I'm a RedBubbler now; discovered the site a few days ago, and have just started uploading images. I've been looking for an online outlet for a while, and this seems to be a good one. Check out the images and leave a comment.
(... and the odd rant)
All of these make my world go 'round, to some extent, and they will all be found here at some time or other. Some of the photography can be purchased from my Redbubble site. I can also be found at Tempus Fugit (no longer being updated).
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Sitting in the car tonight, waiting for my daughter, I opened the window and looked skyward. A beautiful night, warm, with as many stars as one would expect, this close to a sizeable regional town, and a crescent moon high in the west. A typical scene, yes? Well, it is here, Down Under (notwithstanding the wet season's first substantial cloud-bounty). However, I was taken back to my first experience of Australian skies, after first arriving here from Scotland 20 years ago. I was captivated. Not surprising, giving that I'd left a freezing northern land in January, complete with snow-turned-to-ice on the ground, and embarked on a delightful sojourn (it was supposed to be work, but was too much fun for that to be relevant) to the sub-tropical antipodes.
From 0° C to 40° C in the space of about 5 days, was quite a change. Temperature is just physics though; it required some adjustment, but it was what it was: hotter than I'd ever imagined. The sky however, was something else. Seeing Sirius nearly overhead, its brightness undimmed by the low altitude of a Scottish viewpoint, was the first thing of note. The second remarkable thing was that this scene was to be observed night after night - such that, after 2 months of unremitting sunshine and blue Rayleigh scattering, I was delighted to see a cloudy sky for a change. Anyone accustomed only to the perpetually grey skies of Britain would probably find that hard to imagine...
Back to tonight: it's easy to become blasé about the beauty of the sky, when it's always there, being ... beautiful. And even as an amateur astronomer of some 35-40 years, I am as affected by that as anyone else, and need to take a longer second look sometimes. Having said all that, what appeals so much about the night sky here - at least, between spring and autumn - is the fact that the whole experience is so damed comfortable. I don't have to put on 3 inches of insulation, before heading out to discover that it has now clouded over. There is such a sense of blissful relaxation to be had, looking at distant beacons gliding ever so slowly overhead, while crickets, cicadas etc sing their song.
I have to admit though: I'd exchange a few of these balmy, almost unchanging nights for a few displays of aurora under a crisp heaven with fiercely-twinkling stars. Of all the sights in nature, there can be few as awesome as the northern (or southern) lights. With that thought, here's a pic taken some years ago: a green rayed band over the orange glow of Edinburgh. It's a sight I will never tire of.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It seems I have a minor - but possibly growing - obsession with a hydrangea. We have one in a large pot on the back verandah, which is enjoying exuberant growth. It was somewhat abused a couple of years ago, being fairly sunburned and drought-afflicted. After being moved to a better spot and being treated more tenderly though, it is thriving once again.
I am drawn towards it with camera in hand; there's something about the leaf shape and texture that is so appealing: well-defined veins and bold serrations, with a satisfying sheen on at least some of the leaves. There is also a slightly unruly quality to the leaves, with unexpected twists and curls. The pink flowers, pretty though they are, don't interest me so much; possibly because I am inclined to render the images in monochrome, and they don't present enough of a graphic form to be worthwhile. Maybe I should take another look, and see if I can create a pleasing image from them as well. I might surprise myself.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I have spent several days, on and off, tidying my home office. It was in desperate need of it, for 2 reasons: 1, I am perpetually under-organised; 2, I have just moved the contents of an external office into the home, which made the floor disappear. Today was substantially the culmination of the process, in that it now looks organised, and ready for business. Indeed, SWMBO came in a few hours ago and said "what's that?"
"It's a piece of MDF", I replied.
"No, that," she insisted, waving her hand over the empty space (specifically, a desktop covered with said MDF).
Ah, yes, empty space. I have been the proud possessor of such a thing from time to time, but it invariably fills up with all manner of detritus as soon as my back is turned.
I realised some time ago that paper is the bane of my life. Copy paper, printed paper, brochures, forms, magazines, interesting snippets, etc etc... Once I had come to that realisation, I felt I had at least taken a step forward. Realising it was one thing though, dealing with it was another.
This time it will be different. I will be the master, and paper will be my servant; on call for when I need it, and despatched when I don't. It will be ephemeral, discarded on a whim, and only retained if it will serve a purpose. This will begin tomorrow, when my new assistant starts work ... a ruthlessly efficient filing system, coupled with In/Out trays that actually function as they are supposed to.
Tomorrow is a bright new morn...