IT WAS THE WASHING MACHINE THAT DID IT !

The washing machine broke down last weekend and it was the washing machine’s fault that I had to get up early this morning.

When the service centre booked me in for today’s service/repair visit I didn’t flinch or protest as the laundry was piling up and I don’t have many clothes these days.

But when the service/repair man rang last night to schedule a 7.30am time-slot on a forecast of a perfect sunny winter day, I shuddered.    It was only when I was eating breakfast that I saw the golden light reflecting off the townhouse windows opposite my balcony that I realised I should have been outside the back gate photographing the sunrise.  I was too late when I went downstairs and out the car park entrance.  The sun had already risen and was doing it’s very best to put a golden spotlight on the landscape.

What a shame I don’t live on the eastern side of the building I thought.   I would have seen the prospect of a sunrise before I’d even dressed for the day.   I would probably have left the camera set up on a tripod with polished lens and settings just perfect for a sharply focused image from my lounge room window.

I looked more to the south and saw the sky had faded into buttermilk (from its brilliant golden hue).  I forgot to check the Sony’s settings and just fired off a few shots regardless (as I was still half asleep).  This resulted in several dirty spots left over from trying to photograph the sky on a recent rainy day.  I had a bit of spot erasing to do before I could upload the images into this post.  To be honest the silhouettes weren’t that sharp in focus either.  I must have been shivering a bit while holding the camera in front of my glasses.

Far into the distance a solitary hot air balloon drifted across the winter sky (and I can now see I missed erasing the spots on the left hand side of this image 🙂 ).

It reminded me of the many dawn skies I had seen from the 3rd floor balcony of my previous apartment on the north-east side of Melbourne.  Back then, it was the sound of Doves on my balcony fence rail that often woke me early in the morning and I chanced upon the sight of such beautiful dawns they took my breath away.  Not only that, the hot air balloons hovered right overhead in that home location.

Here’s a few shots from the archives to refresh long-time follower’s memories.

 

 

 

 

Dawn on a perfect winter day in 2016.

 

I noticed this morning there were small birds everywhere on the trees in front of my current apartment  balcony and despite chirping their very best, the sound would never have awoken me these days, as I haven’t woken at dawn in the 11 months I’ve now lived in this western suburb of Melbourne.

Shame about that as the recent foggy mornings would have cast a ghostly mist in Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve and over the Maribyrnong River just 5 minutes walk down the hill from my current back door and made for some lovely atmospheric images.

Needless to say, after the repair man had left for his next scheduled job, I started nodding off trying to download the images I hurriedly made earlier and eventually, decided to go back to bed as I’d had an unsettled night with only a few hours sleep.

I awoke at midday and after a quick lunch I’ve missed the best part of this Winter’s perfect day no. 3.

Time to set off on a walk in the nearby river path as it’s too late to go further afield (as I’d originally planned last night).

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EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING……

The sky went a bit dark and gloomy and then came the hail.

But that was 30 minutes ago.

I couldn’t help but be drawn out on to my apartment’s balcony to check out the new sky (but it was, and still is, very cold).

 

PS I think I’ve ‘losing the plot’ as we say in Australia.  I thought I posted this image last night and this morning, I found it still in draft form 🙂

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.

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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