Archives for posts with tag: Nature Photography

The weather in Sydney is starting to scorch already. The end of Spring this year is a hot one, and I get the feeling that Summer is going to be very hot. So I decided to take the my trusty little Canon Powershot G15 on a mini-excursion in the yard and garden at my parent’s house. There were little gems of flora and colour everywhere.

This little wasp had no interest in me, he was drunk on nectar.

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Some of the flowers are quite hardy and resilient to the scorching Australian sun.

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Years of pruning this palm tree has left a trunk of incredible texture.

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At the end of Spring, the Summer flowers are getting ready to bloom.

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That didn’t stop others from shining fully in their efforts to attract pollinators.

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The only snake in this garden was coiled up in snooze mode.

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The other palm in the garden had a fully loaded bomb bay. These little seeds are coming down in a couple of weeks before they decide to drop of their own accord.

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This plant’s mottled leaves were strange, and bare of any flowers.

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I did not realise that this plant held it’s pollen under it’s leaf and not at the end of a flower stalk. The leaf is displaying the charred effect of long exposure to the sun.

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And the front garden is covered in hydrangeas. For as long as I can remember they have been at the front of the house.

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Spring has truly come on in earnest in Sydney, and it is wonderful to see in all its glory. I think that quite often this is the best time of the year. Warm weather, but not too humid. Days are not too short, but the sun is not rising at stupid times in the morning. And the Gardens are in bloom.

The Sydney Botanic Gardens are very accessible from the Sydney CBD, and it is about now that people flock to the grounds to enjoy lunch on the grass or go for a run. Unlike European gardens, you can walk on the grass and sit down to enjoy nature. So with camera phone in hand, I took a short visit at lunchtime to the gardens and snapped the flora in bloom. These didn’t turn out too bad being taken with a camera phone, but I suppose the light was at its brightest. As usual, the images link through to the larger photos on my Flickr account.

Enjoy!

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This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Birds. While I don’t go looking to photograph birds in flight, I found quite a few shots of birds in my travel photos. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

Starting in Australia up the NSW North Coast there is the Booti Booti National Park (just south of Forster). This kookaburra didn’t even budge an inch as I went to photograph him.

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Still in NSW but this time down on the South Coast is the beautiful seaside town of Kiama. The wildlife both in the water and the air is stunning. This pelican was stalking his prey in the water.

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Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. While the island has been developed for tourists, it is pretty clear that the wildlife rule the roost. This Australian parakeet was eyeing up my breakfast.

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Off to Japan and in the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace in Kyoto I spotted this white swan cruising alongside his mates, the carp. It rained a lot while we were there.

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Off to Helsinki, Finland, and there is a definite port town feel about this capital. There were several different types of birds flying around the docks and wharves, but it was this seagull that I got mid-flight that I liked the most.

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I have seen swans in many places that I have visited around the world. These ones were gently floating on the lake at Ellesmere in England’s midlands. Their duck brethren were not far behind either.

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Finally in Mexico along the Riviera Maya is the eco-tourist park of Xcaret. The park was established initially as a breeding ground for native fauna and flora, and their bird breeding program is yielding spectacular results. These two Mexican parrots were quite happily perched on their ledge observing us as we walked by.

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The flamingo breeding program was in full swing with nearly 100 birds about. This was the first time that I had ever seen a flamingo, and they are just as striking in real life as they are on documentaries.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme for the final week of 2013.

On our third stop of our recent trip to Hawaii, we visited the island of Maui for a week. Like all the islands in the Hawaiian chain, Maui had plenty of different things to offer. The large slopes of the dormant and imposing volcano of Haleakala in particular offer you many places to explore and experience. We decided one day to visit one of the many botanical gardens on the slopes and the one we chose was the Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula. It is located about a quarter of the way up to the summit of the volcano, and covers 8 acres. It was quite a change in scenery once you start to climb Haleakala, and the change in altitude brings a change in the climate to one of being more temperate. That shouldn’t have surprised me because we did climb to just over 2,500 feet, but it did and what was the most noticeable change was the amount of greenery in abundance. As the name of the title says this garden was very much focused on flowers. So while my wife, aunt, and son enjoyed (my boy thought that the best part of the trip was jumping on the directional arrows painted on the ground, and then instructing commanding the rest of us which ones were “our” arrows to jump on) the stroll through garden I delighted in the opportunity to capture the natural colour of the blooming flowers and flora. Here are my favourite photos from our walk through the gardens. As usual, all the images will link through to the larger photos on my Flickr site.

This flower is known as a ‘Red Jade’.

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And this next one is the blue version of the same type of flower – the ‘Blue Jade’

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Don’t know the name of this flower. I would love it if someone could tell me its name. Google searching “pink flower” gives me the phone book – it is tough reading phone books.

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This tree was awesome, and I had never seen anything like it. It is known as a ‘Silk Floss Tree’ which is native to South America. It’s spiky trunk reminded me of a rose stem, but this was a full size tree trunk and each of these spikes were the size of a small rose flower.

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This flower was my favourite of all the flowers in the garden – a ‘Red Ginger Lily’

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The purple petals contrasted beautifully against the yellow pistils. Again, my gardening ignorance left me wanting for its name.

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Took me a while to find out the name of this shrub, it is a ‘Coleus’

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The succulent garden had some pretty big plants on display, but I liked the detail of  the leaves and how they created a cage of green on this plant.

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There were many different types and colours of ‘Protea’ on display, and they were the hosts of many small insects. Maybe next time a bit of macro photography might be in order.

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I would recommend a visit to these gardens as we got to see hundreds of different flowers and trees in a brief hour long stroll through the garden. The views over the island of Maui are also a highlight. And from where we were staying in Kihei it was just over 30 minutes of driving to get to.

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