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.
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).
The last rays of daylight touch the tips of the Rosemary plant on my apartment balcony.
Since I made this photo 3 days ago, several more branches of the plant are coming into flower.
So strange to see the flowers in mid-winter. But since my pink daisy and blue Bacopa are still covered with flowers, one can only assume there must be some heat generating from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows in my apartment to create some sort of micro-climate? The Sage, Lemon Thyme and Oregano have all died back for the winter as normal, but my English & Italian Parsley, Mint and Rosemary are still growing as though it is Spring. I was reading an article the other day which suggested that Australia actually has 6 seasons and we’d be better off planning our gardens that way. Personally, I think Melbourne has 365 seasons and the weather bureau forecast still can’t get their daily/weekly forecast right 🙂
Have been off the blogosphere and blog reading for several days this past week as I’m feeling all ‘blogged-out’ and except for half a dozen photos made of the sun going down, my camera is starting to gather dust again!
Still, I did read a whole book in that time which is most unusual for me as I find the eyestrain tiring and reading difficult these days.
Sometimes I think I’ll never find something new to photograph around my local area and then, I take a random shot of nothing in particular and just love the result. I had my heavy long 150-500mm lens in my hand when I made this shot and can’t believe I managed to hold it still enough to capture the fine hairs of this dead thistle(?) from so far away.
Yesterday, after I left the River & Cormorants, (mentioned in the previous post), I headed to the late 19th C garden ruins in Pipemakers Park.
It was a short walk and I was hoping for some wintery scenes for a blog post.
Soon after arrival, a Kindred Spirit came up to chat (and return the lens cap I had dropped further down the path – phew 🙂 ).
Turns out he used to do the photography on overseas travel trips with his journalist Wife many moons ago and we had much to talk about……. like…..Photography, photography, photography, the Light, the Light, more light and the many overseas places he had visited – many I’d never seen on my own overseas travels back in the mid to late 1970s.
There’s nothing I like to talk about more than Photography, Nature and overseas Travel, especially if it’s to some far-flung destination off the usual tourist route. And if its to an isolated destination like northern Europe, Alaska or the Far East all the better as far as I’m concerned. If I haven’t been to it, I’m sure to have read about it or have a book/dvd or nature documentary at home, so I usually try to prolong these little interesting chats on my walks as long as possible. I must have been an explorer in a previous life as I certainly haven’t had the opportunity to travel to some of these remote locations in my current life. In fact, these days, in enforced early retirement, I spend much time in solitary bliss and at home.
Eventually I ended the conversation with wanting to catch the light.
I turned around and found the wintery shadows had grown long from the ruins & trees and I only had a short time before I’d have to set off for home or get caught in the dark – not something to do, as the Kindred Spirit warned me, (just as a couple had warned me some weeks ago down on the River at dusk).
So I ended up with just a few photos of nothing much in particular.
Most of the pond was in deep shadow.
Here and there a shaft of light lit up a strip of reeds and water
The light shafts turned more golden as I stood watching birds fly down for a splash, drink and then disappear into the 9′ high water reeds.
The jetty, ramshackle and rotting, as I’d noticed on previous visits didn’t tempt me.
This Spotted Turtle-Dove was one of few birds I could see well enough to photograph.
Setting off for home along the well-trodden path (instead of the asphalt cycling path was much more enjoyable as I followed walkers heading for home or walking their dogs.
Shafts of late afternoon golden light caught the dry grass on the river bank.
A lone Little Pied Cormorant seems to have missed mates flying upriver an hour or so earlier.
Looking west while walking past the Nature Reserve shown the dying sun and only wintery silhouettes in the Nature Reserve
But looking east (or downriver) revealed many weeds in flower
I walked quickly now as the sun threatened to go behind the hill plunging my pathway into darkness (although I did have a tiny camping lantern in the bottom of the bag purchased for just such occasions).