Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Celebration of the Twins Second Birthday

Life turned unpredictable this year. We've been getting lots of practice in making plans while not getting too attached to them because they always change... due to onslaught of various viruses, trips to hospital, the need to stay home when a neighbour notified us that he would be doing a controlled burn along his frontage, just expect the unexpected and she'll be right, mate.

Sometimes things come together even better than planned. That's what happened over the weekend.

Back Yard Ready for the Celebration of the Twins' Second Birthday
The weather was perfect. Everyone brought a plate. There were things to eat for those with food sensitivities as well as traditional snags on the BBQ. The crowd included all ages, babies to grandparents. We got to catch up with folks we don't get to see often and marvel at how the children have grown. Always love seeing the twins.

Mmm... cupcakes!
What a treat!
Impossible to keep track of everything that's happening,
but must be something fun
Dad gives a helping hand.

Post by M in JaM
Photos by J in JaM

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Venice California 1974

For the last several weeks I have been sleeping on the floor at Dan's place in Venice. Dan is a model maker working on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a movie to be released next year we hope. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and always need a place to stay when I fly down to the movie set in Los Angeles each week and work for 4 days and fly back.

My tiny bedroom has a mattress and a lamp, all sitting on the floor. My airline carry-on bag has a few changes of clothes for the week, my life is very simple. We spend long hours working on the movie set and only sleep at Dan's house. It's a cute tiny cottage on one of the canals in Venice. It's a bit run down but the entire area has seen better days.

This morning I woke up to hear someone singing just outside my window on the canal. It was a male voice and sounded like opera. By the time I have gotten outside on the small patio that is slipping into the canal the voice has moved a few houses down.

I see a raft made of oil drums and bits of timber floating in the middle of the canal. The raft is being poled down the canal by a young black man singing opera and another brother is sitting on a sofa. The raft also has several trash cans and long handled nets. The sofa dude has netted something out of the water and puts it in a trash can. Dan has appeared next to me with a cup of coffee and I learn that they are the Venice canal garbage guys and the one singing opera is Samuel, the other guy is Al.

The local residents encourage them to keep the canals cleaner by giving them things, but Dan hasn't made it clear what kind of things. Ahh, the mysteries of the canals of Venice.

J of JaM

Today Venice is quite up market but it 1974 it was seedy, hip and cool.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Season of Shy Birds

Male Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

A pair of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos have been feeding on the minute seeds within the gumnuts of bloodwood eucalypts near our house. That massive bill gets put to good use. The ground below the trees is littered with lots and lots of shredded gumnuts. The shy couple take flight whenever we walk into view until one lucky day we managed to use a telephoto lens to capture a few images as they perched on high. One of the largest cockatoos. these magnificent birds average 63 cm (25 inches).

Female Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
She has attractive yellow speckles and bars enhancing her appearance.
Pale-headed Rosellas like the grevillea blossoms near our windows and they are shy but regular visitors of our birdbath. These birds like to travel in pairs. One stands guard, keeping an eye out for danger while the other bird takes a drink. They are so shy that we have resorted to hiding inside the house to take photos through the glass windows. Pale-headed Rosellas average 30 cm (12 inches).

Pale-headed Rosella with grevillea blossom
Yet another shy bird, the Peaceful Dove uses the birdbath with great caution, usually accompanied by one or more companions to help keep watch. All take flight if we step into view. Shy and small, they average 22 cm (~9 inches). I love the sweet call of a Peaceful Dove: “woodle-woo.”

Peaceful Dove
While life has been a bit unpredictable in recent weeks, we have had a lovely, relaxed weekend. Temperature dropped to 2C one night. I appreciate the way DH lays a fire each evening in preparation for lighting it in the brisk mornings. I have been spinning more cotton and weaving again.

Flyer Magic
I love this photo – the essence of captured light reveals the flyer in motion on my spinning wheel.


Post by M in JaM
Photos by JaM

Monday, 6 August 2012

August Winter Days

Bamboo in August

Not a Aussie native, this slow-growing bamboo provides a screen between the laundry and our bedroom. I love the colours and shapes.

Scarlet Honeyeater (male)
This shy, little Scarlet Honeyeater shows up when the honey gem grevilleas bloom in July and August.

Scarlet Honeyeater loves nectar of honey gem grevillea.

No problems with the minor surgery I had last week. Tomorrow the stitches get removed. What did take everyone by surprise was little grandson going for emergency surgery on weekend after an accident that required stitches to repair soft palette. No fun. Good thing they make little boys (and girls) resilient.

I'm going to blame my current singular lack of motivation on the after effects of the sedation I was given for surgery. I might give it another week before I tackle anything requiring focus, like weaving. I did get some knitting done... and then undone when I got it wrong. I did spin a little cotton until the cotton fibres floating in the air kept getting stuck in the ointment on the stitched incision on my nose. I eventually gave myself permission to coast for a few days.

Now I sense a change in the air.

Post by M in JaM
Pix by JaM