A friend and I had planned a five-night roadtrip from 19-24 December, including three nights in the wine/cheese/olive producing area of King Valley in the state of Victoria. Well, the covid19 outbreak in Sydney’s north put an end to that! We shortened the trip to three nights in New South Wales only, and even managed to get in some wine tasting. Covid-safe guidelines mandate that everyone must now be seated, and the tables well spaced. One ingenious winery near Murrumbateman, called Dionysus, has a very clever solution: the first sample (sparkling) comes in the glass, and the other six 20ml samples come in very cute test tubes.
Monday was a public holiday here, and the weather was marvellous for the long weekend! On Sunday I headed to Sydney’s northwest, to Lane Cove National Park (you can see the location in the last image, if you’re curious).
A 5km walk follows the west bank of the Lane Cove River, and in some places you’re close enough to see the water.
Small flowers could be spotted beside the trail.
No danger of getting lost!
The temperature was about 30C, with barely a breeze, so the shady sections were welcome.
No shade here, but the ferns are pretty.
Messing about in boats!
At the end of the section of the walk that I did, I was puzzled by signs with numbers and names. They couldn’t be distances, surely. I finally realised that they were official picnic areas, and they were certainly popular on the day. They can be reserved in advance.
Once off the trail, it was no place for a pedestrian. You really are expected to drive or cycle to the trail. I often had to walk along the bush’s edge when a car came along.
And here’s the location of the park.
I’m also including this walk in Lens Artists ‘A Photo Walk‘ challenge
These fluffy little cygnets look so cute you’d love to stroke them, but mama (or papa) swan seems very protective!
Posted as part of One Word Sunday Challenge with the topic of Pair.
I love photos like this: sharp object in foreground, blurred background. If you regularly view my blog posts, you’ll have noticed a few of them (and thank you for your visits!). But I freely admit I can’t be bothered to figure out the technicalities of taking them. I use a combination of zoom and focus area size to compose my shots. I set the ISO, colour balance, f stop and shutter speed manually, but don’t think about what’s happening beyond that. All of these photos were shot at 1/400 sec, F2.8, ISO 100.
But Jude’s assignment this week got me looking more closely at this selection of photos, and I did notice that the focal length corresponds to the amount of blur. “Lens focal length tells us the angle of view—how much of the scene will be captured—and the magnification—how large individual elements will be. The longer the focal length, the narrower the angle of view and the higher the magnification. The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view and the lower the magnification.” (source)
So I’ve presented these photos in order of longest to shortest focal length. The photo above and this one below have the same long focal length (most shallow depth of field) and extreme blurring of background.
The photos were all taken at Hamilton Island last July. Despite large signs stuck to the balcony doors saying “do not feed the cockatoos!!” the people beside me did just that.
This last photo has the shortest focal length (longest depth of field), and while the trees on the hill are certainly not in focus, they are much less blurred than in photos with longer focal lengths. The balconies are definitely much sharper.
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.
Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.
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?
This is what you see inside the train. This is going up.
Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.
This red bridge, tucked away amongst the trees, is in Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden, Tasmania. I learned of this garden on a TV program a few years ago and have wanted to visit ever since. However, I visited in March — early autumn in the Southern Hemisphere — and the rhododendrons were hardly at what you’d call their best. Nonetheless, the garden was delightful, and it was easy to see how stunning it would be in spring.
Sunrise near Burnie, Tasmania, as seen from my cabin on Queen Elizabeth. Friday 6 March 2020.
Also posted as part of “LPM Photo Adventure” sunrise/sunset.
This is a shaft in one of the old opal mines in Coober Pedy, South Australia. I don’t know what it’s original purpose was — access, light, air? — but it makes an unusual skylight! I think the piece of corrugated metal (purpose also unknown!) looks like a giant set of eyelashes. 😉
Posted as part of January Squares, the theme for which is words ending in light.
I read an article today about a group of people with sewing, knitting and crochet skills (the Animal Rescue Craft Guild) who are feverishly churning out pouches, mittens, nests and wraps for animals affected by the bushfires here in Australia. Although the fires are in Australia, the response to the animals’ needs is global.
“I’m in!” I thought. Even my rudimentary sewing machine skills could handle a pouch, surely.
However … this very worthy group only seems to have a facebook presence, and I do not. There’s no way to access the necessary patterns and instructions if you’re not on facebook. I can see the main page but not get into the other pages.
So I thought I would post about it here, in case anyone reading has the necessary skills, the interest, and the all-important facebook account. You can find the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arfsncrafts/. Do let me know if you make something!
BTW, the header image is of a wallaby and her joey, photographed in the Northern Territory a few years ago. Just imagine the mother being killed in a fire but the joey being rescued — s/he needs a pouch!