Sunday, December 31, 2006

Red Wattle Bird

This juvenile Red Wattle Bird has been scrounging around our front yard for several weeks. He's pretty alert and, without appearing shy, he has generally managed to avoid my getting my camera pointed at him, let alone my getting a good shot, quite easily. This shot was taken before 7am on Friday, after he had flown into one of the big trees at the front of our place. I got this snap looking into the foliage from balcony level. I particularly like the fact that the only part of him which is still is his eye.

These guys make a squawky 'clacking' sound when they reach maturity. Quite an interesting bird, they tend to do things we associate with smaller birds. It belongs to one of the larger species amongst the 'honey eater' family of birds. I suspect it is classified in this way because of its behaviours.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

It's the third anniversary of my marriage to my darling wife! These two pictures were taken at dawn on our wedding day, looking out over a golf course in Glasgow, Scotland (I was married in a kilt).

It's hard to warrant, but some mad scotsmen were up at dawn playing in the snow!

For interest's sake, these photos were taken in 2003 on a borrowed Kodak (?) digital camera which was already then 10 years old. It had optical zoom to 10x and used floppy disks (!) to store the photos on. It could take around 25 photos per disk. Amazingly, each photo was between only 45KB and 80KB. When it was new, apparently, it cost three thousand dollars (?!). Looking back on it, an amazing piece of industrial gadgetry - evoking similar feelings to an antique singer sewing machine. Its optical zoom capacity set the benchmark for me when it came to purchasing a camera of my own.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gingerbread House

The gingerbread house which occupied pride of place on our christmas table was mainly built by my betterhalf on christmas eve, with final repairs on christmas morn. quite a labour of love actually, and much deserving of the admiring looks of the younger (or, younger-at-heart) amongst us.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas!

Our Tree on Christmas Eve, with an (almost) full complement of gifts beneath it. Looks like a lot of presents, and it is. I was a bit worried we'd slipped deeply into the consumer fetishism that our culture tries to drag us into at this time of year, until I counted out how many people they were for. Thirty! Which is the greatest number of people I've ever given stuff to at christmas. Which is what it's all about.

Hope your christmas was as peaceful and full of gentle affection as ours was...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas street light display

I went into the city to check out the Brewery Light display, hoping to get some pics to post. Sadly, there were a lot of spotlights pointing at the viewing area, so it was more trouble than it was worth working out how to get a half decent photo - besides, the river stank there as it had reduced to a bunch of rancid pools in the drought.

Disappointed, I drove home. On the way, I came across this light display a couple streets from our place. There's a steadily growing number of such displays in Adelaide's suburbs over recent years. Even at 11pm, there's still a semi-regular flow of viewers which passed by. All part of the new age christmas culture I suppose.

Cocky visitors

We've had a bit of rain recently (after several days of 36'C - 41'C). I was out on the balcony enjoying the cool evening and heard the unusual (for this neighborhood) squawking of some visiting cockies. So I dashed out the back and grabbed this snap of a sulphur crested cockatoo on the neighbor's fruit tree.

Oddly enough, there were also a couple of galahs there, though they were a lot more shy than they usually are. This guy kept his back to me until he departed.

Here be angels

These 'angel wings' are actually the sulphur crested cocky leaving his perch.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Guardian

Watching over our front gate.


Lounging by the pool.

Poolside flower patch

Since making this house our new abode the women have been planting out the little stip of dirt by the pool with flowers. Fully grown, they should be quite spectacular.

Backyard Hibiscus Flowers

I don't know if this pink flower is actually a hibiscus. I suspect not. It grows on a largish bush (smallish tree) just out our backdoor.

This red hibiscus has featured on this blog before. This photo's a bit more evenly exposed. This grows on a creeper over the fence by the pool.

My Rant about Big Brother on Blogger

Okay. Let me have my little political rant here. To post up pictures from this point on in this blog I have to electronically register my agreement to a set of terms and conditions that I have no ability to negotiate over. Not only that, but it is probably not legally enforceable but they can excise my ability to use this site without recourse for whatever they now or forever might regard as a breach of these terms and condition which I am compelled to register my agreement to. Obviously 'freedom of speech' is dying in the US, and faces a similar fate on the web. Afterall, if I had to tell Big Brother who I really was, rather than the loved ones who know me already by the time they come here, if they take away my freedom to be known as 'Pleader' to my web friends, then I'd have to reconsider whether I wanted to continue this wonderful practice of blogging.

You know, I hate bullies. And uncle sam is one of the worst.

But, for you my viewers, I will make the sacrifice.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This is another view through 'our' jacaranda of the house across the road, this time at dusk in late November. It took two weeks on the market to sell.
The photo is a lengthyish time exposure, can't remember the apeture. It appeared much darker at the time (couldn't make out the purple in the tree, or the line between hill and sky).

More Mishka Kitten Photos

'Mish' has been with us now for close on a month. He has grown a fair bit.

He is a bit of a scally-wag.

Constantly on the lookout for adventures, he gets himself in a bit of trouble occasionally.

Like last night for example. Mishka got himself shut in the cupboard under the stairs and it took about 10 hours before he got let out by his 'saviour'. He was a little perturbed after that adventure!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Tree

This picture is of our christmas tree on the night of the full moon. It's now got a few pressies under it, will show you that shortly.

Full Moon

I took this photo of the full moon 11 nights ago. Shutter speed was 1/20s, couldn't get a clear crater view of it for some reason, no matter what I tried in terms of settings. It was a clear night. The foliage you see are fronds from one of the palm trees in our backyard.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This view is across the top of the Dracaena tree in our front yard, taken from the balcony. It's a tree which looks weirder the more you look at it. I hope to get a few more views of it up here so you can get an idea of what I mean.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Gibbous Moon and Plane

I was taking a moon shot recently, and captured the above image. The odds of being set up for a tripod shot to catch this are pretty big against, so I was pretty chuffed. The grandkids love the photo, combining two of their favorite subjects - "aeroplane and luna moon!"

This was a slightly earlier shot, and this ...

has had Arcsoft's Photoimpression 'enhance' done to it. The image is breaking up with noise, so I used 'neatimage' to clean it. I gotta say, I love stargazing etc, and it's pretty impressive what my 12x zoom can pull up. I think that (in theory) I should be able to catch Saturn's rings and Jupiter's spot (can see them through binoculars with less power, so we'll see).

Botanic Park Duckwalk at Dusk

Adelaide's city centre is surrounded by extensive parklands. Although they are bit by bit being chopped back for commercial purposes, we have managed to preserve about 95% of them in our 150 year history as a proper self governing colony capital. The above pic shows part of the Botanic Park, which lies just outside the botanic gardens, at sunset a week or so ago. I was passing by and liked the light.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Front Pergola Plants

This photo was taken of the growing collection of pot plants gathered under the shadecloth covering the pergola outside our front door. It was taken in early November. The photos in the following two posts were taken at the end of November. You might be able to see that some of the plants have noticeably grown, and that there are more of them. As summer comes along and they continue to fill out, we should end up with a lush entry way. I hope to track the growth of this in this blog.

The only downside to it all is that I have to water them each day. Thus, although there's little gardening to be done at our house, what there is needs doing every day. Which makes it at least as much a task as the more infrequent cycles required at our previous abode.

Not that I mind doing it. It's just the 'have to' bit ...


Our Chinese warrior stands guard over the front yard, alongside a struggling but growing bracken plant.

Hidden amongst the cluster of pot plants under the shade cloth is this wooden bird.

If you look carefully, you can see one of our gnomes peeking out from beneath the fern trees.

His friend is hiding nearby.

I know there's a third gnome out there somewhere. When he's sighted next, I'll try and grab a snap.

Front Yard Pot Plants

This Cyclamen (above) was purchased at the local garden store for about $10.

This pigweed is quite happy, spreading sideways along the white wall.

We were given these 'Pony Tails' for our housewarming in Mid November.

The above Stag Fern was bought at the local garden store.

This healthy Swedish Ivy is quite happy growing alongside an odd koala jug.

All these plants are in our front pergola area. With the advent of warm weather and sunshine, they have really taken off. Within a couple of months I expect it will be a bit of a jungle.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I haven't been able to post photos here recently. I hope blogger get this sorted out so that I can keep up with my visual testimony about the joys of living in Adelaide...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Red Tree

I first noticed this tree, hidden behind Adelaide's ubiquitous powerlines and cable TV eyesores, in the early eve early last week. Vowing to return with the camera before it lost all of its magnificent red finery, I did.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This photo is of the refelections in our pool. The unenhanced version is all pastel aqua. Enhanced, it takes on a submarine magic (to my mind's eye, anyway).

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Almost a Gibbous Moon

Late November.
F 3.7 - 2.5s + Noise Reduction

F3.7 - 1/10s

F 5.6 - 1s + Noise Reduction