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 🙂

A long absence

I have been absent for sooooo long.  Due to a problem that kept getting worse & worse, I was unable to interact with other blogs or read any comments or reply to them.

I finally fixed it.

I was thinking about starting a new blog it was getting so ridiculous.  But I’ve sorted it.

It will take a long time to catch up with you all, and I hope you are all still here.

Here a few pics –  playing with camera and new lens.  And a zoom lens.


It’s that time of year: flame trees and birds.

Singing honeyeater and bee at a flame tree flower

birds and bee

A tiny brown honeyeater at a flame tree flower

bird_silver eye_1  birds_honeyeater_1

& these are from my garden: rain drops on a stem of aloe vera

alo vera

and my garden refracted in a rain drop catching sunlight on a stem of jasmine:


finally – my gorgeous fat fluffy cat watching….watching



I will be posting more – but now I’m headed out to Hyde Park.  The swans and ducks have babies!!!


Flowers in and around MtLawleyShire

It has been a while since I have posted – several problems.  One is the workload – I just run out of time. The other is my eyes and my ability to focus.

Yes, I have my new glasses, but they are multi-focals, and it could take up to 3 months to become accustomed to them.  My eyes get very tired with all the reading and writing I’m doing, and I am not able to use the zoom lens at all.  I am having trouble focusing on things even using my little point and shoot.

It is very frustrating.

However, in this post, you will see what I’ve done with some of those badly focused photos.

But, this post is mostly flowers I have taken over the last week.  It is moving towards Spring – early, perhaps, but what else can we expect in this era of unstable climate.  And though I dread the approach of summer, Spring is always beautiful.

A golden banksia and a yellow daisy taken on a dull day and filling the lens with captured sunshine:

banksia bright

a ref hibiscus small with winter & a bottlebrush flower – with bee!

little hibiscus  bottlebrush


Purple daisies & a red gerbera


purple  gerbera

a little pink flower & freesas – I must go walking to find more beds.  I love the perfume of freesas.  The ones in my garden aren’t out yet.

little flower  freesas


a clump of everlastings


A hibiscus from another bush & a Grevillea:

hibiscus  grevillea


Now – blossoms – they are getting thinner and in some trees, there are more green leaves than delicate flowers.

Almost blossom, some lit by sunset:

almond blossom_1  almond blossom_3

almond blossom_2  almond blossom_4



almond blossom_5  blossom_1



blossom_2  blossom_5




plum & other pink blossom:

plum blossom  blossom_3


pink blossom_1  pink blossom_2


This is a variety of jasmine.  This is the first year it has glowered this way, all over the gate to my little courtyard.  It will also be the last year as I either have to leave it behind or pull it up from the ground and hope to transplant it – wherever I end up…


little yellow jasmine_3  little yellow jasmine_4

little yellow jasmine_5  little yellow jasmine_2

little yellow jasmine_1

A native plant of some kind with clouds of wonderful tiny white flowers:

sunlit_2  sunlit_1

flame tree flowers.  These are also getting thin.

flame tree_2  flame tree_1

matilda bay_flame tree


But also it is coming close to Spring, there are not many roses.

This is a tiny white rose.  It was a dark day and the photo was very grainy.  So I played.  I cropped and darkened at first, then looked at the full sized photo and decided I liked the effect where the rose is almost the only colour.  I hadn’t intended the effect, but I kinda like it.

rose         rose_2

This rose was very washed out so I played with the light, and again, like the effect.


Some black and whites

black and white_1  black and white_2


But, after playing with the rose, I decided to try the same effect with other photos that didn’t work because of lack of light.  in some, I used a softening filter because of lack of focus, in others, I didn’t.  Some I might try again – what do you think?

singing honey eater_play



painting_5  painting_2




matilda bay_4  painting_4


painting_7  painting_9


And here are the first of the wildflowers for which Western Australia is famous:

wildflower_1  wildflower_2




No, not a flower, but isn’t she gorgeous 🙂

girgeous girl

MtLawleyShire sunshine while it lasts

Of course I love winter, but the sunshine this weekend has been a boon in regards to catching honey eaters in the flame trees (& getting the washing dry) although my eyes didn’t help – many a photo on today’s little walk was out of focus.  But not all.

A red wattle bird and a singing honey eater – the only honey eater I managed to catch this afternoon.

flame tree_1  flame tree_2

striped in shadow:

flame tree_3  flame tree_4


2 wattle birds in the one frame (one photo more successful than the other):


flame tree_5   flame tree_7


In the east, clouds were building along with a thick warm wind:


cloud_1  cloud_2


The difference in the sky was notable, but the light on the flame tree flowers was lovely:


flame tree_6  flame tree_9

flame tree_8


As I walked down the street, I took some photos of a bottlebrush bush – it is made of all the spent flower spaces.  They probably have a technical term, but I don’t 🙂  They add a fascinating personality to the tree and wonderful patterns against emptiness.  I will try photographing them again when I have my new glasses.  Focusing was difficult here.

bottlebrush_1  tree_3


To trees – a pied lovely on the corner of William Street and a tall tree in the ground of an apartment block.  Not the prettiest photo, but it is a lovely tree:


tree_1  tree_4


Down a lane, another flame tree, but it was too windy to try catching teh flighty singing honey eaters who were everywhere, teasing me 🙂


down a lane


Over a high brick fence, I saw a bud bigger than my hand and the flower.  The photos don’t really give you an idea of the size, but it’s very large!

down a lane_2  down a lane_3


Two galahs in bright sunlight, grazing on a street verge:

galah_2  galah_1


Brilliant colour in a garden in heavy shadow:




Sweet peas that were teh only grace in a new house for which they tore down something old and graceful with a garden & trees and erected a grey and white box that they will have to make livable with air-conditioning.


sweet pea_2  sweet pea_1


The almond tree blossom: this photo was too dark so I made it darker 🙂



Pink & white beauty in one photo and a snatched glimpse of a honey eater at dusk in the other – they do love the almond tree:

blossom_2  blossom_3

Some black and whites:

Black and white_1   black and white_4

black and white_2  black and white_3


Then it was suddenly sunset:



sunset_4  sunset_2


But the aftermath were the best of it, I think:


sunset_8    sunset_9

sunset_6  sunset_7


I go for my eye test tomorrow.  I am looking forward to being able to focus when I am trying to take photos!  And to the rain (‘heavy at times’ say the forecasters) that will last a whole working week.  So, there won’t be many photos, which with my eyes, is probably a good thing 🙂

& as I get ready to publish this, the wind is howling outside my windows, making the night restless…


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…


Birds in MtLawleyShire’s flame tree and the moon

Before I went to work this afternoon, my darling Fattee Cattee posed winsomely:


then I did a quick dash to the flame trees with the *big* camera (the dSLR).  It was full of birds but they were flying and teasing and fighting and not at all still!  I caught a few of the wattle birds:

flame tree_wattle bird_1  flame tree_wattle bird_3


flame tree_wattle bird_4  flame tree_wattle bird_2


flame tree_wattle bird_9  flame tree_wattle bird_7


flame tree_wattle bird_5  flame tree_wattle bird_6


flame tree_wattle bird_10  flame tree_wattle bird_12



flame tree_wattle bird_13


flame tree_wattle bird_8  flame tree_wattle bird_11

Then it was time for work.  At the break I went out to see what the evening held – & it held the remnants of what would have been a beautiful sunset.  Experimentally, I tried to capture it.

Between the tall, straight street trees:

west perth_4  west perth_3


and from across the busy intersection looking beyond Subiaco Football oval:

  west perth_2


I turned around and rising east over Hay Street was the moon, making a mockery of the street lights:

early moon   street lights

and here it is, the almost, just slightly not quite, full moon.

tonight's moon

I don’t know if there’ll be flame trees or birds or sunsets of the moon tomorrow – there might be Matilda Bay but there will also be a storm and heavy rain coming in the late afternoon and evening.  Ah well – we need the rain…