Hi everyone. I have begun the process of recording some short videos of some of my favourite jazz standards, which I have arranged for solo guitar. Only two so far (although one arrangement combines two songs, so I guess that might count as three). I hope you enjoy them. More to follow soon. Cheerio, Michael.
From time to time, I am lucky enough to play a gig with Brisbane vocalist Trina Lincoln and her band Held To Ransom. These pics are from a 2015 gig we did, and I’ve been meaning to share them on the blog for some time now. I think the black and white pics capture the feel of the gig best. I’ve left them untitled as they pretty much speak for themselves. I hope you like them.
The last post included some of the wildlife that’s found right in our backyards, or at least very close by. Today’s pictures are from the Boondall Wetlands. Not quite in my own backyard, but just a short bicycle ride away. Above is the Golden Orb Weaver Spider, and her lunch. And I say “her” deliberately because the males are tiny in comparison, only a few millimetres across. I’m fairly sure the eight or so dots on her head are her eyes. I’m actually quite pleased this photo wasn’t taken in my backyard.
The tide was low, and the fiddler crabs were on the move. Without exception, they all appeared to be right-handed. Or at least that’s the side that the over-sized claw was on. Maybe lefties are in the minority with crabs, just like humans.
And lastly a couple of the water birds that are common around this area – a stilt and a heron. My Slater’s Field Guide to Australian Birds tells me the white-faced heron is probably the most common heron across Australia.
There are always interesting things to see in these wetlands. But it was disappointing to also see so much litter in the area. Especially plastics bottles. Take care people, and don’t ditch your rubbish carelessly. These places deserve to be looked after.
Though Brisbane is a city with a population of more than 2 million people, it’s not unusual to see many species of native fauna that adapt well to urban environments. Possums are a common sight, not only in suburban areas but even in the central business district. However they are most commonly seen at night, as they usually sleep in their nests through the day. But a few days ago we were visited at breakfast time by a ringtail possum, just outside our backdoor. He was obviously getting home late, and had caught the attention of a group of angry crows who were none too pleased to see this nocturnal visitor still in “their” trees in the morning. I managed to get a couple of photos before he scurried off into a neighbouring yard, presumably back to his nest.
Many reptiles and birds also make their homes quite comfortably amid the houses and industry of Brisbane. The Eastern Water Dragon and Purple Swamp Hen are often seen in and around streams and ponds across the city. While they are a common sight, I still enjoy seeing these animals when I walk or cycle around home.
Now that I seem to have my recalcitrant DSLR under control, I hope to get some more photos of our urban, and not-so-urban, wildlife to share on this blog.
Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas to all.
This Saturday (5 December 2015) is Global Fat Bike Day 2015. A ride from Coolum Beach to Noosa, starting at 7am, is being organised and you can read about it on FB at https://www.facebook.com/events/882938278463830/
There’s a lot of GFBD events on all around the world (http://allevents.in/events?q=Global%20Day&page=1#) but most of them seem to be in the northern hemisphere and will involve snow! I’m sure that would be a lot of fun, but I love our beaches in the summer and am very glad this day falls in the season (here) that it does. Some pics may follow in a later post.
In early October, the Antarctica-bound humpback whale migration is moving along the south Queensland coast. Their numbers continue to rise and by some estimates they are now reaching pre-whaling population levels. And while the whale-watching boat cruises do a brisk trade at this time of year, there are plenty of locations on the coast where you can get a great view of the whales from the shore. One of our favourites is Noosa National Park.
We hiked around the coastal perimeter of the park from the Sunshine Beach end, making our way to the cliffs at Hell’s Gates, the north-eastern point of the park, to see if we could spot some whales. To our great delight, we saw many whales passing by, and the view from the cliffs was clear and uninterrupted. One whale in particular was breaching close to the cliff just as we arrived. But unfortunately I didn’t have my camera at the ready, so I learned a valuable lesson for wildlife photography – be prepared.
The whale photos shown here are somewhat grainy, as I had to enlarge them quite a bit to get the whale tails into view. I use a moderately powerful zoom lens, but I have yet to master the use of a DSLR. It’s a more complex beastie than I imagined it would be. However that took nothing away from the joy of watching these magnificent animals swimming by, in such a spectacular setting on a clear spring day.
As well as the whales, there are lots of sights to see around this coastline, and my inner bird-nerd enjoyed spotting what I later identified as an Australasian Figbird. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what it was – any corrections gratefully accepted. One more to mark as “seen” in my Slater’s Guide.