MtLawleyShire at Matilda Bay

An afternoon at Matilda Bay with a dear friend – not a cloud in the sky but, thankfully, it wasn’t too hot.

The light through the trees on the banks of the Swan River was magical:

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trees on the edge of this vast expanse of the salty river always intrigue me:


The Matilda Bay Cafe isn’t just a haven for humans – the ubiquitous inhabitants, the seagulls.  Squabbling, fighting, flying, thinking – I can’t help liking them:


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and they are beautiful, like all birds, in flight:

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and there was another in the skies:


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We were blessed by a glimpse of the endangered and beautiful Black Cockatoo.  They have come up to Perth as their remaining habitat is destroyed by logging and a drying climate:

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just a glimpse of the pretty yellow bottom of a wattled honey eater:


and the river was graced by its most dignified inhabitant:

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What magical moments will my next visit hold…

MtLawleyshire visits wintry Matilda Bay

Well – *I* visited Matilda Bay, not all of MtLawleyshire, but you know what I mean.  Last month, July, was wet and cold – in the depths of a beautiful winter.  And what a day.  They were forecasting rain, but what happened was a cloud descended.

This photo shows the city – not in focus because I was focused on the 3  flying corellas.


In fact, it wasn’t raining when I arrived.  There were crowds of corellas:



and feeding on the foreshore of the Swan River:

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There were swans:

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even grooming swans have a certain elegance:


then, in the cafe, I watched the city disappear

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and then it was gone. I looked out over a river that vanished into infinity:

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the cloud covered all – the view from the cafe was made magical by a cloud taking a break on the ground:

misty trees

slowly – very slowly, it lifted and the city began to reappear:

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the clouds passed to the west:

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& the sun came out. Everything was covered in gems!

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the corellas basked in the light


finally – my favourite photos of the visit.  A companionable little willy wagtail who sat beside me outside the cafe.  He didn’t mind me pointing the camera at him.

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and in one shot – between pressing the button and releasing it, he opened his beak.  He looks angry, as though he’s squawking all sorts, but no.  Almost as though he was yawning, maybe asking for food.  I can’t believe I got the shot!

where were you


I hope I haven’t overloaded you with photos – & also hope you enjoyed these snips from a magical day for MtLaweyshire at Matilda Bay


MtLawleyShire’s Hyde Park flowers

These were taken last week – this week’s weather was not conducive and due to work and university commitments (presentation) I didn’t have tome to explore further.  Tomorrow won’t be much better – storms and winds and rain!

So, here they are – some wild flowers, & other delights, like ducklings and the Hyde Park Swan family 🙂

Before I got to Hyde Park, I passed the flame trees – these are the last of the flame tree flowers.  I will miss them so much, unless where I end up has flame trees.  I hope so.

last of the flowers

It’s so long since I’ve been to Hyde Park, and Spring is touching it, though the trees aren’t out.  Some of the flowers are though:

gorgeously delicate & brilliantly coloured – the 2nd is commonly known as the ‘bacon-and-egg’ flower

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I love the pink and gold of this variety of bottlebrush

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I don’t know what this one is, but I love its geometry & colour, its singularity.

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And the blue of these!  There weren’t heaps of them open, but when in swathes, they are amazing:

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Now – these are flowers of a different sort: the Hyde Park Swan family sunning themselves on the grass

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Cygnets preening:

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cheeky willy wagtail & a swamp hen

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an ibis amongst the foliage:

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a rare native parrot (there were a pair of them) in a plane tree:

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& a small family of ducks (I hope they are wary of the swamp hen)

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the ducklings are so cute:

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then it was time to go to Beaufort Street to meet my brother (over from England) for coffee, but on the way: wildflowers growing on the street verge

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a lemon Grevillea:

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a lily in a garden of shadows:

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I just love these:

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Onto Beaufort Street: these bathtubs are a wonderful addition to the streetscape – 2 planted with flowers

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& one, outside a cafe, with herbs


In the evening, I caught sunset glow:


Then evening with Venus and the moon:

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evening moon

Finally, after coffee with the brother, walking home in the dark – an experiment that worked: rose with flash:

rose at night

I hope you have enjoyed this brief taste of Spring and as I write, the rain is roaring and pouring down, over-spilling from the gutters and flooding the courtyard.

No photos tomorrow.


MtLawleyShire: a weekend

What a mix of things this last weekend was.  Voting and forecast rain & thunderstorms that didn’t happen and heat and the next day?  The same, but not happy with the result of the vote.  The only good thing to come out of it, as far as I was concerned was this delightful wee New Holland Honey eater and the flowers he was feeding on:


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If you look closely, you’ll see him actually feeding:


A rose in someone’s garden, lovely & golden:


and of course, my beautiful girl:


I walked in Hyde Park.  Because of the lack of rain & the heat and all the ‘road works’, I stayed away from the water till I saw these herons:

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Apart from that, I walked amongst the trees.  The heat & humidity were revolting.  The trees were lovely though:


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and the willows with a hint of Autumn in the plane tree leaves:


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Flowers on Saturday & Sunday as I walked for sunset photos:

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& Sunday’s sunset: all sullen and full of storms and rain that never happened:

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But later that night?  Very late?

Rain, thunder, lightning – lots of rain.

My courtyard flooded as the gutters overflowed in a Niagara Falls simulation creating ‘one of the smaller of the Great Lakes of Mt Lawley’.  That hasn’t happened since – I think it’s 2010.

In the morning:

Raindrops on the lemon grass and magnolia leaves:

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My garden smells lovely.  I am off to Hyde Park…

Heartbreak in MtLawleyShire’s Hyde Park

I don’t know what to say about Hyde Park.  It hurts every time I go down there.  This should be the start of the most beautiful tome, but the place is a ruin.  Certainly opportunities for taking photographs is very limited.

You are not allowed into the native area:


The beauty of the plane trees has been compromised by the lopping of all their lower branches:

ruins_2 compromised beauty

The island where all the bottle brush flowered?

Do you remember this? (last September)

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Now it looks like this:

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The graceful avenue around the ponds?

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Many of the paths are compromised – behind this hoarding is a huge trench where they are laying pipes.  I was told they were intending to establish a reed bed to clean the water as it flows down the hill when (if) it rains, but I don’t understand what the pipes are for:


And it is not just the plane trees that are being lopped:

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But I found a few angles:

A small moreton bay fig


Trees as frames

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An unspoilt corner:

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A heron in one of the ponds:

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Finally, some plane trees in the strong, hot light of a supposedly Autumnal sun:

contrasts  light

It hurts, seeing the park in such a state, and I am not the only one horrified by what is happening.  I have been told the works are not following the guidelines laid down by the conservation society and I will be following that up over the next couple of weeks.

& I took some other photos here and there:

a lovely pink rose & red roses in a roadside garden:

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bud and beastie  bud

roadside red  half open

Cloud blossom on a tree in William Street – with a bee!

bee in cloud blossom

Galahs on a telephone pole in the evening:

galahs in the evening

And finally, a hibiscus flower caught in the lowering light of a hot day:

hibiscus in sunlight

bit of a mixed bag, this post, fill of as much ugliness as beauty.

I am so saddened by what is happening in Hyde Park.  I don’t know that I will be producing a calendar this year 😦


Matilda Bay this week


Yes, I know, I should be studying, but I’ve just finished hours of lesson planning so thought I’d do a little more sharing.  I had the chance to go to Matilda Bay this week – the first time in ages!  And the day started out calm, and getting hot.  When I got there, the first thing I saw was the Swan River family:

The cygnets are much bigger than the ones in Hyde Park (will post soon), & all untidy with feathers growing through their fluff.


This swan was only a little out of frame.  They all stayed together.

From where I was sitting, the angle afforded this view:

& I loved the bark of the cape lilac:

And I can never resist this ancient-looking cypress:


a young magpie (its parent was very close):

and then – the clouds rearing up behind the city into the clear blue sky:

They were so magnificent – not that we got a drop of rain or anything from them – & it’s been the same all week!  Maybe 10 drops of rain, but nothing else.  Some wind,, just cloud, build-up and it all dissipates.  The same thing is happening today as well.  It’s infuriating!

I played with the photos – so there are black and whites of the same shot:

different treatment which gives different atmospheres to the same shot:


but I just love the clouds:

In this one, a plane is escaping what looks to be wild weather:

More play – I just love how the clouds diminish the city:

& this one – massive flat plane of shadow pressing down on the spread out city.

If only it had rained, or stormed, or something….


a short trip out of MtLawleyShire

I went to one of my favourite places to meet a friend – Matilda Bay on the banks of the Swan River.  It wasn’t a long visit, so there was no wandering amongst trees – we had coffee and a wonderful chat, but there was time for a few photos.

The first thing I noticed was the floating pier in the river was almost completely covered in cormorants.  It was rally hard to fit them all in!


Just below where we sat overlooking the river was a small Grevillea bush with its brilliant scarlet flowers:



There is a lovely mix of trees all around the cafe.  Here is Cape Lilac, gum trees and a massive, ancient cypress:

I love the massive strength of the trunk of this cypress:

A cockatoo – I think it’s a major mitchell, but I’m probably wrong) alone in a  tree.  Later I saw a whole flock of them searching for seeds on the grass but – silly me! – I didn’t get a photo.

A lovely stripey sort of gum tree:


It was a short visit 🙂  Hope you enjoyed.


a walk this week in the heart of mtlawleyshire

Yes, Hyde Park again, and a few days ago.  It’s been a crazy week, with birthday and all, so I am a little behind with everything.

It was fun revisiting the photos.  That day was hot and sunny which was lovely for the light.  Today is almost cold, but it is getting warmer again early next week.  This is not a good Autumn, though Hyde Park reflects the best of it.

Kitty sat on the desk, none too pleased I was going

I passed lovely bark, wattle flowers, a very strangely shaped tree in the bare front yard of a block of apartments, and saw a magpie on the topmost branches of the lemon scented gum:


Then I was at the traffic lights, on the other side of the road to Hyde Park.  I got this shot of a Norfolk pine with the traffic lights beside it for scale:


Then I was in the park – a riot of green and branches and strong sunlight:


& of course, the Moreton Bay figs.


A tree whose foliage made lace against the sky:

An ancient paperbark whose twisted form is almost lost sometimes amidst the more glorious greens and golds,  I love its bark.  It’s very soft to the touch as well:


The plane trees growing ever more beautiful as this warm Autumn progresses:



the water in the ponds falls lower and lower – this is a shot of some of the roots exposed like grasping hands:

but there is still enough there for water birds like spoonbills, ibis, ducks – and of course, and beautiful reflections:






& who was waiting for me when I got home?

Tomorrow – some flowers.

I hope you enjoyed this.  Keira 🙂

Getting caught in the rain

This time, I start out with my cat.  I love the way she sleeps: 


then she woke up

After cuddles, I set off, looking forward to my walk after a week of no walking.

Rain was forecast, and there were clouds, but also sunshine and bright blue sky.

Then I heard the mournful calls of black cockatoos: these birds are heading for extinction.  They are flocking to Perth because of the fires and logging that has ruined their food supply.  When we first moved here, the flocks were huge.  Not any more.  They are beautiful birds.  There was a story that when they were flying and calling, it meant rain.  I managed to photograph them, and where they flew, the clouds were grey.


I wish I could have taken closer shots, but these I took without my glasses, quickly and aiming towards the sound.

When I got to the entrance to the park, the ground was covered with the remains of pine cones.  The cockatoos love them:


Then I got caught by the shifting light and shadow amongst the green and shadows


The water in the ponds is still decreasing, but the birds don’t seem to mind


and then, of course, all the trees.  plane tree branches with their yellowing leaves against evergreens and a glorious plane tree in its gold and green:


I tried to capture the light on this Morten Bay Fig:

Looking up the trunk of a plane tree to the sky, and just the trunk:


Then I was caught by the contrast of the brilliant green of Jacaranda trees against the sky & the dark of closer trees, & the contrast between a palm and a Morten Bay Fig:


There is still some cloud blossom:

Trees behind one of the islands & the colour of those plane tree leaves!

Then – it rained!




The brilliant green of Jacaranda through dark branches was slightly blurred by rain.

Then there was serenity:

Before it rained again & I was unable to resist taking my camera out & it got ruined, I thought I should go home.

I passed this Morten Bay Fig, rain-stained:

Then I passed one of the Norfolk Pines:


A pine cone:

And from the William Street edge of the park:


Some of the trees are so beautifully green:


And there is a small tree that has brilliant red flowers – I didn’t expect to see any flowers at this time of year:

And in the sky –

and on the way home – two flowers.


When I got home, my fat little cat was inside.  She doesn’t like the rain 🙂

An excursion out of the ‘Shire’

Today, I left my MountlawleyShire to meet a friend for lunch at the Tearooms at Matilda Bay, outside the University of Western Australia, on the banks of the Swan River.  It’s a lovely spot, but my goodness – it was incredibly windy!

It really wasn’t the best day for photographs at all.  The water was choppy, though it was lovely watching the dance of the sparkles on the water, and the sound of the waves on the small beach was very soothing.  It’s a long time since I’ve seen the river that rough.

So, no chance of seeing the dolphins.  They don’t come to the surface unless it’s mirror still, and today with the sind streaking up the river from the west, it was anything but.  Away from the river, it was a warm day, with hints of the humidity expected over the weekend (& hopefully there will be rain…), but by the river, you could feel it was Autumn.  There is rarely that fresh a ‘breeze’ during the summer months, even if you live right on the river or near the sea.  In fact, back home, the air in and around my house is utterly still and warm even though the sun has now gone down.  I don’t think it will be that cool a night.

But the early afternoon was delightful, though it was on occasion difficult to hold the camera still in the wind.  And though there were some unusual visitors, there weren’t as many birds around.

I’ve decided to include photos from other  visits this year, and I’ll make a note of when I took the photos.

So, a selection of photos I took today.  Not as rich in colour as photos from Hyde Park – by the Swan River is more ‘Australian’.  There are more native trees, and the open river and the broad swathes of light – they have their own beauty, though I am not confident I capture it.  Sometimes, I wish I had a SLR ….

1st: the city



This is the one flower that was out – it is not the season for flowers, but in Australia, there will be flowers out somewhere everywhere all the time.

Birds: Swans are not all that usual on the Swan River, at least – not around Matilda Bay, and certainly not so many.  They usually seem to go around in couples rather than groups like this.



The seagulls around Matilda Bay are quite aggressive to people eating lunch outside.  They are very cheeky.  I think the wind today kept the number of birds down.


Ravens are very common.  Beautiful intelligent birds, I love watching them.



There are often cormorants (the smaller back one) and frequently pelicans at the river.  Sadly these two were almost out of range of my zoom.

In the first of these is the wilderness of Kings Park, a huge natural reserve that is completely untouched except for when arsonists inevitably set it on fire in the summer.  Last year’s fire caused damage that will take 15 years for the park to recover from.  The 2nd photo is looking east from Matilda Bay across the river.  The light line on the other side of the river is the Kwinanna Freeway.  THe low hills in the background are the Darling Ranges, a low escarpment that millions of years ago was the old coastline.


Now for trees 🙂  Some Autumn, mostly native, all beautiful.

Not as colourful as Hyde Park or flowers, and not the best day for photography.  So here are some others from other days this year:

These were taken on a day when the city was shrouded in smoke from bushfires in the South West of the state. It made for spectacular sunsets, and a strange view of the city.  But you can see how still the water is.  There were not many birds there that day.

And this is from a month earlier – January this year.  Very clear and calm.  It was also very hot!  But there were pelicans so I could take better photos of them,


The water was so calm, this pelican is sailing on his reflection.


and always the ravens.

& that day, my fat little cat was waiting for me, finding shelter from the heat beneath my ferns.