MtlawleyShire’s Illawarra flame tree

The Illawarra flame tree is native to the tropical areas of the eastern coast of Australia.  they are now grown in other parts of the world because of their beauty, especially when flowering.  There are many throughout Perth as well, and I find them unremarkable for much of the year, but then, in summer, they explode into outrageous scarlet.  This is the largest individual in my area, and it’s on the edge of Hyde Park.

flame tree_1

against the clear, hot blue sky of summer, the scarlet of the flowers is so clear, stark & primary:

flame tree_2

in detail the complexity resolves into simple flowers, millions of them:

flame tree_5 flame tree_6

and through sunlight, that simplicity becomes additionally beautiful:

flame tree_7 flame tree_8

flame tree_19

It was windy when i took these photos and the indistinct flowers, blurred with endless movement, adds an unexpected softness:

flame tree_9 flame tree_10

against green the scarlet gains richness

flame tree_11 flame tree_12

and even shadowed they remain wondrous against the blue sky beyond;

flame tree_13

Simple scarlet bells:

flame tree_14 flame tree_15

no matter which way you look at them, they are lovely and startling

flame tree_16 flame tree_17

against the sun, and sun coming through the flowers, the trees attain a fairy-tale like appearance, barely real.

flame tree_18

But they are 🙂

Flowers from MtLawleyShire

I do love photographing flowers.

Petunias rom my garden – the purple ones are amazing, though they are now suffering from the heat:

flower_2  flower_1

flower_6  flower_3

native hibiscus in my garden:

native flower

I love frangipani – such simple flowers, so elegant to photograph, so perfumed and lovely:

flower_3  flower_4

wild iris or dietes can be stunningly lovely


a type of bottlebrush-type glower and something I always thought was a jasmine, but now know it’s something else (which I can’t remember)

flower_1  flower_5

I have no idea, but they are pretty:



flower_4   flower_4


flower_2 flower_3

And this year, I missed the best of the Illawarra flame trees in Hyde Park – last year they were out at the end of December.  Not this year.

And it was a really windy day too, and I was in a hurry because I had to get to work, but they are still astonishing:


flower_2   flower_3

flower_4  flower_illawarra_4


Flower_5 flower_illawarra_3

the single flowers are soooooo tiny!


Birds in and around MtLawleyShire

Working & my eyes means I can’t take advantage of the flowering trees at the moment, which is a great sadness.  But on my walks, I’ve managed to catch a few:

A cuckoo shrike – famed for swooping upon cats (though my own beloved Fattee Cattee hasn’t had the pleasure of that)


the colourful, lively and very feral, invasive rainbow lorikeet at Matilda Bay.  When they are around, the native birds with their wonderful songs, are in very short supply.

matilda bay_port lincoln_2  matilda bay_port lincoln_1

a seagull at Matilda Bay:

matilda bay_6

a wee New Holland honey eater.  They have the sweetest song, these little things, are so fast and flighty!  It always feels very special when I manage to catch one:

new holland_2  new holland_1

the red wattle bird in the flame tree – it’s been so difficult to catch them recently:

matilda bay_wattle bird_1  wattle bird_matilda bay

now for the singing honey eaters over various days:

wind ruffled on a wire just outside my house:

honey eater_1

in the flame tree:

singing honey eater_1  honey eater_3

honey eater_2  singing honey eater_2

& these 2 photos are my favourites:

singing honey eater_3  singing honey eater_4

There have been more birds since I took these.  I shall include them in another post 🙂

A short walk in MtLawleyShire

It’s a while since I’ve bene walking – the damn flu really knocked me about and it will take a while, I think, before I’m properly back on my feet.  That plus the need for glasses is somewhat curtailing my photo-expeditions, and means I can’t keep experimenting & learning with the new dSLR.

But today was a sunny day, and warm enough for a T-shirt and a light jacket rather than being rugged up.  It is forecast to rain next week, so I thought I should take the opportunity.

First, I visited the flame trees, but they were full of parrots, which meant there weren’t going to be many honey eaters or wattle birds.

flame tree_3  flame tree_7

The parrots are feral – non-natives that were released from an  aviary and now they out-compete all the native species.  They are quite  aggressive to the honey eaters.  But I got a wattle bird & some honey eaters.  Two singing honey eaters:

flame tree_4  flame tree_5


flame tree_2

a red wattle bird:

flame tree_1

But the flame trees are beautiful in the sun, the way the scarlet reflects the light into gold:

flame tree_8  flame tree_11


flame tree_6  Flame tree_9

& the trees themselves are quite glorious, though this photo does it no justice:

flame tree_10

It is a strange time of year – a lot of flowers considering it is supposed to be the depths of winter, but here and there, spring-like flowers are in evidence. A bottlebrush flower on a tree that was covered with older flowers, and the beginnings of the flowers on this orange vine:

flower_1  flower_5

Lantana flowers coming through a fence, though they seem to flower all year round, & I don’t know what the yellow one is, but it’s pretty:

flower_2   flower_9


These daisies are normally more evident in Spring:

flower_3  flower_4


This white is a largish bush with long spines for leaves and it is covered in tiny white flowers – very ethereal looking:

flower_10    flower_11


A Grevillea – they seem to flower all year:


and I found some unpruned roses:

rose_1  rose_3

rose_2  rose_4

Then there were all the trees in the neighbourhood.

Trees are disappearing as people get rid of back yards to put up more houses, or tear down older houses and use all the land for units with no room for gardens.  We are lucky that not all the trees are gone yet.

A huge paperbark:



Sunlight through the leaves of a large Jacaranda street tree:


Trees growing along the driveway of a house,and behind someone’s back fence:

tree_9  tree_7

Seen from a distance over the roofs:

tree_5  tree_6


& this is the same type of tree as grow in West Perth: tall and straight, this is older than the West Perth street trees, & so beautiful:

tree_1 tree_2


And then there is this tree with a wonderful story-book like quality of illustrated complexity.  It should be in a wild wood and huge instead of merely medium size and against a wide empty blue sky (no – there was no sunset tonight):


tree_14  tree_12

Yes, I did do black and whites, but they are for another post.

And finally, 2 more photos – one a nervous little person beneath the wonderful, story-book tree, and the other?



A sun-drenched Fattee Cattee waiting for me when I got home 🙂




I am looking forward to my eye test & then getting real new proper glasses to replace the readers I have been using for years.


MtLawleyshire playing with leaves, light and colour

And, apart from playing with light and colour, I should add – a problem.  I know the solution, but it’ll take time and quite a bit of money.  No, not a camera – glasses!

I was told last year that I needed glasses & fairly urgently, and promptly forgot.  But then – I got my zoom lens and – oh dear.  I got such terrible eye strain that I couldn’t focus the camera properly and even when I switched to my little point and shoot, it remained.  So a few scant photos of honey eaters in the flame tree from yesterday.  At least it makes sense of the strange headaches I’ve had over the last week.  Sigh.

This wattle bird was the only decent photo I got – & as you can see, am still learning apertures and so on.  But at least you can see the bird with his glorious yellow underneath.

wattle bird

These two of a singing honeyeater came out OK

flame tree_2  flame tree_3


and this:

flame tree_6


This one surprised me when I downloaded the photos.

flame tree_7


But the flowers drenched in sunlight came out OK.

flame tree_4  flame tree_5

The rest are black and whites – all the photos that sort of failed but I think they are redeemed with the black and white:

flame tree  black and white_7


black and white_4  black and white_14

black and white_15  black and white_3


This one has come cloud darkness which kinda works.


black and white_2

The one with the flying wattle bird works better in black and white than it did in colour!  And the one next to it is the same – there is a honey eater sipping nectar that didn’t come out well in colour (though I think it needs a wee bit more light):

black and white_12  black and white_13


black and white_10  black and white_6

I experimented with flowers

black and white_5

black and white  black and white_11

black and white_16

And Jacaranda tree:

black and white_9  black and white_8

and finally – clouds:


Two photos of the same cloud, but I wanted detail of that lower raggedy edge:

cloud_2  cloud_3

Finally, some portraits of the lovely Fat one:

wanting lemon grass – not the camera!

no picture_I want lemon grass

more content in her favourite chair:

on her favourite chair

a series of portraits in her favourite chair:

kitty_7  kitty_2


She puts up with the camera in her face 🙂


her and her bloody camera  kitty_3


she moved  kitty_5


kitty_6  kitty_1


& sometimes, there is an affectionate glance:


Next week, I’m finding an optomertrist & then – new glasses instead of the readers I’ve been using for years and years….




MtLawleyshire’s flame tree & honey eaters

Yes, it was sunny enough for photos, but it was windy too – and the singing honey eaters were more interested in lying and fighting than feeding this afternoon.  But I go some good shots.

First, though, just the scarlet flowers against the blue sky – so striking:

flame tree_11  flame tree_13


soaked in sun against the trunk of the old flame tree:

flame tree_12


Or against the green of a neighbouring tree:

flame tree_6

Finally, I got some shots of the wee birds:

flame tree_1  flame tree_2


flame tree_7  flame tree_3


flame tree_5  flame tree_8

flame tree_14


And this one – I was lucky enough to get 2!  Before they started quarrelling, that is 🙂

flame tree_4

And this little one perched on a century old flame tree cropped so much it had no flowers:

flame tree_9  flame tree_10





Quick shots of MtLawleyShire’s flame trees

It was a stormy morning and an afternoon of intermittent wind and grey and sun.  There was no sunset, and no moon.   But there was some sun, so despite teh wind, I went out to see if I could get any shots of the birds in the flame trees.  I hope I’m not boring you with these, but it only happens for a couple of months of the year, and only when teh weather is OK.  I don’t know if there will be flame trees at my new address, wherever that will be….

There were mostly singing honey eaters there today, all thrusting their heads into the flowers to get at the nectar:

flame tree_2  flame tree_5


flame tree_8  flame tree_6


flame tree_12  flame tree_11

Some are quite acrobatic:

flame tree_3


these two, while not all that clear, intrigue me – something about the ‘design’ of the flowers and twigs:

flame tree_10  flame tree_13


& this one:


flame tree_15

& this one – upside down and shot in a moment of sunlit stillness:

flame tree_9

flame tree_7  flame tree_1


flame tree_4

& here are some flowers – they are so striking

flame tree_14

But, given the weather, there were many that just weren’t right, so I played, although some of those above made for black and white fun too:

flame tree_black and white  flame tree_black and white_3

flame tree_black and white_2  flame tree_black and white_6

flame tree_black and white_5  flame tree_black and white_4

I am missing my sunsets and a chance to go and play with the ‘big’ camera with the new lens.  Maybe tomorrow…

& I really do hope you’re not getting bored…



MtLawleyShire’s flame tree, birds and Black and White

I have a new lens for the “big” camera.  No – I don’t know how to use it yet (& today was no good at all – storms and rain & wind 7 thunder & working).  But yesterday, I did play a little.  Can’t focus yet properly and, annoyingly, I see better through the viewfinder without my glasses, but it does cause horrendous eye strain. Now what am I going to do about that!

But, as there were both hits and misses, I played with black and white a little again – and sometimes played with those photos that did work.  I will leave it to you to decide which you think is more effective.

Flame tree flowers in scarlet against grey – & the black and white version

flame tree flowers  flame tree_black and white_5


Flame tree and a singing honey eater – & the black and white version:

flame tree-honey eater_2 

flame tree_black and white_9

A wattle bird

wattle bird    wattle bird_black and white

& a wattle bird again, on his own:

wattle bird_2


Now for some black and white.  For various reasons, the colour versions of these just didn’t work.

flame tree_black and white  flame tree_black and white_2


flame tree_black and white_3  flame tree_black and white_4

flame tree_black and white_6  flame tree_black and white_7


I like how the branches turned out in this one:

flame tree_black and white_8


This I added a yellow tinge to:


flame tree_black and yellow


This flower worked well-ish…

flame tree flowers_2

Some singing honey eaters – more or less buried in the flowers drinking nectar:

flame tree_honey eater  singing honey eater_2

singing honey eater_3

& these two little guys were quite visible:

singing honey eater  singing honey eater_4


Finally, a gerbera from Amelia’s garden and a wee New Holland honey eater on a wire:

gerbera  new holland

I am enjoying this play with black and white.  Not sure what I’ll do with them, though friends suggest wallpaper, prints…

I will have to see what happens…


MtLawleyShire visits Matilda Bay

On this dark wintry afternoon, I was at Matilda Bay and, as always, it was richly rewarding.  Where we usually sit, my friend & I, is beneath the flame tree.  Unlike those trees around the corner from my home, the Matilda Bay flame tree is not showing full flowers.  It is more reticent, perhaps because it is near the water so it’s a little cooler.  But there are one or two, and buds that are showing signs…

Matilda Bay_flame tree_2  Matilda Bay_flame tree_3


Matilda Bay_flame tree_4

Matilda Bay_flame tree_1  Matilda Bay_flame tree_6

Matilda Bay_flame tree_5  Matilda Bay_trees_4


Matilda Bay_trees_3

There were, of course, birds:

Willy wagtail in the flame tree & a raven – not at the same time

willy wagtail_Matilida Bay_1  Matilda Bay_raven

Swans & ducks on the river:

Matilda Bay_swans  Matilda Bay_ducks

the ubiquitous seagull

Matilda Bay_seagull_1

but it was a dark day with storms threatening from all directions (& eventuated the moment I stepped in my house on my return!):

Matilda Bay_dark day_2  Matilda Bay_dark day_3


the clouds & bared winter trees give some delightfully spooky shots:

Matilda Bay_spooky  Matilda Bay_dark day_1

Matilda Bay_trees_2

& wonderfully evocative cloud forms:

Matilda Bay_dark day_6  Matilda Bay_clouds

Matilda Bay_dark day_4 Matilda Bay_dark day_5

Matilda Bay_clouds_2

Then, as always, there were the trees.  This is 1 or 2 plane trees – magnificent & I couldn’t find the right angle, but so pale and beautiful against the buildings of the University of Western Australia, and the building storm of sky:

Matilda Bay_trees_6  Matilda Bay_trees_8

Matilda Bay_trees_7  Matilda Bay_trees_9


& this amazing tree:

Matilda Bay_trees_10  Matilda Bay_trees_5

glorious on the edge of the road that skirts Matilda Bay:

Matilda Bay_trees_11

& 2 of my favourites in the reserve:

Matilda Bay_trees_1           Matilda Bay_trees_12

It was a cold, shivery wonderful afternoon & now it’s dark and raining hard and my little courtyard is flooded.

Time for dinner 🙂


Flame tree flowers in MtLawleyShire

Yes – the flowers are opening.  No, I cannot resist photographing them.

Birds are not visiting yet, except for one lot.  But soon, I hope the honeyeaters flock to the scarlet offerings of nectar.

Beginning to open:


flame tree_6  flame tree_2

flame tree_1  flame tree_3

flame tree_4  flame tree_3

More definitely there:

flame tree_3  flame tree_4


Against the deep blue of a dersert winter sky:

flame tree_3  flame tree_2

flame tree_4  flame tree_6


  flame tree_7 

flame tree_2

flame tree_7  flame tree_3

the symphony of fire begins:

flame tree_1

flame tree_2

flame tree_7flame tree_5


flame tree_1flame tree_5

flame tree_5

flame tree_5flame tree_2




flame tree_4flame tree_6


flame tree_1

Soon, the symphony of scarlet flame will cover the whole tree & it will be full of nectar-loving birds.

I can barely wait!