amazing colour.  Some nights are completely clear and there is nothing interesting to share.

Occasionally the images will just be of clouds or approaching storms (for a bit of variety).

Last night…….not much, but here it is….

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