Beauty and the heat

With temperatures being approximately 5-10 degrees (celsius) higher than average for November we’ve had an early start to summer. It is storm season so the potential for rain is good although much of the heavy rain that has fallen already this month has failed to appear over our suburban block. Despite the extreme heat the plants and trees in our garden continue to bloom, the magnolia flowers don’t last long though and my gardenias have all but disappeared, leaving only crispy and brown remnants among the foliage.

Each year I wait for our Poinciana tree to flower, the foliage is beautiful but I have been wanting to see red flowers flooding the tree since seeing how other trees in the neighbourhood look at this time of year. We came close last year however a hail storm shredded everything and we were left with very little of anything on the tree. Poinciana trees in flower scream summer to me, the red blossoms provide spectacular contrast to the garden and it is the perfect colour scheme for the festive season.

Here are just a few of the beautiful things in our garden, I’m so happy that the heat hasn’t destroyed them.

Winter is almost over

Today we farewell Winter and although it still feels cold in inside our house, the warmth of Spring has arrived and with it comes screeching Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets. Our Grevillea trees are flowering, as are the Coco Magnolias and neighbouring Eucalypts. The Koala has been returning every few days and is showering our yard with Koala poo and small branches of gum leaves, Bundy is obsessed with sniffing everything that falls from the tree and is happy to be outdoors for several hours at a time during the night whilst the Koala is around.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: White

This week the theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is ‘White‘ and I was struggling to find the white in my recent photos so I’ve gone back in time to rediscover white in my photography.

White Camelia
White Camelia
White wildflowers
Wildflowers
Jarrah the white foster puppy
Jarrah the foster puppy
Magnolia flower
Magnolia flower
white owl decoration
Snow white owl in the Christmas shop
Snow covered mountains, South Island New Zealand
Snow covered mountains, South Island New Zealand
Fluffy little Polly the dog
Fluffy little Polly
Everlasting paper daisies
Everlasting paper daisies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

A lone spider on a Magnolia bud
A lone spider soaking up the early morning sun on a Magnolia bud

I love being in the garden early of a morning, the light is still soft and the sun doesn’t have the sting that you feel when outdoors mid-morning. The magnolia tree received quite a hammering in a November hail storm, the ice shredding leaves and destroying new growth so I was thrilled to see the emergence of fresh magnolia buds, the blooms don’t last long in the heat of the summer although that doesn’t prevent me from taking pleasure in their existence.

An Aussie backyard in bloom

Spring is almost over in the Southern Hemisphere, soon summer will be here and the scent of sunblock, coconut oil, mosquito coils and aeroguard will fill the air. I’m in no hurry to welcome summer, I love the colourful flowers and comfortable temperature of spring, at the moment the gardenias are in full bloom and their heavenly scent follows me everywhere.

Early yesterday I took a walk around our backyard taking photos of the different flowers and plants, the bird calls of Lorikeets, Coucals, Magpies and Noisy Miners provided the background music.

Colourful Spring flowers

Spring is here, we have had a long and cold winter (for Queensland) and the drab colours are disappearing behind the blossoms of magnolias, jasmine, grevilleas, hippeastrums and mandevillas. Storm clouds have been coming and going for a couple of weeks, bringing with them much needed rain and the occasional and undesired hail stone. The grass is lush and green again, it is soft to sit on and the dogs just love rolling on it and having a nibble.

Bundy the dog out for a walk
Bundy out for a walk

This afternoon I took Bundy (black dog no.2) for a walk around a large duck pond, there were kids using a nearby skate ramp and cricket training was underway at the adjacent oval. The birdlife is a mix of brown ducks, pukekos, herons, peewees, willy wagtails and sulphur-crested cockatoos, I often take my camera  with me but can rarely get close enough to get a good shot – perhaps going for a walk sans-dog would help. Today I had my iphone with me, the retro camera app has some nice effects so I took the opportunity to photograph the different flowers blooming and continued taking more shots at home.

Grevillea flowers
Grevillea flowers
Bottlebrush
Bottlebrush
Unknown plant growing in the shallow water
Unknown plant growing in the shallow water

Yellow flowers

Lilypads
Lilypads
Blue Heron taking off across the pond
Very hard to spot Blue Heron taking off across the pond
Blue Heron flying across the pond
Blue Heron flying across the pond
Hippeastrums growing on the edge of the pond
Hippeastrums growing on the edge of the pond

…and here is a selection of some of the flowers growing in our backyard. Not the most exciting story or selection of photos but I do have a penchant for pretty things and Spring is the perfect time for me to indulge.

Star Jasmine
Star Jasmine
Geraniums
Geraniums
Pale pink Begonias
Pale pink Begonias

…it’s raining again

It really isn’t supposed to rain this much during summer, spectacular lightning and thunder storms yes, but torrential, consistent rain no. During breaks in the bad weather I step outside, dogs in tow and survey the surroundings to see whether there is more rain coming and to savor the fresh air and watch local wildlife (spiders, birds, dragonflies and occasionally frogs) go about their business.

Today I stepped with my iphone and a new retro camera app that I was wanting to test on some poor unsuspecting subject, usually the subject is my husband or one of our dogs but a magnolia had blossomed in our garden and a flower,  now in the last stages of blooming seemed like the obvious choice. The retro camera app has 5 different ‘cameras’ to choose from: The Barbl, Little Orange Box, xolaroid 2000, pinhole camera and FudgeCan and with each camera there is an option to shoot in colour or black and white. By selecting a subject that would not move or complain, it was easy for me to try all the different camera formats in both colour and black and white and compare the after effects. The Barbl and FudgeCan shots were interesting and among my favourites however the photos I liked most of all were those taken by the Little Orange Box, the contrast and colour appealed to me and the texture didn’t seem to be too heavily applied.

Magnolia flower