Freaky Food Award

Hot on the heels of the Zombie Cookie…

….I found myself staring at a tiramisu-flavoured (it WAS Melbourne after all) Puppy Cake. Bypassing the noodle-like quality of its coat, I felt the tongue and wet nose were podium material for this weeks Freaky Food Award.


Requiem for a Daisy

With the roar of the Lawn-king in my ears, I leapt to preserve the gorgeous daisy lawn spring had delivered me.

Torn between saving it, and the welcome sight of garden maintenance performed spontaneously, I let it go.

The fantastic combination of more rain than we have seen in six years in Woodend, sun, and an ancient bag of blood and bone I discovered in the shed, and I finally figured out why other peoples gardens are virile to my withered. I found the very idea of a bag of crushed animal abhorrent, that is, until the hellebores doubled in size in two weeks.

I now describe myself as conflicted.

The affogato made me do it

It’s 2am, zero degrees and I am out in my back yard, with too much caffeine on board, but taking advantage of the crystal clear night and almost no wind. I’ve changed the scale and distance from my subject and have discovered my puny torch is impotent. Ransacking the house and garage for all available light sources, it was me, a koala looking for a date, a lead-footed wallaby, a wombat crashing around, a headlight, and two torches. My first challenge: avoid my visible breath drifting across the camera lens mid-capture.

The second biggest challenge was actually getting enough light to focus on the subject matter. After an hour, I had a blast of inspiration. My studio lights. 600w of joy in each one, not exactly fit for purpose, but all sorts of things seem reasonable in the wee hours. Standing with one on my shoulder pointing at the trees, and risking electrocution (my lecturers warnings ringing in my ears!)  it still wasn’t enough. I stuck it out, blindly focussing until my fingers ceased operating, and nose would not stop streaming. Tomorrow, you will find me shopping in the industrial floodlight department.

Two views of the same scene; the first with the puny torch collection, the second with the studio light, giving a lot more filled-in detail.


If I fixed the colour balance, to compensate for the light temperature, these would be bluer in appearance. I prefer the warm result out of the camera.

Dark in Daylesford

Thanks to my fab husband I got to spend my birthday at The Lake House in Daylesford. A biting wind at 5pm told me it would be a clear night which usually translates to me wearing all the clothes from my wardrobe at once, and jumping from foot to foot to keep the circulation going in the arctic night, whilst W waves from warmth behind glass. These were my favourite photos from that night. The first one almost looks painted to me, in that classical style. The tiny pinecones and sawn-off log are what grabbed me to begin with, and the pretty, delicate, branches flanking an ominously disappearing path, like Hansel and Gretel would skip off down it never to be seen again. W’s favourite part is the tiny house in the middle.

I love the colours in this, achieved by the use of a couple of light sources. I also have a special affection for gum trees as you may have gathered, so it wins on that count.

Sucker for a starry sky. Is that Orion’s belt? Can anyone recommend a good star identification site?

These remind me of skeletons. Hmm…recurring gothic interpretation.

Always love to hear what you think. Anything grab you, and why?

The upside of insomnia

Wakeful at 4am. I now have a reason to get up!  Taking photos at night in urban areas means you are picking up all sorts of light sources, each contributing different colour casts to the final result. The challenge of offsetting urban glow is more than made up for by the purple and green that showed up from street lights a couple of nights ago. These have not been recoloured. Fingers took until 10am to thaw out!

Painting with light


Grass is greener

I am housesitting at the moment. Along with the house comes three chooks and two guinea-fowl, who spend their daylight hours desiring the other side of the chicken wire. All five rush to the gate of their pen in the morning, desperate to be released into the garden. Once free, they set about displacing the ordered paths and beds of the garden.

The guinea-fowl are capable of flight, but have a tenuous grip on short term memory. When let out into the day pen, they take immediate flight into the garden. They fluff their feathers, examine their feet, realise the chooks are left back in the pen, and then proceed to pace back and forth outside the pen for the rest of the day, oblivious of the garden, and desperate for incarceration with their homeys.

The chooks are far more independently spirited. Henny Penny  has figured out how to fly out of the pen as well, and will spend all day digging up the garden without a backward glance. Aretha has not figured out how to escape, but is in a permanent state of readiness, DEFCON 4 in West Wing parlance. With an ever vigilant eye on the gate, or on someone who could open it, Aretha likes it when the Guineas fly out, because this usually leads to gate opening, and she is a patient gal. Julia is the gentle one. She gets the tough end of the roost, always last to be allowed up, and repeatedly booted off by the Guinea fowls.

As I was at home today I decided they could all have a garden day. They stormed the gate, raced out, and jumped into the spring onion bed. Thirty minutes later, all five were grouped on the deck looking out at the rain, where they remained until I herded them back into the pen.

waiting out the rain