“Geometric: using straight lines and simple shapes, for example circles or squares.” Cee’s Black and White Challenge this week is all about geometric shapes.
I heard of graupel only a few days ago, when my mother told me that what she had assumed was hail pounding them in Stratford (the one in Canada, not England) was revealed to be graupel. (Read about it here.) Sydney was blasted with a massive fall of white frozen water today. I’m pretty sure it was standard hail, but the exotic graupel would be much more interesting. I was on a train when the storm hit and managed to snatch a few quick photos when the doors opened at a station.
After three days of torrential rain and gale force winds, of broken umbrellas and wet feet, of disrupted transport, fallen trees and floods, of a storm billed variously as “Sydney’s storm of the decade” or even (eek!) “Sydney’s storm of the century”, my thoughts turn longingly to the sunny tropical paradise of Vanuatu. Memories of my holiday there led, of course, to recollections of the devastation wrought on that island nation by the recent tropical storm, which put Sydney’s storm into perspective. But my mind turns to pleasanter times.
For someone who insists she is not an early bird, I have a remarkable number of photographs taken very early in the morning! I haven’t inflicted them all on you, but there are quite a few, from various travels. They are in no particular order other than alphabetical by place name.
You know the saying: every dark cloud has a silver lining. My particular dark cloud for the past two days has been having to endure a “corporate team-building event”, a peculiar mix of stultifying boredom and the stress brought on by the need to hide such boredom. My silver lining was that the event was held at a hotel in Coogee, which is a beach suburb just a few kilometres south of where I live. Free (at last!!) at 4:45pm today, I headed home along the coast path, savouring the treat of a weekday walk as the sun set.
I knew there were a number of benches en route, but not until I started to photograph them did I notice that they were not all the same. Wooden benches, metal benches, art benches — all with a view. Just the thing for another post for HeyJude’s Benches with a View!
I had hoped for a more dramatic sunset, but the peacefulness of my last shot almost makes up for the lack of drama.
Ettalong Beach is north of Sydney (see map at end of post). The entrance to Broken Bay is bracketed by Box Head on the north and Barrenjoey Head on the south (Barrenjoey is visible on the right, above). The ocean spreads its fingers into Pittwater and Brisbane Water, and into the Hawkesbury River, creating a watery wonderland ideal for weekend escapes full of boating and sailing, fishing and swimming — or for just sitting on a bench to admire the view. For April, Jude’s Bench Series looks at benches with a view.
After my evening at Opera on the Harbour last Tuesday, I found myself with 10 minutes to kill before my train arrived. What to do, what to do? I had my camera because I had taken photos at the opera, so I pulled it out and looked around. Hmm, limited possibilities: water fountain, ads, walls, fire extinguisher, benches … benches! Lovely metal benches, perfect for HeyJude’s bench challenge. I could hear a train coming, and thought it would make an interesting backdrop to a shot focused on the bench. But that photo was no good (too cluttered and too many people), and the train was slowing down so it dominated the shot.
Ah, but when the train left, it was perfect. You can make out the station name of Martin Place reflected in the blur of the train at high speed. The woman appeared just as I pressed the shutter button and my first thought was that she had ruined the shot, but she actually added a wonderful human element and a splash of colour. So I ended up with two examples of blur, one intentional and one not. (If you can’t make out the train, have a look at this photo (not mine) which shows one at rest, and you’ll understand the dark shiny look, faint stripes along the top and the pronounced horizontal line.)
I was saving this photo to use in September, when HeyJude’s theme will be metal benches, but it fit this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge too well not to use.
It is Opera on the Harbour season again, and this year the performance is Aida. The site is the northern end of the Botanic Gardens, on the way to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.
If you’ve been dragged to Opera on the Harbour against your will, you can always admire the view instead.