Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

This week’s theme for the photo challenge is silence and whilst many images came to mind the ones that stuck were photos taken in the presence of sobering memorials to victims of the holocaust in WWII. In Paris we signed up for a guided walking tour of the Marais, there was probably 15 of us in attendance and we happily followed our guide through the streets and villages of the Marais district. Although only a small group, everyone was pretty chatty until our guide led us to the Shoah Memorial and Holocaust centre. Then there was silence.

The Wall of the Righteous, Paris.
The Wall of the Righteous, Paris.

The title “Righteous Among the Nations” is awarded to non-Jewish people who, at the risk of losing their lives and those of their family, helped save Jews during World War II. The Wall of the Righteous at the Shoah Memorial and Holocaust Centre is dedicated to 3,300 people in France who were awarded this title. Standing in front of the wall our group was speechless as we contemplated the heroic effort of these people and of the sorrow and suffering of who could not be saved.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered

My brother and his wife purchased a property in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales only to discover that once valuable farm machinery had been left behind. The property is 80 percent bushland but it is obvious that work had been done in the past, wire fences barely standing and among the trees equipment such as this old plough have been left to weather the elements.

rusting plough in the bush
Rusting farm equipment slowly becoming one with nature

My contribution to this week’s photo challenge: Weathered

A Black Friday indeed

We were in Paris 10 days ago, wishing that we didn’t have to leave. Today I am thankful to be Italy and I am very sad for the people of Paris.

DSC_0619

Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.

Pope Francis

Wattle in bloom

As a child I used to look forward to the wattle blooming, it meant that winter was almost over and longer, warmer days were on their way. This year, winter has been a mix of warm weather with a couple of cold snaps thrown in so it isn’t surprising that the bush around us is already glowing with golden, yellow wattle.

Yello wattle flowers
Glowing golden wattle

Not a bear, but extremely cute

We’ve had another Koala visiting us of late, this one is much smaller than our previous visitor and upon closer inspection of my photos, he/she only has one eye. Such gorgeous creatures and it is quite unusual to see them in the natural environment, the numbers are dwindling and they’re adept at being almost invisible. This one popped his head up over our back fence as he scaled the gum tree bordering our yard, the dogs went nuts while I raced inside to get my camera.

A couple of days later the koala was spotted in another tree, sleeping peacefully until I (along with a few neighbours) woke him up taking photos and exclaiming rather loudly, how wonderful it was to see a koala in our area. Obviously he/she thought it was all too much and relocated after we had vacated our prime photography position in the street, I was lucky enough to see the little creature move through the long grass and then climb a different tree, deeper in the bush. It is such an amazing thing to experience, it was hard for me to go to work that morning when all I wanted to do was stay home and do a bit of koala spotting.