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Sculpture by the Sea 2017

Last night, after work, I was invited by a colleague to see the beachside exhibit, Sculpture by the Sea.  I wasn’t really in the mood to go, but I’m so glad I did.  My friend was late and I nearly went home instead of waiting, but I sat in my car, huddled against the cold (what IS going on with our seasons?) and listened to the ocean while I waited for her.  Eventually she turned up and we wandered up and down the beach, looking at all the amazing sculptures, with the setting sun as a beautiful backdrop.  Seriously, the sky was a bit of a distraction – I couldn’t stop taking photos of it – it was SO gorgeous.  The stormy weather only added to the dramatic quality of the sea and the crashing waves.

It was hard to take a bad photo, to be honest.  The sky was a million different colours and provided a perfect setting for the sculptures, which ranged from objects made of bronze to a chair made out of feathers.

I have to say, this photo (below) turned out so nicely.  Except for the people who just started walking through the shot (bottom right corner).  I think it looks like a 70s rock album cover.  Can’t you just see it accompanying a Pink Floyd song?  And that seagull flying through, just as I snapped the photo?  Perfect!

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1km Tower by Song Jianshu

I really, really like this shot too.  It looks like something you’d see in an episode of Dr Who or something.  Like a portal to another world, with that setting sun aglow behind it.

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The Window of the Future, by Sang-Sug Kim

This one reminded me of something Tim Burton would design…

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Spoke II, by Kevin Draper

LOVED this one.  Probably because it has dogs in it.  But, again, the sky…seriously!

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Loyalty, by Ayad Alqaragholli

Sharks are a common visitor at Cottesloe…not usually made out of steel though…

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The Great Hammerhead, by Jordan Sprigg

I think this was probably one of the most popular sculptures.  I didn’t get a great photo of it – if I’d waited until later I might have gotten a much better shot, with nicer colours around and behind it.  But it’s still pretty.  Wonder if I could go back and steal it for my garden?  Don’t you think it would like nice there? 🙂

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Horizon, by Lucy Humphrey

Now THAT’S a big piece of litter!

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Cansumerism, by Hayley Bahr

I could imagine this one with lots of succulents growing out of it…

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Infrastructure 5, by Oliver Stretton-Pow

Took us ages to see the face in this one.  You have to be looking at just the right angle…

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Luke, by Tony Cragg

These sculptures were pretty awesome.  They were like giant alien weeds…

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Aqua Fauna, by Britt Mikkelsen

This one reminded me of licorice allsorts, which is probably not
what the artist had in mind…

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Mega Pixel Power Tower, by Tom de Munk-Kerkmeer

So, a very worthwhile visit.  I am possibly going back on the weekend to see the sculptures I didn’t get around to viewing.  There’s also a “small sculptures” section which I want to see as well.  If you’re in the vicinity, go and check it all out.  It’s on until the 19th March.

Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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A Cockatoo or Two

Just a quickie post today…

I’m really going to miss South Perth.  The River, the gardens, the greenery – just the general feel of the place and the lifestyle it allows.  I’m also going to miss the local wildlife – all the lovely birds and the occasional dolphin – and the happy dogs playing in the park.  I’ll miss the cafe strip (located so close to my house I can practically order a chai latte by yelling out my bedroom window) and the quiet neighbourhood where I go for my walks.

Yesterday I dragged myself out of the house to get some exercise, spurred on by a.) the sight of my thighs, and b.) the realisation that I soon won’t be able to walk around the River every day or play wildlife photographer with the local cockatoo population.

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The two main types of “cocky” in my neighbourhood are the pink and grey Galahs and the Corella.  Corellas are noisy and destructive little buggers and many councils have resorted to culling them to reduce their numbers.  The do indeed make a racket when they are in large groups and even one solo bird is enough to send you a bit deaf.  They’re cheeky little chappies though – quite comical and clown-like in their antics.  The South Perth foreshore is often covered in large flocks of them, interspersed with a few galahs.  Corellas tend to dig up the lawn areas, looking for tasty roots or bulbs, leaving lots of holes everywhere. They also “trim” tree branches, causing damage and leaving the tree vulnerable to fungus and insect attack.  Many of these birds have been introduced to Western Australia from other states so they’re actually foreign interlopers!

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I was able to get quite close to the galahs – they seem to be the braver of the two species (probably as many of them are either escaped “tame” birds or the offspring of) whereas the corellas kept a safe distance.  The galahs seemed to even pose for me, stopping what they were doing for a few seconds while I snapped a shot or two.

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Hopefully, wherever I end up moving to, I will be able to find some nice parkland areas or other places where there is wildlife to discover.  Because I need all the incentive I can get when it comes to exercise.

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I plan on planting lots of natives in my new garden-which-isn’t-a-garden-yet so that I can attract the local birds.  I will be getting myself some cats (it will be my reward for all the crap I have gone through with the purchasing process to finally have some moggies) but they will be indoor felines – no hunting for them.  Part of the reason I wanted a two-storey house was so they would have stairs to run up and down.  I might join them – we shall have buns of steel together! 🙂

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Hope you are having a happy day – enjoy some time outside, if you can x

Brilliant Birdies

Brilliant Birdies

Well, it’s Sunday again already.  Sigh.  Monday morning follows Sunday evening, inevitably, and it is a very sad fact indeed.  I have basically bogged about at home today, doing lots of laundry (as the weather was very hot and sunny), sorting out my wardrobe, finishing off some jewellery for a friend, and faffing about in general.  I did go for a walk as I am currently disgusted with my weight and overall plumpness (when am I not?) so at least I got out for some fresh air and exercise.  I also did some drawing in my art journal which is turning out to be just a doodling journal, but that’s ok.

Here’s a few more pics from my recent trip to the South West.  Bunbury Wildlife Park has some beautiful birds – you can enter the enclosures and walk around with them.  if you’re lucky they will come and eat from your hand.  The majority of them were quite happy for you to be close to them.  They’re so used to people, they’re not at all fussed if you’re there or not.

This first little guy was so cheeky.  Look at his face!  His plumage was so bright and colourful.  I believe (ie I am mostly guessing) he is an Eastern King Parrot.  Very royal indeed 🙂

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Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.  This fellow was very interested in the honky nut he was chewing on.  They have very powerful beaks – you don’t want your finger anywhere near it.  I have handled them before, in my years as a vet nurse, and they actually make very calm, gentle patients.  They are quite beautiful, especially when in flight.  Much of their population has dwindled due to the destruction of their natural habitats.  Very sad.

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These funny-looking birds are Bush Stone Curlews.  I’m pretty sure these ones were alive.  They didn’t move much so I could be wrong.  Their call is likened to a “shrieking woman” (how very gender-specific and un-pc!).  These two were chillin’ in the sunshine.

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This odd-looking chap is a Tawny Frogmouth, so-called because of their large mouth which looks a bit like, um, a frogs.  They are also Tawny in colouration.  Otherwise they would be called something else.  Spotty Frogmouths, Ginger Frogmouths, that sort of thing.  But they’re Tawny, hence the name.  Sorry the photo isn’t very good – he wouldn’t turn around.  Snobby Frogmouth might be more appropriate.  Their main method of defence is to stand stock still and act like a dead piece of wood.  I have known humans like that.  Ahem, moving on!

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A Southern Boobook Owl.  Very cute.  It is the smallest and most common owl in Australia.  I didn’t tell him he was common.  That would have been impolite.

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I believe this is an Eclectus Parrot.  Stunning bird.  Beautiful colouration.  This is a male – the females are bright red (fancy!).  Both have a loud, raucous call but apparently make awesome pets.  But not good neighbours.

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A group of Australian Shelducks.  A pretty common sight in many parts of Australia.  I actually raised a pair of these many years ago (a mother duck decided to leave her babies in our swimming pool) and they are lovely birds.  Very handsome with their bright copper breast and flash of green on the wing.  The females have a white ring around their eyes and base of their bill.  The males are quite a bit larger and just have the pristine white ring around their necks.  Very dapper.

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Emus.  If you look closely, there are actually two birds here.  I created a marvellous optical illusion with my impressive camera skills!  Not really – one emu just ducked his head down when I took the photo.  My Mum attempted to feed one of them, with some grain in her hand.  She nearly lost her hand.  Oh how we did laugh!  Emus are not particularly aggressive or nasty, but it is difficult for them to peck lightly or softly on a human hand.  Let that be a lesson to you. 
Better to just chuck the food and step back.

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I think this is a Musk Lorikeet.  I prefer to call it a “Little Green Parroty-bird I Don’t Know the Name of”.  Bright green feathers with scarlet/orange on cheeks, beak and forehead.  Not very good at putting their makeup on apparently. 

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Pacific Black Ducks.  I think.  I actually came across a family of them the other night when I was out walking.  Nearly trod on the newly-hatched ducklings that were running about all over the sidewalk as the Mother tried to get out through a hole in the fence. They had hatched inside the grounds of the zoo and now Mummy Duck had obviously forgotten that she is actually able to fly over the fence.  The ducklings were zig-zagging all over the place.  I was able to catch them but not the mother, so had to leave them all to it.  I did contact the zoo however, and they said they would look out for them.  I worried though! 

This pair at the Wildlife Park were pretty friendly and happy to come up for some food. 

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After visiting the park, we travelled down to Balingup to the Lavender Farm (see HERE for my previous post).  Lots of birdies there, but my Mum was delighted to see her most favourite of all, the Splendid Fairy-Wren (or Blue Wren).  Ridiculously pretty, the blue on these little birds is AMAZING.  Electric blue.  This particular fellow was flying close to us as he kept catching sight of his own reflection in a nearby window.  In non-breeding season, they are dull in colour, mostly brown with bit of blue on their tail and wings.  Still very pretty though, and always a welcome sight, whatever the season.

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Last, but not least, we have this cheeky chap.  He was very bolshy and brave, practically landing on my foot as he flew down to check us out.  I am trying to decide whether he is a White-Cheeked Honeyeater or a New Holland Honeyeater.  Both have very similar markings and habits.  Let’s just say he is a Honeyeater of some description and leave it at that.  I have lots of these in my garden at home too.  They are cheerful and cheeky little birds that love my Grevillea plants.  Always happy to have birdies in my garden 🙂  Unfortunately they are also a favourite of neighbourhood pussy-cats. 

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Well, that is the end of my shoddy ornithological report.  I love wildlife of any kind.  We are so lucky to have them in our gardens and parks.  We should take better care of them.  And maybe find out what they’re called before we write a blog post about them *looks sheepish again*.

Have a happy, chirpy day everybirdy 🙂

Kings Park 3 (Guess That Plant)

Kings Park 3 (Guess That Plant)

Final post in my series on “Flowers and Plants I Don’t Really Know Anything About”.  Our trip to Kings Park was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t say educational because I forgot to learn anything about the plants themselves and their names.  I was going to take photos and then take a pic of any info next to the plant.  But I did that only once.  And then forgot for all the others.  So I’m just guessing from here on in.  Except for the first picture 🙂

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The Wooly Banksia. It was indeed wooly like a little sheep.  It looked like one of those microphone things news crews are always waving about in outside interviews.

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Kangaroo Paw.  If I got this one wrong, I would be in trouble.  And possibly not Australian.

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This is West Australian Edelweiss.  No, it isn’t – I am making that up.  It’s very dainty and pretty though.  You could sing about it in the Alps, I’m sure.  Wearing a dress made out of curtains – that sort of thing.

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This is the lovely Native Hibiscus.  I know this one.  It is otherwise known as the West Coast Gem.  I didn’t know that.

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This is also a Kangaroo Paw.  An underipe one.  Kidding. It’s a Black Kangaroo Paw –
Macropidia fuliginosa if you want to be posh.

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This is a Morning Iris.  I know this because I searched four million flowers on Google before I found it.  The colour is quite beautiful and is striking against the colours of the bushland.

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Pink (Lipstick) Boronia.  Know this one too.  I am a horticultural genius!  Boronia has a strong smell (not unpleasant) and these lovely bell-shaped flowers.  It is becoming more common to see it amongst flower arrangements at florist shops. 

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Another beautiful blue specimen.  I’m sure it has a lovely name.  If only I knew it!

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Grevillea.  I used to call these “Prawn Plants” when I was a kid.  Many people called them “Those bloody Grevilleas!!!” because they are allergic to them.  Coincidentally, lots of people are also allergic to prawns.  I’m just being silly now.

Well, that was the end of my playful romp through Kings Park.  You should go there yourself one day.  If you live in Perth.  Otherwise it might be a bit far.  But you could probably come to Perth for other stuff as well and make a proper trip of it.  We have a River and a City and roads and all sorts of stuff with silly people like me milling about.  Plus we have lots of sunshine, which is important.  Especially as I am always cold.

The End 🙂

Kings Park 2

Kings Park 2

More pics from our visit to Kings Park.  All the yellows and golds  this time.

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I think this is a Vertichordia.  But don’t quote me on that. 

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Banksia.  Fairly sure it is an Ashby’s Banksia…

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A Eucalypt.  Of some kind.  I don’t know *looks sheepish*

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A Yellow Powder Puff Plant.  Ok, I am making that up. 

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Hoorah!  A Wattle.  I know this one *pats herself on the back*  I believe it is a Hedge Wattle. 

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Another Banskia.  A prostrate form.  Not “prostate” like my Mum would say.  It doesn’t have to have uncomfortable proctological examinations at the doctor.

So, there you are.  Just a few of the lovely native plants on display at Kings Park Botanic Gardens.  Beautiful at any time of year but even more stunning in Spring.  Nature is a clever clogs 🙂

Kings Park – Everlastings

Kings Park – Everlastings

It is Wildflower Season here in Western Australia and there are some gorgeous blooms popping up everywhere.  On a recent outing to the Botanic Gardens at Kings Park, with our visitor from the UK, we were treated to carpets of glorious Everlasting flowers in every shade of pink, yellow and orange. They are just beautiful, epitomising Spring and all its joyful, sunshiney goodness.  They are such happy flowers, with their papery petals and luscious hues.  Just look at the colours here – a small sample of the beauties on display:

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Pretty princess pink!

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The bees love them too 🙂

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Like a fiery sunset!

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This one reminds me of Coconut Ice…

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More pinks…

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Love this little bee.  Look at him!  So greedy!  Look at all that pollen he’s collected!  He certainly is the bee’s knees! 🙂

We saw so many beautiful flowers and plants on this chilly, but sunny, Spring day.  More pics to follow in upcoming posts.  I really must get some crafting done but I haven’t been in the mood, plus I have barely been spending any time at home anyway.  I had rent inspection this week, so I had to tidy up and get cleaning – after that I don’t want to make a mess ha ha.  It won’t take long until chaos reigns supreme again though, knowing me.  I am hopeless.  It’s why you love me, right?

Hope your day has been bright and sunshiney 🙂