Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Never Too Small

Beauty and surprises are never too small. These two rose flowers unexpected bloomed in our front garden this week. A very light misty spring shower added their tiny jewels.

One hour later

Early next morning

Surprises like this are welcome anytime!

Photographic note: All except the second last were taken with my Lumix fixed lens camera. I used my Raynox clip-on macro conversion lens with the Lumix for photos # 1, 3, and 5.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tea Sets and Cornflowers

My mother would have to be one of the most hospitable and generous persons I know. Despite living out in the country while we were growing up, she would often have people over for meals or a cuppa and a stroll around her garden, loading them up with plant cuttings, good home-cooked food and unconditional love.

Her two bone china made-in-Engand tea sets were in frequent use, my favourite one being this Kent and Taylor Cornflowers one.

Although I don't ever remember her growing cornflowers, she grew nearly anything else she could find, expanding into a green house and eventually selling plants locally.

Growing cornflowers (bachelors buttons) this season has been another first for me and I have delighted in each and every stage, having no idea what to expect - I love surprises!

When we bought our home 12 years ago, my mother gave me what remained of the cornflower tea set. I have always loved the simple yet beautiful flower design and also the wonderful rounded shape of the cups, sugar bowl and milk jug.

Last night I rang Mum to confirm the history of this tea set, it had been a wedding gift to my parents, just over 50 years ago (my father passed away two years ago). 

It has been pleasing to discover that these flowers (natives of Europe) in real life are every bit as elegant yet simple as those depicted on the tea set, right down to the delightful rounded base of each flower. Somehow this makes the tea set even more special to me now.

Photographic note: Each of the close macro shots (#3,5,7,8,9) were taken with my  fixed lens Lumix camera + my "cheap" Raynox macro conversion lens. The remaining photos were taken with my Canon DSLR, the last with the same Raynox lens clipped onto the Canon 50mm lens.

Sharing at I Heart Macro, Macro Monday.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Through My Bedroom Window

Imagine my delight on our first morning home from Dubbo when this view met my eyes through my bedroom window!

Our Butterfly Trees were in full bloom and the Rainbow Lorikeets had discovered them.

For the last three weeks these native nectar feeders have dropped by for quick snacks, often several times a day.

They like both the white flowers and also the pink.

Whether misty mornings or hot days, they come, usually in pairs, for a hasty feed.

Seed pods and a Superb Blue Wren - all taken today

The flowers have nearly finished now and long seed pods are forming, green ones on the white flowering tree and red pods on the pink flowering tree.

This is our 12th year in this house and each autumn we have heavily pruned these trees to let in the winter light and to keep them from rubbing on the house. Each spring they have grown long new branches but hardly ever any flowers. Last autumn we selectively trimmed them and they have rewarded us with masses of flowers and then the surprise of these wonderfully colourful birds.

Sharing at This or That Thursday, Nurture Photography: Red/Foliage, Mandarin Orange Monday,
Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

24 Hours

Same place (from the footbridge looking west) same time of day (around 8am) same camera (trusty Lumix super zoom) same edits (minimal). Images on the left taken yesterday, images on the right today.

Looking east.....identical edits etc.

The last few days have been very hot, up to 38.9 C (102 F) and windy, perfect for wildfires, or as they are known here, bushfires. Yesterday's local paper read "main fires causing a concern.... a 2000 hectare blaze (5000 acres) threat to property....backburning operations will put more smoke in the air..."

We live in a rural area of a big land!

Late yesterday a cool change came through with a few patchy showers of rain. Much of the smoke has been blown away now and hopefully the fire fighters will be able to extinguish the remaining fires.

 Not even the smoke could blot the beautiful jacaranda flowers from sight as they are now all bursting into bloom.

Yesterday morning I came across the local family of wild Wood Duck, there are still 9 ducklings, almost as large as their parents now!

Amongst the smoke-difused light, these nearby amaryllis looked just as wonderful as they could be.

Grateful for a cool change and cleaner air, today is far more pleasant for everyone.

Sharing at Our World Tuesday, SkyWatch Friday.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Mystery" Brights

"Cockscomb Coral Gardens" reads the tag which came with the seedlings. "Similar to Celosia....with twitted crests resembling a rooster's comb". Gail guessed well in response to my previous post!

They may still be tiny but they certainly are vibrant.

Looking forward to watching them change and grow even bigger, although they are rather cute at this stage.

Sharing at Macro Monday, And Then She Snapped, Mandarin Orange Monday.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Bright Weekend

Yesterday Miss E helped me make a new pair of pants for her. I had bought the material a couple of months ago for this purpose knowing she would love the bright colours.

She was very keen to do some pinning and help sew with the sewing machine.

As soon as they were finished she wore them....and slept in them. They have been washed this morning and she is now wearing them again.

A mystery bright, any guesses?

As I type the temperature is 38 C / 100 F with a drying wind. After watering the garden early this morning I picked some wonderful rich green silverbeet/spinach before today's heat hit. (Four of our children are out playing cricket in the heat all afternoon, and two played this morning - not pleasant).

Another mystery bright.......any ideas?

As I washed the silverbeet/spinach in our kitchen sink, this little fellow fell out, he must have been hiding under one of the huge leaves. Master J was eager to collect and relocate him for me, hoping to frighten a sister of two in the process!

One last bright, not so mysterious. I'm loving my cornflowers (bachelors buttons)!

Hope you find some brightness to add sparkle to your weekend too!

Sharing at Sneak Peek Friday, Weekly Top Shot, I Heart Macro.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just Visiting

Let me share snaps of some of the visitors I found in the garden today.

Golden Orb Weaver

Amongst the coriander seed pods

Hover Fly

And then I went visiting, having a quick look at another aged care centre, this one is in our own town. I have arranged for my parents-in-love to come and have a tour in about 10 days time, I think it may be what they are looking for.

It was very pleasant and is one of the very few centres in our area which is able to accommodate the differing levels of care required by each.

A brief garden stroll is the perfect way for me to begin and end each day. With summer fast approaching there seems to be an increase in garden activity of all kinds.

Many thanks for all your wonderful comments on Master J's photos and also my recent posts. I seem to have little time to blog reading at the moment as family requirements are quite high......

Thanks for dropping by,

PS All photos taken with my trusty old Lumix. I used my Raynox attachment for the two ladybug photos.

Sharing at This or That Thursday.

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