Monday, May 26, 2014

life and death in the park

I often walk through the park at lunchtime on my work days. My office is right next to one of Melbourne's big inner city parks that was planted in the nineteenth century in a purely European style - oaks, elms, plane trees, swathes of truly emerald grass and big old fashioned flower beds crammed with hellebores, camellias and dense perennial borders.

It's all full of life - possums, rats, magpies, lorikeets and once, excitingly, a Powerful Owl (I got some very odd looks as I crawled around under the tree it was perched in, scooping owl pellets into a plastic container. My colleagues were not nearly as excited as I was.)

Today there was the body of a possum lying in the middle of the grass - quite still.
You could see how perfectly adapted its feet, claws and tail are adapted for tree-living.
 And yes, I was tempted but thought I would get more than dim looks if I took it back to the office and slung it in the fridge for the afternoon.

Then I saw this - at first sitting on the branch and then, in what is unmistakably a doorway.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

a message from our 9 year old sponsor

as indeed he is. I have put this on my computer next to my 2014 mantra.
good words to focus the mind :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

a walk in the park with Rilke

There is total silence. Upright in overgrown
paths stands the scent of bygone colour.
The sky holds back a long hard rain
The leaves climb stairways through the air.
                                                          Rainer Maria Rilke

from The Inner Sky poems, notes dreams by Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Damion Searls
Godine NY 2010

#updated to upload the video PROPERLY ffs

Sunday, May 18, 2014

news from the henhouse

Betty and Vera are fast movers - it's not always easy to catch them in focus...
Vera has been laying for over a month. Not quite an egg a day but almost - usually 4 or 5 a week, which I think is pretty good going for a novice.

Betty, on the other hand seems to have stalled in maidenhood - her comb and wattles haven't developed very much and egg-laying seems far off.
They are both healthy and eating well, with glossy feathers so perhaps she is just reluctant to leave girlhood until spring.
While I was sitting by the hen-house, idly winding passionfruit vine and some New Zealand flax leaves into a small basket, I heard some scrabbling, shuffling around and then a thoughtful pause. This was followed by what I can only describe as a sort of fowl purring. SO I looked inside the girls' bedroom and found this surprisingly hot freshly laid egg.

I also picked up one of their shed feathers and had a play in the studio with it. Dipped into gold ink it made an excellent brush.

 And then, dipped further into the ink pot, a lovely sculptural object in itself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

to the seaside

Kind Dog and I felt the need for some sea air so we trotted off down the coast to one of our favourite beaches.

Inspired by black eyed angel,  (go and have a look at her blog and website - she is a fascinating artist, sculptor, herbalist and writer) we thought we would shoot some old fashioned film. I dug out my old Minolta and Kind Dog remembered an even more venerable Voigtlander Bessa he had packed away in a box.

So, festooned with cameras both digital and steam-driven, we drove down to the beach and set up the tripod and started snapping.

We got the scans back from the camera shop today - we are very happy with the results.
There is a soft graininess with film that you can't get with digital. Although I would really like some kind of digital/film hybrid where you can see at once that you haven't got the horizon straight....

And of course sunsets and moonrises look best in colour.