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Some kind of katydid

I pity the small insect those front legs snatch!

I would never have spotted this small green insect but I happened to see the flash of movement when it landed on the duranta tree on my balcony. It was two metres away and I had no hope of making out details but luckily my camera was just inside the door. Maximum zoom revealed it to be quite an elegant mantis-type bug. From what I could learn online, it’s a kind of katydid, of which there are about 1,000 species in Australia.

The overlapping wings create a lovely diamond pattern.

In search of protection.

Did you have to look closely to spot the katydid? Excellent camouflage.

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An architectural perspective

Macquarie Bank interior, Martin Place, Sydney.

These two photos are of the central atrium of the Macquarie Bank building in Sydney. It is, in rather florid terms, “centred around a striking inter-connecting feature staircase built within a new 8mx8m void penetration over seven floors.” (source) Void penetration, eh? Let’s skip over that one. The $100 million-plus refurbishment took just over two years, ending in September 2014. (source) I visited in September 2019 as part of Sydney Open, when various buildings open to the public.

There were, as you’d imagine, various signs warning you not to lean over the rail or hold your camera over. My camera was safely strapped around my neck and has a nifty fold-out swivel viewscreen, so (after checking that no one in a fluorescent vest was watching!) I was able to extend the camera over the ‘void’, compose the photos and snap. One of the fluro vest wearers did spot me lurking and told me very severely not to lean over the rail; I assured her that I would not. I didn’t add that there was no need to lean, as the deed had already been accomplished. hehehe

I would not want to sit at one of those desks at ground level. Who knows what might fall on you?

July is Squares Month, and the theme is Perspective. I’ve gone for another geometric interpretation.

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Queenly perspectives

Queen Mary 2 seen from a ferry in Sydney. (Parallel lines seeming to meet.)

The ‘queens’ in these perspective shots are the Cunard liners Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. I’m going with the geometric definition of Perspective: the way that objects appear smaller when they are farther away and the way parallel lines appear to meet each other at a point in the distance.

Queen Mary 2 in much nicer weather than above! (Parallel lines seeming to meet.)

Below, not only do the farther deck chairs look smaller than those nearest the camera, but various parallel elements (the deck caulking at left; the top and bottom rails at right) appear meet each other at a point in the distance.

More amazing meeting parallel lines, this time in corridors.

July is Squares Month, and the theme is Perspective.

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Bee’s perspective

Yellow & maroon pansy.

I have no idea how a bee would actually see the flowers on my balcony, so apologies to any bees reading this. These images are really a result of me playing around with Photoshop this afternoon. If you’re curious, after editing and cropping the photo, on a new layer I added a radial gradient (white to transparent), set the blend mode to ‘hard mix’ and then erased the area around the centre so the original photo on the layer below came through. Highly stylised and probably not bee-like at all, other than being taken with my camera 1-2cm from the flower.

Purplish-blue pansy

I chose pansies and daisies for this post because the bees do seem to prefer these flowers.

Pink daisy.

And here’s a non-stylised bee, having a good old rummage in a camellia. Look at the size of that eye!

A real bee’s perspective. I wonder if they ever get pollen in their eyes?

These photos are square, which can only mean one thing: it’s another month of Becky’s Squares! For July, the theme is Perspective.

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The Top End

The red outline shows roughly the area referred to as The Top End. (Google Maps)

In 2015 I did a marvellous tour of the area of Australia known as The Top End, starting and ending in Darwin. Here, in no particular order, are a few photos I like from that trip.

Pine Creek is about 225km (140 miles) from Darwin. Sadly, we did not stop for one of these icy cold beers.

Old ticket sales window at the Pine Creek Railway Museum.

Edith Falls: anyone for swimming?

This is Cahills Crossing, a road link to Arnhem Land. Those aren’t logs and twigs in the river to the right of the cars; they’re crocodiles.

No contest. You win.

Katherine Gorge, stunningly beautiful.

Termite mounds near Litchfield.

Kites at Wangi Falls. (Did you spot the one looming up from below?)

Wine and nibbles near Leichardts Point, a very civilised ending to a day of touring.

Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.

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The ‘top’ sails

Looking at the main mast on tall ship Tenacious

I’ve put top in quote marks in the title because, as you can see, these three sails that are set are not actually at the top of anything. However, they do have ‘top’ in their name!

There are five sails on Tenacious’s main mast. Starting from the, ahem, top of the mast, we have the royal (furled); the topgallant (t’gallant, or even t’gan’sl if you want to say “topgallant sail”); the upper topsail; the lower topsail; the course (furled).

Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.

Top and bottom

The top of the ‘train line’ is at top right of this photo; the bottom is at bottom left.

The photo above captures the top and bottom of the Scenic Railway in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney). From its website: “Discover the thrill of a 52° (128%) incline in open terrain riding the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway. Following an award-winning redevelopment in 2013, the fifth generation train travels an unforgettable 310 metre route through a cliff tunnel before emerging on the floor of the Jamison Valley. Passengers can choose their level of adventure, adjusting their seated position up to 20 degrees. Choose CLIFFHANGER at a steep 64° incline; LAIDBACK for a more relaxed journey; or for loyal fans, ORIGINAL at 52°.
The original railway was built in the late 19th century to serve the Katoomba coal mine. Acquired by the Hammon family in 1945, it has operated for tourists for over 70 years thrilling 25 million passengers.”

If you can’t make out the top and bottom, I’ve circled them below.

I thought people might be curious about what the train is like to ride, so have included two non-“top” photos (although they are square!). This is what an observer sees as the train comes into the bottom station. Looks like a ride at a funfair or amusement park, doesn’t it?

Hurtling into the ‘station’ at the bottom.

This is what you see inside the train. This is going up.

The view from inside.

Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.