SHOT(s) OF THE DAY

Today, out of 45 shots, I managed to capture a (blue) male Superb Fairy-wren with a rather large caterpillar and female foraging in the English curly Parsley bush.  It was only a narrow gap between the plastic pot and the plant foliage.

(needless to say, I wash the herbs VERY thoroughly before I use them in cooking  😀 ).  

Today’s female had what looked like a broken claw on her left foot, so from now on she’ll be identified as Miss Broken Claw 😀   I haven’t seen Miss White Foot or Mr Speckled Black Bib for quite a few days now, but I’m sure they’ll return once the intermittent rain showers stop.

It’s freezing cold in Melbourne this week – more like Winter than Autumn – very windy too.   I have to go out tomorrow.   First time in a month (apart from picking up my supermarket delivery from the building’s front door each week).

But the great part about these lazy days at home doing nothing much in particular is that they too shall pass.  So if you’re getting bored stuck at home in ‘lockdown’ mode, I challenge you to take a serious look at how you’re living your life during normal pre-Coronavirus days.

If you look at what you have in life,
you’ll always have more.
If you look at what you don’t have in life,
you’ll never have enough.

~ Oprah Winfrey ~

The cropped shot below shows the broken left claw.

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

I couldn’t resist copying this from a friend’s Facebook page.

I hope Barry Evans won’t mind me sharing it with you today.

Having perspective is good, but using it is better.  I received what is written below from a friend. I do not know who wrote it, but I think it makes an excellent point relative to what is occurring now. 

We probably all think that it’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.  Many would think that that was a pretty simple time of life. Then on your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war, including many of your friends who volunteered to defend freedom in Europe. 

Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 38. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.   If you were lucky, you had a job that paid $300 a year, a dollar a day. 

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet, but don’t try to catch your breath.  If you lived in London, England or most of continental Europe, bombing of your neighborhood, or invasion of your country by foreign soldiers along with their tank and artillery was a daily event.  Thousands of Canadian young men joined the army to defend liberty with their lives.  Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. 

At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday there is the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could have ended.  Sensible leaders prevented that from happening. 

In 2020, we have the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands have died; it feels pretty dangerous; and it is. Now think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you think they survived all of the above?  When you were a kid in 1965, you didn’t think your 65-year-old grandparents understood how hard school was, and how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and very enlightening. So, let’s try and keep things in perspective.  Let’s be smart, we are all in this together.Let’s help each other out, and we will get through all of this. 

AMEN!

Barry Evans is a Villager and columnist for Villages-News.com

 

CAIRNS BIRDWING BUTTERFLY (Ornithoptera euphorion)

Now I’m into reviewing 2012 (and have given the rest of 2011 a miss) in my archives, there is a bit more variety in photography subjects.

I’d gone to Melbourne Zoo on 21 February 2012 (having already to take out a membership on an earlier visit).  Entry for a pensioner as I was, meant paying the concession rate of about $19(?) a visit back in those days.   Membership per annum was about $70+ for all 3 of Melbourne’s zoos, so it would only take 3-4 visits a year to make membership worth the money.   If you’re a tourist visiting Melbourne and planning on seeing all 3 zoos (which includes Healesville Sanctuary in the country and Werribee Park Open Range Zoo in the western suburbs) and have children, defintely take out a year’s membership.  It’s much cheaper than visiting all 3 zoos on a day pass.

As it turned out, I had so much fun photographing the animals, birds, insects and reptiles, I ended up visiting over 100 times over 3 years – (I counted the dates of each photo folder to work that total out).

Furthermore, the beautiful Temperate Rainforest landscaping was so cool and refreshing, I would often go 3 times in the one week mid-Summer.   I guess the enormous Great Aviary really confirmed my newly found love of Bird Photography also.

This main zoo in North Melbourne is small enough to cover in one day, but large enough to make all the newer enclosures, including the walk through ones, interesting.

The Butterfly House with its humid artificially controlled atmosphere became the first port of call when I entered via the large entrance on the main road.  The back entrance/exit was used from then on as it had a tram stop (& train stop) close to the gate.

CAIRNS BIRDWING (Ornithoptera euphorion)
MAINTENANCE DAY THIS DAY WHEN ALL THE BUTTERFLIES WERE ABSENT THAT I COULD SEE. HOW DID THEY REMOVE THEM ALL IS THE BIG QUESTION.
THIS DAY MIGHT HAVE BEEN DURING THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AS IT WAS QUITE CROWDED AND HARDER TO PHOTOGRAPH THE DIFFERENT SPECIES.

 

# A PHOTO A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY – Day 34

Today’s image is from last week, not my old archives.

Last Thursday the 23rd to be exact.

female SUPERB FAIRY-WREN

With the overnight rain leaving a trail of droplets on my lounge windows, all the photos I took this morning are blurred which is a shame.

With rain forecast for the next 5-6 days, I suspect I won’t get any more bird photos in reasonable focus until next week.   That’s one of the downsides of using AF (autofocus) instead of MF (manual focus).   It can autofocus on the water droplets and not on the bird itself.  I doubt even the most experienced nature photographer would be able to capture fast-moving wrens as they dart about the ground or foliage.

But, you can bet if I put my 2 cameras (with their short and long telephoto lenses) away in their soft pouches on the floor, a bird will visit and stand still with a clear shot 😀

Here’s another shot of a male wren I took when living over the north-east side of Melbourne.  This time the bird was relatively still for a longer period of time.

I found a great YouTube to share – highlighting how fast the wrens move and their call.   Thinking about it this morning, I realise it’s more like a mouse squeaking than a bird call.

I’m sure you’ll have an appreciation of how hard they are to capture in really sharp focus on my potted herbs or balcony fence railing.

If you’re a bird-lover you might also enjoy this YouTube of some exotic bird species, their calls and feather displays

I played it through a couple of times while having my morning coffee this morning.

# A PHOTO A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY – Day 27

No image from my archives today as I had another visit from my Superb Fairy-wrens to share.

I was just about to fill the bucket with hot soapy water to take out onto my balcony to wash the exterior windows, bird baths and bird ‘swimming pool’ when I realized I’d forgotten to turn the computer off.

I sat down at my desk and logged off and then a delightful little female Superb Fairy-wren landed on the Rocket plant trough right in front of me.   Grabbed the Sony ‘mirrorless’ and shorter telephoto lens (as it was so close) and made about 70 shots on the continuous shooting setting.

Many were blurred and the blue feathered male was a bit too quick for me, although I did get a shot of the male standing right in front on the window in front of my desk, but the shadow was shading its eye.  I’ll include it anyway.

So out of 70, I scored 11 shots in reasonable focus with the first shot being the best.

Note: After they left the balcony I went out to do the cleaning and also cut back the Rocket plant so there’d be no tall stems hiding their bodies in future.

The male (below) is about 2 1/2 feet away from my camera lens and I can’t quite believe it didn’t see me move.  If there’d been no window, I could have reached out and touched it.  What a thrill it is to get so close to these tiny birds.

Now the windows are sparkling clean I can almost guarantee it’s going to rain tomorrow  😀

# A PHOTO A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY – Day 22

From the archives

1st April 2011

…….and the following cacti images were shot on different days and I have shared both before, but having been made with a 100mm macro lens does mean they’re worth sharing again.  

GOLDEN RAT TAIL CACTUS