a brief trip out of mtlawleyshire

It was a very brief trip, to West Perth, and I didn’t have long at all, but of course, there were trees 🙂

It’s an area of businesses and specialist consulting rooms, and just a few blocks from King’s Park, but its been altered and re-altered.  All the buildings are modern and there are not many ancient trees.  Most of the street trees are either the box tree (not a favourite of mine & not a native either) or peppermint trees.

Here is a young one, and it’s not really visible in the picture, but it has a supporting stake.  It won’t be long before it no longer needs it.

It certainly looks small against its adult neighbours:


There was also a Cape Lilac tree.  These are not natives, and most regard them as pests, but they are tall graceful things with lovely arrangements of leaves and branches.  And – in Spring, they have clusters of tiny lilac flowers and spread a lovely perfume over the area.  Yes, they do spread seedlings everywhere, but I still love them:

their branches are long and graceful, the leaves a bright, intense green, dappling trunks and ground with shadow patterns.



There was, within the short area I walked (half a block) only the one tall gum, too tall even though it looked to be fairly young, to fit within the camera’s frame (I couldn’t walk back far enough without entering a building!):


and it had a sapling, difficult to photograph clearly in the surroundings:


Mostly, there were box trees. I think it’s one of the Queensland Box tree.   These I consider unfriendly – I like going barefoot & these trees drop gum nuts everywhere and shed leaves all year around.  It’s a painful experience, treading on those gum nuts and all the leaves just make the areas around them dry and dead looking.  But, I must admit, some of these trees do have wonderfully tangled branches:



Box tree in front and the tall young gum behind:

A street of box trees:

some have variegated leaves which looks odd:

There was a glimpse of the city over the tree tops ( I nearly got run over taking this one!):

& just in case you thought she wasn’t going to appear:

Fast sleep 🙂

A Magnolia in Mt LawleyShire: a photo essay on time

The magnolia flower I have been waiting for opened before I went out in the morning, and I inhaled the perfume before I saw it.





It closed for the evening.

The morning saw it opened wide





She watched me taking photos

Then it rained




Tonight’s welcome rain will weigh down the petals and tomorrow, only the seed stem will remain and the perfume will be gone.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

I have found a few pics that give different interpretations of ‘together’.

And no – haven’t found the time to organize ‘pingback’ and stuff.  I always look at other entries as well 🙂  I am wondering if there is something I haven’t done right in setting up this blog 😦

Art together with a street wall give the street character (a corner on Beaufort Street)

Together as a family they will survive (Hyde Park, Perth).

Massed together, these flowers look stunning, and together, the plane trees form an avenue (Hyde Park, Perth).


Together, this wee jumping spider and I shared a moment (my desk).

Light and shade together dapple this Moreton Bay fig (Hyde Park, Perth).

Seagulls crowded together begging for scraps (Matilda Bay).

Together, these galahs will build their nest and raise a family.

Together – the sunset and the moon.

Together we build cities, and together we remember fallen soldiers.


and finally – six garden gnomes together with fat kitty.

Mtlawleyshire, night and fairy tales

I walked down William Street today, on the way to meet a friend for coffee.  It had been strange day – all day it had been cloudy, as though the air itself was brooding.  No rain, just heavy air and a silence despite the sounds of traffic.  She wasn’t happy to see me go.

I was surprised to see the cloud blossom trees in flower – different trees this time



Some flowers, a little closer.  They are just a little too high for me to get a good shot without zooming (I am rather small)


This one had grown to envelope a telephone pole 🙂


The first of the next shots is the last of the wattle, and this brilliantly red tree caught my eye amongst all the green street trees. One day, I will go down that street. So much green!  All those trees!


And here is my old friend, the lemon-scented gum that is so massive you can’t fit it into a photo without standing almost a block away.  It is one of the largest trees in the area, and that includes the Moreton Bay figs of Hyde park!



I love how the great branches taper through the chaos of smaller branches into the delicate tangled tracery of thin long flexible twigs which is where most of the leaves are.


And now, Hyde Park.  I hadn’t realized how dark it was  when I got there, and my little camera doesn’t do well in low light.  So, many of the photos were blurred. As a result, I had some fun 🙂

These first 2 are from when I walked beneath the trees and too shots of the branches against the canopy.  There was enough light between the leaves to confuse the camera’s sensors.


Then the Moreton Bay figs.


This next one intrigued me with its almost fluted pillars:

here they are a little closer:



The next shots I took were all blurred.  I played when I got home – with the images:



I took a shot of the water, but I was still too far into the trees

This is what it actually looked like when I came out from under the trees: the water green with algae.  It has been very warm the last few days, and warm nights as well.  It is not good for the water quality, as there is now so little of it.

But I didn’t stay. I was running late for my coffee date, and the light was no good for taking photos, so I left, but not without taking some more.  And when I got home, none of them were any good.  So I played and discovered the secret fairy tale world within Hyde Park:


I will have to discover more of this world, I think 🙂

Over the road from the cafe is a florist, and I found these: Banksia flowers:


I will have to find trees somewhere for you.  They don’t grow in Mt Lawley Shire – I have to go further out, or maybe King’s Park.

Finally, the cafe – and here is a corner.  I like all the lines and wooden boxes and cups (for me to have my coffee in!)

Here are some shots of the city from the cafe.  It is a different perspective from the post I did above the city – those 3 buildings I last saw from above!

And here is Beaufort Street looking north – the way I went home.

I hope you enjoyed my little walk.  Next time – my magnolia flower.

Keira 🙂

Heartbreak after a little walk in mtlawleyshire

It was only a little walk today – to the post office and back, but of course I took my camera.  It was a strange day – clouded and far too warm for this time of year.  Everything is out of sorts.

First, before I left, I had a wonderful surprise this morning: my magnolia flowered.  I have been watching this flower form for what feels like ages and this morning it opened, filling my courtyard with its beautiful perfume


and its glowing heart:

I caught the sunset as I walked down Beaufort Street, the colours behind the city were soft, almost beguiling:


behind trees as I walked home:

and the colours in the east:

The trees were lovely.  These are in the carpark:


This tree is behind a brick wall in someone’s garden:

and I met some friends on the way home:

This fellow was very personable and came up for cheek rubs

This one was very shy but wanted to talk.  Then someone came up the road and she scampered back inside before we got to the cheekrubs:

This young fellow I have known since a tiny kitten and he is very playful.  He wanted my scarf 🙂


and of course she was waiting for me when I got home:

Lots of purrs.

But now – the heartbreak.

This is a picture of a diseased lemon scented gum – or maybe a young white gum.  It is one of the three, growing tall and graceful in the carpark.  This one looks to be as tall and graceful, and it is, but – for this.

Later, this evening, there was a program talking about the deaths of trees all over the world.  In all the great forests.  And here, in south-western Australia. Last summer, it was so hot, so dry, that trees that have stood for hundreds of years died in a few weeks.  These are some of the toughest trees in the world and they are dying. They are so weakened by drought, by the rise in temperatures which in Perth and the south-west is faster than most other places, that the trees have reached their limits.  The forests are dying and with them, the beautiful birds and animals.

And it is here, in Mt Lawley.

I am very sad tonight.  All over the world, the trees are drying.  All trees, no matter what type – in the Amazon, in Turkey, in Greece, in the great forests of the Canadian and American Rockies – all types of trees, all dying.

Here, it is all types, and those that aren’t dying are not producing seed and they are no longer growing.

A world without trees. How can we even begin to countenance that?

mtlawleyshire’s peppermint trees

The Peppermint tree is a native of South Western Australia and in the older suburbs, it is often seen as a street tree.

When we first moved to Mt Lawley, there was a huge one in the backyard.  I loved to climb it and sit in its huge spreading branches.  From a distance, it can look like a willow because of its leaves and they way they droop, but up close and personal – they are nothing alike.

They are one of my favourite trees (though I have a feeling that all trees are my favourites.

So, today, I take you around the other way, into Mt Lawley itself rather than towards Highgate or North Perth.  And I will concentrate only on Peppermint trees.  The others will have to wait for another post 🙂  This is where I used to walk and run with my dog when I was a kid, around this area.  It’s familiar territory, and the trees are like old friends.  I mourn the tree in out backyard because it was chopped down and the huge garden is gone now, filled with a huge house that has no garden at all.  It’s very sad and short-sighted.

First – street trees to give you an idea of the entire tree.  Like many Australian trees, they are not the tidiest looking people 🙂


and I caught a wattled honeyeater on top of this tree – sadly with his back to me & before I could take another photo, he had flown off.


Leaves and branches.  They are wonderful shapes.












details of the bark and trunks:




And the reason I walked this way today was to visit the Mt Lawley Cenotaph – the war memorial.  For Australians and New Zealanders, today is a sadly special day: Anzac Day which remembers the thousands of young lives lost (when Australia had a population of 5 million) during the 1915 Gallipoli campaign .  It was also the time when Turkey became the modern nation it is today – & Ataturk paid Australians a gracious acknowledgment of his success and the terrible loss Australians had suffered: Mothers,  do not weep for your sons.  They sleep with us and we honour them.  He said something like that.  There is a statue to him in Albany, Western Australia, which is the last part of Australia the soldiers saw.

This day also commemorates the Australians lost in all wars, as well as those lives lost on the Western Front in Europe in the first of the ‘wars to end all wars’.

The peppermint trees to me, with their gnarled old limbs at least as old as that war, because this is one of the oldest parts of Perth.

So – Lest we Forget.  ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.’

Flowering rosemary from my garden is amongst all these flowers.

and a final photo of a peppermint tree. the shape just cried out for black and white.



Clouds over mtlawleyshire

I wasn’t going to do a post today, but I then saw these photos of clouds and sunsets that sunsets that don’t seem to have much fire, and I played around with contrasts and –

well, it was really interesting.

The first six photos are not really enhanced, but a little light & dark contrasts to bring into focus what I saw that day.  What do you see?


and a few days later:


See anything?

These next were of a not especially vibrant sunset.  I played with the contrasts to produce almost violent images.  I’ve included the milder originals for comparison.

Fascinating, isn’t it.  I don’t normally do this to my photographs, and now that I’ve done it – I have to wonder: how do we trust the image?  I have taken literally hundreds of sunsets over the last summer, and some are incredibly colourful, almost violent, and intense with clouds and sunset flaring through them with so much heat and intense colour – those you probably wouldn’t believe were not enhanced, but I haven’t done a damn thing to them.  Still, this has been a very interesting exercise.

Hope you enjoyed it.  I know – it’s not as pretty as flowers & neither are they as graceful as trees, but I like clouds too 🙂

flowers around mtlawleyshire

These are photos that have been sitting, waiting to be posted for a while.  So, as I haven’t walked anywhere interesting (supermarkets – you don’t really want a post of  supermarket, do you?) today, I thought I would post them.

They aren’t all flowers 🙂

First: roses – all from other people’s gardens or street verges.








It seems there are always roses somewhere.

The next are a gorgeous creeper/climber: mexican rose:


a whole wall of it:

and a rare shot of actual Bougainvillea flowers: the tiny white flowers in the centre of the brilliantly coloured leaves – because that is what they are: leaves giving the huge creepers all that brilliant colour:

these are two hibiscus:


I should one day take a photo of my own – a pale yellow.  Next time…

The next are azalea

Now the next ones are the flowers on the umbrella tree.  There are many of these in Perth and they are pests – they suck up far too much water, grow huge and their roots damage everything.  And they grow so fast they crowd out most other things, including native plants.

I don’t know what this is – it’s not the most attractive plant, tall grass-like clumps with wide blade leaves, but when flowering, they can look magnificent in clumps of towering scarlet – but this has a surprise in it – can you see?

yes – the little singing honeyeater.  I sometimes get them in my own little garden.

Pink jasmine trailing picturesquely over a white garden fence.

A bird of paradise flower.  Sadly, the great clump of this plant was neglected and most of the flowers bedraggled.  This was the best shot I could get of a flower & it really deserved better.

The next are pretty flowers that I don’t know the names of:



and this one has interesting leaves in the shot.

then there are oak leaves – I can never resist those.


And here is the galah, guarding its nesting hole in the lemon-scented gum.  I’m so happy it’s still there.

Some honeysuckle:

And here are two Grevillea – these are cultivars, developed by nurseries so their growing habit is more tree like instead of the untidy, eccentric sprawl it often has naturally – which I like, but these cultivars have lovely flowers:


Grass seed heads looking rather lovely:

and two street verge gardens, one colourful with flowers (including some white roses that you’ve seen above) and one green


and at the end of all walks – there she is 🙂


Beyond and above Mtlawleyshire

What a day I had today!

It started with the cat on the pergola roof grabbing some sun.  It was a cloudy sort of day and though there was no rain forecast, it felt like it really might.

Then my friends picked me up for a dinner at a surprise location – the revolving restaurant at the top of one of the taller buildings in Perth: St Martin’s Tower.  Oh!  I was a little scared. I hate lifts and it was all the way up the top.  But we got there and then?

Oh.  Goodness!  I have never seen Perth like this, apart from when I leave on a ‘plane, and even that is usually at night (not that I do it often anyway).

I have tried to organize the photos, and I know they aren’t very good, and most are unclear.  I had some fun with the difficult reflections from inside the restaurant as well, but it does give you an idea of the sprawl of Perth, the most isolated capital city in the world.

So first – city buildings….

This blue building made a nice frame, looking down on the Barrack Street Jetty with the Bell Tower visible in the 2nd one.  Perthites are divided on what they think of the Bell Tower.  I think it is a complete waste of money, though thee are many who like it.



This is the beginning of my own William Street:

Beaufort Street, from the city to the north:

Some lovely parts of the city.  The first is St George’s Anglican Cathedral and buildings over the road from the Supreme Court Gardens and others.


St Mary’s Catholic cathedral – it’s tucked in near the Royal Perth Hospital.  It’s old for Perth, as is St George’s, both being built in the mid to late 1800’s.

Governor’s residence and gardens and the Perth Concert Hall.


Very tall buildings that seemed to be all reflections (I later found out it was the Exchange building)



The art gallery, the library, the central Plaza. I have set a novel around all this.

Views of Kings Park and beyond, and rain veils!



The river es ever present & the shots don’t do it just – window reflections, my lack of ability and sometimes, my wonderful little camera is really just that – too small.

In the middle photo you can see Fremantle Ports waaaaay in the distance.


River and suburbs stretching south and south-west.


Hyde Park in the midst of MtLawleyShire.  This is the inner suburbs and onwards, looking north.  Uncounted miles of them!



Looking east:



Looking west:


I know there are some photos I have forgotten to include, but I think that’s most of the clearest ones.  The reflections, the strange lighting all made it quite challenging.  It was a wonderful experience, though.  And then it was time to go.

Back on the ground.

I hate those long lift trips, but I must admit, it was worth it. The food was lovely, the service very nice, and we had laughs, the 3 of us, frequently because of me standing up and taking photos instead of eating.

It was strange seeing the buildings from the ground:


And the highly reflective blue building assumes an entirely different aspect from the ground:

and a lovely old building I think is a pub:



& some trees & a little city art that has always intrigued me.  These are the Supreme Court Gardens that we saw from waaaaay above, but not the sad Moreton Bay fig.  It really doesn’t look happy, not even with a little editing/enhancing.



And I get home to find that someone else was having her very own rooftop moment:

The eastern border of mtlawleyshire

On Friday, my camera and I took a little drive to the eastern borders of MtLawleyshire – a park on the banks of the Swan River.  It’s a ‘people’ park – it has an oval for sports, a children’s playpark, basketball practice area and through it runs the cycling track that goes throughout Perth.  It is still in Mt Lawley itself, whereas Hyde Park is actually just in Highgate, even though it is only 10 minutes walk from where I live, and this park would take at least 20 minutes to walk – maybe longer.

Despite being a park with all sorts of areas for activities, it still has its quiet areas, its tree areas, and, of course, the river, as well as small wetlands.  Unlike Hyde Park, it still has that sense of the wilderness that must have been, not so long ago.  Now it is a wealthy area, in fact, I parked on the richest street in Perth, and to live in such an area, yes I can see why you would want to.  Quiet and very beautiful.

The first things I saw were the plane trees.  Not as many as in Hyde Park, and closer to the road.



and there were the beautiful Moreton Bay figs:




And this one: the most astonishing Moreton Bay I have ever seen:

Then there were very many native gum trees – all beautiful.

This is the bark from one:

Then there are these:


The sheoaks and bottlebush make wonderful delicate patterns with their branches and foliage:



and here are sheoaks at the river’s edge:

These trees are like great shaggy border guards on the river’s edge: the edge of MtLawleyShire 🙂

Here are more pictures from the edge, the border:




And yes, we come to the water’s edge which is also part of a small wetlands.  It’s filled with grasses and strange trees and something that looks like flowering heather, but it can’t be:




On the other side, there are trees too 🙂

and when I came home?

Yes, she was in my chair!

Tomorrow, there will be a post of me out of – and above MtLawleyshire!

I hope you have enjoyed my little excursion to the eastern borders of my little ‘shire’.  Keira 🙂