about this blog



This blog tracks the ongoing changes of my garden, and the wildlife I try to attract to it. It's a nature blog. It contains my thoughts and musings about anything and everything to do with nature - gardening, book reviews, philosophy, travel, science, history, art, design, politics.
Catmint is my signature plant because it has all the qualities I value in a plant: resilience, beauty and the capacity to spread prolifically . Unfortunately it's not indigenous. If I was starting again I'd probably choose an indigenous plant.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

new year garden snapshot with new camera

I have a new camera, a Pentax SLR with an extra lens for macro photography. The macro lens looks a bit complicated so I have decided to get to know the camera with its simpler lens first.

Here a few garden photos I hurriedly* took late this afternoon, as the light was starting to fade. I used automatic settings.

These are the seed pods of Nigella, or Love in the Mist. They are brown and dried up, so I use sepia to emphasize the attractive shapes of the pods.

Silhouettes and sky are two of my favourite things ...

The orangey red Calla lily flowers light up their part of the garden. They are a bit showy for my taste but were given to me years ago by a workmate and have naturalized so well I leave them to do their thing.

This Verbascum just appeared one day. It slumbered for more than a year, then put on this enormous growth spurt. It is a biennial so I guess it will die soon, having fulfilled its evolutionary imperative. Makes the calla lilies above look positively sedate and restrained. I wonder where the babies will plant themselves?

Thank goodness there are still possums in the suburbs. Judging by its poo this one is quite a size. I have heard the patter of little feet over my head so I suspect it's rejected the nesting box I provided for it, and prefers to nest inside our roof.

This is common old curly parsley but I find the seedheads intricate, decorative and statuesque.

*The hurry is because tomorrow we are going to Stewart Island for a holiday. Stewart Island is a small island on the Antarctic side of New Zealand and has far more birds than people - just what I need for a Nature Fix. Hopefully it will also lead to blogworthy photos and words.

Given that we will be visiting a bird sanctuary, it was sad and ironic timing to read in today's paper that six Australian birds are to be declared extinct after not having been sighted for 20 years.

15 comments:

  1. What a lovely start to the year - experiment and enjoy.

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  2. Have a good trip. What a lovely way to experiment with your new camera!

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  3. thanks Hermes and eg, I don't think the photos are very good, but I guess that's OK when the goal is experimentation.
    cheers, catmint

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  4. Ooo a macro lens, that must be a dream come true. Have a wonderful time on your holiday with your new camera, I look forward to those macro shots.

    Ali.

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  5. Is 10,000 birds on your blog list? Perhaps one of those extinct birds will be rediscovered? We can hope.

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  6. Woo hoo - you invested in a new camera! It should be a lot of fun for the coming years. My favorite thing about going beyond the 'full auto' settings is being able to push the f-stop as low as it will go so the background gets blurry and the focal point really pops. Hopefully your new lens(es) go down to 3.5 or lower? I'm excited to see your photos take off.

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  7. Looks like your new year begun with much excitement and fun... your new toy is a good thing :-D

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  8. Oh, I do envy you the macro lens! I'm sure when you get to grips with it you will love it. I opted for a DSLR as I don't trust myself swapping lens about "in the field", I'm clumsy, but my lens is somewhat limited when it comes to short focal length for close-ups. Enjoy your new camera - and your holiday! Perfect opportunity to experiment.

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  9. sad news about the extinct birds.

    Sounds like it will be an awesome trip thought and I can't wait to see photos! Are there kiwis out there in the wild? that would be cool to see.

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  10. A good start with your new camera. Like the lacy flowers of the parsley as well always let my herbs bloom.
    You will have plenty of camera work with all the bird watching. Happy holidays and a very happy New Year. T.

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  11. Dear Catmint, I love the love in a mist photo! Enjoy your new camera! I look forward to seeing some bird photos! It is sad about the extinct birds. Every day we lose some plant, insect or animal.

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  12. I am sure you will have lots of fun with your new camera! I want to get a macro too

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  13. Hi Ali, I decided not to take the SLR on holiday and took my familiar comfy point and shoot instead. Finding the macro lens user unfriendly and quite intimidating at the moment.

    Hi Diana, We can hope but is there anything we can do i wonder?

    Hi VW, I'm so out of sync with my new SLR I have decided I must find the time to do a course. I tried to use the macro lens today but it wouldn't let me press down to take the photo!

    Hi Stephanie, yes, good start to the new year - let's hope it ends well for both of us as well.

    Hi Plantalicious, limited experimentation so far, thanks for encouraging words, sure I will love it eventually ...

    Hi Wendy, it was an awesome trip and we saw 2 kiwis - the only place you can see them in the wild. I will write a post and publish my photos asap. No photos of the kiwis though, it was too dark, but I got their footprints.

    Thanks Titania, and best wishes and happy new year to you.

    Hi Carol, I think bird photos must be the hardest - at least plants don't move around. You have really perfected the technique for getting fabulous bird (and other) photos and are one of my inspirational models.

    Hi fer, so far I have had no joy from the macro lens but I hope you manage to get one too.

    cheers, catmint

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  14. Hi Catmint thanks for the Birthday wishes How kind.
    Enjoy your new camera and hope you enjoyed your trip. I really must keep up with garden bloggers more.

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  15. Hi Catmint! Happy times ahead for you and your new camera!! :-)

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I love to get feedback and comments, and getting to know other bloggers. I also appreciate corrections if you detect an error, because I'm not an expert, but a self taught enthusiastic amateur on a steep learning curve.

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