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Tree Squares: Bottle Tree

Planted in 2007

Here’s another interesting tree type from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. The trees in these photos are both Queensland Bottle Trees, one much younger than the other.

The label for this tree didn’t say when it was planted, unfortunately, but look at the size of the trunk!

It’s so large that it needs propping up.

About the trees

July Squares are all about Trees

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Australian White Ensign

Navy helicopter towing an enormous white ensign

The Australian Navy White Ensign was introduced in 1967, replacing the previous practice of flying the Royal Navy’s White Ensign on Australian Navy vessels.

White ensign and tall ship Lord Nelson

On 4 October 1913, the first Royal Australian Navy fleet entered Sydney Harbour. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of that event, an International Fleet Review was held in Sydney Harbour in October 2013. Ships came from around the world — not only military vessels, but other types. One of those ships was the tall ship Lord Nelson, owned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust and home-ported in Southampton, England. (And now, sadly, retired, leaving the JST with only Tenacious.) I’d been involved with the JST and ‘Nellie’ since 1993, so was thrilled to be aboard once again, although the mixing of my old UK life and my new Aussie life was odd!

White ensign and tall ship Lord Nelson

Life in Colour (White)

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Chillin’ at the beach

Australian Pelican; Black-winged Stilt*; Silver Gull

I’m a bit late for Lisa’s Bird Weekly with the theme of “Two or more bird species in one photograph“, but in my defence I only took this photo yesterday! I’m hoping I can sneak in. 😉

You may notice that the birds are predominantly white.

And you may be thinking, “Hold on, the feature photo has only two species!” Ah, but the pelican is the large, wavering reflection between the other two.

*I’ve gone for “Black-winged Stilt” because their faces are white; however, if someone with more bird-identification authority than I have thinks they are “Black-necked Stilts”, I’m easily persuaded. They are wonderfully elegant and ‘stilty’, regardless!

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Last on the Card April 2021

Both photos were taken at sunset on 30 April in Ettalong, NSW. Thousands of rainbow lorikeets wheeled and swirled and chased each other in huge flocks above the town as the sun set. If you’ve never heard even one rainbow lorikeet at full voice, you’ll struggle to imagine just how ear-splitting and deafening the birds’ noise was!

Canon Powershot SX260: I use this camera when I can’t be bothered with the weight and bulk of my ‘real’ camera.

Huawei MYA-L02: my phone takes rubbish photos and I generally only use the camera for taking a photo to send to someone at the moment — but I like how here it caught a recognisable parrot shape.

I haven’t entered Bushboy’s Last on the Card challenge before, partly because I generally wipe the card — and partly because I never post unedited photos! But I like the symmetry of these two.

Also linking to Bird Weekly – Birds in Flight

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Keeping out the cold

Quite an interesting look, but alas, all the eye sees is a muzzy grey-blue smudge of shapes.

I hate being cold, especially indoors. I lived in Canada until I was 29: yes, winters are below 0degC there, but every house and apartment has central heating, so you’re warm — often too warm — inside. In London, heating in my various rented apartments was dodgy; it would come on at odd hours (when cheapest for the landlord!) and often was wholly inadequate even when on. I remember one especially miserly landlord who loudly insisted an extra sweater would be fine, and forbade electric heaters (I ignored that rule, and moved out asap). And in Australia (Sydney, at least) central heating just doesn’t exist, despite it sometimes getting down to 5degC at night in winter. The combination of plug-in electric heaters (and the associated eye-watering electricity bills) and gappy windows is not a happy one.

We’ve just come out of an unseasonably early winter spell. Nights of 10degC outside — and mornings of 15-17degC inside my 1936-built apartment with its ill-fitting, thin-paned sash windows. I’ve put weather-stripping everywhere I could and stuffed rolled-up towels along the tops of the bottom sashes, which helps with the drafts but not the slow, insidious seeping-in of the cold.

Here, though, is the latest weapon in my war to keep warm indoors during winter: bubble wrap on the windows! The air bubbles act like insulation. All you do is spray water on the window and press the wrap on, bubbles facing the window. Amazingly, it seems to stay in place. You can’t see anything, of course, which could be a drawback.

And I do think those bubbles look rather blobby!