Focus

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Focus

One of my favourite things is to have some photos not quite in focus or have an element that has a sharp edge whilst the rest of the photo has a soft focus.

I found the shadows on the leaf of the Birds-nest Fern interesting. What can you see?
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The reeds contrast with the tannin waters and leaves of the pond
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Looking through the window of the abandoned building – leaves, sky and can you see the machine?
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Just a leaf on the verandah
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The Raven with its head on backwards while the other Raven laughs at his friends antics.
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Which one is your favourite?

An old joke I found on Focus

Twin sisters in St. Luke’s Nursing Home were turning one hundred years old. The editor of the local newspaper told a photographer to get over there and take pictures of the two 100 year old twins.

One of the twins was hard of hearing and the other could hear quite well.

Once the photographer arrived he asked the sisters to sit on the sofa. The deaf sister said to her twin, “WHAT DID HE SAY?”

“WE GOTTA SIT OVER THERE ON THE SOFA!”, said the other.

“Now get a little closer together,” said the cameraman.

Again, “WHAT DID HE SAY?”

“HE SAYS SQUEEZE TOGETHER A LITTLE.” So they wiggled up close to each other.

“Just hold on for a bit longer, I’ve got to focus a little,” said the photographer.

Yet again, “WHAT DID HE SAY?”

“HE SAYS HE’S GONNA FOCUS!”

With a big grin the deaf twin shouted out, “OH MY GOD – BOTH OF US?”

Art at the Beach

Many days have been spent at the wonderful beaches on the North Coast of New South Wales. There have been photos of sea birds, the coast line, waves, rock formations or the fabulous sunrises that we get when the sun rises from the sea. I am sure you have seen lots of this type of photo in many of my previous blogs or other peoples publications.

I am hoping that what I have seen is something that you may have not seen before with photos of the beach or seaside. I often just see something that catches my eye that I find is quite wondrous or perhaps has shape, form or texture that I find interesting.

Want to come to the seaside with me? You won’t need sunscreen, a hat or other sun protective wear but maybe get a cool drink, settle back and let’s go….

Perhaps I should start with the obvious which you probably seen in many photos. Many of Australias beaches the sand is the shoreline but occasionally the beach is rocks. To me the endless rocks are fascinating and to see the colours, forms and textures is unusual. So let’s begin with the rocks, some rough but mostly worn smooth by the sand and water.

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The Sand Crabs like to create their own art with shapes, textures and placement of the small balls of sand they excavate from their sandy holes where they wait for a snack to stroll past.

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The water has it’s own way of creating art with the way the water flows back to the ocean leaving patterns on the sand. Can you see a fish or maybe a bird in the patterns? What do you see that perhaps I don’t?

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Sometimes these patterns include shells to create parallel lines as they look as if they are zooming across the sand.

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Shell are another source of wonder at the beach. How many shells have you picked up just to look at their colours and feel their textures?

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Even a broken shell can seemingly form its own mini sand dune.

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Part of beach life are the things that get washed onto the beach. Sometimes these can be the result of a storm where seaweed has been torn from its anchorage ending up on the beach with its branches resisting the sands intrusion.

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Bits and pieces on the sand.that show the life that is on the beach. From the terrestrial to the marine. The leaf from a mangrove, an excavation spread from a hole in the sand and other bits and pieces of marine vegetation. Each has it’s own place on the beach decorating the sand with artistic expression until the incoming tide changes the art installation.

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The orange leaf contrasts with the sand and other items that are washed in by the incoming waves.

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I love the way the colour of the sea-grass falls away leading to the blackness of the rock.

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The interaction of colours and textures between the sea-grass and jellyfish with some bubbles added for more interest.

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The entanglement of grasses and other bits of seaweed almost look like a bit of calligraphy. The imprint of some toes add a human element into the abstract art that nature has constructed.

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Sometimes the art that can be of natural construct includes the intrusion of humans or in this case, a child whose toy jet ski washed upon the sand. The impact of human detritus cannot be understated on marine life.

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Sometimes a simple stick can seem like a stick. Look at the textures and the added colour of the coastal plants makes the stick more than a stick.

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Speaking of making a stick more than a stick, it’s time we moved onto the imagination of two people who see possibilities of making life at the beach different. The things we do we leave behind and perhaps someone may smile as they come across the ideas that we enjoy to make together. When we find something on the coast as we walk about the beaches, dunes or the littoral rainforests and vegetated parts of the the hind dunes. The following is the combined effort of the imagination of two people who can see the ridiculous in nature that just needs a bit of enhancement to make the natural world a bit of fun.

We found some driftwood on the sand. The artist said “Look at the little man I found” and placed the stick on the sand. The photographer took a couple of photos and thought there needs to be more. Then the “footprints” were added.

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When you walk along the sand and find some pumice that you would like to take home to use, well don’t you make a small basket to carry it in?

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We both saw the vegetation beside the track and saw a shape. Add a few other things that were found nearby and a bit of modification, a bit of art was made. Do you see what the artist and the photographer saw?

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A grass tree that had died provided a lot of amusement. I hope someone walking the track in the hind dunes had a laugh as much as we did making our hairy friend.

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A Pandanus seed, a bit of red seaweed and gales of mirth led to this little bloke being placed in a paperbark tree beside the track.

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Did you enjoy having a stroll along the Australian coastline with me?

 

 

Birds and Flowers

I have not kept up to date with my blog. It is already half way through September and the start of Spring has gone. I too so many photos in August that I have to have a second go at putting my photos and things into writing.

Lately I have been walking along my road and as usual, my camera has been to hand. Some of the photos have been from around the neighbourhood whilst other photos have been at home. This first lot are typical of the bush in and around my place. The Fringe Wattles looked lovely this year and the spur my house is on is surrounded by the yellow of the wattles.

The small puffs of yellow encompass the whole wattle tree.

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The Native Sarsparilla also bloom at this time of year.

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They both look lovely as the Sarsparilla entwines around the Fringe Wattle

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The Paperbarks certainly flowered well this season. The air was full of the scent from the flowers which attracted all sorts of insects. How many can you see?

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Here are more insects in the flowers of the Paperbark. Mostly the insects get right down into the flower stem so only their bums are visible.

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The Coastal Rosemary flowers are quite pretty don’t you think?

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I am not sure what this little hairy leafed bush is. I called it Egg and Bacon plant but I am not sure. Can anyone help out with what this flower is please?

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I love the colours of Spring. Even the leaves can have such great shades of colour. Plus there is a bonus insect!!!

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The Double-barred Finches have been feasting on the grass seed. This one looks particularly portly at it sat high on the powerline.

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They have lovely markings. I like their blue beak.

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The Red-browed Finches were having fabulous snacks in the tall native grasses along the side of the road.

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A late comer to the last of the Bottlebrush flowers, (see the previous blog), was the Brown Honeyeater.

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The Friarbirds loved having a bath in the neighbours dam. They were diving in from a great height.

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Away in the distance I could hear the “chwit-chwit-chwit-peter-peter-peter” call of a Jacky Winter. Perched high on the dead tree, it was quite happy wagging its tail back and forth chittering away.

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Further down the road, a Little Friarbird was enjoying the last rays of the day.

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Often when I am sitting in my study, I have eyes that peer in through the door or window. This day the Female Satin Bowerbird was looking in.

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Quite often White-throated Treecreepers are spotted jumping up the trunks of trees. This is the first time I have been able to get a photo of one who took its time on its hunt for food.

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On the walk up the road I was very excited to see a couple of Grey-headed Babblers forage for insects among the dead wood and leaf litter on the property next door. I have seen them in the forest on my place but I was lucky enough to see them in the cleared land next door. I love their fluffy pants.

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The Rainbow Bee Eaters were having a splendid time zooming about the cleared paddock up the road. The many dead trees offered a great vantage point to watch for unsuspecting insects flying about.

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Every now and then, a group would gather to tell about the day and to keep a look out for flying insects. Their heads were always swivelling about as they say and chatted in the trees.

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So that’s the end of my start to Spring. I hope you have enjoyed my walk up the road.

Lots of new things to discover

I really enjoy discovering new things as well as seeing things through the lens of my camera in a different way. So far this year the rains that are usually around just haven’t come. But the middle of this month there was a good fall of 60mls and the follow-up rain arrived a week later with 15mls. This rain was the best since the 1st June when 22mls fell. The change to the landscape has gone from browns and yellows to a tinge of green and new shoots appearing on many plants.

The new shoots on the Native Wisteria suddenly started to appear.

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The Pine Trees new cones came in a variety of shapes. Some in a random way.

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With others seemingly more ordered. The Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos will be pleased.

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The plum trees are flowering, some in groups.

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While others are singles on the bare branches.

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There is plenty of insect activity too. Some plants have evidence of insect activity like these leaves.

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Some plants visitors are more obvious. This little beetle was very camera-shy and kept walking away from the camera despite my efforts. Those red legs were very determined to trudge away!

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The Raspberries had a mixture of fruits and flowers but mainly flowers. The fruits were hard to find and weren’t all that nice to eat, but looked good.

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I had never really looked at Raspberry flowers. They are quite pretty.

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The bees seemed to think so as well. They were buzzing around going from flower to flower.

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They were very intent on their pollen collecting.

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The bees were also drawn to Fireweed. I can see why someone decided that they would be pretty in the garden, not realising what they would end up doing to the paddocks.

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As always, there was an Eastern Yellow Robin nearby to see what was flushed out with the weed pulling going on.

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While higher up the Little Wattlebird kept an eye on things.

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But much, much higher up still, a Brahminy Kite wheeled over head.

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During a drive into Ballina, we came across a puddle on a small park where a small flock of Plumed Whistling Ducks were having a good time wandering about.

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I have never seen Plumed Whistling Ducks before. They are a very striking bird.

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Seeing them really made my weekend. They have great plumage don’t they? Hope you enjoyed a bit of my weekend.

brian

The Art of Nature

Nature gives us shapes and forms that aren’t in shapes we can categorise. Occasionally something will become a familiar shape and we are quick to name it so we can file it in out memory. Nature builds things that can come in the most amazing forms, shapes and colours. I like to see the same thing that everyone sees but when the camera is to my face, my eyes see that special bit of a bit wood or the way the light changes the everyday items into something I find wonderous.

Here are some of the things I see.

It is just a part of large leaves which look quite red but up close they are many stripey colours.

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Ever since I was a kid I have loved Scribbly Gums. They were in the playground in Primary School and I spent time tracing the patterns to see where they went.

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The forces of nature certainly cause shapes and lines to appear in the hard surfaces like rocks.

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Sometimes wood can do a similar pattern

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It is just a Fan Palm leaf

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A palm frond stands tall before it opens to lay flat

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I have so many photos of water. The movement of water and the reflections of what is nearby combined with sunlight can make a bit of water seem quite special. This one is the water at the Port of Marseillaise

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Sunset can change a bit of the sea at Brighton into a dance of reds, oranges and blues

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The folds, lines and colours of the cliffs at Evans Head have always fascinated me

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The Norfolk Island Pines are very spiky. They twist and turn with the fruit looking very alien

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The wind can cause ripples on the water’s surface which makes the water plants dip and form lines and spots with a myriad of colours that contrast of the Juncus standing tall in the foreground

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A leaf blown onto the verandah is just a dead leaf on well-worn verandah boards. Would you have paid any attention to it or just swept it off

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Water drops on a red Hibiscus flowers petal took my eye. I think I was rather contorted as I found the drops I wanted with the sun behind the petal

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I love natures shapes and forms. How about you?