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Random Fridays: I’m glad they’re small!

These blue crabs look pretty scary, but they’re only about the size of the end of my finger. I didn’t even spot them initially while walking along mud flats at Ettalong at low tide — it was the plop-plop-plop of millions of tiny feet that caught my attention. The more I looked, the more I was astonished. There were hundreds of thousands of these things! For those of you of a scientific bent, they are Mictyris longicarpus (light-blue soldier crab) I think.

As the heading says, I’m glad they are small. And not looking for a fight!

The next two shots give an idea of the numbers. Prolific? Oh yes!


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Sculpture by the Sea 2015

dust - Norton Flavel

dust – Norton Flavel

The annual outdoor display of sculptures is on again in Sydney. With artworks dotted for 2km along the coast from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach, this free two-week event is hugely popular.

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There are over 100 artworks on display — but don’t worry, I didn’t photograph every one. 😉

A few sculptures that caught my eye

ashes to ashes – Kim Perrier

bath – Vince Vozzo

bath - Vince Vozzo (detail)

bjf13 – Ben Fasham

city dreams – Gao Xiaowu

city dreams - Gao Xiaowu

fun! – Naidee Changmoh

fun!- - Naidee Changmoh

intervention – Mike Van Dam

intervention - Mike Van Dam

kakashi – Zilvinas Zempinas

kakashi - Zilvinas Zempinas

man on ball – Wang Shugang

listen time passes – Barbara Licha

listen time passes - Barbara Licha

tree spirit eggs – Mark Eliott

tree spirit eggs - Mark Eliott

undulation – Benjamin Storch

undulation - Benjamin Storch

quotidianity the brothers – Fabio Pietrantonio

quotidianity the brothers - Fabio Pietrantonio

These “sculptures” were created by Mother Nature — eroded sandstone.

A few other things that caught my eye

I deliberately took a day off work so I could avoid the crazy crowds on a weekend, but look at all the people on the path! I’ve put this post in my Strolls around Sydney category because, believe me, a strolling pace is as fast as it’s possible to move.

It’s important to stay hydrated and safe in the Sydney sun (when the sun actually shines, that is — it’s been very wet here for the past few days!). There was free water …

… and free sunscreen.

And someone has to keep the artworks looking clean!

Keeping it clean.

Keeping it clean.


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Bench with a view: Coogee and Clovelly

Late afternoon, Coogee Beach.

Late afternoon, Coogee Beach.

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!

A bench with very long legs! Late afternoon, Coogee Beach.

A bench with very long legs! Late afternoon, Coogee Beach.

This couple was more interested in each other than the view from their bench.

This couple was more interested in each other than in the view from their bench.

This bench looks down on Gordons Bay, a popular swimming, snorkelling and diving spot.

This bench looks down on Gordons Bay, a popular swimming, snorkelling and diving spot.

A row of sinuous metal benches at Clovelly.

A row of sinuous metal benches at Clovelly.

Near the lifeguard station, Clovelly.

Near the lifeguard station, Clovelly.

I had hoped for a more dramatic sunset, but the peacefulness of my last shot almost makes up for the lack of drama.

Watching the sun set, Clovelly.

Watching the sun set, Clovelly.

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Bench with a view: Ettalong Beach

Along the Esplanade, Ettalong Beach.

Along the Esplanade, Ettalong Beach.

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.

This woman has found a bench with a view.

This woman has found a bench with a view.

Another bench with a view.

Another bench with a view. If boats and water and trees aren’t your thing, you can always admire the swirling patterns of the sandstone.

Same bench as in the previous photo, but with a view of rain!

Same bench as in the previous photo, but with a view of rain!

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Suspended – between earth and sky

Just for a moment, these people hang between earth and sky, touching nothing. Gravity being what it is, though, you know they’ll come crashing down!

(I thought it was time for more colour and fun, after my last two rather sombre black-and-white posts.)


Here is another photo of the acrobats – she is standing on one foot on his hands!

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In search of an angel

I spent last evening in a cemetery. An odd way to fill two hours after work on a Wednesday, I grant you. But it was a lovely summer evening, and I wanted to find a particular angel memorial. I thought I knew where it was. I was wrong, as it turned out! I didn’t find the memorial, and I ran out of daylight because I kept stopping to take photos. The dramatic sunset was an unexpected photographic bonus.

(click any image in this gallery to see full size)


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The $10 photo

Inspired by the stunning coastal evening/sunset photos that Lignum Draco has posted recently, after work this evening I walked down to the cliffs along the ocean. The evening was warm and the rocks still carried the heat of the day’s sun. A cruise liner leaving Sydney glittered white against the darkening sky as it emerged from behind the bulk of Ben Buckler at the north end of Bondi Beach. There are worse ways to wind down after a stressful day at work! However, the sunset in that direction just wasn’t happening, so I walked down to Clovelly.

Looking south from Clovelly, with the lights of Coogee and Maroubra in the distance.

Looking south from Clovelly, with the lights of Coogee and Maroubra in the distance. (Click for larger image)

And if you’re wondering why I titled this “The $10 photo” … as I turned away from the water, I pulled my camera case from the pocket of my shorts, and heard the faint sound of something falling to the ground. Yes, it was the $10 I had stuffed into that pocket. There was barely enough light to see where to step on the uneven clifftops, and a strong wind, so I had no hope of finding that tenner. Ah well, the evening was worth it! 🙂

Take a walk with me: Coogee to Maroubra

This, my friends, is a glorious day. A flawless blue-sky day, with warm gentle breezes and temperatures of 23deg Celsius (73 deg Farenheit). A day to revel in! I can hear you Northern Hemisphere dwellers muttering, “In August? Big deal.” But let me remind you that I live in Sydney (the one in Australia), where it is deepest, darkest winter right now. Three days ago, the temperature didn’t get above 12deg C (54deg F) and it rained for more than 24 hours straight. But today … ah, today is the sort of day that makes people line up to take out Australian citizenship. And it’s the weekend!

So, come walk with me, along the coast from Coogee to Maroubra.

Coogee is blessed with three rockpools, swimming pools fed by the sea and carved from the natural sandstone that forms the cliffs along this coast.

Coogee is blessed with three rockpools, swimming pools fed by the sea and carved from the natural sandstone that forms the cliffs along this coastline.

Keep an eye on the waves if you don’t want to get drenched!

Keep an eye on the waves if you don’t want to get drenched!

Succulents with bright flowers grow along these inhospitable cliff-side paths.

Succulents with bright flowers grow along these inhospitable cliff-side paths.

Look back on our path: Coogee Beach in the distance and, below us, the third of Coogee’s rockpools.

Look back on our path: Coogee Beach in the distance and, below us, the third of Coogee’s rockpools.

Look down to the sea, and you may spot cormorants basking in the sun.

Look down to the sea, and you may spot cormorants basking in the sun.

Look to the side, where cactus spines glow, backlit by the sun.

Look to the side, where cactus spines glow, backlit by the sun.

Another rockpool, just right for dogs.

Another rockpool, just right for dogs.

Water pours from the top of the cliff.

Water pours from the top of the cliff.

If you know what these crazy plants are called, please leave a comment and tell me!

If you know what these crazy plants are called, please leave a comment and tell me!

The perfect balcony for a watery Juliet. Though Romeo would have to be a very good swimmer!

The perfect balcony for a watery Juliet. Though Romeo would have to be a very good swimmer!

A tantalising glimpse into a hidden world.

A tantalising glimpse into a hidden world.


At Lurline Bay, let’s rest a while on the sun-warmed rocks and watch the waves.
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Wind and water turn sandstone into sculpture.

Wind and water turn sandstone into sculpture.

Our path beckons.

Our path beckons.

Not far from the end of our walk, and this is the perfect spot for a swim. Be warned, though: that water is cold!

Not far from the end of our walk, and this is the perfect spot for a swim. Be warned, though: that water is cold!

Our walk ends at Maroubra Beach, where children have found a new way of playing with a Rubik’s cube.

Our walk ends at Maroubra Beach, where children have found a new use for a Rubik’s cube.

If you like this post, you may want to check out a similar post about
Bronte Beach in winter.

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